Archive 05/30/2023

Elizabeth Holmes Enters Prison 5-30-2023


Original Sentence: 11 Years (x) 12Months = 132 Months (x) 15 % [GTC] = 19.8 (Months Good Time Credit)

Months: 132 – 19.8 = 112.2 Months, or 9.35 yrs As long as there are No Disciplinary Infractions

112.2: With The FSA, after 2 years of ETC – you can earn 12 Months Off Sentence, Or: [112.2 -12 = 100.2], or 8.35 years

Earning more FSA Credits = more RRC or Halfway House Time

BUT 1st, Take the Assessment Survey In Order to Earn The ETC

  • Otherwise, you could take the programs – just not Earn The Credits Toward Early Release
  • Financial Responsibility Program
  • Daily Writing What You’ve Learned from FSA Programs
  • Daily Writing your Takeaways from Non-Fiction Books (or Painting), anything you are interested in.
  • Why documenting? INSURANCE
  • WHY DO ALL OF THIS WRITING? Consider this as insurance; similar to purchasing  Life,  Health,  or  Auto Insurance: You hope you don’t need it – Until you do.




RDAP = up to 1 year off Sentence: 100.2 – 12 = 88.2 Months or 7.35 yrs

  • In the 12 months before the arrest, was a substance abused?
  • Either Over-the-counter, prescription, legal, or illegal.
  • Was your pursuit of this unique laboratory blood testing quest something (similar to gambling) to think about…?
  • Did she start therapy before sentencing or her interview?



2nd Chance:

  • With (2nd CHANCE ACT, is up to CASE MANAGERS: Reducing Criminogenic Needs
  •  RRC – or Home last 6 months in home confinement= 12 months RRC §3624(c)(2).
  • The regulation implementing this mandate states that “[i]nmates may be designated to community confinement as a condition of pre-release custody and programming during the final months of the inmate’s term of imprisonment, not to exceed twelve months.” 28 C.F.R. § 570.21(a).
  • This regulation also provides for “home detention as a condition of pre-release custody and programming during the final months of the inmate’s term of imprisonment, not to exceed the shorter of ten percent of the inmate’s term of imprisonment or six months.”



  1. The Judge Already Knows,
    • that The DOJ wants Jail time
    • that the Prosecutor wants a conviction and
    • that your Attorney is paid to keep you out of prison or at best, spending the least amount of time “in prison“.
  2. Help the Judge Understand Who You Areand Why You Deserve Leniency
  3. What Changed in Your Life – That Caused You to Break the Law?
  4. Now is the Time For You To Invest In Yourself No One Can Change their PastBut You Can Change Your Future
  5. Writing your story, through Your Narrative tells the Judge how you came to this point in your life.  This is an arduous, self-reflective experience for you to go through, forcing a face-to-face with your innermost thoughts. It may require you to enlist someone with federal sentencing mitigation experience to guide you in drafting your narrative, but this is the story of your life and requires your participation. Include from 18 U.S. Code § 3553 – Imposition of a Sentence, the Nature and Circumstances of the Offense, and your History and Characteristics relevant to the incident.

Taking weeks to months to complete, can result in a distilled version of yourself that is honest and pure, a version where you have Remorse, Accept Responsibility, and Identify with the Victims of the Crime You Perpetrated.

This resulting Narrative or Your Story – is quite the opposite of the DOJ’s Indictment Narrative, which has already been read by your Judge. As you stand at your sentencing hearing anticipating your conversation with the court (your Allocution), you may also realize that writing your narrative has been an unexpectedly cathartic experience. Speaking from the heart could influence the court and ‘may’ impact your sentence…


The Personal NarrativeReentry-Release Plan, and answers to the SPARC-13 Assessment Questions (as you are expected to answer these questions when you first arrive, you might as well become familiar with them early), are written as one document and weaved into the Presentence Report when provided to your Probation Officer, a few weeks before your Presentence Interview.

Here the defendant has accepted responsibility, expressed remorse for the victim(s) pain, suffering, and how it has impacted them, and agrees with the court about the seriousness of the crime, without minimizing it.

  • The caveat is that the defendant must put time and effort into writing their Narrative, Allocution, and Reentry Plan because their future depends on it being honest, pure, and from the heart.

PERSONAL NARRATIVE. Writing your story, through Your Narrative tells the Judge how you came to this point in your life. This is an arduous, self-reflective experience for you to go through, forcing a face-to-face with your innermost thoughts. This is your autobiography (of you and those around you), the good, bad, and the ugly. It may require you to enlist someone with federal sentencing mitigation experience to guide you in drafting your narrative, but this is the story of your client’s life and requires their participation.

  • 18 U.S.C. § 3553
  • Judges
    • Look for WHY and HOW the incident happened –
    • Did they have PTSD
    • People don’t commit crimes in a vacuumtherefore
      • It’s important for the Judge to Know ABOUT the Person
      • Before they pass judgment
    • NATURE and CIRCUMSTANCE You want to include,
        1. What led you to do this, 
        2. How did you get involved, and 
        3. What was your involvement? [check that your involvement reflects what is in the official Presentence Report].
    • HISTORY and CHARACTERISTICS Here you want to include,
        1. Your remorse, 
        2. How you ruined your victim’s lives, 
        3. Show what you’re doing to change and improve yourself regarding rehabilitation (NA, AA, GA, Therapy, etc.) and paying restitution – if you can, 
        4. Where there was a positive or negative family life – explain this, 
        5. Traumatic event – review with details, 
        6. Good things you’ve done, explain with examples, 
        7. Show Judge your Future Plans to not come back, and 
        8. Cooperation = Substantial Information that does not implicate another.
    • Include if Applicable,
        1. FAMILIAL HISTORY: Married – Children – parents’ responsibilities and sole caregiver
        2. DEFENDANT’S PHYSICAL CONDITION: Medically documented bad Back-Hip-Knees-Shoulder could provide you with a Bottom Bunk. Diabetic, Vascular Disease, Raynaud’s could allow the Medicare soft shoe or sneakers.
        3. MEDICAL/PHYSICAL HEALTH, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH: Include ALL medical records, Labs, Surgery Reports, X-ray – CT-MRI-Ultrasound-Pet Scans (in Written and CD Format), Prescriptions for medications (Check Generic Medication Availability), and medical devices, along will ALL physician contact information.
        4. SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Alcohol, Drug (Legal or Illegal), within the previous 12 months before the arrest. RDAP allows up to 1 year off the sentence. They may do a Urine test.
        5. EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL SKILLS: Copied of the highest level, otherwise a GED will be required in prison. If you have experience in/with computers, administrators frown on these skills, so you may want to consider not using these.
        6. MILITARY: Copies, branch, discharge?
        7. EMPLOYMENT: The PO will check. Judges love an excellent work record/history
        8. STATEMENT FINANCIAL RECORDS: If there are financial fines/restitution, Congress and The BOP now require a Financial Responsibility Plan to benefit from all Earned Time Credits and access to Programming. Therefore if the events allow, counsel could ask that the court writes into the record that payments should only start after release from the BOP.

RELEASE PLAN. Include that you realize you need to learn from the FSA Risk Reduction Programs and implement their lessons into your daily life. Then expand on an appropriate theme, “Since my indictment, arrest, criminal charge, plea hearing, trial or guilty plea, presentence investigation, and sentencing process, I had the time to think about all that I have done. I made BAD decisions, except it shouldn’t be about ME – It’s about MY Victims, and What I did. This is most important, as I must Prove my Remorse and my Efforts to Change and Accept Responsibility for The Pain I caused to my victims, the community, my family, and myself. To the court, I do not want to be here again – I have learned a hard and humbling lesson.

If you are currently taking FSA Programs for AA, NA, Gambling, or a Sex Therapy Program, where applicable when released, you want to continue the Therapy and Rehab for AA, NA, Gambling, or Sex therapy rehab. sessions. State this in your Reentry Plan.

You also should refer to (or have) copies of your Social Security Card, Driver’s License (if expired it needs to be updated with a new test likely), and Birth Certificate. You are also grateful to be moving into a home with a support structure where they will keep you accountable. While you have been self-employed in your career, you have a letter from a friend willing to hire you, “all I have to do is let them know that you are released, as they are expecting my call”. “As you see, the letter was also a character letter, that I initially provided.”

At the same time, you can also plan to be self-employed again, if your role was not part of your criminal charge. Then everything that goes into a traditional business plan including what you would present to a bank, should be professionally (not handwritten, not expensive), put together, as your Probation Officer will want to see this during, or before your Supervised Release.

ALLOCUTION. You may begin by writing (in your own words) something like this…, “I am embarrassed and humbled to be standing here – since my indictment had the time to think about all that I have done, I didn’t recognize how BAD my decisions were, but Now I realized it’s Not About Me. It is about MY VICTIMS, What I did, and What I must do – to make it right.

  1. “No punishment will be enough. If I could go back and change everything, I would.”
  2. I am persuaded that the defendant is sincere and demonstrates insight into the crime.
  3. Allocution is very important, “I’d like to have a conversation with the defendant” …
  4. I want him/her to apologize to the victim and their family, mainly if they are in the courtroom.
  5. “Allocution, however, changes this when I see the defendant has insight into the harm they have done,” when I see they have insight into this.”
  6. “I am looking for remorse and insight as to why he did what he did and what he is doing to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

As you stand at your sentencing hearing, nervous, anticipating the conversation with your Judge (your Allocution), you may also realize that writing your narrative has been an ‘unexpectedly cathartic experience’. Speaking from the heart could influence the court, and ‘may’ impact your sentence…

CHARACTER REFERENCE LETTER. These are letters to one’s character, they are aware that you have broken the law, and they have known you for a long time. Should an employer be willing to write a letter that states they are still willing to rehire you after release from prison due to your ‘character and skills’ – that is a Great letter and should be included.

EXAMPLE. The ‘writer’ states that they know that you are in trouble and facing federal charges and that you feel terrible about what you did. They have known you for 40+ years, “We went to college together, and this is so out of character,” and you are so remorseful.

I know that he/she won’t be back to this court because we will be looking out for them in the future, and we will hold them accountable.

Now… Do You Feel More Prepared to Speak with Your Judge?

My 30+ years in practice, and experience in the BOP, have provided me with the answers to almost all of your questions and concerns about how to craft your Sentence Mitigation Strategy.

For Free,

  • On my website, YouTube channel, Podcast, and various other social media venues you may find the tools you need to do this on your own.
  • Whether using these free services, or engaging me, or someone else, please get experienced assistance.
    • This will impact your future through your Presentence Report and will influence the actions of your Judge (Your 1st  STAKEHOLDER), and
    • Other STAKEHOLDERS as you move through the prison on your pathway home.

Once you are incarcerated, expect that life in The Federal BOP will come with,

  • Promises are made and broken, timelines are not kept, and sometimes rules are broken.
  • Having been in prison, despair, discomfort, frustration, and the like will become all too frequent and familiar, but this is all Temporary.
  • Therefore the only person who can control your reactions to all of this, and this person is you, so work at keeping positive and humble, focusing your efforts on the goal of getting home.

Remember that no consultant or attorney, can promise any special relationship with any judge, or any outcome if it sounds too easy or too good to be true, then Next. This takes hard work, and Self-Advocacy on your part.

Let’s take the next step together and answer your questions. Marc 



    1. The first Expert You Need is a Federal Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Federal Court. Next, they should be experienced in working cases similar to yours, and most importantly, You Should Feel Comfortable with them accepting advice from you, as you hold each other accountable.
    2. Personal Narrative. Your only opportunity to speak directly to the Judge and share your personal history, accept responsibility, and remorse, and explain why you will not revisit this courtroom again. This can be in written, video, or both formats.
    3. Allocution. This is the Judges 1st and only time to meet and speak with you – he really does not want to see you back in this courtroom on a criminal matter, again. 
    4. Release/Reentry Planning 
    5. Preparation for Early Release
    6. Pre-Surrender Reminder List 
    7. Self-Surrender List (What You Can Bring) 
    8. Financial Responsibility Program (FRP). Guidance as to what makes a great Character Letter Recommendation – From People That Have Known You.
    9. Character Reference letters
    10. Preparation for The Sentencing Hearing
    11. Preparation for Your Presentence Interview
    12. Preparing for your 1st Day In Prison
    13. Sentence Mitigation Video (Helpful, this can be professionally done with us, or with a smartphone)
    14. Instructions on the Administrative Remedy Process, as the BOP encourages its use, and attorneys will not be inside with you.
    15. BOP Visitor Form
    16. BOP TRULINCS Email
    17. Sample BOP Commissary List

How To Avoid A Medical CoPayment.


  1. Public Safety Factors vs Management Variables (Approximate),
  2. Criminal History vs Offense Level (Approximate)

Your Probation Officer will be scoring you, it makes sense that you be prepared, as this could impact your sentence and placement.

III) PREPARATION For Your Presentence Interview and optimal BOP Placement Facility with supporting BOP Programs

The Presentence Interview is done by the Courts Representative, The Probation Officer (PO), who will try to learn as much about your as they can – in a short period of time. After they have spoken with The Prosecutor and Googled You, they will have learned all of the Negative Information available online, provided by the DOJ. Then they will concentrate on conducting their Presentence Interview of you, followed by their Investigation.

After they have assembled your biographical background information, they will write your official Presentence Report, and passed to the Judge, along with recommendations regarding your sentencing and placement.

  1. First, your legal team is currently prepping for the date of your Presentence Interview.
    • They work to establish 1st contact with your Probation Officer (PO) before they learn more about you, so they are not biased against you – before you ever meet,
    • They will quickly learn 1) what the Officer knows, 2) provides the opportunity to explain their client’s defense strategy, 3) you now have a timeline regarding The Interview Date, along with the Documents you need, and 4) The Dictation Date Deadline – which is when their final Presentence Report of you is due to their supervisor.
  2. You begin to assemble your Biographical Information
    • Highest education level achieved
    • Identification documentation
    • Character Letters
    • Past and First Work Character Letters
    • Military Service, what branch, type of discharge, and highest rank.
    • Past Medical (and Mental Healthcare) Care History
      • Comprehensive Medical and Mental Healthcare Profile Development 
        • Mental Healthcare needs directly matched to FSA Specific Programs
        • Your Medication list checked for availability according to the BOP 3 Tier Formulary
  3.  Pregnancy:
  4. RDAP Eligible, if yes – include it, there are minimal negative repercussions.
  5. 18 U.S. Code § 3553 – The imposition of a Sentence, addressing other factors could be considered.
  6. COVID Modified Operational Levels ( for those concerned who are self-surrendering 2022/2023
  7. Also, answering the question regarding, who listens to the ‘AM’ Radio Station: W.I.I.F.M., all the time?
  8. I provide you and your legal team with; 1) a personalized, court-ready BOP Placement Packet, and 2) supporting reasons for the request, with the appropriate documentation; Medical Care, First Step Act Programming, or other pertinent issues. (Example – Alderson)
  9. A Surrender list of what to bring, and a Pre-Surrender Checklist of what to prepare for you and your family

IV) Our Presentence Investigation Report

We can also provide an “alternative presentence investigation report” for the defense so that it can be submitted to the court for consideration. This may also include the expense of additional experts.

V) When To Make Your BOP PLacement Request To The Court 


Learn CPR – Save Lives – Hands-Only (30 sec)

It could be yours, a friend, a stranger, or a relative.


If You Suspect You’re The Target of a Federal Investigation | Before The Presentence Interview (PSI) | After The PSI – But Before The Sentencing Hearing | or After Sentencing or You’re Already Incarcerated – There Are Still Things – At All Levels, We Can Do

We are not Attorneys, you need legal representation.

There is no implied or otherwise guaranteed final prison placement, medical and medication availability, or program enrollment.

Your Personal Narrative | PSI Investigation Report

Your Personal Narrative


The Presentence Interview Investigation Report

I want to start by saying that I only wish that my attorney had the insight to impart to me all of the knowledge that I have picked up before, during, and after my time in the BOP.

So, let’s get started;

Your Personal Narrative is your chance to speak directly to the Judge. We will start this exercise in written format.  I’d like to suggest that when I write, it usually takes 3-4 drafts until I feel that it’s ready, and then I ask those close to me to proofread it. If they too agree that it’s ready, off it goes. The length is up to you, but it needs to start overly complete, the longer – the better.

This is Your Life – please take this seriously…

Each of these category questions is meant to be thought-provoking, and possibly painful – which is all good. Be introspective, confer with those close to you and of course your attorney.

Everything you say must be true and from the heart, for a few reasons: a) You need to believe it, or doing this has no value, b) If the Judge believes you, and then starts a conversation with you – then, coming to the conclusion that someone else wrote this, well you now have a BIGGER problem, and c) last, Probation will be the first to see this, and as their job is to make recommendations to the Judge, if they don’t believe you, well… you guessed it!

 Topic Categories:

  1. Express remorse for the victim(s), understanding their pain, and suffering, and how it has impacted them. 
  2. Agree with the court as to the seriousness of the crime, without minimizing it. Expand on this topic
  3. What in your life brought you to this moment, what happened that caused you to do this?
  4. You can expand on this, with salient points from your childhood, while,
    • Get feedback from a consultant, attorney, or someone with this skill
    • If there was a “trigger,” what was that trigger, and how do you remove it from your life?
    • And don’t hand in your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th draft; really, 
    • It will be a slow start, but when complete, you will be a different person, with a unique Personal Narrative – Story to tell directly to the Judge.
    • It is now Your Story, Unique and Honest.
  5. What has this experience taught you? Did it bring up moments from your past?
  6. Explain to the Judge that you have a plan (ONLY IF YOU DO) to start making this right with those you have victimized – or if you have already started – what are they, no matter how small those efforts have been? 
  7. What is your plan to never re-offend, and you will NEVER Be Back Again In Their Courtroom?
  8. 18 U.S. Code § 3553 – Imposition of a Sentence, Include,
    • The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense
    • The History and Characteristics of the Defendant
  9. Let the Judge know you feel financially responsible and want to make amends. If you can, bring some money with you ($100 or $1000), and let the court know that:
    • I know this is not much, but here is $xxx.00 that I want to submit to the court.
    • I want the court to also know that I have a plan for a job when I get home, and then I will be able to start the Financial Responsibility Program.
    • I hear that The FRP is already being included in Judge’s Orders, ($25/Qt)
      • This may not be an option:
        • As I will have little to no income in prison, I understand that not participating in the Financial Responsibility Program (FRP) in prison, may keep me from participating in other programs – and could be held against me keeping me from returning home early to begin to make amends to myself, family and to those, I have harmed.

Cases that judges find most challenging. If you fall into either of these two categories, the plan we have covered still applies, but with a caveat.
1. Predatory child sex offenders who have harmed children, If you fall into this category – You will be strictly monitored once released.

2. White-collar criminals who have harmed vulnerable people. If you fall into this category – once off supervised release, you are smart enough to know that, you do not want to return.


 The Presentence Interview Investigation Report

can be aided by

Your Personal Narrative

While I previously mentioned that it could be started in written format, it could also be made available in

  • video MP4 format and placed in a flash drive so that the judge could easily see it the week before (optimal timing) sentencing.
  • This you could work out with your attorney, using either PowerPoint or simply using a smartphone.

This brings me to my last point, which is The Presentence Interview (PSI) – Investigation Report.

  • As early as possible after your conviction, your attorney should reach out to the Probation Officer assigned to your case. 
  • At this point they likely have not yet spoken with the prosecutor, therefore they still may have an open mind.
  • Without this call, the PO may have already spoken with the Prosecutor before they ever met/interviewed you – and they may have already been influenced, just not in your favor.
  • Once they are talking, the goal is to learn from her/him, the date that was most convenient for them to do the interview, and then learn when the “due date” was for the preliminary Presentence Report needed to be turned in.

With a personal meeting, your attorney can clearly make their case and position.

  • You can then use your personal narrative, making it available in writing, and/or video format for the PO and eventually the judge.

Generally speaking, when working with the probation officer, a little extra effort goes a long way.

  • Consider presenting your entire view of the case, clearly in a letter to the PO as soon as possible.
  • If you feel the PO is receptive to a variance, this may be key to convincing the court to consider a sentence below the guideline range.
  • Consider presenting your entire view of the case, clearly in a letter to the PO as soon as possible – getting your message “on the record”.
  • As Probation Officers are very busy, doing their best, and never have enough time, they may actually appreciate your efforts in easing a portion of their workload,
  • Remember, a little thoughtful effort does go a long way


Call Dr.Blatstein at: 240.888.7778, or by email for a No Obligation Free Consult, I return all of my calls, personally.

Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison: The Critical Role of the Presentence Report

Availability of Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison

The Federal Lawyer Jan./Feb. 2021                    Availability of Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison



The Critical Role of the Presentence Report

Prisoners have a constitutional right to adequate medical care, but what that means and how to get needed treatment are often not well understood by attorneys representing criminal defendants.
This article attempts to address that knowledge deficit by explaining the medical, mental health, and substance abuse programs and policies in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), as well as some of the educational, vocational, and other available programs intended to rehabilitate inmates and prepare them for return to society. Equally important, the article explains the critical role of the presentence report (PSR) in determining whether and how needed treatment and programs will be available to a defendant. Documentation is paramount, and the diligent attorney must be proactive in gathering and supplying the appropriate documentation to the probation officer preparing the PSR and to the court, along with a sentencing memorandum advocating for the defendant’s desired sentencing outcome and institutional placement, supported by the sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).