Archive 07/27/2023



The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) Allows Relief Through US Judges, But Only After The Administrative Process Has Been Completed.


The Bureau of Prisons encourages persons who have the need to pursue a complaint, to do so through The Administrative Remedy Process. On the outside, the options include Legal (getting an attorney, and then using the courts), mediation, changing jobs or just walking away, but in The BOP, learning the Administrative Process – is the way. Pros: there is a way to make a complaint, Cons; the process can take up to 6 Months. 



1st. Is The Informal Complaint – Your Cop-Out (BP-8)

  • BP-8 Example.

(Insert Date)

I’m filing this Complaint because my release date does not reflect my Earned Time Credits that I believe I have worked hard to obtain. I meet all the criteria of the First Step Act, and I have participated in (  #  ) of Productive Activities over the past (xx) months, and ( # ) of EBRR Programs over the last 6 months. I request that the BOP update my sentence computation sheet to reflect the Earned Time Credits.



You request your BP-9 (a letter to the warden),

Before doing this, speak with your counselor to learn:

  • What is the process I should follow (as institutions may vary)
    • If the counselor is unavailable, then write that the counselor is unavailable and in a letter, you are asking that the warden treat this letter as a BP-9 Request for Administrative Remedy.
  • BP-9 Example.

(  Insert Date )

I’m filing this to request to ensure that the Earned Time Credits I believe I have earned, be reflected on my BOP sentence computation sheet. My initial request is attached which I made on (insert date) when I request that the BOP update my sentence computation sheet to reflect the Earned Time Credits.

I haven’t received an updated sentence computation that reflected the Earned Time Credits I have earned per the First Step Act and BOP policy Number 5410.01. Please provide an updated computation sheet describing why my sentence computation sheet does not reflect all of the time credits I earned in accordance with the First Step Act and BOP policy Number 5410.01.

(Attached is  a copy of my initial copout)


You may request a BP-10 form from your counselor.

  • If the counselor is unavailable, then write that the counselor is unavailable and in a letter, you are asking that the Regional Director treat this letter as a BP-10, Regional Administrative Remedy Appeal.
  • BP-10 Example

( Insert Date )

I’m filing this to request to ensure that the Earned Time Credits I believe I have earned be corrected on my BOP sentence computation sheet. My initial request is attached which I made on (Insert Date) when I request that the BOP update my sentence computation sheet to reflect my Earned Time Credits.

As I did not receive an updated sentence computation that reflected the Earned Time Credits I have earned per the First Step Act and BOP policy Number 5410.01. Please provide an updated computation sheet describing why my sentence computation sheet does not reflect all of the time credits I earned in accordance with the First Step Act and BOP policy Number 5410.01.

(Attached are copies of my initial copout (BP-8) and my BP-9)


You may request a BP-11 from your counselor.

  • If the counselor is unavailable, then write that the counselor is unavailable and in a letter, request that the Central Office treat this letter as a BP-11, Central Office Administrative Remedy Appeal.
  • BP-11 Example

(Insert Date)

I appeal the Regional Director’s response to my request for administrative remedy.

I’m filing this to request to ensure that the Earned Time Credits I believe I have earned, be reflected on my BOP sentence computation sheet. My initial request is attached which I made on (insert date) when I request that the BOP update my sentence computation sheet to reflect the Earned Time Credits and I appealed to the Regional Director on (insert date) and did not receive the relief requested.

To comply with the Prison Litigation Reform Act, on (insert date) I appealed to the Regional Director for administrative relief. The BOP continues to deny the application of my Earned Time Credits to my sentence computation, and I request an administrative remedy.

Use Form BP-11 INSTRUCTIONS: Complete if: • You did not get a response from your Level II appeal.
Office of General Counsel
320 First St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20534.

5th. If the Central Office does not grant relief within 30 days, you have complied with the PLRA Process and exhausted all requests for administrative remedy. This goes to the Federal District Court.

You can now draft your Pro Se Motion pursuant to Title 28 USC § 2241

  • While they should have copies of all previous correspondence regarding your pursuit of an administrative remedy, you may still include copies of all of your previous correspondences.


This letter to the court is written as below,

YOUR NAME (Petitioner)


Warden (Respondent)

Beneath the heading insert the following heading, in bold or in all caps:



Pro Se Motion Under Title 28 U.S.C. § 2241 For Application of First Step Act (FSA) Earned Time Credits Toward Sentence Computation.


Then write a standard letter to the judge:



Dear Judge ….:

I am not an attorney, and I am filing this pro-se motion, moving this Honorable Court to order the Bureau of Prisons to apply First Step Act (FSA) Earned Time Credit to my federal prison sentence.




In 2018, the President of the United States signed into law the “First Step Act” (FSA) 18 U.S.C. § 3632. The FSA grants eligible inmates the ability to earn time credits (ETC) for successfully participating in and completing approved Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction (EBRR) programs or Productive Activities (PAs).

My conviction qualifies me as eligible to earn the FSA credits.

Since entering federal prison on (insert date) to serve a sentence of (insert the number of months), the record shows that I have avoided disciplinary infractions and participated in Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction (EBRR) programs, and, or Productive Activities (PAs) as directed by staff members.

On several occasions, I requested BOP staff members to apply the credits (ETC) toward my sentence computation. Despite numerous requests, the BOP has not updated my computation sheet to reflect the ETC I earned, in accordance with the First Step Act and BOP policy Number 5410.01.

Under Title 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), I have complied with the Prison Litigation Reform Act, requiring me to exhaust administrative remedies to resolve this grievance.

Petitioner contends that the BOP failed to adhere to the FSA in its imposition of his sentence in two distinct areas:

  1. The BOP failed to apply 15 days of ETC for every 30 days of confinement, and
  2. The BOP failed to correctly calculate the FSA and Productive Activity or EBRR credits toward the remainder of his sentence.


Petitioner contends that not applying the correctly calculated FSA Earned Time Credits violates the Congressional intent under Title 18 U.S.C. § 3632 and inflicts harm, by sanctioning a longer prison term than allowed under Title 18 U.S.C. § 3553 and § 3632.


Petitioner contends that I have made a good faith effort in attempting to resolve these concerns before filing in the District Court. The movant submitted the following administrative remedy forms:

  1. Initial request on (insert date)
  2. BP-9 Administrative remedy form (insert date)
  3. BP-10 Regional Appeal for Administrative remedy form (insert date)
  4. BP-11 Central Office Appeal for Administrative remedy form (insert date)


Section (4) Time Credits: Application of Time Credits Toward Pre-Release Custody holds that:

Time credits earned by prisoners who successfully participate in recidivism reduction programs or productive activities and who have been determined to be at minimum risk or low risk for recidivating under their last two reassessments shall be applied toward time in pre-release custody. The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall transfer prisoners described in this subsection into prerelease custody (also known as Supervised Release).



For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner moves this Honorable Court to GRANT immediate Habeas Corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, forcing the Bureau of Prisons to apply all Earned Time Credit to the Sentence Computation and grant an immediate release.


I, (Insert Full Name), under penalty of perjury, hereby affirm that all statements given hereof are truthful to the best of my knowledge. I have mailed a certified copy of this motion to the Assistant United States Attorney’s Office for the (insert district), and I also sent a copy to the Clerk of the Court.


The petitioner requests the Clerk of the Court to return a stamped copy to the petitioner showing this motion has been filed with this Honorable Court and showing the appropriate case number for this pro se motion filed under 28 U.S.C. § 2241.


Respectfully submitted,





(Insert address)

Note: To complete this pro se motion, I would have taken the additional steps:


Included copies of all my requests for administrative remedy.

Send a copy to the Assistant United States Attorney for the district.

Send a copy to the Clerk of the Court for the district of confinement (not the district that imposed the sentence).

Your Client’s Facing Prison With Schizophrenia, 💊What Are Your Options?

Your Client’s Facing Prison With Schizophrenia, 💊What Are Your Options?

Noteworthy: 1st) Could this affect your client’s prison placement, 2nd) Should your client’s medication not be ‘On Formulary’, this may need to be addressed before the PSR/PSI and Sentencing Hearing, 3rd) Is there an FSA EBBR Option, and finally 4th) Inmate Companions, those inmates trained to help other inmates where there is a need in either ADL, Suicide Watch or other issues – the challenge is that the BOP has not provided more facility-specific information regarding which BOP facilities provide trained inmate companions.

Regarding the BOP 3-Tier “Formulary”, should your client already be on specific medication, for their “continuity of care”, it is critical the legal team impresses upon the court the need to continue with the same medication. This is because the time taken in finding a medication that works for your patient has been both an arduous process and individual patient-specific. This process should not be wasted by repeating it again, by the prison medical staff. For more content, visit my website.

This assumes that you have verified with the BOPs Formulary the availability of that specified medication. Unfortunately, the BOP as a matter of policy, established that less expensive medications are selected to avoid the cost of newer more effective, and more expensive medications. Our job is to ensure that the “continuity of care” of our client’s medical needs is met, and not placed second to a cost-containment policy.


A mix of symptoms varies from person to person and affects the mind. When severe, people have trouble staying in touch with reality. It’s hard for someone to think clearly, make good judgments, respond emotionally, communicate effectively, understand reality, and behave appropriately. There is no cure, and treatment requires a psychiatrist-guided team approach, which includes a psychologist, social worker, psychiatric nurse, and possibly a case manager to coordinate care.

Anxiety may present as a component, along with Posttraumatic stress disorder, as a symptom of a co-occurring disorder. While Schizophrenia is a serious brain illness, there is no test for it. Diagnosis requires eliminating what it’s not occurring, in order to identify the symptoms that are present.

There are three types of symptoms:

  1. Psychotic symptoms may distort thinking, including hallucinations, delusions (beliefs that are not true), and organizing thoughts.
  2. Negative symptoms: where you’re not able to show emotions – leaving you to present yourself as depressed and withdrawn.
  3. Cognitive symptoms: Trouble making decisions and paying attention.

There is no cure. Different medications may have to be tried to see which are effective because medications affect each person individually. Once you find the medication(s) that work, stay on them daily, keep your doctor’s appointments, and follow their recommendations.


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Changes in behavior;

Includes delusions and hallucinations – which may last a lifetime.

Delusions; False beliefs, not based on reality, such as another person is in love with you, or a major catastrophe is about to occur.

Hallucinations involve seeing or hearing things that don’t exist. They can be in any of the senses, hearing voices is the most common hallucination.

Disorganized thinking and speech may include putting together meaningless words that can’t be understood, sometimes known as word salad. Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behavior can include resistance to instructions, inappropriate or bizarre posture, a complete lack of response, or useless and excessive movement. All of these behaviors can result in less than optimal interactions between other inmates or with correction staff. The result may be a trip to the hospital or the SHU (isolation), neither is acceptable, and both are preventable.

Negative symptoms can be expressed as, neglecting personal hygiene, appearing to lack emotion, (not; making eye contact, changing facial expressions, or speaking in a monotone), and losing interest in everyday activities, including socially withdrawing.

Treatment is accomplished under the psychiatrist-guided treatment team approach with a case manager coordinating care. The full-team approach may be available in clinics with expertise in schizophrenia treatment. These delusions and hallucinations — may last your lifetime.

First-generation older antipsychotics, introduced in the 1950s – As a class, these provided treatment for acute agitation, bipolar mania, and other psychiatric conditions.

On- Formulary Medications: Haloperidol (Haldol), Perphenazine (Trilafon), Loxapine, Trifluoperazine(Stelazine), and Fluphenazine

Not AvailableFlupentixol, Zuclopentixol, Sulpiride, Pimozide, Molindone, Prochlorperazine, Thioridazine, and Thiothixene

Second-generation or atypical antipsychotics,

Some associated side effects; “Schizophrenia in adults“Bipolar mania and hypomania in adults“,  “Unipolar major depression with psychotic features“,  “Delusional disorder”,   “Brief psychotic disorder”, and  “Treatment of postpartum psychosis”

On Formulary: Clozapine (Clozaril) “Clozapine remains the only antipsychotic that has been FDA-approved for treatment-resistant schizophrenia, “and it provides effective treatment even when patients do not respond to other second-generation antipsychotics. No existing first- or second-generation antipsychotic is as effective as clozapine monotherapy in treatment-resistant patients. Deanna Kelly, Pharm.D., of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center (MPRC)” Other Medications: Olanzapine (Zyprexa), and Risperidone (Risperdal).

Non-Formulary: Quetiapine (Seroquel)

Some of the more recent atypical antipsychotics:

Not AvailableAsenapine (Saphris), Iloperidone (Fanapt), and Lurasidone (Latuda).


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Symptoms of schizophreniform

Schizophreniform is a similar disorder that affects how you act, think, relate to others, express emotions, and perceive reality.

Unlike schizophrenia, it lasts one to six months.

A mental condition that can distort the way you:

  • Think.
  • Act.
  • Expresses emotions.
  • Perceive reality.
  • Relate to others.

Medication and Psychotherapy —to help the patient manage everyday problems related to the disorder.

On Formulary: Clozapine (Clozaril®), Olanzapine (Zyprexa®), Quetiapine (Seroquel®), and Risperidone (Risperdal®)

Brief psychotic disorder

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Involves a sudden, short period of psychotic behavior, often in response to a very stressful event, such as a death in the family. Recovery is often quick — usually less than a month.

The first line of treatment may include atypical antipsychotics.

On FormularyClozapine (Clozaril), Olanzapine (Zyprexa), Risperidone (Risperdal), and Ziprasidone (Geodon)

Non-Formulary: Quetiapine (Seroquel)

For those that have an increased risk of having depression, medications that address this symptom can be an important part of their treatment.

Delusion disorder

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The key symptom is having a delusion (a false, fixed belief) involving a real-life situation that could be true but isn’t, such as being followed, being plotted against, or having a disease. The delusion lasts for at least 1 month.

The exact cause is not yet known, but researchers are looking at genetic, biological, environmental, or psychological factors.

A cold, detached manner with the inability to express emotion

  • …has an over-inflated sense of worth, power, knowledge, or identity.
  • Jealous
  • …that someone is spying on them or planning to harm them.
  • …believes that he or she has a physical defect or medical problem.
  • …have two or more of the types of delusions listed above.

Symptoms that are ‘non-bizarre’: 

  • An irritable, angry, or low mood
  • Hallucinations

Diagnosis: There are no laboratory tests to yield positive results, they are only good to rule out what it is not.


  • Psychotherapy is primary
  • Conventional antipsychotics

First-generation older antipsychotics, introduced in the 1950s- 

On- Formulary 

Haloperidol (Haldol®),

Trifluoperazine (Stelazine®),

Perphenazine (Trilafon®)

Second-generation or atypical antipsychotics, 

On- Formulary: 

Risperidone (Risperdal®),

Clozapine (Clozaril®),

Ziprasidone (Geodon®) and

Olanzapine (Zyprexa®).


Quetiapine (Seroquel®),

Other types of medications:

  1. Antidepressants might be used to treat depression, which often happens in people with delusional disorder
  2. Psychotherapy can also be helpful, along with medications, as a way to help people better manage and cope with the stresses related to their delusional beliefs and their impact on their lives.
  3. Sedatives and antidepressants might also be used to treat anxiety or mood symptoms if they happen with delusional disorder.
  4. Tranquilizers might be used if the person has a very high level of anxiety or problems sleeping.

Shared psychotic disorder (also called folie à deux)

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Here one person in a relationship has a delusion and the other person in the relationship adopts that same delusion.

Diagnosing is difficult, possibly with an MRI.

Treatment: Psychotherapy aims to ease emotional distress, with medication to ease the symptoms of anxiety.

It cannot be prevented, and the key is to diagnose and treat them as soon as possible.

Substance-induced psychotic disorder

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Substance-related disorders involve drugs that directly activate the brain’s reward system which typically causes feelings of pleasure.

The classes of drugs include

·       Alcohol

·       Caffeine

·       Cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids

·       Hallucinogens (eg, LSD, phencyclidine, psilocybin)

·       Inhalants (volatile hydrocarbons [eg, paint thinner, certain glues])

·       Opioids (eg, fentanylmorphineoxycodone)

·       Sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics (eg, lorazepamsecobarbital)

·       Stimulants (eg, amphetaminescocaine)

·       Tobacco

·       Other (eg, anabolic steroids)


Clinical judgment, with a proper history, creates a safe environment during the withdrawal period. Due to the relative safety of most antidepressants in the setting of depressive symptomatology, and manic episode guidelines, second-generation antipsychotics, such as Quetiapine (Non-Formulary) or Olanzapine (On Formulary), may also be beneficial as they are faster-acting than mood stabilizers.

Psychotic disorder; due to other medical conditions;

Hallucinations, delusions, or other symptoms may happen because of another illness that affects brain function, such as a head injury or brain tumor.

Paraphrenia: symptoms similar to schizophrenia.

It starts late in life in the elderly,

  • Generally has a much better prognosis than other psychotic disorders.
  • Antipsychotic medication can be helpful,
  • Paraphrenia sometimes co-occurs with depression and anxiety

I) BOP Placement Based On Security Level Alone – Without Multiple Medication Needs

The Challenge Program – an EBBR FSA Evidence-based Recidivism Reduction Program for male inmates in Penitentiary (High Security) facilities. Treats those with substance abuse and/or mental illness disorders (psychotic, mood, anxiety, or personality).

II) BOP Placement- With Multiple Medication Needs v Prior Hospitalizations

Here, it depends;

  • the number of types of psychiatric hospitalizations, not related to substance abuse, and
  • the number of multiple diagnoses treated with antipsychotic and/or different psychotropic medications

Influences Mental Healthcare (MH) CARE LEVEL I-IV facility placement.

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  • I believe that the responsibility for a client’s Mental and Physical Health should be safeguarded to protect them from themselves and others, …while providing a safe environment for the duration of their incarceration. Ultimately this is the responsibility of the Court, Defense Team, and BOP.

If this was helpful, please share it with your colleagues. With more to follow, should you have any questions, are interested in engaging my services (getting your message on the record – is best done before the PSI, and also could support your BOP placement request), or have any ideas for future topics, I am easy to reach, and thank you for your time.

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Marc, Dr. Blatstein

  • email,,
  • Voice: 240-888-7778,



👉The DOJ encourages corporations and individuals to adopt strong ethical guidelines, internal controls, and compliance programs to prevent and detect any malfeasance – until they don’t.

This short YouTube includes my commentary on an article I co-published in The Federal Lawyer 1/2021, regarding The Critical Role of The Presentence Report.

👉SCOPE OF MEDICAL SERVICES – CATEGORIES OF CARE (Program Statement 6031.01, Patient Care, Pages 5-7)

Note: Ordinarily, pretrial or non-sentenced inmates, and inmates with less than 12 months to serve, are ineligible for health services in subsections III., IV., and V. Subsections IV and V are also usually not provided.

All of this emphasizes the reasons for the preparation of a Complete, Accurate, and overly Comprehensive,👉 Presentence Report.

  • If you are being sentenced, have a medical condition that requires surgery (for example, orthopedic, that adversely affects your Activity of Daily Living, or have a failing Kidney that needs to be removed), but you’re unable to get the procedure before you surrender; this is when your Presentence Report is critical.
  • When accurate, it will include, 1) detailed medical records that explain your diagnosis and treatment plan, 2) what would happen if this treatment is not provided, and 3) a placement request to the appropriate BOP Federal Medical Center (FMC).
  • Your medication that is not on the BOP Formulary, or a generic drug that is either Non-Formulary or Not Available is something that you do not want to learn after your inside. Being overly Comprehensive for your Presentence Interview is a must – and a unique topic all by itself.

Why? Should you need a second opinion, or consult with a specialist, you may have to wait up to 18 months just to learn if this is even allowed. If granted, it could take another 18 months just to get your appointment. After you have had your appointment, and the Clinical Director at your facility is in receipt of the specialist’s recommendations – they (The BOP) are under No Obligation to follow those recommendations, rather, they are just placed in your file. Further, courts cannot order specific treatment or medication to be used (#9), after you have been incarcerated. Therefore, a great starting point is being prepared for the Presentence Interview, where the Probation Officer will, in turn, draft the official Presentence Report.

The BOP’s five categories upon which all medical care is provided.

I. Life-Threatening,  Medically Necessary – Acute or Emergent

■ Myocardial infarction. ■ Severe trauma such as head injuries. ■ Hemorrhage. ■ Stroke. ■ Status asthmaticus. ■ Precipitous labor or complications associated with pregnancy. ■ Detached retina, sudden loss of vision.

Treatment is essential to sustain life or function and warrants immediate attention.

II. Medically Necessary but Not Urgent,

■ Serious deterioration leading to premature death. ■ Significant reduction in the possibility of repair later without present treatment. ■ Significant pain or discomfort which impairs the inmate’s participation in activities of daily living.

While not immediately life-threatening, without treatment, the person’s overall health and, or ADL may not be maintained.

III. Medically Appropriate but Not Necessary; to improve the person’s quality of life

■ Joint replacement. ■ Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee. ■ Treatment of non-cancerous skin conditions (e.g. skin tags, lipomas)

These always require review by the Institution Utilization Review regarding,

■ The risks and benefits of the treatment. ■ Available resources. ■ Natural history of the condition. ■ The effect of the intervention on inmate functioning in his/her activities of daily living.

These are considered elective procedures, to improve the inmate’s quality of life, and may or may not be allowed.

IV. Limited Medical Value.

■ Minor conditions that are self-limiting. ■ Cosmetic procedures (e.g. blepharoplasty). ■ Removal of non-cancerous skin lesions (if you have a history of skin cancer, two issues are present, (1) hope that the prison healthcare provider has this type of training to recognize Cancer, and (2) that your Presentence Report has your history reported in detail).

V. Extraordinary.

■ Organ transplant or Donor, or ■ Those Considered Investigational


If you find this helpful, please 👉subscribe and share it with your colleagues. With more to follow, should you have any questions, are interested in engaging my services, or have any suggestions for future topics, I am easy to reach, and thank you for your time.

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Marc, Dr. Blatstein

This also appears in LinkedIn


THE SENTENCING HEARING: Is Your Client Prepared to Speak with Their ⚖️Judge?

Dr. M. Blatstein

Dr. M. Blatstein


What is the ‘1’ Thing that Differentiates Them from Everyone Else Entering Their Judge’s Courtroom?

Facing America’s Criminal Justice System for the first time is a life-altering, surreal, and frightening experience. The importance of preparation and working with your legal team before the presentence interview cannot be overstated.

Once this has all been completed, as an attorney, you’ve prepped your client right up to their sentencing hearing.

Then after sentencing, there still are a lot of fears and unknowns as they face either their self-surrender date or are remanded at that time.

Attorneys know the law, but the nuances of navigating through Federal Prison aren’t traditionally part of a legal defense. This requires a unique set of knowledge and skills that interest those responsible for assessing their freedoms.

STAKEHOLDERS are part of the system that controls everything that happens following the guilty verdict, and until you’re released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. They are responsible for keeping society safe by reducing criminogenic needs for those who will eventually be released. From the Judge to the BOP Case Manager and Unit Team, to the Probation Officer on Supervised Release, and then possibly back again to the Judge to get off Supervised Release early, at each stage, these STAKEHOLDERS make decisions that impact your client’s future.

Realize that even if you’re doing everything right from the start, the only person you can control is – you, and still, there will be disappointments. Therefore, being prepared at every stage, keeping your eyes open with a positive attitude, and continuing to add to your Reentry Plan, are all ingredients needed for getting home to your loved ones. Remember; No Cell Phones, No Trouble, and No Infractions.


1.   Your Judge, who already knows that;

  • Your Attorney is paid to keep you out of prison or, at best, spend the least time “in prison”.
  • The Probation Officer will conduct their interview, draft the Presentence Report and recommend your sentence, and placement to the court based on your interview. Currently, all they know about you is the Narrative provided by the DOJ, through their Indictment of you – this, you can change.
  •  The Prosecutor wants another conviction, in his/her file. Currently, all they know about you is also the Narrative provided by the DOJ.
  • The DOJ wants Jail time.
  • But your Judge knows nothing about you – and only Your NARRATIVE can begin to change this, starting with, 1st) Helping the Judge Understand Who You Are – and why You Deserve Leniency – Selling your Luxury Cars, Homes, and other stuff, if You Have Financial Penalties, 2nd) What Changed in Your Life – That Caused You to Break the Law? 3rd) Invest In Yourself – You Can’t Change the Past, But You Can Change Your Future, start by writing your Story, or Narrative.

2.     Your Attorney until now also knows nothing about your background, as their time is mostly spent on your legal defense.

3.     The Probation Officer will conduct your Presentence Interview and then write the official Presentence Report. But a week or so before your Presentence Interview, your attorney will provide your Probation Officer with your,


II. REENTRY/RELEASE Plan, and answers to the,

III. FSA SPARC-13 Assessment – ‘Questions‘, where appropriate, with the “Assessment Question” answers, included and woven into one document. This does not replace your ‘Interview,’ but it will help save the Officer some work (Sample Probation Presentence Interview Intake Form) while giving them time to know you before you meet in person. You also demonstrate to them that you have done your preparation.

  • Why be prepared with answers to the Assessment Questions? When you arrive at your 1st meeting with your Case Manager, these Assessments must be done and completed for your FSA Programs and Earned Time Credits (ETC) to be offered, and then counted – without you taking the Assessment Survey, the programs cannot be offered.
  • During the interview, they will now be able to ask questions and get to know you on a more personal level.
  • Since they are overworked and have no time, some may appreciate your efforts and possibly become advocates.

4.     The Prosecutor wants a conviction and only knows about you through the DOJ’s Narrative or your Indictment. Your Narrative may sway them, too.

5.     The BOP Designation Center in Texas places you into a BOP Prison without ever meeting you.

6     Your Probation Officer during Supervised Release. To date, all they know about you is the Narrative released by the DOJ through their Indictment. Your Narrative and Release Plan can change that, and your life.


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.


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.

  1. 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].
  2. 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.
  • Taking weeks to months to complete, can result in a distilled version of yourself that is honest and pure, where you feel Remorse, Accept Responsibility, and Identify with the Victims of the Crime You Perpetrated.
  • Mention if you have already started taking these before your Indictment or Presentence Interview, (if applicable AA, NA, Gambling, or Sex offense) therapy and forensic (per your attorney, for example, Dementia, there is only ‘1’ Prison Nationwide with a very limited number of beds), therapy sessions.
  • If the resulting Narrative or Your Story – is quite the opposite of the DOJ’s Indictment Narrative, where you sounded like ‘America’s Most Wanted‘, you did a Great Job!

REENTRY/RELEASE PLAN EXAMPLE.  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.


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…


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, is your Client Better Prepared to Speak with Their Judge Regarding…What is the ‘1’ Thing that Differentiates Them from Everyone Else entering their Judge’s Courtroom?

If you found this helpful, please subscribe and share it with your colleagues. With more to follow, should you have any questions, are interested in engaging my services, or have any suggestions for future topics, I am easy to reach, and thank you for your time.

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Marc, Dr. Blatstein


Personal Guidance In Drafting:

  1. The Components For A Comprehensive Presentence Report,
  2. Medical CARE LEVEL,
  3. Medication Availability,
  4. SPARC-13 Assessment Questions,
  5. Scoring: PATTERN, Criminal History,
  6. Character Reference Letters,
  7. Personal Narrative,
  8. Reentry Plan,
  9. Allocution

Please inquire about our group PowerPoint Presentation, which can be time and topic adjusted to meet your needs.

When Was Your 👉 “Last Medical Billing Self-Audit,” The DOJ May Be Watching You

When Was Your 👉 “Last Medical Billing Audit” of Policies, and Procedures? Don’t Let the DOJ Suprise You One Morning – Learn the Do’s and Dont’s

No matter where you are in the healthcare community, ultimately we all want the best for our patients and have spent countless years of our lives in school(s), studying, and improving our skills. We also intuitively understand that “life” will sometimes be frustrating as we juggle our business, practice, patients, and family responsibilities. At the same time, nobody ever expects to get a visit from The Department of Justice (DOJ) – until you do.

COVID-19 Has Kept The DOJ White-Collar Task Force – Busy!

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Nationally, Healthcare spending is approaching $2-3 Trillion. The DOJ has created a White-Collar Task Force Targeting all aspects of Fraud in the Healthcare Space. In 1985, The National Heath Care Anti-Fraud Association was formed and recently released its updated Fraud Briefs:

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The NHCAA Fraud Brief covers a broad overview of complex issues.

We never entered this field to commit fraud, but with COVID, for example, Telemedicine has exploded. And yet Post-COVID, for some (if not all?) specialties, are these Telemedicine visits routinely still available and billable? As the laws change, are we keeping up with everyone, or are we depending (for some of us) on the medical groups to which we’re members, to make these decisions for (and notify) us, as well as update our billing software? Where does our responsibility start, and end?


For those who have had that unfortunate early ‘am’ FBI visit, and ‘Did not know where to turn or what to do – Now You Do.

The DOJ is an Equal Opportunity Enforcement Agency. Should you be a multi-specialty medical practice, NP, MD, DO another specialty, or in any other industry, in general; established self-audits are much more agreeable than the 6 am knock at your front door, followed by a visit to your office – with Warrants in hand.


U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco have increased their corporate and white-collar enforcement trend through the Department of Justice FY 2023- 2024, by prioritizing the investigation and prosecution of financial and Corporate Malfeasance – This Includes Healthcare.

The DOJ wants Corporations to disclose all relevant, non-privileged facts about individual misconduct. In essence, the DOJ strongly recommends that Corporations (including the small ones, albeit to a lesser degree), self-police their policies, procedures, and employees, notifying them should they find something amiss – before they show up at your front door.

The October 2021 Memorandum on Evaluating a Corporation’s History of Misconduct: the corporation must identify all individuals involved in, or responsible for the misconduct at issue, regardless of their position, status, or seniority, and provide to the Department all nonprivileged information relating to that misconduct.


As in Malpractice, the “dumb” (doctor, nurse, or executive) defense doesn’t work with the feds. If you hear rumors or have received the Target letter, the DOJ case Is 97%+ Complete. On top of that, they have a 98% Conviction Rate and Very Deep Financial Pockets with which to Prosecute – so you have work to do.


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The DOJ collected $2.2 B, Just Through False Claims Act FY 2022

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Lisa H. Miller Delivers Remarks at the American Bar Association’s 33rd Annual National Institute on Health Care Fraud, May 4, 2023, Speech,

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The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) White Collar Fraud Section leads the Health Care Fraud Strike Force, which maintains 15 strike forces operating in 24 federal districts and has charged more than 4,200 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for nearly $19 billion.

The Strike Force is a collaborative effort of The FBI, HHS-OIG, CPI/CMS, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Postal Service Office of the Inspector General; Department of Defense Office of Inspector General; Department of the Interior Office of the Inspector General; Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General; Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations; Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General; and other federal and local law enforcement agencies.

This is quite an impressive group of agencies and just one more reason to go back to basics and self-audit your billing policies, and practices.

For transparency, in 2006, due to a white-collar crime, I too was convicted of a felony. While there was never any issue regarding the quality of patient care provided, I took responsibility for my actions and that of my practice. Later, with work and the support of colleagues, my license to practice was restored in full – in 2010. I bring this up because getting a Felony – was “Never on My Radar.”

While I am grateful for all my support, I was especially appreciative when my license was reinstated. There was a moment years later when I realized how UNPREPARED I was for the entire process of a Legal Defense and Unanswered Expectations of Prison Started With Day 1.


Once you hear rumors that they are watching you, their case is mostly complete, and you need an attorney who practices: White-Collar Federal Criminal Defense, in Federal Court, and who handles cases that are similar to yours – start interviewing.


There are many things that you can “do” to help yourself before you are Indicted, before your Guilty Plea Hearing, or before your Presentence Interview, all of which are usually not part of a traditional legal defense.


Having had a former prosecutor as my attorney, I still found myself  UNPREPARED for the entire, process of a Legal Defense along with having no idea of what I should expect once I entered Federal Prison. It was like being dropped into a foreign country (or Planet), and not knowing what to expect, the language, or the customs of appropriate behavior.

I needed to find a way to provide answers to the many obstacles I encountered – so that others would be prepared, where I was unprepared.

  • My goal is to share my experiences so that should you be one of the unlucky few, you know that – This Is Not The End Of The World. This is temporary, and you will be prepared so that you will know what to, and not to do once inside.
  • In addition to working toward an earlier release date (which in Government, there’s nothing that anyone can guarantee), this will build confidence before you enter federal prison, which in turn will also be a stress reliever to your family. Transitioning away from patient care, to that end I founded PHYSICIAN PRESENTENCE REPORT SERVICE LLC,

In my way I am still caring for people, just not through the traditional healthcare system, but rather By Changing the Lives of Individuals and their Families, as they face this Life-Altering Event.

This article also appeared on LinkedIn