Archive 08/22/2023


As criminal defense attorneys, you’re on the other side of the bench; this is my firsthand perspective.

In 2006, I was convicted of a felony and served a 1-year, 1-day sentence for Mail Fraud for my Medical-Surgical Suites billing before officially certified that I owned. While there was no Medicare or Medicaid Fraud, this was a terrible, embarrassing, and humbling self-inflicted experience.

In 2010, I was grateful to have my license to practice reinstated in full, which was good for my soul. Several years later, I realized several things,

1st) In addition to being a terrible and terrified client, in the end, I was unprepared for everything related to the Law, Sentencing, and what to expect once inside Federal Prison.

2nd) Judges understand that crimes don’t occur in a vacuum – they want to understand the why and what happened that caused the breaking of the law and hear that explanation from the person they are about to sentence while having Remorse for the Victims and Accepting Responsibility.

3rd) When is the best time to provide this?
Provide to the Probation Officer 1-2 Weeks before The Presentence Interview in a well-organized format, this includes,
Copies of all:
1. Personal Identification
2. Biographerical Background Information

Well Written;
1. Personal NARRATIVE
3. Previously Reviewed: FSA SPARC-13 Assessment Survey and PATTERN SCORE

Dr. Blatstein
Published, Co-Author
1. The Federal Lawyer, 2021, The Critical Role of The Presentence Report
2. ABA, 2022, Dementia

Entering The BOP, Ease Your Client’s Medication Fears

BOP generic medications

Entering The BOP, Ease Your Client’s Medication Fears

To someone enters prison for the first time, they assume that they will still get medical care. The assumption may be that they will also get the same medications that they got on the outside, which is likely not the case.

Medication availability (~ 3000 different drugs), falls into 3 categories.

  • 1st) On Formulary -Available: These medications are available for BOP healthcare providers for inmate use.
  • 2nd) Non-Formulary -These require a lengthy Preauthorization Process-: These medications while they are stocked, they are not immediately available for your use. The prescribing BOP Physician or other healthcare provider needs to go through a lengthy Pre-authorization process to get permission to provide this to you.
  • 3rd) Similar equivalents- When there are no other options, here similar or equivalent substitutions are used. Should the need for a required drug be used where there is no equivalent substitute; this medical problem should be brought up before the sentencing hearing, and hopefully get the backing of the US Attorney, and finally the court.

Examples of medication confusion;

  • Cholesterol Control: PCSK9 Inhibitors vs. Statins. Statins are a popular treatment that has been available since the 1980s. PCSK9 inhibitors, on the other hand, are a new type of cholesterol drug. They were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015.
  • But these Cholesterol generics look very different (see heading photo), and may not look like what the defendant has been taking – adding to their stress level.


  • These are the drug of choice for the BOP as they are cheaper than brand-name medications.
  • It may be beneficial to inform your client ahead of time that, while they’ll be taking a generic medication since there are many manufacturers who each produce similar generic drugs that may differ in color and shape; they should be appropriate.

Nobody likes surprises, especially if they are entering prison for the first time.

Pregnant In State Prisons

Pregnant In State Prisons

As a follow-up to my previous issue, today we discuss the concerns of pregnancy in state prisons. Here too, they have the constitutional right to obtain appropriate medical care. The extent prison policies address pregnancy-related services is another moral indicator of how state-run facilities or agencies provide care to the women in their custody.

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It seems to this author as we have 50 individual states, each with its own individual policies as to whether or not a pregnant inmate gets the required prenatal and postpartum care, it appears that the care they get depends on the state in which they live. Not Very Good Odds!

50-state survey of state prison systems shows that some failed to meet even basic standards of care for expectant mothers.

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Dr. Carolyn Sufrin M.D., Ph.D., A.M. at John Hopkins School of Medicine’s School of Public Health, has a series that studies pregnancy prevalence and outcomes in U.S. jails, prisons, and youth facilities. Together with The Prison Policy Initiative, she points out that;

Dr. Sufrin founded JailcareFinding the Safety Net for Women Behind Bars.

“Jailcare is a moving and galvanizing story of pregnant women in jail and those responsible for their health, it is essential reading for anyone who cares about women, children, and justice.” Piper Kerman, author of Orange is The New Black.

  • Dr. Sufrin Contact numbers: 410-550-0337 (Appointment Phone: 443-997-0400).

STATES, Funding, and The Second Chance Act

The Bureau of Justice Assistance is the agency that administers the Second Chance Act. As such, they conduct low-cost outreach by highlighting grantee successes, that;

  1. reminds states of available funding,
  2. provides technical assistance with state applications.
  3. So remember, April is Second Chance Month – there are a few days left!

These funds allow prison nurseries to be developed by states, tribal or local prosecutors, too;

  1. establish or expand demonstration programs,
  2. reduce recidivism,
  3. improve reentry into the community,
  4. support Pregnant Incarcerated Mothers and Infants Together Programs.

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Some Positive News: States With Onsite Prison Nurseries.


SHIELDS for Families’ Tamar Village Program: provides comprehensive family-centered substance abuse treatment services to mothers re-entering the community from the criminal justice system.

Services included:

  • Educational groups (health and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, life skills, relapse prevention for addiction).
  • Parenting and child development classes.
  • Therapeutic groups (trauma, grief and loss, domestic violence, sexual abuse, women’s issues, and relationships).
  • There is also an on-site child development center for children ages 0-5 and a youth program for children ages 6-18.


  • Illinois Department of Corrections: Focuses on the Needs of Pregnant and Parenting Inmates.

Decatur Correctional Center called “Moms and Babies” started a prison nursery program initiated in 2007. The program includes an Infant Development Center, and each of the five prisons for women in Illinois includes;

  • A child-friendly visitation area where mothers can read with their children, watch videos or play on the floor.
  • Family activities range from; day camps, video visiting, and holiday activities for mothers and children.
  • Parenting programs are offered to all inmates, no matter their security level.


I) Family Preservation Program includes individual and family counseling to begin healing trauma caused by histories of addiction, poverty, and mental, physical, and sexual abuse.

Indiana Women’s PrisonFamily Preservation Program, started in 1996.

Women typically come to prison from underserved communities;

II) Women’s Prison in Indianapolis for Low-level offenders


Women Behind Bars: Maximum Security


Maryland Correctional Institute for Women (MCIW).

The Baltimore Doula Project currently provides doula support to pregnant women,


  • The Center for Women in Transition is a St. Louis organization that provides wraparound services for women reentering the community from jail or prison.
  • They support The Correctional Center Nursery Programs which allow women who give birth while incarcerated the chance to stay with their newborns in prison for up to 18 months.

New York Opened, in 1930

Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women includes the longest-standing continuous prison nursery in the country.


Coffee Creek Correctional Facility Parenting Inside Out (PIO) program’s curriculum offers interactive skill-building on child and adult development, parenting skills, and effective communication through letters, calls, and visits (page 31).


 I) SCI Muncy with doula services, that provide people with physical, emotional, and educational support during pregnancy and childbirth. They have been linked to better birth outcomes by lowering the likelihood of birth complications and helping to treat postpartum depression.

  • Gerria Coffee is the founder of Williamsport-based Genesis Birth Services. 1307 Park Ave, Williamsport, PA 17701, Phone(717) 970-3009, George Little, Acting Pa. Secretary of Corrections 717.728.4109.
  • “To have a program where someone is there for them when they are giving birth, it’s immeasurable,” Coffee said. She’s held women’s hands during birth, cut umbilical cords, and provided encouragement during labor. “All of those are priceless experiences and experiences that anyone who is giving birth deserves.”

II) Maternity Care Coalition’s MOMobile works within Philadelphia’s Riverside Correctional Facility, where it delivers the education and support women need to prepare for reintegration with their families and communities.

  • The in-prison component is coupled with individual case management for up to one year after release, helping newly-released parents form strong ties to their communities and positive relationships with their children.
  • MOMobile staff has attended 34 births since the start of a doula program in May 2008. The program teaches parenting skills, mother-child bonding, and positive discipline skills, which has the potential to result in substantial community-wide benefits if expanded to serve a greater percentage of incarcerated mothers having served over 300 women.

I thank you for reading with me. On a lighter note, to you moms

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In closing, 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 (for them and their newborn). Ultimately this is the responsibility of the Court, Defense Team, and The Respective State Authority.

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 suggestions for future topics, I am easy to reach, and thank you for your time.

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Marc, Dr. Blatstein

Copyright © 2021-2022 Physician Presentence Report Service, LLC, (PPRS Disclaimer)

How Prepared – Really, is Your Client For Their First Day In The BOP?

How Prepared – Really, is Your Client For Their First Day In The BOP?

The Sentencing Hearing. While this phase of your client’s defense has reached its apparent conclusion, practically speaking, some defendants may still be unprepared for their 1st day in the BOP. They naturally are nervous, terrified, and anxious, but some, after arrival find themselves faced with a series of events that could result in off-the-chart-anxiety, and even medical harm, most of which could have all been avoided.

Each client is different, and as such will handle prison life, and all of its nuances in their own way, some better than others. I emphasize the importance of minimizing some of the unnecessary stresses that can be avoided. With just a little bit of effort and time, your client and their family will be grateful for that bit of understanding regarding what they are about to encounter.

Being allowed to self-surrender can be a significant relief. For others, they are taken right into custody.

For those lucky enough to self-surrender, this is still a terrifying experience, but we all adjust over time. But if you’re surrendering to a satellite prison camp, these are adjacent to higher security facilities, and therefore you must first present yourself there, and not the satellite camp. And in case you ask – with higher security comes long guns and a “more secure and overall tense” atmosphere. I mention this because Federal Prison Camps (FPC), do not have adjacent higher secure facilities, as they are free-standing.

Once you present yourself, only to learn that your court’s orders have not yet arrived, you likely will find yourself placed in a single cell, asking why? If you were never claustrophobic – you could be now. Should this be your first time in any sort of prison or even being handcuffed – this can be terrifying. I know this to be so because unfortunately, it happened to me. I’m willing to share my experience – so give me a call, which includes my license being fully restored.

For your client’s well-being, verify that the required court intake paperwork has been received by the BOP facility – before your client’s arrival. While BOP Policy states that single secure cells used in these cases cannot be ‘isolation cells’ for > 23 hours/day, as a new person presenting to a camp, being surprised and isolated in a single secure cell for just ’30 minutes’, was horrifying enough, thank you! Then with staff shortages, don’t hold your breath regarding the frequency of staff stopping by.

Reasons, why a single secure cell could be used: 1) court intake orders were not received, 2) Medical (contagious, ie. COVID -2020) or Inmate Safety, 3) lack of bed space. Each of these issues may have been anticipated by legal before the defendants’ arrival and considered before the PSI. Rest assured, if they were given a heads-up that a single cell may be in their future, most clients would have seriously questioned, why.

Colette Peters, Director of The Federal BOP. There is great anticipation regarding Dir. Peters’s ability to make significant changes within the BOP, but only time will tell. The BOP is a very large conglomerate, and change does not happen overnight.

The federal system, while having more oversight, is held to a higher standard and is supposed to pay greater attention to healthcare and programming needs. While these may not be what we are used to on the outside, compared with some individual state prisons (which is pushing the bar Very Low), and county jails (also Much Lower) around the nation, the hope is that with Director Peters, the BOP will fare much better.

A program that excels: There are bright spots among state facilities though, among them is a program called: The Last Mile which prepares and educates inmates for release and helps get them to find good-paying jobs through their partners.

BOP Visitor Form


Sample BOP Commissary List




Opinion. 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 suggestions for future topics, I am easy to reach, and thank you for your time.

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Marc, Dr. Blatstein

  • Voice: 240-888-7778
  • For more information on the BOP:
  • Watch our 50+ minute PowerPoint Presentation, (of CLE Quality), which can be time adjusted to meet your needs.
  • As seen on LinkedIn

Copyright © 2021-2022 Physician Presentence Report Service, LLC, (PPRS Disclaimer)

Steel Toe Safety Boots In Prisons – Not Always The Best Choice

Steel Toe Safety Boots In Prisons | NIH: Shear-Reducing Insoles Prevent Foot Ulceration

Medicine is both an art and a science. While the implementation of steel-toe safety boots protects the institution and the majority of persons incarcerated, there is a significant, albeit small part of their population that may be harmed – however rare that may be.

As The Bureau states in their Program Statement 6031.01, Patient Care, (Page 58), they are responsible for providing one pair of safety shoes to each inmate, suitable for their job assignment. They would make custom shoes or orthotic devices available if needed that would have to be, medically necessary to accommodate a significant foot deformity or decrease the chance of injury to feet with impaired sensation.

The caveat here is that in a large bureaucratic institution, the patient/inmate may have to either pay their co-pay to be seen immediately for an unscheduled visit or wait for staff to provide a referral – either way, once prescribed, the wait time can be expected to be at best – “a while.”

The headline image I have chosen was for several reasons. To start, safety boots with a steel-toe box will provide protection, but in my opinion, after 30+ years of practicing in this space, I believe that there are other forces of concern. To start, the inner sole at the inside bottom of the boot has to have significant padding to cushion (or protect) the foot from shear forces, that over time could wear down the skin’s protective padding. The boots in 2006, had none.

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Additionally, with correct insoles, biomechanical support would be of additional long-term benefit. When I was in a BOP facility years ago, there was nothing like this available, and I was left to figure out the protection and biomechanical issues on my own.

The medicare prescription shoe P6031.04 is referencing:

o   HCPCS code A5500 for diabetics only, custom preparation, and supply of off-the-shelf depth-inlay shoe manufactured to accommodate a multi-density insert(s), per shoe as maintained by CMS

o   ICD-10 Codes for Orthotic/Prosthetic — Diabetic Shoe

Then there is the steel toe, and while available in widths, new boots being what they are, take time to break in. During that period, a person’s toe that is rubbing against the hard, leather-steel binding, is a recipe for potential problems, no matter how rare. Then, with wear, the foot through the normal gait process over time, again no matter how rare, could rub against the steel toe box.

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The patient/inmate does not have to be an out-of-control Diabetic, they could be a pre-diabetic, have Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), or Raynaud’s (which I still have), just to mention a few. Therefore, for those few who slip between the CARE LEVEL cracks, there may be some that need to get a toe or two amputated due to infections. But here is where Murphy’s Law presents itself, (where one amputation turns into multiple, more aggressive procedures) – some of which could have been avoided, with a little prevention.

I present several cases from NIH:

I) Intermediate-term outcome of primary digit amputations in patients with diabetes mellitus who have forefoot sepsis requiring hospitalization had presumed adequate circulatory status.


  • Out of 92 patients with 97 forefoot infections, twenty-two had foot amputations.
  • Pre-op, all had presumed adequate forefoot perfusion (assumed good blood flow to their feet), as determined by noninvasive methods, was studied.

II) Midfoot amputations expand limb salvage rates for diabetic foot infections


  • If surgery is indicated, these are likely options.
  • Transtarsal amputations (removes even more of the foot – below the ankle) salvaged over half of nonhealing Transmetatarsal, Amputation (TMA)

III) Shear-reducing insoles to prevent foot ulceration in high-risk diabetic patients


  • These results suggest that a shear-reducing insole is more effective than traditional insoles in preventing foot ulcers in high-risk persons, including those with diabetes.

Prevention In Medicine Is a Core Value

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 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.

No alt text provided for this image

Marc, Dr. Blatstein

  • Voice: 240-888-7778
  • Getting Your Message on the Record
  • Drafting a well-thought-out Personal Narrative
  • For more information on the BOP:
  • My license to practice was restored in 2010
  • Seen on LinkedIn

Watch our 50+ minute PowerPoint Presentation, (of CLE Quality), which can be time adjusted to meet your needs.

Published by

Dr. M. Blatstein

Status is online
In this issue of my newsletter series, I review the use of Safety Steel-Toe Shoes. If you find this helpful, please subscribe, share it with your colleagues, and consider engaging my services. 






Did You Get The Fed’s 6 am Wakeup Today?

The Feds Were asking questions.

If Yes ▢, which below applies to you?

You got caught up in PPP, or other Loan Fraud
You’re a Physician who never expected to see The FBI
Did you hear rumors that the Feds were asking questions?
It’s taken years to build your business, only to now face federal charges?
You’re a Corporate or Government Official, only to have your World Turned Upside
‘First’, you need Legal Representation

Yes,  I Can Help You.

You can work TODAY – To Change YOUR Tomorrow 
How To Stop Worrying and Start Living, by Dale Carnegie

Attorneys know the law, but the nuances of navigating through Federal Prison aren’t part of a traditional legal defense.

This requires a unique set of knowledge and skills that are of interest to both those facing Prison, as well as those who are responsible for preparing you for what to expect while in prison, to work toward returning home as law-abiding citizens.

To start, STAKEHOLDERS in Prison are your Case Manager and Unit Team. With tremendous influence over your life and future, their interests are to see incremental reductions in your criminogenic needs. I only know one way to do this – So Let’s Get to It!

This all depends on your efforts, and while there are no guarantees, you will still benefit – if you do the work.

The only way to do this I have learned from others (… great ideas, some of which I borrowed from Prison Professors), and have included these ideas in this website. Suppose your Case Manager and Unit Team believe ‘in you’ through your work and attitude. In that case, the door may open for them to implement The Second Chance Act and provide recommendations to Residential Reentry Managers for release to either a Halfway House or Home Confinement.

For a personal, one-on-one call with me to discuss your current issue, or that of a loved one, call (240.888.7778). If I cannot answer, please leave a message, as I return all calls. Marc Blatstein

We are not Attorneys, you need Legal Representation.

No one can guarantee results, as the outcome at the end of the day rests with your attorney, the Judge, and The Federal Bureau of Prisons. Once inside, as in life, there will be staff that truly care about you and their job, while others just look at you as a number. The only person that can control Your Reactions and Emotions  Is You.


1st You need a Federal Criminal Defense attorney, who practices in Federal Court. Next, considering that the DOJ has a 98% conviction rate, deciding between Trial or Plea is a strategic and practical decision you and your attorney must make. This may not be fair, but the numbers don’t lie. Should there be a Guilty Verdict – ‘Participating in Preparing’ for your Presentence Interview is critical to your Future.


If you need recommendations for great attorneys who practice Federal Criminal Defense and have experience in Federal Court, contact me. These should be attorneys who have experience with cases similar to LIKE yours and who are also empathetic to the stresses that you are going through.


2nd PREPARATION to navigate through Federal Prison is not usually part of a traditional legal defense. This requires a unique set of knowledge and skills that are needed after the guilty verdict or plea and are of interest to your Judge at sentencing (Your NARRATIVE and RELEASE/REENTRY PLAN), along with other STAKEHOLDERS, that you haven’t yet met.


3rd Therefore, in addition to your legal defense, it’s equally important, for you to be prepared for your Presentence Interview and Sentencing Hearing. This is the 1st and only time your Judge will get to meet and speak with you – so make it a great First Impression. Judges across the country agree in their desire to hear from you, to learn why you did what you did, and for you to express your Remorse, Accept Responsibility, a understand the Pain you have Inflicted upon Your Victims. They also do not want to see you back in their courtroom again – convince them. They also have great B.S. Detectors, so if you cannot be honest and sincere, then don’t speak. Again, PREPARATION.





Your Personal NarrativeAllocationCharacter’ Reference Letter, and Reentry/Release Plan.

Once completed, ALONG WITH copies of your Biographical and Identification Information are presented to your Probation Officer a couple of weeks before your Interview. Your Probation Officer can then COPY-PASTE Them into their Probation Report, where they eventually become part of your official Presentence Report. This now allows your Probation Officer the time at your interview to get to know you personally, which is especially important as it may impact their perspective of you in the final draft of your Presentence Report.


4th YOUR RELEASE PLAN. Why you need a Reentry Plan, is because, 1) your Judge will want to know your Plan to not return to their courtroom, and 2) in prison, your Case Managers will have read your plan, and as they have Tremendous Influence on how fast you move through the FSA Programming Process toward early release – it would be prudent for your PSR to be as comprehensive as possible.

  • As STAKEHOLDERSentrusted with ensuring your progress, the only way I know of showing them the Incremental Improvements, in Reducing your Criminogenic Needs that you are making, which I have learned from others – is by daily journaling (or logging) everything that you do. There may be other methods, but I don’t know them.
  • It’s crucial to demonstrate how you are reducing your Criminogenic Tendencies over time, which may help expedite your return home while making your Case Managers look better to their supervisors. As your Release Plan develops, and your Case Manager and Unit Team come to believe in you, they may also apply the benefits of the Second Chance Act toward your early release. There is a lot here, which will be developed throughout this website – all Free.


5th DISAPPOINTMENT – Prison excels at providing disappointment and frustration, because this is how they want you to feel. They control all aspects of your life, and should you disobey the rules and get caught, they will write you a Shot or Ticket otherwise known as an Infraction – You Do Not Want Any Of These! The more they write – the better they may look to their supervisors, just like getting speeding tickets or DUIs on a National Holiday like July 4th. SO PLEASE: NO INFRACTIONS, NO CELL PHONES, AND NO TROUBLE, BECAUSE YOU DO NOT WANT TO LOSE YOUR ACCESS TO EARLY RELEASE.


OUR PREPARATION cannot be overstated – learn,

  1. What to do day-to-day, by Showing That You Can Reduce Your Criminogenic Needs,
  2. Improve your chances of an early release– still, nothing can be guaranteed,
  3. All of this depends on your efforts, started before sentencing, and continues while you are inside (your lawyer is not there with you to help), and after you are released to either home confinement or a halfway house,
  4. Other issues include,
    • How to pick an attorney,
      • If you need attorney recommendations, ask me, there are great, smart ones out there with empathy.
    • Self-Surrendering,
    • Non-Medical, and MedicalIssues,
    • The Administrative Remedy Process to Advocate for Yourself, and
    • Understand Who and What STAKEHOLDERSare,
      • From the Judge to your Warden, Case Manager, and Unit Team. (Teaser: Your Case Manager and Unit Team tremendously influence your future).

Why? Because after your Interview is when the Probation Officer (P.O.) will write the court’s official Read the article I co-published regarding the critical role of The Presentence Report (PSR, yes I co-published this article), and with it, your Judge will determine the length of your sentence. You then will have the ‘opportunity’ to make a placement request, (Example BOP Packet – Alderson).


Attorneys know the lawbut the Nuances of Federal Prison are much different.

If you’re willing to do the work, it can be with me or anyone else, but please don’t leave this decision up to chance, or your attorney telling you that ‘it’s not necessary’.

That person will not be in prison with youDr. MJB

Your Presentence Interview and Sentencing Hearing Are Coming – and Will Change Your Life.

 Are You Prepared to Speak to Your Judge

Your Judge Sees a Lot of Defendants – How Are You Different?

  1. The Judge Already Knows,
    • That The DOJ wants Jail time
    • That the Prosecutor wants to convict you conviction and
    • Your Attorney is paid to say keep you out of prison or, at best, spend the least time “in prison“.
  2. We You Need To Help the Judge UnderstandWho You Are – and Why You Deserve a Lesser Sentence Leniency
  • What Changed in Your Life– That Caused You to Break the Law?
  • Now is the Time For You To Invest In Yourself– No One Can Change their Past ⇨ But You Can Change Your Future
  • 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.
  • 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 the process of writing your narrative has been an unexpectedly cathartic experience. Speaking from the heart could influence the court and ‘may’ impact your sentence…

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

The Bureau of Prisons Administration uses the same PSR to place or designate you in a prison.

  • Your Unit Team, Case Managers, Psychologists, and Medical will refer to it throughout your stay.
  • Visitation is determined by it
  • Your Personal Narrativeis your chance to take back some control of your future
    • But even if all things are done right, the Judge may still not change your sentence and placement
      • But now your Narrative, as part of your Presentence Report (PSR)will be seen and positively used as you transition through the BOP, into Halfway House and Probation, and then home confinement and supervised release. All along you are adding to your Reentry Plan.
      • Your Personal Narrative, like your Presentence Report, will now be “The Gift That Keeps on Giving“– in a good way.

The probation officer controls your future. They conduct your interview, draft the presentence report, and can sway the court regarding your sentence length and placement.

Are you happy with the Indictment-Narrative that the DOJ released to Google, which is being read as 100% Fact – by everyone, including your friends, colleagues, family, the Jury (if you’re going to trial), your attorney, The Probation Officer, Prosecutor, and the Judge? Plus, it will stay online forever.


No, then start working to change the DOJ’s version of your Narrative today. It may take 25-75 hours to write (and re-write), but only You can change, “Your Narrative.”

Some of the first steps of your attorney after the “guilty” hearing is to learn who will be your probation officer.

1st contact. After “guilty”– it’s helpful for your attorney to connect with your Probation Officer before they speak with the Prosecutor and get Biased against you, then

  • learn the date for their “dictation deadline”, which is the date that your Presentence Report (PSR) draft is due to their supervisor, plus the date for your interview.
  • This provides the opportunity to get your ‘message’ to the officer – before that conversation with the prosecutor or read the voluminous amount of information The DOJ provides online, which is biased against you.

2nd From an interview with Judge Nancy Gertner

  • Early and frequent contact with the probation officer can lead to a positive presentence report,
  • The lawyer should find out as much as possible from the probation officer assigned to the case including whether the probation officer talks to the judge before sentencing.
  • Find out if the judge meets with the probation officer and follows their recommendations.

3rd The ultraconservative Charles Koch Institute states, “Jail should be reserved for people who pose a threat to public safety.”  Judge Gertner agreed and suggested that’s a good point to make to a sentencing judge.

For most judges, the key questions they want to be answered are:
1. Why did your client do what he did?
2. What has he done to own his mistake and demonstrate sincere remorse?
3. Why was the behavior out of character with an otherwise law-abiding life if it was?
4. Why is he unlikely to do it again?
5. Why should I cut him a break?

  • For Judge Gertner, it appeared that a key question she wanted to be answered was: Why did your client do what he did, and why is he unlikely to do it again?

The Presentence Report’s content is derived from all the information the probation officer has learned from you, and your defense team during their Interview and Investigation. This is why the defense strategy should be organized, and documented before the Presentence Interview (PSI) has even begun. The completed version your attorneys want the court to see is provided to the P.O., to be included in their final drafting of your client’s Presentence Report (PSR).

    • This includes your Personal Narrative– then have it in your Presentence Report,
    • Your allocation – the only opportunity to express your remorse to the victims and how you got to this point (similar to your Narrative) to the court – needs to be practiced and role-played with your attorney, because the judge may want to have a conversation with you.
    • It is also helpful to hear what your attorney plans to say at the sentencing hearing – which is also practiced with you. This memorandum will be submitted 1 week before the hearing and reviewed together with your attorney.

Probation officers are often overworked and have no time, and some may appreciate your efforts, should it help ease their workload.

Meanwhile, you have been,

  1. Collect copies of your medical records: Hospital, laboratory, radiology, physician, surgical, prescription, and medical devices. As all of these take time, medical practices are also very busy – so don’t wait.
  2. Other records: Educational, military, character, community service, work references, original birth certificates, social security cards, licenses, etc, and, you get the picture.
  3. Of significance to your life in the BOP;
    • Bottom Bunk: Past medical history of Tinnitus, vertigo, or back problems.
    • Diabetic Soft Shoes, Sneakers Instead of Rigid Institutional Boots: Past medical history of a torn Achilles heel, knee, or hip issues.
    • Being of a certain age / Having weight, or having a Hernia issue: could result in getting passes of “no standing for prolonged periods” and “no lifting over 15 pounds,” helping you escape some of the crappier work assignments.
    • “Medical idles,” which get you out of everything, are also available, either short or long-term, for various ongoing ailments (ranging from a bad hip to PTSD).

When the date comes for Your Presentence Interview, You’re prepared, Right?

    • After you have been interviewed, The PO will investigate, verifying all that you have told them and all the documents that have been provided. Their next step is to draft the official Presentence Report (Blatsteinet al., 2021), which they will provide to the court. The attachments you provided should be included in the PSR and will impact your future.
    • They will likely provide both sentencing and BOP placement recommendations to the court at this point.

This is why the Presentence Interview (PSI) is the best opportunity for your legal team to get their “message on the record”, and into the Presentence Report (PSR), before it reaches the court.

    • The Presentence Report may provide the opportunity for making a BOP Placement request, along with the supporting reasons “why” the request is being made, or requesting that the court consider other “relevant conduct”, to look beyond the offense of conviction to what happened. Once the PSI is done and the official PSR has been drafted, getting it changed is a big ask.
    • Requesting to add new content after that date is possible, but nothing is guaranteed. Where there is further biographical information, your attorney could request to email it to your P.O., by category, so that the P.O. could simply copy-paste it into the appropriate categories, thereby making it a more straightforward process.

PREPARATION: PROBATION INTERVIEW (FORM) starts with; can you explain what happened, and then follow a format similar to the outline below, which should be reviewed for content accuracy.


VICTIM IMPACT: The chance for victims to speak


OFFENSE CONDUCT- ASSESSMENT OF CRIME: STATEMENT Critical to review for accuracy due to its sentencing enhancement ramifications

Probation Officers Report what happened in an offense, so check it.

Their narrative is not always based on what took place during the trial.

Many probation officers will rely upon what others allege, rather than what was proven.

This section is important to be kept accurate as it could overextend the sentence.

If the probation alleges “leadership,” the BOP, taking that information into account, could determine that person’s suitability for minimum-security placement

Therefore, close attention should be paid to this area so that all parties agree and the defendant does not face any future prison repercussions.


USSC CRIMINAL HISTORY: A scored calculation based on criminal history


USSC OFFENSE LEVEL/CONDUCT: A scored calculation based on your current charges.






OFFENDER CHARACTERISTICS: This is where through conversation the officer learns who you are. Saying nothing leaves ‘all’ including the court to believe what the DOJ has released to the press is 100% true.



FAMILIAL HISTORY: Married – Children – parents’ responsibilities and sole caregiver


DEFENDANT’S PHYSICAL CONDITION: Medically documented bad Back-Hip-Knees-Shoulder could provide you with a Bottom Bunk. Diabetic, Vascular Disease, Raynaylds could allow the Medicare soft shoe or sneakers.


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.


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.


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 reconsider using these.


MILITARY: Copies, branch, discharge?


EMPLOYMENT: The PO will check. Judges love an excellent work record/history


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.

Financial Responsibility Plan (FRP). If you have a large fine or restitution, and money is a problem, the BOP ‘FRP’ Program requires participation, and if you refuse, this could hinder your involvement in FSA Programs’ efforts towards early release and Halfway House along with restricting some of your commissary use.

It may help if your attorney asks the judge to write into the order that the defendant does not have to participate in the Financial Responsibility Plan until after they are released from the BOP, as they have a job and will then be able to make payments at that time.

Even if the judge orders that you do not have to make payments, still offer To Make Some Payments at your meeting. It may help you later on.

Otherwise, be proactive, and at your first team meeting, offer what you can ($0.00/month) towards your FRP account. Be aware that at your next team meeting, they will know exactly how much money you have spent, and it’s too early to create a bad – first impression.

12/17/2022, I learned that Judges are putting into their “Order”, that the defendant has to pay $25/quarter.


1/10/2023 The new proposed [wish-list] rule published in Tuesday’s federal register would automatically put 75% of money sent or donated to inmates toward victim restitution. The program would be voluntary, but prisoners would have to participate to get credit under the First Step Act for early release from prison or into a community facility. The BOP, while not in favor of this as they need the profits from the commissary for staffing and other projects – should the DOJ get its way, the commissary business would likely drop. Still, I hold on to my recommendation not to keep thousands in your account if you have any financial penalties.


Divorce decree
School diplomas
Marriage Certificate
Naturalization papers
Draft registration card
Car Registration papers
Military discharge certificate
Birth or baptismal certificate
Immigration papers or passport
Employment verification (pay stubs)
Character Letters of Recommendation
Military disability information (C-number)
Income tax reports for the last three years
All Outstanding Detainers and Immigration Issues Resolved before The Presentence Interview
Proof of residence (rent receipts, property, Union, lodge, club cards mortgage papers, etc.)
Professional papers (COPIES: Social Security Care, Drivers Lic., certificates, licenses, or Seaman’s papers permits)
Medical Records, Hospital – Surgical – Pathology and Blood Lab Reports, Copies of X-Ray, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, PET Scans, EEG, EKG reports, and CDs, Prescriptions for Medications and Medical Devices.



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

For a No Obligation Free Consult Call 240.888.7778, or by email. I answer and personally return all of my calls.

Don’t let this be a missed opportunity!

PPRSUS is here to help