Archive 02/23/2024



Dr. M. Blatstein

Dr. M. Blatstein



Facing prison becomes real as your client finds themselves remanded or self-surrender. Being prepared for the possibility that they could be placed in an Isolation Cell on their first day is a preventable surprise that can be anticipated with a “heads-up” explanation before their arrival.

With Comprehensive Preparation for the Presentence Interview, defendants find themselves prepared for most eventualities. As part of their preparation, several days before their surrender date, they could have sent themselves books to read. Yes, these paperback books may start coming from Amazon (or home), and will remove some of the initial stress and boredom should they find themselves, right after surrendering, facing 23 hours per day in an isolation cell. This also sets up their habit of reading by showing their Case Manager that they are working to reduce their Improve Themselves, which positively impacts their Reentry Plan in the long run.


These are the persons responsible for incrementally reducing a person’s ‘Criminogenic Needs’ over time. This starts with the Judge, followed by Case Managers and Unit Teams (in prison), who determine everything a person does, from their job requirement to where one sleeps. Further, they are responsible for recommending programs as a result of their assessment survey, available through The First Step Act (FSA).

  • FSA BENEFIT. This offers up to 365 days off a sentence, with the remaining Earned Time Credits (ETC) going to extra time in a Halfway House or possibly Home Confinement, which is still under BOP control.
  • Other benefits include Good Time Credit, Second Chance Act (28 C.F.R. § 570.21(a)), Compassionate Release, and Cares (for a limited time).


All the while, the Presentence Report proves its reputation as ‘The Inmates Bible.’ This is because the first STAKEHOLDER your client will meet may be their Case Manager, who will have already read it in order to learn a little about the person they will soon meet.

If comprehensive, the Probation Officer who previously Interviewed your client will have weaved into Their Probation Report the NARRATIVEREENTRY/ RELEASE PLAN, along with ANSWERS to the SPARC-13 ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS.

No Narrative in the Defendant’s Presentence Report?

  • Then, all the STAKEHOLDERS will know about your client – will be what’s written in the DOJ INDICTMENT. I think we can all agree that this is not the most flattering way to make a great first impression on the Judge. Then, once incarcerated, the Case Manager, the Unit Team, and the Warden control when your client will be returned to freedom; now may be biased – just not in your client’s favor.

After your arrival and you’re all settled in, you’re now tasked with locating the computers, but not for emailing your loved ones. Rather, you need to take and complete your Risk Assessment Survey. This is because the First Step Act Programs you take will only count for Earned Time Credit (ETC) if 1) they have been recommended by BOP staff and 2) after you have completed your SPARC-13 Assessment Survey.

  • To be prepared to take the Survey and speak with the Case Manager, you can also mail yourself a copy of the FSA Program Statement 5410.01_cn2  to review before meeting with your Case Manager several days before your arrival.


PATTERN. Your Pattern Risk Assessment Score is another assessment score and is hardcoded. Approximately 50% still applies at your 1st assessment, which occurs within 30 days after arriving. See where you fit.

As your attorney and Probation Officer will know this by the time of the Presentence Interview, it’s good for the defendant to become familiar with the categories and address the issues that need addressing.


The only way I know of proving that you’ve,

  1. ...taken the classes,
  2. …demonstrated Incremental Improvements that your Case Managers need to see – (which I have learned from others),
  3. …is by daily writing (or documenting) everything constructive you do while in custody, which is by keeping a daily log or journal.

Consider this Insurance; similar to purchasing LifeHealth, or Auto: You hope you don’t need it – Until you do.

  • Next is Building this “New” Habit, practice – practice – practice. Then, repeating this skill daily until it becomes second nature. A great book on this: The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

Why? What do you do if the BOP has No Record that you took that class – on that date – and you find this out 6 Months Later, what do, or can you do?

  • READ THIS, Great documentation-proof, ‘possibly,’ could have provided a more favorable outcome – Don’t Let This Be You: Legal Case: this person was denied their ETC (apparently without clear documented proof of ETC to support his position of 365, among other issues).

Ia. FIRST STEP ACT PROGRAMMING. Keep a running journal of everything Constructive that you are doing each day. This log will include the day, date, time, and your constructive activity – what you did and learned. Whether taking an FSA Class, reading a book that you could learn from, or other time well-spent activity, keep a record of what you learned and who taught that class (if this was FSA, include positive comments about the teacher). Then, at the end of the class, a brief note on lessons learned, how you will use them in daily life, and a brief thank you to your Case Manager for recommending that special program. This all goes towards building your Reentry/Release Plan.


If Your Case Manager, Counselor, and Warden, in their tenure, see hundreds to thousands of Adults In Custody (AIC, Director Peters’s new term) pass through their facility, how can you stand out in a good way? We all start off as a number – until we show them otherwise. If you’re looking to take advantage of the FSA and all it has to offer, no promises, but your efforts may result in an earlier release date.

Ib. NON-FICTION BOOKS – Remember What You Want, ‘TO GET HOME’ – start building this new habit. For as long as you will be in prison, pre-schedule books to be sent from Amazon (spread out among family and friends – on a schedule so that the responsibility and costs are spread out) to arrive every 2-3 weeks. Read daily and note the day, date, time, and specific “takeaways” that you have learned from each book by chapter, and watch your Release Plan continue to grow.

  • You still want OUT of The BOP – Right? Give credit to your Case Manager for what you have learned in your ‘Release Plan’. Now, they, too, look great in the eyes of their supervisors.

The books can be on any topic, you have the time, and possibly this could develop into a new career. Biographies of famous people, ArtArt HistorySciencePaintingLife SkillsHistoryFamous Women in HistoryGeologyreally anything you are interested in. If you’re unsure, go to my website. the books are at the bottom of this page, or get ideas from The New York Times, Forbs, Inc., – but buy from Amazon as the BOP guards are familiar with Amazon (and paperbacks are cheaper).

  • This is just an idea, a starting point – you may have an interest in Painting or Drawing, whatever it is, take this time and explore it; please don’t waste it on just TV. This is Temporary, and Eventually, you will be Released.
  • This is advice that I have learned from others who have developed a broader perspective. My wish for you continues to be PREPARATION.

Ic) You’re Educated With a Degree and Experience, Great – Create a Course

  • Plan a curriculum on a topic that you feel would be interesting.
  • Organize it for classes to meet 2-3 times per week for several months,
  • Then, run the idea by your case manager; maybe it could help those with their GED; who knows?
  • Once all parties agree, your case manager is happy, and your Reentry Plan grows – GREAT!
  • Let your Case Manager and Unit Team take the credit!
  • It’s just one more thing Working For You.

Id. Log every conversation you have with each BOP staff member by name, date, time, and topic; it’s for “just in case.” It can be an innocent conversation, but you will never know – until the day you need it, but if you forgot the day, date, and exact conversation – you’re out of luck.

Ie. Second Chance Pell Education Grant. Do you have your GED? Yes, Great! Do you have a College Education? The Department of Education intends to fully implement the legislative changes to allow eligible students’ college-in-prison programs to access Federal Pell Grants, beginning July 1, 2023. The Biden-Harris Administration has the following list of participating Colleges and Universities. Please check for Grant eligibility first.

II. THE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAM (FRP). Should you have a court-ordered financial penalty to participate in the First Step Act, you must offer to participate in the Program; otherwise, you could be denied participation in FSA programs and/or early release benefits. If the Judge ordered that you could delay payments (Yes, still offer something to your Case Manager. It will help you in the long run.). If the Judge ordered, for example, $25 per quarter, to offer something more to your Case Manager will elicit a similar response.


  1. Do not keep $1000s in your Commissary Account. Why? Because the DOJ one day would like nothing better than confiscating 75% of your commissary money.
  2. Offer reasonable payment options. If your commissary account takes in > $1000s per Month, offer to contribute $200 per Month to your FRP; if your account takes in $200-500 per Month, offer to contribute $25-75 per Month (or quarter, depending on your ability to pay), to your FRP.
  3. Refusing is not an option – unless you wish to serve your full sentence and possibly risk the DOJ getting their wish of confiscating 75% of everything in your commissary account.


  • No Reentry/Release Plan 👉 Why should a Case Manager recommend you for the Second Chance Act? If you don’t appear to care about your future – which is how they will view it, why should your STAKEHOLDERS spend their extra time on you?
  • No Reentry/Release Plan 👉 Why should a Case Manager recommend you to a Residential Reentry Manager (RRM)?
  • No Reentry/Release Plan 👉 Why, should a Residential Reentry Manager (RRM) take a chance and offer you one of their beds when there is someone else applying with a Great Release Plan? If someone has taken the time to 1)write a Release/Reentry Plan that has reviewed their progress during their time in prison, 2)explain why they need and how they will use the time while filling one of the limited Halfway House beds, or while on Home Confinement, who would you choose?
  • Case Manager recommendations are important to Residential Reentry Managers (RRM), as they need to know that they’re bringing in a qualified person who can continue their reentry successfully back into the community.

REENTRY/RELEASE PLAN. Starting it before your Presentence Interview isn’t easy, so explain that you researched content for your Release Plan Online at the MN Dept. of Corrections and ‘The National Institute of Corrections Manual’, and then use their template to start your Reentry Plan Into The Community. Print it, and mail it to yourself so you have a baseline.

  • NEXT INTROSPECTION: Review your investigation, criminal charge, plea hearing, trial or guilty plea, presentence investigation, and sentencing process. You can start just by writing, “I’ve had a lot of time to think, and I didn’t realize how bad my decisions were and how much pain they inflicted on the victims I created as a result of my actions…” I your words…
  • With preparation and more entries, you will see that a better outcome will emerge as you continue developing your reentry/release plan. We can’t change the past — but you can impact your future.
  • It’s early in the process, so that you won’t have all the answers now, but you could add that you reviewed the Risk Assessment Programs available through the First Step Act, and you recognize that there is much for you to learn – because you have much to prove this to your victims, community, family, and yourself.

This article also appeared on LinkedIn



Should your client be denied medical care once they have either self-surrendered, been remanded, or are still incarcerated, do they know what to do? Was their medical background comprehensive when provided to their Probation Officer? While this hopefully is a rare occurrence, it does happen, as you have read in recent cases.


The Federal Bureau of Prisons Track Record of Providing Medical Care – When It’s Needed

October 10, 2022, Judge[i] Holds Federal Bureau of Prisons in Contempt for Allowing Man To Waste Away From Untreated Cancer[ii]

  • In November 2020, Bardell filed a motion[iii] requesting a Compassionate Release. He followed up with a Second Motion in February 2021[iv], accompanied by an Affidavit from an Oncologist. Despite the government’s opposition, Judge Dalton ordered Bardella’s release, expressing disgust at the situation.
  • However, upon his release, The BOP brought Bardell in his wheelchair to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport in a van, only to drop him off without his wheelchair, bleeding and soiling himself.



  • …a 47-year-old with a family history of breast cancer discovered lumps in her left breast while in federal prison. Treatment was denied until it was too late to treat – a judge released her on compassionate release.
  • …a 70-year-old was denied care for so long that he lost an eye, and a judge released him on compassionate release.
  • …for 7 months, another begged to see a doctor until it was too late, and he died of cancer.
  • …a 50-year-old male complaining of headaches, but the doctors said he was faking it, was eventually diagnosed with a cancer tumor the size of an egg and died.


March, 2023, The New England Journal of Medicine,[v]

On a deeper dive into the availability of medical care in prisons, there is a real possibility that the minimum standard for inmate healthcare, which was established in 1976 by a Supreme Court ruling, could be Stopped-Overturned, using the same legal framework that caused the Overturning of Roe v. Wade in June.

  • Deliberately withholding treatment from prisoners with serious medical needs is considered “Cruel and Unusual Punishment⚖️” under the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment.

“We know when:
  1. Family members stay engaged, like when kids are still close to their moms or dads who are incarcerated,
  2. When there is a family support system when people return home or even when they’re inside, that
  3. That the health of the incarcerated person is better,”Professor Emily Wang, MD, MAS.
My Comment,
This requires a coordinated effort with the family (and the person incarcerated – if they’re capable) and is best started long before the Presentence Interview.
In the end, it takes the efforts of the patient in the federal system through the,
While there are never any guarantees, doing nothing guarantees that.

Call 240.888.7778 for a personal one-on-one call
to discuss your current issue or that of a loved one.

-Marc Blatstein






Below, I review several methods for clients, now patients/inmates, to advocate for themselves and additional options for their loved ones, family members, and those with Power of Attorney.

This does not replace the need for Legal Representation. While the Eighth Amendment and BOP Regulations [P6031.04 Patient Care] state that medical care will be provided, its availability is sometimes in question. If a BOP Second Opinion Consult is granted, sometimes months to years later, allowed – the local prison Clinical Director is not required to implement those treatment recommendations (Program Statement P6031.04 (Pg. 20-21), that could keep the patient/inmate’s care “Within The Standard of Care” in their community.

Unfortunately, the cases provided are current examples (as of 10/2023). The only proactive step one can take is to provide an accurate and comprehensive background that includes any medical issues they may have. Once included in their Personal NARRATIVE and provided 1-2 weeks before the Presentence Interview to their Probation Officer, it increases the chances of it being included in their official Presentence Report.

  • Should, on a rare occasion, a medical issue arise before the PSI where the current treating physician feels that the BOP (taking into account staffing issues in the BOP in general or at their Federal Medical Centers, or for other medical reasons), other actions may be indicated.
  • According to the BOP Policy, the court cannot order the BOP to provide specific medications, which may include treatments; BOP National Formulary Part I, 2022. Page 4, #9. Further, they appear to recommend consulting with BOP Counsel for that Region – so does it make sense to get their input before sentencing rather than after incarceration?

Ensure your client knows the dos and don’ts of the environment they’re about to enter – for it’s another world with a different set of rules. 


Understanding the importance of the Administrative Remedy is just a part of the Preparation and Knowledge ProcessKnowing what to expect in prison – before their first day contributes to reducing the fears they and their loved ones naturally are going through. Having been through this, please prepare them because it will benefit them in many ways.

Realizing that there are no guarantees, preparation provides them with the information needed to stay out of trouble as well as how to navigate and work to gain the maximum benefit from the First Step Act Programs (should there be enough support staff), RDAP, Second Chance Pell Grants for College Courses, and overall work on their personal development. All of this is helpful as they approach their early release date.

Not being personally prepared (I was also not a great client, as I was that deer in headlights) was a driving force that allowed me to be here with you today. Yes, I had a felony in 2006, but with colleagues’ support, my practice license was reinstated in 2010.

Transitioning from patient care to preparing those facing their life-altering event is my way to give back and is self-rewarding in its own right – a worthwhile career change.



The Administrative Remedy P1330.18 Program Statement[vii]( ‘Factsheet’) – If the Person Is Capable and Has Their Strength.

These Steps consist of the,

  • BP: 8 (or Cop-Out), 9, 10, and 11[viii]. – what they look like, followed by
  • Title 28 USSC § 2241[ix],
  • The Pro Se Motion (Form) is what you send to your Federal District Court.
    1. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) encourages inmates to utilize the Administrative Remedy Process to address grievances.
    2. It is advised that the patient/inmate maintain an accurate written timeline of events on a calendar and 
    3. Please keep four copies (and the original) of all relevant documentation for future reference. This practice will help keep track of important details and ensure all necessary information is readily available.
    4. Use email when available.


The patient/inmate is to include copies of all previously submitted documents in their current complaint, with Minimal need for changes in wording.

Keep 4 copies of all original documents for future use.

  1. Take copies of everything and keep the originals.
  2. Ensure to document all pertinent information about the incident, including the specific DayDate to whom you Have Spoken, and The Time → of The Incident.
  3. Not the date you are writing or filling out this form.
  4. You’re expected to try and resolve the matter through a simple conversation with your counselor or (case manager), the BP-8.
  5. ON EACH BP 8, 9, 10 and 11,

(2) THE NAME of the individual(s) with whom you spoke,
(3) WHY YOUR REQUEST is being made, and

Each facility has its own rules. To start the process, speak with your counselor (BP-8) first to learn how their process works.

  • When the counselor responds, remember what they tell you – with attention to detail, write your notes later and note the conversation’s date, content, and time.
  • Once the counselor explains the process, follow the process strictly. Write the date that the incident“Happened,” not when you filled out the form – unless it’s the same date.

Supplies to get started;

  • If you can access a copy machine, make 4 copies of everything (possibly in the library). You may need a pentablet with paperenvelopes, and likely stamps. If there is no copy machine, you can handwrite 4 copies of everything – written precisely the same to be used on future BP Forms if needed.
  • A Calendar is critical.
  • With No Response or Negative Responses – Keep Track of the Days For Each BP 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Deadlines are also critical; the BOP staff may be Late. You are not given that same grace period; if you are late, the staff may reject the complaint because the time to complain has expired.

  • Write down the day the incident happened.
  • Write down the day you made the informal complaint (which has to be within 20 days of the incident – or Sooner).

Although a person in prison must adhere to the deadline of [“#”] days, staff members are not required to respond, nor do they have to respond.

  • Nevertheless, you must show that you attempted to resolve the matter with an informal complaint.

Writing A Letter Can Substitute for a BP- 8, 9, 10, or 11.

If there is no counselor available, you should record that the counselor is unavailable and then write a letter requesting that;

  • The Warden treated the letter as a BP-9, Administrative Remedy Appeal, or
  • The Regional Director treated the letter as a BP-10, Administrative Remedy Appeal, or
  • The Central Office treats the letter as a BP-11, Administrative Remedy Appeal.

START Each BP with the date and time of your original informal complaint (BP-8, attached), then (BP-9, attached), etc.

The date of the 1st incident is located in the BP-8 (but not the Date the BP-8 was Written)


  1. You did not receive a response to your informal complaint. Write that no one responded to your complaint, and you filed the (NEXT BP # and Form IN SEQUENCE) to comply with deadlines.
  2. If you received an unfavorable response, 1) Reply that you disagree with the decision on the complaint. 2) This is why you’re filing the (NEXT BP # and Form IN SEQUENCE) for a formal administrative remedy request.
  3. If you’ve missed the deadline to file the formal complaint, you must explain the reason why. 1) For example, if you were sick or locked in the SHU, nobody provided you with a BP form. Do your best to comply with the deadlines because the BOP likes to Deny-Deny-Deny.

END Each BP Form by noting how you are submitting it.

  1. When submitting the form to the counselor, add or include their name, date, and time.
  2. If you are putting the form in the unit mailbox, indicate the date and time you put it in the unit mailbox.
  3. If you are in the SHU and have to submit it to a staff member, write down that person’s name and the date and time you hand the form to them.

WHERE APPROPRIATE, INCLUDE COPIES OF BOP POLICIES AND FORMS that validate your position. These should be available in your library: Medical, Dental, and Health Policy

(2) THE NAME INDIVIDUAL(S) with whom you spoke,
(3) WHY YOUR REQUEST is being made, and


with the “Informal Complaint,” or BP-8, or Cop-Out, that one requests from their Case Manager. At best, this is an informal conversation with your Case Manager to resolve the issue.

With No Response or a Negative Response within 24 hours – The Formal Process Begins. The next day…


The Patient/Inmate Next Requests a BP-9 from their Case Manager, who “Logs” this for the Record.  This one goes to The Warden.

  1. A 20-Day Clock Starts – and keeping track of the Days is Critical – Because if Late, the STAKEHOLDERS May Choose to Use It’s Being Late To Deny Your Request.
  2. Include copies of everything previously sent (BP-8 or Cop-Out).
  3. With No Response or a Negative Response within 20 Days


The Patient/Inmate requests a BP-10 from their Case Manager, who “Logs” this for the Record. This one goes to The Regional Director in your Region.

  1. The 30-Day Clock Starts – and keeping track of the Days is Critical – Because if Late, the STAKEHOLDERS May Choose to use its Being Late To Deny Your Request.
  2. Include copies of everything previously sent (BP: 8 or Cop-Out, 9).


BOP Regional Directors[xi]

*Cross-check Regional Directors with the above list and include those names.

Regional Director / Mid-Atlantic Regional Office (Check against BOP List, if different, contact as many as possible.)

1. 10010 Junction Drive, Suite 100-N, Annapolis Junction, Maryland 20701, Certified – Return Receipt.

2. MXR Leadership: Chris Gomez, 302 SENTINEL DRIVE, ANNAPOLIS JUNCTION, MD 20701,, Phone: 301-317-3100, Certified – Return Receipt.

Regional Director / North Central Regional Office (Check against BOP List; if different, contact as many as possible.)

1. NCR Leadership: Andre Matevousian, Gateway Complex Tower II, 400 STATE AVENUE, SUITE 800, KANSAS CITY, KS 66101-2492, Certified – Return Receipt, Email:, Phone: 913-621-3939

Regional Director /Northeast Regional Office (Check against BOP List; if different, contact as many as possible.)

1. NER Leadership: Amy Boncher, S. CUSTOM HOUSE, 7TH FLOOR, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106, Certified – Return Receipt. Email:, Phone: 215-521-7301

Regional Director / South Central Regional Office (Check against BOP List; if different, contact as many as possible.)

1. 4211 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 300, Dallas, Texas 75219, Certified – Return Receipt.

2. SCR Leadership: Heriberto Tellez, US ARMED FORCES RESERVE CMPL, GRAND, PRAIRIE, TX 75051,, Phone: 972-730-8600, Certified – Return Receipt.

Regional Director / Southeast Regional Office (Check against BOP List; if different, contact as many as possible.)

1. SER Leadership: Shannon Phelps, 3800 Camp Creek Parkway, SW/BDG 2000, ATLANTA, GA 30331-6226, Email:, Phone: 678-686-1200, Certified – Return Receipt.

Regional Director / Western Regional Office (Check against BOP List; if different, contact as many as possible.)

1. 7950 Dublin Boulevard, 3rd Floor, Dublin, California 94568, Certified – Return Receipt.

2. WXR Leadership: Melissa Rios-Marques, 7338 SHORELINE DRIVE, STOCKTON, CA 95219, Email:, Phone: 209-956-9700, Certified – Return Receipt.

With No Response or a Negative Response within 30 Days


The Patient/Inmate requests a BP-11 from their Case Manager, who “Logs” this for the Record. This one goes to The Office of General Counsel in Washington, DC.

1)The 40-Day Clock Starts – and keeping track of the Days is Critical – Because if Late, the STAKEHOLDERS May Choose to Use It’s Being Late To Deny Your Request.

2)Include copies of everything previously sent (BP: 8 or Cop-Out, 9, 10).

File your BP-11 at the following address: Bureau of Prisons, National Inmate Appeals Administrator (Check against BOP List; if different, contact as many as possible.)

  1. James Wills, AD/General Counsel, BOP Office of General Counsel, 320 First Street, NW, Washington, DC 20534, (202) 307-3198, Certified – Return Receipt.
  2. Rear Admiral Chris Bina, BOP Assistant Director, Health Services Division, 320 First Street, NW, Washington, DC 20534, (202) 307-3198, Certified – Return Receipt.

With No Response or a Negative Response within 40 Calendar Days


Pro Se Motion

“The Central Office has 40 calendar days to respond as of the date it is received, which may be extended for An Additional 20 Calendar Days.” (“FBOP Administrative Remedy Program – Washington, D.C.”)

  1. You can now draft Your Pro Se Motion – Form: Writ of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 to Your Federal District Court,
  2. This goes to your Federal District CourtCertified – Return Receipt.
  3. Include copies of everything previously sent (BP: 8, 9, 10, 11).







The Administrative Remedy Program Statement ( ‘Factsheet’) – If the Patient/Inmate Is Not Able To Do This, 👉Do the following.

 First, 👉Maintain an organized file to keep track of your loved one’s conversations and care, including dates, names, phone numbers, and steps taken.

Request a written detailed description of the issue with contact information for further details. KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING.

  1. You could compose a respectful letter to the warden advocating for your loved one. Certified – Return Receipt.
  2. Present the facts, describe the issues, suggest possible solutions, and ask for inquiry, communication, and collaboration. Help is what you’re asking for, and you’ll “await” their reply (I look forward to hearing from you).
  3. If a loved one is in jail and requires medical attention, it is essential to take specific actions to ensure they receive appropriate care.
  4. Request a written response from the Warden concerning your loved one’s medical condition and proposed treatment plan.
  5. This will provide valuable insights into their health and the measures being taken to address any medical concerns they may have.
  6. It’s a good idea to contact your loved one’s treating family doctor for additional support.
  7. This could prove particularly beneficial if you have concerns regarding their current treatment plan or feel they aren’t receiving adequate care while incarcerated. The doctor could provide you with a letter to attach containing more insight into their condition and suggest ways to ensure they receive optimal care.
  8. By staying informed and advocating for their medical needs, you can help ensure they get the right care – but no promises.
  9. You’re creating what I call a Paper Trail, which lets all parties know that someone else is watching.




Send copies of your complaint letter to relevant officials, including the prison’s medical director, but if you cannot contact the prison, there is always a,

  • Medical Director, there is always The BOP Assistant Adm. addresses above) and your loved one in prison. Keep all originals for yourself. Check the BOP website and below for addresses.
  • Copy everybody.

👉Contact your member of Congress. To find your U.S. congressional representative, visit[xii] and enter your zip code. The name of your member will appear.


  • Call your congressional representative’s local office. Ask the staff member to whom you should send your letter.
  • Present the problem, stating the facts and your concern.
  • Describe the efforts you and your loved one have taken to resolve the problem and ask that your congressional representative investigate the problem. 
    • Ask your Congressional Representative (or Assistant to ask for you) to write your Warden directlyas you have been told that BOP Wardens pay attention to these emails. Have the Warden’s Name, Phone #, Email, and Address ready, and be specific as to what help you need your representative to ask for, or inquire about.
      • Congressional Representatives (you can provide a sample letter, if helpful),
        1. …from the writer’s district,
        2. …of the district where the prison is located,
        3. …office in Washington DC.
  • Then, follow up with a pre-set phone call, or appointment.  


Second. 👉File a Formal Complaint Directly with the Facility and look up the prison contact information.

1) Find Your Prison Warden, or Warden Assistant or secretary,

2) Search for a location:[xiii] Inmates → Find an Inmate, or Locations: List of Our Facilities


3) Include the Patient /Inmate Number and Location

4) You can both call and write respectfully.

  • Include that you’re concerned about your loved one’s medical needs and their lack of care, sending a letter to the Warden.
  • Attaching a letter from their physician (at home) to provide additional context may be helpful. Certified – Return Receipt.

5) The BOP is a vast government agency. The new BOP Director, Peters, is doing her best to change its culture, so continue your advocating efforts.


Third. 👉If the prison did not resolve your complaint, file a complaint with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Regional Office (Above) that oversees the facility.

This goes to the appropriate Region (above)

Include the Patient /Inmate Number and Location

  • If you’re concerned about your loved one’s medical needs and the lack of care, consider sending a letter to the Warden.
  • Attaching a letter from their physician to provide additional context may be helpful. Certified – Return Receipt.


Fourth. 👉If you cannot address your issue, contact BOP Headquarters or the Department of Justice – Office of the Inspector General.

GO HERE FIRST: To Report a Concern[xiv].




Bureau of Prisons, Headquarters, or the Department of Justice – Office of the Inspector General (2 contacts)

  1. James Wills, AD/General Counsel, BOP Office of General Counsel, 320 First Street, NW, Washington, DC 20534, (202) 307-3198, Certified – Return Receipt.
  2. Rear Admiral Chris Bina, BOP Assistant Director, Health Services Division, 320 First Street, NW, Washington, DC 20534, (202) 307-3198, Certified – Return Receipt.

FAMM-VAP-Family-Visit Prison Guide
















Home Confinement Info Sheet



Release Planning should begin before your Presentence Interview if, for no other reason than at your Sentencing Hearing, your judge will ask you or want to know your plan to not return to their courtroom. In this video, I review why Release Planning should begin before your Presentence Interview if, for no other reason than at your Sentencing Hearing, your judge will ask you or want to know your plan to not return to their courtroom.

The Release Plan, Divided into ‘6’ Parts

Part I) Before your Presentence Interview (and is provided along with your Narrative to be woven into your Presentence Report), 

Part II) Before your Sentence Hearing (building and after giving more thought to your 1st Release Plan),

Part III) Once inside, here is where it grows – mostly by documenting your Personal Developmental Growth, which includes the FSA Programs and everything Constructive that you have been working on in areas of interest to you, including mentoring others or teaching classes.

Part IV) Before Release details what you will be doing once released. This can be started by following example forms developed by Rikers Island, the MN Dept. of Corrections – ‘The National Institute of Corrections Manual, or the Release Plan Prep Guide. All of this will, or should (as nothing is Guaranteed), make you appear a better candidate for a Halfway House. These beds are limited, and Residential Reentry Managers want to fill these beds with people who will reenter society successfully. Is this You? This video doesn’t cover everything, but I hope it provides some constructive insight.

Part V) After Release / Post-Incarceration Services


  • For many in BOP custody until he/she completes his prison term (for sentences greater than six months).
  • You’re in a Residential Re-entry Center (halfway house) or working with the BOP’s Community Corrections Management.
  • If you’re eligible to be transferred to home confinement (the last six months or 10% of the sentence, whichever is less), your client will transition from the RRC or CSC with another set of rules and requirements.
  • Even after leaving BOP custody, he/she will start his supervised release period, which is often for three years.
  • Each of these is a different branch of the Justice Department, 
  • You Do Not Want To Get Disciplined or have any Infractions that Could Return You To Prison

Part VI) Supervised Release/Parole/Halfway House –

  • You think You’re Out/Done,
  • But You’re Still Under “Federal” Control,
  • This could be the Hard Part – No Mistakes – Don’t assume,
  • For Questions, Ask your Probation Officer or Residential Reentry Manager First and Often. Not hearing back is Not an OK To do what you want to do.
  • Some are harder to deal with if your charge is a State Charge – But Make This Temporary.
  • Supervised Release – Probation

Probation or Supervised Release is No Joke. Follow the rules, and all will be ok.  Probation Officers have huge caseloads; unfortunately, they are overworked and expect the worst. Be the exact opposite, and good things will happen.

Now, with a New Director of The BOP (Dir. Peters, there is reason for hope and optimism), The First Step Act, the Second Chance Act, and the Work You Do In Investing In Yourself Can Earn Your Way To Freedom. For more on your Mitigation steps, call me.

This is a document that will grow over time and will influence your STAKEHOLDERS.


Your Attorney • The Probation Officer Conducting Your PSI• The Prosecutor • Your Judge • BOP 1st) Designation Staff, 2nd) Your Case Manager, and 3rd) Unit Team • Residential Reentry Manager (RRM) • Probation Officer, • and Others You Have Yet To Meet

Call 240.888.7778 for a personal one-on-one call
to discuss your current issue or that of a loved one.

-Marc Blatstein


When writing your Narrative, Allocution, or Reentry Plan, read it through the Lens of YOUR STAKEHOLDERS: WHAT DO THEY WANT TO HEAR? Through their eyes, there are victims, and there was a crime, but without your narrative, all they have is the DOJ indictment of you – so you may appear like America’s “Most Wanted.”  Only you can change this.

It’s best started before your Presentence Interview and will continue to develop as you add to it during your stay in the BOP.


Writing Your Release Plan, Now Before Your Presentence Interview 

Attempting to write your Release Plan, you don’t need to have all the answers today! Start will the small parts (bites) that I have provided below. Like the rest of your plan, it will develop over time; I know because mine did. Remember: One bite at a time.

But, if you have a letter from someone willing to hire you when you are released based on your skills and character – that is a GREAT letter to include in your plan, your Presentence Report, and with your attorney’s Sentencing Memorandum at your Sentencing Hearing.


Your Reentry Plan addresses your STAKEHOLDERS

You must be Your Own Best Advocate – 

Your Judge: STAKEHOLDER. If your Narrative (with your Reentry Plan) is included in your Presentence Report, you now have your Judges attention because he/she, among other things, wants to know your plan to not re-offend.

  • What are you going to do?
  • In addition to expressing remorse for the victim(s), understanding their pain, suffering, and how it has impacted them, 
  • You have reviewed what your life brought you to this moment that caused you to do this – with no excuses. 
  • You have reviewed the FSA Risk Assessment Program Questions, which had you reflect on what you’ve done and read about the many available programs to learn from.

Your Unit Team, Case Managers, and Counselors are your STAKEHOLDERS. For all of your meetings, just like with your FSA Programs and Books that you are reading, document their name, date, time of day, and conversation topic to recall later. Consider it insurance.

  • Review the FSA Risk Assessment Program Questions (SPARC-13) and
    • Weave your answers into your plan before your Presentence Interview.
    • What you hope to learn from the programs and how you need to implement their lessons into your daily life, work, or family life –
    • Include something Positive about the teacher.
    • Praise the Case Manager who recommended you take these programs.
    • For both of these, your Case Manager may ask your opinion,

Your Case Manager, Counselor, and Warden, in their tenure, see’s hundreds to thousands of Adults In Custody (AIC, Director Peters’s new term) pass through their facility. How can you stand out in a good way? We all start off as a number – until we show them otherwise. If you’re looking to take advantage of the FSA and all it has to offer, no promises, but your efforts may result in an earlier release date.

If release plans are not required, then why do them – To reduce Your Time Incarcerated?

  • Without a Plan, why should your Case Manager and the BOP give you a reference to a Halfway House Residential Reentry Manager (RRM)
  • There are not enough halfway house beds in the country to house everyone who wants to use them.
    • Halfway House Residential Reentry Manager (RRM) wants to fill those beds with people who will use them to reenter their communities successfully.
  • Case Managers will Recommend you, which the Warden signs off, and your file then,
    • goes to the Residential Reentry Manager to determine who is best suited for their limited bed space, who needs that time, and who will succeed.
  • Residential Reentry Managers decide who can use the limited number of beds by evaluating your BOP file, including your PSR, Narrative, and release plan.
    • They’re also being judged, so they want to show success. Inmates writing release plans are a way that halfway house managers can make that judgment.

Start your plan before your PSIIt Can Include Parts of Your Narrative,

  • Once inside, give the credit for your plan to your Case Managers and their recommendations as they offered FSA Programs to you.
  • Offer that you researched for your Release Plan: National Institute of Corrections website.
    • This template covers Personal Identification, Housing, Transportation, Personal Needs, Employment, Recreation/Leisure Time, Chemical Dependency Treatment/Aftercare, and your Support System.
  • Write as you review your investigation, criminal charge, plea hearing, trial or guilty plea, presentence investigation, and sentencing process. You will see that preparation fulfilled as you develop a reentry/release plan to achieve a better outcome. 
  • QUOTING something like…: “Since my indictment and arrest, I had the time to think about everything I have done. Previously, I didn’t recognize how BAD my decisions were, But I realize it’s Not About Me. It’s about My Victims, What I did, and What I have to do – to make it right.
  • Referencing your PATTERN Score, address applicable points for either Men or Women.
  • If you learn you have a Detainer (hopefully before your Presentence Interview)
    • Last week, the BOP quietly issued a change notice to its Program Statement on applying for FSA credits.
      • Before sentencing (or as soon as possible), your attorney learns that there is a Detainer; when filing this form, with no response after 180 days, it goes away.

1) Followed With copies of your Social Security Card, Driver’s License (expired?), and Birth Certificate. Know where your originals are kept so you can get them, and where are they now if they were taken from you at your arrest?

2) Be Honest with how you fill out BOP forms and talk in prison. If you lie and it gets found out by your STAKEHOLDERS (Judge), you may have more significant problems. Don’t say you have a substance abuse problem – if you don’t. This can be held against you by the Judge or other STAKEHOLDERS.

  • Some of those you meet will be biased against you (try not to let it bother you, be polite)
  • Writing is good, But Showing That You Have Learned You’ve Done Is Wrong Is Where You Want To Be.
    • (The Anger Management Course)
      • Because even if your case managers forget to document your progress, at least your records are complete and

3) Who will be your Support Structure?

  • This includes those who care for you to ensure you don’t return to the judge’s courtroom. This can be family, friends, or others and can include a potential employer willing to rehire you following your release, all who have provided letters attesting to your character, and who are aware of your past criminal behavior.

4) Employment Opportunities?

  • Will you still be allowed to run your own business? Was your business part of your criminal arrest? If Yes – then-No.
  • It is possible, though, to work For Yourself With a great release plan – Yes,
    • Probation May let you work for yourself and travel.
      • Were you working for yourself before your arrest? Yes,
      • If working for yourself – was this job part of your criminal activity? If No, OK
      • What will you do–keep it separate from your criminal conviction?
    • Who’s the owner?
    • Does it need to be registered with the state, licensed, etc?
    • Be Organized: “While incarcerated, I want to plan to own my own business, and these are the steps I will need to take.”
    • Will you need employment? No, I’m retired but volunteer or care for A Relative.
    • How realistic are your employment opportunities? You’re a physician – at best, you’ll need to reapply to your board, get your CMEs, etc. DEA and Provider Numbers, Medicare and Medicaid, OPM, and HHS.

5) At this point, your Reentry Plan is much shorter than it will be at the end of your sentence.

6) The plan will changeKeep your Case Managers Updated on your REENTRY Plan

  • This is why I need either 1 year in a Halfway House (or Home Confinement) – here’s what I need to do as I prepare to get back on my feet.

7) After sentencing, especially if the Judge gives you a downward Departure, start thinking about your Reentry plan, add what you wish you had done differently, and add what the judge said at sentencing before you forget.




  • If you have over 12 months of ETC, they could be applied to Halfway House or Home Confinement.
    • If You Have the Appropriate Resources and Reentry Plan
  • ETC in Halfway House: for example, if you have 11 months, the BOP may apply that to early release.
  • If you have 14 months ETC:
    • 2 Months in Halfway House
    • The 2nd Chance Act,
      • The 5 Factor Review: 8 mo. Halfway House, 6 mo. Home
  • Released to Home vs. Halfway House.
    • The BOP now sends inmates to the Halfway House, where they are evaluated for their plan.
      • It is up to the Halfway House to determine if the person meets the Eligibility & Appropriate criteria.
      • It is up to our REENTRY Plan to show why Home Confinement is needed.