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THE NARRATIVE: HUMANIZES YOU TO YOUR JUDGE, MAY LESSEN YOUR SENTENCE

YOUR NARRATIVE,

HUMANIZE YOURSELF TO YOUR JUDGE
THE DOJ HAS ALREADY TOLD YOUR STORY, THROUGH YOUR INDICTMENT
A WELL-WRITTEN NARRATIVE 👉 COUNTERS THE DOJ INDICTMENT OF YOU

This video covers why your NARRATIVE is critical in your defense. Why? To date, the DOJ has published your Story or Autobiography in the form of your INDICTMENT, which was released everywhere across the net, and if you do nothing – that is what your Judge will read and assume is the gospel truth.

If you don’t agree with 100% of your INDICTMENT, you have a choice: to tell your story through Your NARRATIVE. I hope this Video helps, and I am available for any questions.

I) Your NARRATIVE should be provided to your Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before your Presentence Interview to be included in your Presentence Report. It impacts STAKEHOLDERS you will meet,

  • Your Attorney: Aside from your charges, they will learn more about who you are. It may help in your defense.
  • Your Probation Officer: Following your interview and investigation, they will draft the official Presentence Report based on what they have learned from you. With no NARRATIVE, it will be skewed toward the version of the INDICTMENT. Please take the time to write your NARRATIVE and proofread it and your Presentence Report for accuracy with your attorney.
  • The Prosecutor will still likely want to convict you but may be swayed by your NARRATIVE.
  • The Courts /Your Judge usually already has a sentence in mind by the time you get to your sentencing hearing.
    • If your NARRATIVE was written and embedded within your Presentence Report, your judge likely would have read it, learning more about you than just what was in your INDICTMENT. Depending on your NARRATIVE, judges across the country agree that they want to hear from the defendants because crimes do not happen in a vacuum. Judges want to learn the why. After learning the why, do you take responsibility for your actions? And do you have remorse for the harm caused to the victims of the crime you have perpetrated?

YOUR SENTENCING HEARING: Your First and Only Opportunity  To Speak Directly With Your Judge

 What Can You Do To Stand Out?

 

Michael. Santos interviews Federal Judge Mark Bennett on the importance of writing Your Personal NARRATIVE and including it in Your Presentence Report.

In Title 18, Section 3553, these provisions state the various factors that judges must consider when determining the proper sentence for a given offense. Among the most pertinent considerations are the Nature and Circumstances of the offense itself and the offender’s Personal History and Individual Characteristics.

These factors help ensure that sentencing decisions are fair and just and that the punishment fits the crime. This is your opportunity to provide your Story, Autobiography, or NARRATIVE of your life and what brought you to this day. Accepting responsibility and Having Remorse for the Victims you Created.


Departure Factors (Woven into the Narrative)

E Factors:
E Factors refer to circumstances that may warrant a departure from the sentencing guidelines established by the United States Sentencing Commission. These factors include aspects of the offense or the offender’s background that the guidelines do not adequately consider. Some examples of E factors include:

    1. The defendant’s role in the offense
    2. The defendant’s criminal history
    3. The presence of substantial assistance provided by the defendant to law enforcement
    4. The defendant’s mental or physical condition
      • Mental Illness:
        Did this contribute to the crime? Was there a history of significant abuse or trauma growing up? Either way, have you been in therapy? Has your attorney requested that you be evaluated? If there is a current treating therapist, it is best for all if they appear as witnesses. Most judges would rather hear from a treating physician than a doctor for hire. This is not to put down experts, as they provide expert testimony that can only come from a select few.
      • Was substance abuse involved in your charge(s)? Did you start treatment before your indictment, the guilty hearing, Presentence Interview (PSI), or Sentencing?
        • All the better, AA, NA, GA, or Psychological Counseling should be included in your PSR and Sentencing Memorandum. Letters verifying either completion or ongoing treatment add credibility.
    5. The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility for the offense
    6. Any other relevant factor that justifies a departure from the guidelines

F Factors (Below Guideline Range Factors):
F Factors refer to circumstances that may justify imposing a sentence below the guideline range, even if a departure is not warranted. These factors are also considered under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and include:

    1. The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense
    2. The History and Characteristics of the Defendant
    3. The sentence must reflect the offense’s seriousness, promote respect for the law, and provide just punishment.
    4. The need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.
    5. The need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.
    6. The need to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment.

Your ALLOCUTION. During the judge’s conversation with you, in addition to covering the points below, he/she may want to know, in the end,  your REENTRY PLAN or what you plan to do when you get out to not re-offend.  This is a short, to-the-point video.

During Your Allocution, Judges Look For,

    1. A sincere demeanor
    2. Discuss what “taking full responsibility” means to the defendant.
    3. An acknowledgment that there are victims (e.g., even when the PSR indicates “no identifiable victim,” as it does in most drug cases);
    4. A more impressive Allocution details how the defendant’s criminal conduct affected the victims.
    5. An expression of genuine remorse.
    6. A plan to use prison or probation time productively.
    7. Discussing why the defendant wants to change his or her criminal behavior, perhaps most importantly, information that helps humanize the defendant and the defendant’s role in the crime.
    8. Tell their story, but don’t minimize the seriousness of what your client did.
    9. Judges will sometimes ask a defendant what he/she will do upon release to reduce their need to re-offend.
    10. Show his/her strengths and weaknesses.
    11. If you can show that you are on the same page with the court regarding the seriousness of the offense, the chances of accepting your other statements will increase.

II) Your NARRATIVE: these are some of the STAKEHOLDERS you have not yet met.

1. BOP Office of Designation, Grand Prairie, TX: As part of your Presentence Report, it will impact where they place you, yet you have never met them.

2. BOP Staff; Warden, Unit Team, Case Manager:

    • For case managers and unit teams, these are employees, and they see hundreds of inmates/people (if not thousands), so how can you differentiate yourself – demonstrate that you are staying out of trouble, doing your assigned job, attending FSA Classes, and doing other constructive work. Reading Non-Fiction, teaching a course, and documenting everything you do (these are ideas I learned from others). Are you an artist? That is important as long as you have constructive interest that can lead to a career after release.
    • There are few ways in prison to demonstrate an individual’s Personal Growth and Development that prepare them to reenter society as law-abiding citizens. However, using your time constructively is important, as BOP Staff will observe you daily.
      • Eventually, you will be released. Will you need to work? What are your interests? Is this too early or premature in your sentence to consider this question? Honestly -> No.
      • Are you a High School Grad?
        • No, then consider getting your GED.
        • Yes, Then get a College Degree with The Second Chance Pell Grant.
        • Already graduated College – Grad School, consider teaching a course and giving the credit to your case manager.
    • In the meantime, use your time constructively. Read to learn, which is Non-Fiction on any topic from painting to computers, History to Philosophy. And if you’re serious, which I hope you are, write down the parts that interest you for later use.

 

III) To Get Started With Your NARRATIVE

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

-Marc Blatstein

Your Personal Narrative | PSI Investigation Report

Your Personal Narrative

and

The Presentence Interview Investigation Report

When addressing the Judge, initiating a written exercise is advisable. The Personal Narrative presents a great opportunity to share pertinent details about yourself and the incident in question.

YOUR SENTENCING HEARING – YOUR 1st and ONLY CHANCE TO SPEAK WITH YOUR JUDGE 

 What Can You Do To Stand Out?

M.. Santos interviews Federal Judge Mark Bennett on the importance of writing Your Personal NARRATIVE and including it in Your Presentence Report.

Creating a compelling narrative requires multiple revisions. To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s worth asking trusted friends or family to review beforehand. While your biography should contain pertinent information, we’ll collaborate to select the most pertinent details. We must communicate with those closest to you to gain a more intimate understanding of your personality, character, and circumstances. Remember, this is Your Life – we should approach it with the utmost seriousness.

The categories below are meant to encourage deep reflection but may be challenging. It is advisable to take time to consider them carefully and seek advice from trusted individuals, including a legal representative. You must provide authentic and heartfelt responses for several reasons. Firstly, it will hold no worth if you do not believe in what you are saying. Secondly, if a Judge suspects that someone else wrote your responses, it may cause further complications for you. Lastly, Probation will review your answers and offer recommendations to the Judge, therefore, they must trust your responses are sincere.

 Topic Categories:

In the United States Code, specifically in Title 18, Section 3553, there are provisions that state the various factors that judges must take into consideration when determining the proper sentence for a given offense. Among the most pertinent considerations are the Nature and Circumstances of the offense itself, as well as the offender’s Personal History and Individual Characteristics. These factors help to ensure that sentencing decisions are fair and just and that the punishment fits the crime. Here, through your NARRATIVE, this is your opportunity to provide your Story, Autobiography, or NARRATIVE of your life and what brought you to this day. Accepting responsibility, Triggering Events, and Having Remorse for the Victims you Created,

It is essential to start by conveying heartfelt condolences to the victims of the crime and acknowledging the immense agony and distress they have undergone. It is imperative to understand the seriousness of the crime and refrain from belittling its severity in any manner. This provides an opening to delve deeper into the subject.

Take some time to reflect on the events that led to this moment. What circumstances led you to commit this act? If applicable, you may draw on pertinent experiences from your childhood. Seeking the advice of an expert or legal professional may be helpful.

It is advisable to try and identify any triggers that may have contributed to your actions. Develop a plan to eliminate them from your life. It is pertinent to refine your initial drafts over time and to ensure that your personal narrative is authentic and truthful.

What have you learned from this experience? Did it bring up memories from your past? Share these insights with the judge. If you have victimized others, describe your plan to make amends, even if it is a small effort. Finally, outline your plan for preventing re-offending and ensuring that you will never appear in their courtroom again.

It is advisable to inform the Judge of your willingness to take financial responsibility and make amends. Bring some money with you (such as $100 or $1000) and tell the court that you would like to submit it if you can. You may say something like, “I understand that this may not be a significant amount, but I would like to offer $ 000.00 to the court.” 

Moreover, it would be helpful to let the court know that you have a job offer (only if you do and have that Character Letter with you) for when you return home and are willing to participate in the Financial Responsibility Program. If the Judge orders a payment of $25/Qt, you may find it challenging to comply. However, doing your best to honor the plan is advisable, even if you have little to no financial support while in prison. 

Not participating in the Financial Responsibility Program (FRP) while in prison may affect your ability to participate in other programs and could be held against you. Therefore, it is strongly advisable to participate in the FRP and any other programs that may be available to you.

Overall, it is essential to take financial responsibility seriously, as it can have a significant impact on your future. Additionally, it is advisable to approach the situation respectfully and properly, as this may positively impact how the court views your case.

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

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

 

 The Presentence Interview Investigation Report

can be aided by

Your Personal Narrative and Allocution

While I previously mentioned that it could be started in written format, it could also be submitted with the Sentencing Memorandum and made available in,

  • Video MP4 format and placed in a flash drive or CD so that the judge could easily see it the week before (optimal timing) sentencing.
  • You could work this with your attorney using either PowerPoint or a smartphone.

YOUR PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW (PSI) – INVESTIGATION REPORT

 


LIFE LESSONSAdmiral McRaven


PREPARATION FOR THE PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW.

§9:30.7 Inside Baseball: Interview With Former Federal Probation Officer Tess Lopez, by Alan Ellis.

 

Counsel and Clients need to hold each other accountable and be respectful and listening to each other. While counsel is reaching out to Probation, the defendant is responsible for providing copies of ‘all’ of their Biographical Background and Personal Identification information that Probation has requested from your attorney.

At the same time, it is critical to draft a well-thought-out NARRATIVE and Release Plan and include content relevant to their PATTERN SCORE and Risk Assessment Survey. After multiple revisions, these are woven together, and then with the copies of all of the documents that are accurate and comprehensive, are organized and prepared and then given to the Probation Officer ~2 weeks before the interview so that it can be eventually included in their PSR, under Seal.

This allows time at the interview for the Probation Officer to get to know the client and ask any questions they may have. This ‘discussion’, with counsel present and the fact that the defendant was prepared and the officer’s time was respected, is usually appreciated as Probation Officers’ time is a rare commodity. Being comprehensive and accurate, as outlined below, allows the court to consider sentences outside the guideline range or “variances” because you are the only resource for the – the government will Not Volunteer this information.

I. Counsel’s goal is to learn the final “dictation date,” or the date by which the P.O. must complete their first draft of the official Presentence Report (PSR).

  • Right away, counsel and client know their timeline to have everything completed. If the client has a company with legal issues that need to be resolved or personal issues, all of this requires time in addition to preparing for their Interview.
  • Therefore, requesting, at a bare minimum 3 months to prepare for the interview would be great. This would also have been done at the guilty hearing, and hopefully, the judge agreed before setting the date for sentencing.
  • Counsel learns who the PO will be and contacts them before they have spoken with the Prosecutor. Next, building a fundamental introductory relationship is important to understand what the officer already knows – which hopefully is not a lot!
    • This offers counsel the opportunity to explain your position, as the PO was not at trial and has not yet formed an opinion.
    • They may still have an open mind if they have not spoken with the prosecutor.
      • If the PO had already spoken with the Prosecutor before they ever met/interviewed you – they may have already been influenced, just not in your favor.
    • Your attorney aims to make their case and position with a personal meeting.
    • Meanwhile, you have begun writing your personal narrative, which will undergo multiple rewrites until it is distilled into its final version, where you accept responsibility.
      • This is your story, a Unique and Honest version of the events that resulted in your arrest. Once complete, your Personal Narrative is to be included in your Presentence Report.
      • Next, start writing your Release Plan, followed by an Allocution or your conversation with the judge at sentencing.
      • Then, be ready should the Judge wish to speak with you at the Sentencing Hearing and honestly answer his/her questions from the heart.
  • Prison Placement: Counsel will start framing reasons “why” this prison placement request is being made (e.g., supported with reasons why, for example, programs: medical, FSA programming, etc.).
  • Counsel will outline each factor for the PO to consider under 18 U.S. Code § 3553
    • Part E (departure, assistance in the investigation or prosecution of another person, section 994 of title 28,)
      • These factors include aspects of the offense or the offender’s background that the guidelines do not adequately consider. Some examples of E factors include:
        1. The defendant’s role in the offense
        2. The defendant’s criminal history
        3. The presence of substantial assistance provided by the defendant to law enforcement
        4. The defendant’s mental or physical condition
        5. The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility for the offense
        6. Any other relevant factor that justifies a departure from the guidelines and
    • Part F (sentence below the guideline range under 18 U.S.C. §3553(a)) of the PSR makes strong arguments to support these requests.
      • These factors are also considered under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and include:
        1. The nature and circumstances of the offense
        2. The history and characteristics of the defendant
        3. The sentence must reflect the offense’s seriousness, promote respect for the law, and provide just punishment.
        4. The need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.
        5. The need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.
        6. The need to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment.
      • Defendant does Not Have:
        • 1) more than 4 criminal history points, 2) a prior 3-point offense, or 3) a prior 2-point violent offense
        • did not use violent threats
        • did not result in death or injury
        • was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor
        • defendant has truthfully provided the Government with all information and evidence
    • If the PO is receptive to a variance, it may be key to convincing the court to consider a sentence below the guideline range.
    • If your client receives a prison sentence, the Presentence Report (PSR) followed by The Statement of Reasone (SOR) are the documents used by the BOP to determine your client’s future.
      • This information (or lack thereof) will dictate whether the client is sent to a dormitory-style Camp or the Penitentiary Maximum-Security Prison.
  • Meeting with the probation officer is to discuss their position on these issues.
    • This is particularly important in a complex case involving numerous counts, various ways to calculate the guidelines, and which guideline is appropriate.
    • Personal contact with the probation officer builds rapport and offers an opportunity to explain your position.
    • Sometimes as they are so busy with no extra time, and for a complex case, the PO would welcome the opportunity for defense counsel to explain their version of the case.
    • Remember, the PO wasn’t present at the trial; therefore, this personal meeting also assures the lawyer that the PO understands the case and their personal position. At the same meeting, they can get a feel as to how receptive the PO is.
  • When working with Probation Officers, a little extra effort goes a long way as they are very busy, doing their best, and never have enough time. They may appreciate your efforts in easing that portion of their workload.
    • Consider presenting your entire view of the case clearly in a letter to the PO as soon as possible.
    • It is helpful to have the Probation Officer and Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) buy into your client’s behavior and role in the offense before requesting relief from the Guidelines, and again, everything to be completed and handed in before the interview and dictation date.

II. Learn as much as they can about the judge’s likes and dislikes. If they find this hard, ask a Federal Defender.

  • Counsel will want to learn whether the judge reads sentencing memos and character letters and how long those letters should be.
  • If applicable, issues like overcrowding and staff shortages could affect your client’s access to their Programming Needs or other required BOP Services- is the Judge sensitive to this?

 III. Mental Illness: Did this contribute to the crime, or has your client suffered significant abuse or trauma? Either way, have them evaluated, and if you are unsure of a local expert, ask the prosecutor for recommendations.

  • If there is a current treating therapist, it is best for all if they appear as witnesses; most judges would rather hear from a treating physician than a doctor for hire. This is not to put down experts, as they provide expert testimony that can only come from a select few.
    • If, on their own, treatment was started before the indictment, Guilty Hearing, PSI, or Sentencing, all the better. (AA, NA, GA, Psych. Counseling); this needs to be included in the PSR, Sentencing Memorandum…
  • Mental Health example in this White Collar case. This client is an
    • Exceptionally bright, high-functioning, and very successful individual.
    • He/She is very skilled, highly motivated, and works 18-20-hour days for money-promotions-privileges.
    • The psychological evaluation:
      • The client is an obsessive-compulsive perfectionist.
      • Suffers from depression and anxiety.
      • The overwhelming desire to be successful, personally and financially, may cause an ordinarily law-abiding person to “cross the line” into inappropriate or illegal behavior.
        • Familiar?
      • Later diagnosed with bipolar disorder
    • Latest statistics by the U.S. Sentencing Commission
      • 6 percent of inmates received downward departures for diminished capacity (U.S.S.G. §5K2.13).
      • If half of the inmates have symptoms of mental health problems,
        • yet only 2.6 percent are receiving departuresare the judges simply insensitive?
      • Or does the problem lie at the feet of the defense counsel, who is not taking the time to conduct a thorough investigation into the client’s social and psychological history?

 IV. Character Letters: only pick out a few to discuss in the memorandum, but add at the end that “there were another 50 that all said similar things, and the PO has those.”

  • If an employer is willing to write a character letter that says they are willing to rehire you due to your skills and character once you are released – that is a Great letter for The NARRATIVE and Release Plan. 

 V. The Sentencing Memorandum is best submitted approximately seven days before the sentencing hearing,

  • Corroborate the issue with the appropriate supporting documents, albeit a doctor’s letter/ report/ medical/treatment records, etc. Remember to document, document, document.
  • All of this is preferably done under seal via the Probation Office so that the information is appended to the PSR when given to the BOP.
  • In The Sentencing Memorandum, give the Judge 1 or 2 cases with the highlighted pertinent points; if there is a video or pictures, include those.

 VI. 18 U.S.C. §3553(a)(2)(D) requires a sentencing court to consider The Nature and Circumstances of the offense and The History and Characteristics of the Defendant. In the client’s NARRATIVE, most of this should be covered.

  • To determine which 18 U.S.C. §3553(a) factors apply, while someone with experience should:
    • 1st) Conduct in-depth (multi-hour) interviews with the defendant, should an evaluation be needed (even in White-Collar); now is the time, and
    • 2nd) plus having the time (multi-hours) to speak with family members, close friends, and business associates or trusted employees to understand the person better.
    • As most Officers do not have ‘any’ time, at times, this is left to counsel to do themselves. This provides the opportunity to discuss hiring someone to do this part of the background work, or it may just not get done.
  • Evaluation of the care needed for a client’s medical condition – may support a cost-related (home confinement) argument.
    • This is most apparent in cases of defendants diagnosed with a terminal illness or a diagnosis that falls outside the scope of what the BOP can provide (Long-Haulersor Post-COVID).
  • The cost of incarceration should also be factored into whether a sentence is “greater than necessary.”
    • Last are those, where appropriate, emphasizing to the court what the client would be doing if not incarcerated (i.e., working, supporting a family, paying taxes, and/or restitution).

The Presentence Report Determines Your Future – So Preparation For Your Interview is Vital

  • Judges use the PSR to determine the length of a sentence.
  • The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) uses the same PSR for prison placement.
  • The PSR is again used by Probation during Supervised Release.
  • Lastly, this same PSR becomes a permanent part of your record and the Inmates Bible – It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

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

YOUR NARRATIVE📜 May Help Your Judge🤞Mitigate Their Sentencing Decision

NARRATIVE📜, Provided 1-2 Weeks Before The PSI, Included In The PSR-Under Seal; Helps The Judge Know ‘You’, May🤞Mitigate Their Sentencing Decision

Dr. M. Blatstein

Dr. M. Blatstein

FEDERAL SENTENCE MITIGATION: PERSONAL NARRATIVE | PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW PREP. | ALLOCUTION | REENTRY PLANNING | RDAP | HEALTHCARE | MEDICATION AVAILABILITY | BOP PLACEMENT – I answer 👇 and personally return 📳 My calls.

SENTENCING LAW ⚖️AND POLICY.

This study provides more Validation for 👉The Personal NARRATIVE (written by your client, reviewed and guided by those with Mitigation Experience), and then provided to their Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before their Presentence Interview. The included in The Presentence Report is now Under Seal and will be read by all of your future STAKEHOLDERS.

Now your client’s NARRATIVE (with their RELEASE Plan and Letters Attesting to their CHARACTER), becomes part of their Presentence Report-Under Seal. Aside from their INDICTMENT, the Judge can learn ‘who’ the defendant is.

In this Study👇1 (N=132), evidence about the mitigating circumstances reduced punishment only when it was presented before evidence about the perpetrator’s violation, in other words before the Judge, 1st) reads the Presentence Report that just has the DOJ INDICTMENT, without your NARRATIVE, and 2nd) evaluates the Probation Officers sentencing and placement recommendations, solely based of the DOJs INDICTMENT-NARRATIVE of your client.

 



👉The INDICTMENT.

Your client’s story, seen through the eyes of The DOJ Indictment, makes them look like America’s Most Wanted. If left unchallenged, this will be the story or NARRATIVE of your client that future STAKEHOLDERS will read and believe, starting with the Judge.

Waiting until the sentencing hearing is not acceptable because 1st) all your Judge will know about you is through your INDICTMENT, and 2nd) they usually have a tentative sentence in mind during the week before the hearing – which is based on that same INDICTMENT. See this short Video on Sharing your story.

Judges have agreed that they need your client’s help in understanding ‘the why’, of what happened. They know that crimes do not occur in a vacuum and are interested in what caused the person in front of them to break the law.

 


‘Stand Out To Your Judge.’ M. Santos interviews Federal Judge Mark Bennett on the importance of writing Your Personal NARRATIVE, including it in Your Presentence Report. 

 

Presenting all of the court-requested Biographical Background, Personal Identification along with your client’s Story or NARRATIVE, and RELEASE Plan 1-2 weeks before their Presentence Interview allows the Probation Officer to learn about your client before they ever meet.

A little effort goes a long way, as these officers each have huge caseloads and no time. So it should come as no surprise that some may actually appreciate the fact that your client came to this meeting prepared and provided all of the information needed before the interview date. This gives the officer time, allowing them to fill out their Probation Report before they ever meet your client, not being rushed.

Then at the interview, the officer can take the time needed to get to know your client personally, coming away from the interview where your client appears the opposite of the person characterized in the INDICTMENT. As these are usually in written format, judges may find viewing a Video a better way to get to know your client’s whole story. These videos can be under 10 minutes and can be taken with a Smartphone if budgets are tight.


👉 Writing your NARRATIVE is an Arduous and Self-Reflective Experience

Make sure your client has Truthtellersto support them.

  • We All Make Mistakes
  • Don’t forget: this is your chance.
  • Those around you should bring out something Positive in you.
  • This is your client’s autobiography (of their life), the good – the bad, and the ugly.
  • Enablers may make you feel good for that moment – but will not 👎🏻 be helpful in the long run. The NARRATIVE is your client’s explanation without excuses, where they have accepted responsibility⚖️ and have remorse for the pain they have caused while not minimizing what has happened.

When writing The NARRATIVE, consider associating your client with those most appropriate and knowledgeable regarding what they will be facing before, during, and after prison. This skill goes beyond the traditional defense and is best provided,

  • At the appropriate time (just before or after the guilty verdict in preparation for their PSI),
  • Those with the appropriate experience of what their client’s future STAKEHOLDERS will need to see and hear before their interview – during and after incarceration, and as they prepare to ‘successfully’ reenter society.
  1. The Probation Officer (PSI) and Judge are now their first two STAKEHOLDERS.

👉 CATEGORIES INCLUDED IN THE NARRATIVE. 

  1. Nature and CIRCUMSTANCE: Here, you want to describe,
  • Why did you do this?
  • How did you get involved?
  • What was your involvement?
  • You should check that your involvement reflects what is in the final Presentence Report.

2. History and CHARACTERISTICS, Here you want to include,

  • Your client’s remorse,
  • Your Client’s Accepted Responsibility
  • How your client ruined their victim’s lives,
  • Traumatic Life event(s) – review with details,
  • Show the court what your client’s plan is never to come back,
  • Where there was a positive or negative family life – explain this,
  • What has this experience taught them? Did it bring up moments from our client’s past?
  • Was there a “trigger,” what was that trigger, and how do you remove it from your client’s life?
  • Include the good things that your client’s done, explain with examples and letters (at least 10 good ones) that Attest to their Character,
  • Show what your client’s doing today to change and improve themself regarding rehabilitation (NA, AA, GA, Therapy, etc.), Community Volunteering, and paying restitution – if they can. This all becomes part of your PSR, now Under Seal.
  • Should a Professional License Be lost, include how this will result in the loss of a profession loved, a career, and income. Still looking into other options, incarceration is temporary, and life will go on with strategic and well-thought-out planning.

Consider this short YouTube before writing your NARRATIVE. Simply speaking, this is Your Story or Autobiography. Nike’s Brand is ‘Just Do It’, Tesla’s is Space-X,  and your NARRATIVE has to be your story and the experiences that brought you to this point in your life – helping your Judge, understand who you are.

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

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

5.     MEDICAL/PHYSICAL HEALTH, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH: Include ALL medical records, Labs, Surgery Reports, Diagnostic: X-rays, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, PET scans (in Written, Flashdrive or CD format), Prescriptions for medications (Check Generic Medication Availability), and medical devices, along will All physician contact information. These specific medical needs can be met if included as part of your Medical History;

  • 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).

6.     SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Alcohol, Drugs (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.

  • If you started these programs on your own, before your Presentence Interview or before you were Indicted, MENTION THESE IN THE NARRATIVE, WITH COPIES OF YOUR TREATMENT RECORDS FROM YOUR PROVIDERS (AA, NA, Gambling, or a Sex Therapy Program).

7.     EDUCATION AND VOCATIONAL SKILLS: Copied of the highest level; otherwise, a GED will be required in prison. If you have experience with computers, administrators frown on these skills, so you may not want to include these certifications.

8.     MILITARY: Copies, branch, discharge?

9.     EMPLOYMENT: The P.O. will check. Judges love a good work record or history.

10.     STATEMENT FINANCIAL RECORDS: If there are financial fines/ restitution, Congress and The BOP now strongly encourage participation in their Financial Responsibility Plan in order to benefit from all Earned Time Credits and access to Programming. This is in addition to all other required financial records. Don’t try to hide parts or all of this, as the P.O. may find out, angering the Judge.


👉 WHY YOUR NARRATIVE (AND RELEASE PLAN) IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT OF YOUR 📜 PRESENTENCE REPORT

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.

  • If the resulting Narrative or Your Story – is quite the opposite of the DOJ’s Indictment Narrative, where your client sounded like ‘America’s Most Wanted, ‘then your client did a Great Job!

👉 ADDITIONAL COPIES 📑 OF ALL PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION AND BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

1.   Divorce Decree

2.   Financial Records

3.   School Diplomas, Your highest education level completed, Professional Diplomas, and any Trade or Occupational Certification(s).

4.   Marriage Certificate

5.   Naturalization papers

6.   Draft Registration card

7.   Car Registration papers

8.   Military Discharge certificate

9.   Birth or baptismal certificate

9.   Immigration papers or passport

10. Employment verification (pay stubs)

11. Character Letters of Recommendation

12. Military Disability information (C-number)

13. Income Tax reports for the last three years (or more if requested)

14. Outstanding Detainers and Immigration Issues Resolved before The Presentence Interview

15. Proof of residence (rent receipts, property, mortgage papers, etc.)

16. Professional papers (COPIES: Social Security Card, Drivers’ License, and Birth Certificate.)

17. Medical Records, Hospital – Surgical – Pathology and Blood Lab Reports, Copies of X-ray, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, PET Scans, EEG, EKG reports (on Flash Drives or CDs), Prescriptions for Medications and Medical Devices.

This is from my article on LinkedIn.

The Presentence Report (PSR); Thoughts On Preparation – Narrative – COVID

The Presentence Report (PSR)

I) Preparation 

  • This includes an inclusive biographical history:
  • Past and Current Medical and Mental Healthcare needs
  • Medications
  • Substance abuse
  • Medical Devices needed
  • ADL (Activities of Daily Living), PADL (Prison Activities of Daily Living)

II) Your Narrative

  • Express remorse, while still understanding the victim’s pain, suffering, and how it has impacted them.
  • Agree with the court as to the seriousness of the crime, without minimizing it. Expand on this topic
  • What in your life brought you to this moment, what happened that caused you to do this?
  • What has this experience taught you? Did it bring up moments from your past?
  • Explain to the Judge that you have a plan (only if you do),
    • to start making this right with those you have victimized –
    • or if you have already started, what are they,
    • no matter how small those efforts have been?
  • If it’s been a year or so since your verdict, what have you been doing?
    • (1)Working, (2)volunteering, or watching: (3)TV (only options 1 and 2 are correct).
  • What is your plan to never re-offend? If there was a “trigger,” what was that trigger, and how do you remove it from your life?

III) COVID, unfortunately, will be with us for a long time, like the seasonal Flu.

  • Unfortunately, it is much more lethal.long covid
  • 2022/2023, We’ve gone from pandemic to endemic
  • Practically all that means is that as a society:
    • Some believe in prevention and others do not
    • The result is that while influenza has a ~ 52K deaths / per year
    • COVID and its variants may be 10 x as much
  • More importantly, new strains are more than likely to present themselves, and masks along with new technology in indoor air filtering are in our future.
  • Long-COVID, Long-Haulers, or Post-COVID; these symptoms may be mitigating factors to present before the presentence interview as no jail, or prison (state or federal) is equipped to provide the necessary care.
    • Beyond that, this would not be a qualifier for either 100% CARE LEVEL III or ADL as the symptoms could keep one between sleep, the bathroom, meals, and at best a short walk.

Your Personal Narrative – Your Last Chance To Control Your Future

Your Personal Narrative  Express remorse and understanding for 1) the victim’s pain, and suffering, 2) and the pain it caused your family.

Your Personal Narrative: Agree with the court as to the: 1) seriousness of the crime, without 2) minimizing the seriousness of the crime.

  • What brought you to this moment, that involved crime?
  • What has this experience taught you? Did it bring up past experiences?
  • What is your plan to never re-offend?
  • If there was a “trigger,” what was that trigger, and how do you remove it from your life?
Judge, I feel financially responsible and want to make amends
  • I know this is not much, but here is $$
  • I have a Release Plan – A Job when I get home, and then I will be able to start the Financial Responsibility Program
  • As I will have little to no income – by not participating in the Financial Responsibility Program, The BOP may keep me from participating in programs – and be held against me.

DrMB@PPRSUS.com

Sam Bankman (FTX) – Could face lifetime: Personal Narrative Only Option?

Sam Bankman was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy: wire- commodities- securities fraud, and campaign finance violations.
 In December, Bankman-Fried was arrested in the Bahamas and charged with wire fraud, securities fraud, and money laundering, among other things;
·        defrauding FTX investors.
·       extradited to the US and released on a $250 million bond  with an ankle bracelet, and
·       submit to mental health counseling
 
Sam Bankman’s bail dwarfs other federal white-collar bonds.
·       Bernie Madoff posted a $10 million bond while awaiting trial on his multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
·       Jeff Skilling, former Enron CEO, posted a $5 million bond, while
·       Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos founder, posted a scant $500,000.
A trial date is expected in the Southern District of New York.
·       Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, two former top executives at Bankman-Fried’s companies,
·       have pleaded guilty to several fraud charges and FTX co-founder Gary Wang and former Alameda Research co-CEO Caroline Ellison are cooperating with federal prosecutors in the investigation.

 He will face his next hearing, presided over by Judge Ronnie Abrams, in New York City on Jan. 3., where he’ll enter his plea and be arraigned.

Typical questions – do not apply:
1: shortest time, and
2: How to get out of prison altogether.
Sam Bankman can’t leave all of the sentencing mitigation decisions up to his lawyer – These decisions are made jointly – as jail time could be a lifetime.
But they do not have to be.
Interviews with Federal Judges tell us;
·        Judge Bough discounts some of what lawyers say because they’re paid to do so.
·        Judge Pearson– approaching sentencing should be with the seriousness of a job.  What happened in your life that led to this courtroom.”
·        Judge Boulware said, “The order of decision-making should be: 
1: Defendant,
2: Lawyer,
3: Friends and family.
…too many defendants get this order wrong.”
Sam’s options:
Spend  time with introspection, because
·        It is/was his company,
·        He’s responsible for all decisions made
·        He is responsible for his own actions: between all of his interviews, defending and deflecting his actions in the public domain is now, ‘on the record’.
He has a real legal challenge, comparing;
His bond: 250 M 
  • Bernie Madoff = $10 million, with ~ 100Yrs
  • Jeff Skilling, former Enron CEO, = $5 million
  • Elizabeth Holmes, = $500,000, ~ 11.5 years
If he insists on Trial, the odds are against him, especially as his ‘2 lieutenants’ have already pleaded Guilty and are cooperating.
That only leaves a Plea Bargain –
  • Leave most of the Law work, to his attorneys
Consider sentence Mitigation Experts, starting after the guilty hearing
OTHERWISE, STARTING AT 30 YEARS OLD – IS A LONG TIME TO FACE IN PRISON
…and there are no guarantees either way.

WITH THE FSA👉EARLY RELEASE IS POSSIBLE. ⚖️

“STAKEHOLDERS”⚖️ NEED TO SEE REDUCTIONS IN CRIMINOGENIC TENDENCIES; ✍ WE SHOW YOU HOW

Dr. M. Blatstein

Dr. M. Blatstein

FEDERAL SENTENCE MITIGATION: PERSONAL NARRATIVE | PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW PREP. | ALLOCUTION | REENTRY PLANNING | RDAP | HEALTHCARE | MEDICATION AVAILABILITY | BOP PLACEMENT – I answer 👇 and personally return 📳 My calls.

PREPARATION. IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPT I WISH TO SHARE WITH THOSE FACING FEDERAL PRISON

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.


STAKEHOLDERS.

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).

THE PRESENTENCE REPORT (PSR).

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.

INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENT – REDUCING CRIMINOGENIC NEEDS.

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.


I. WORK – THE FSA IS MORE THAN JUST GOING TO CLASSES 

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.
  4. WHY KEEP A DAILY LOG?

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.

Recommendations:

  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.

RELEASE PLAN, INTERVIEW.

  • 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


YOUR JUDGE ⚖️WILL ASK FOR YOUR PLAN TO NOT RETURN TO THEIR COURTROOM → 🕊️WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER?

Home Confinement Info Sheet

WHY A RELEASE PLAN?

“ARE YOU READY TO ANSWER YOUR JUDGES QUESTION?”
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’LL SAY?

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

YOU ARE STILL UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE BOP 

  • 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.

WHO ARE ‘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)
    • DOCUMENTATION OF EVERYTHING YOU DO,
      • CLASSES YOU TAKE, BOOKS YOU READ, AND FSA PROGRAMS YOU HAVE ATTENDED;
      • Because even if your case managers forget to document your progress, at least your records are complete and
      • You CAN NOW VERIFY, AS IT IS IN ‘YOUR’ COMPLETE FILE

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.

 

 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 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.

HOME CONFINEMENT INFORMATION SHEET

WHO AND WHAT ARE YOUR STAKEHOLDERS

STAKEHOLDERS

STAKEHOLDERS
It is important to understand that STAKEHOLDERS are individuals and organizations that have a vested interest in your growth, development, and reduction in criminogenic tendencies. These include the Courts, your lawyer, the DOJ (who issued your indictment), your probation officer, prosecutor, judge,  BOP staff, Residential Reentry Center/Halfway House Manager, and are responsible for you while you are on Home Confinement before you enter Supervised Release. As you approach your Sentencing Hearing, in this video, I review what and who your STAKEHOLDERS are.

 All events related to your case must be accurately presented in your Indictment. If this is not the case, providing your account of events may be necessary through a Personal NARRATIVE. Remember that these STAKEHOLDERS are scrutinizing your actions, so it is important to consider everything from their perspectives. How can you build trust and confidence with each STAKEHOLDER?


External STAKEHOLDERS

Additionally, your judge may already have a sentence in mind. It is crucial to understand that your BOP Case Manager may not completely understand your situation, as they can only rely on information from your Indictment and PSR. However, you can take charge by creating your Narrative and Reentry Plan. Taking responsibility, expressing remorse for any harm caused to victims, demonstrating dedication to rehabilitation, and highlighting unique circumstances can help you distinguish yourself from others in the criminal justice system. This, in turn, will enable you to understand their expectations better and work towards a successful reintegration into society.

Your Narrative and Reentry Plan, along with your Allocution, sparked your Judges interest to speak with you and possibly reconsider the sentence.


Internal STAKEHOLDERS:

It’s essential to recognize that the criminal justice system comprises Internal STAKEHOLDERS. Your BOP Case Manager has restricted knowledge about you and can only collect information from your Indictment and PSR. Nonetheless, you have an opportunity to exhibit your unique circumstances and showcase your dedication to rehabilitation by creating your Narrative and Reentry Plan. This will not only help you distinguish yourself from STAKEHOLDERS but also assist you in comprehending their expectations and working towards a prosperous reintegration into society.

 

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 a earlier release date.

  •  To achieve your desired results, it’s crucial to take into account the goals and objectives of your stakeholders. It’s important to effectively communicate your efforts to reduce criminogenic needs and growth to your case manager, even though this may be difficult as they come into contact with numerous individuals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Although your case manager may document your progress in reducing criminogenic needs in their general file, it’s recommended that you keep your record or Reentry Plan. This will enable you to track your progress and identify areas for improvement. By adopting this approach, you will draw the attention of BOP staff and successfully reintegrate back into society and your home more quickly. However, it’s important to note that there are no guarantees.
  • Reading non-fiction books is a proven way to showcase personal growth. To develop this habit, you may consider setting up a regular delivery schedule from Amazon, receiving two books every 3-4 weeks. While reading, take note of the date, time, day, and any valuable insights or knowledge gained from the book. I listen to podcasts while driving and keep a tape recorder in the car to remember important points. I took notes on everything I studied to retain the information during my school days. You can also apply the same practice to your daily life to track your progress and accomplishments, which can motivate continued growth and success.

Before leaving The BOP, have you considered expressing gratitude to your Case Manager for all the knowledge you have gained? Doing so can leave a positive impression on stakeholders and may even help others achieve their goals. While success cannot be guaranteed, it is worth striving for in the long run. Reading books on various subjects, including biographies of famous people, art and art history, science, life skills, history, notable women in history, geology, and more, might even lead to a new career. If you enjoy painting, then go ahead and paint.

Halfway House Managers select pre-qualified inmates for successful reintegration into society based on recommendations from Case Managers who prioritize Reentry Plans and Incremental Improvement.


 

To date, all they know about you is what they have read in your INDICTMENT, which was not too flattering.

If You’re Not Satisfied With It ? ⇨ No, Let’s Rewrite Your Story – Your Narrative.

Show your STAKEHOLDERS.

You must first understand their “trigger points because they are seeing many people like you every day – how can you make yourself stand out?” Consider the following questions for each STAKEHOLDER:

  • What information do they expect to learn from me?
  • What is the best way to show them that I am different from everyone else they meet?
  • How can I best demonstrate that I am working toward changing my ways?

How To Communicate With Your STAKEHOLDERS.

  • Consider your stakeholder’s goals and objectives.
  • Show that you are working towards the desired outcomes by reducing your criminogenic needs, and be clear about them.
  • When you do this, you and your case managers will achieve mutually agreeable goals because they will get satisfaction from watching you grow and develop new habits while you prepare yourself for life after prison. Strive to create this “win-win” as you both will have something to be grateful for.

Your NARRATIVE should be included in your PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW, TO BE EMBEDDED INTO THE OFICIAL PRESENTENCE REPORT.

I) Your Narrative Is Your Story – or Autobiography,

This video covers why your Narrative is critical in your defense. Why? To date, the DOJ has published your Story or Autobiography in the form of your INDICTMENT, which was released everywhere across the net, and if you do nothing – that is what your Judge will read and assume is the gospel truth. If you don’t agree with 100% of your INDICTMENT, then you have a choice: to tell your story through Your Narrative. I hope this Video helps, and available for any questions.

Your Attorney: 1. Your attorney will learn more about your Biographical back story.

The Probation Officer: Following the interview and investigation, they will draft the official Presentence Report. Please take the time to proofread it with your attorney, in addition to practicing your Allocution.

The Prosecutor will still likely want to convict.

The Courts /Your Judge usually already has a sentence in mind. This is the 1st time the Judge gets to read your story or NARRATIVE. This could change their mind, in part depending on your conversation (Allocution), as Judges across the country agree, want to hear from the defendants because crimes do not happen in a vacuum.

This possibly opens the door for your ALLOCUTION. During the judge’s conversation with you, in addition to covering the points below, he/she may want to know, in the end,  your REENTRY PLAN or what you plan to do when you get out to not re-offend. A short but concise video.

During Your Allocution, Judges Look For,

  1. A sincere demeanor
  2. Discuss what “taking full responsibility” means to the defendant.
  3. An acknowledgment that there are victims (e.g., even when the PSR indicates “no identifiable victim,” as it does in most drug cases);
  4. A more impressive Allocution details how the defendant’s criminal conduct affected the victims.
  5. An expression of genuine remorse.
  6. A plan to use prison or probation time productively.
  7. A discussion of why the defendant wants to change his or her criminal behavior, perhaps most importantly, information that helps humanize the defendant and the defendant’s role in the crime.
  8. Tell their story, but don’t minimize the seriousness of what your client did.
  9. Judges will sometimes ask a defendant what he/she will do upon release to reduce their need to re-offend.
  10. Show his/her strengths and weaknesses.
  11. If you can show that you are on the same page with the court regarding the seriousness of the offense, the chances of accepting your other statements will increase.

II) Departure Factors (Woven into the Narrative)

E Factors:

E Factors refer to circumstances that may warrant a departure from the sentencing guidelines established by the United States Sentencing Commission. These factors include aspects of the offense or the offender’s background that the guidelines do not adequately consider. Some examples of E factors include:

  1. The defendant’s role in the offense
  2. The defendant’s criminal history
  3. The presence of substantial assistance provided by the defendant to law enforcement
  4. The defendant’s mental or physical condition
  5. The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility for the offense
  6. Any other relevant factor that justifies a departure from the guidelines

F Factors (Below Guideline Range Factors):

F Factors refer to circumstances that may justify imposing a sentence below the guideline range, even if a departure is not warranted. These factors are also considered under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and include:

  1. The nature and circumstances of the offense
  2. The history and characteristics of the defendant
  3. The sentence must reflect the offense’s seriousness, promote respect for the law, and provide just punishment.
  4. The need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.
  5. The need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.
  6. The need to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment.

III) Your Narrative will influence people you have not met in the BOP.

BOP Office of Designation, Grand Prairie, TX: As part of your Presentence Report, it will impact where they place you, yet you have never met them.

BOP Staff; Warden, Unit Team, Case Manager:

For case managers and unit teams, these are employees, and they see hundreds of inmates/people (if not thousands), so how can you differentiate yourself – demonstrate that you are staying out of trouble, doing your assigned job, attending FSA Classes, and doing other constructive work. Reading Non-Fiction, teaching a course, and documenting everything you do (these are ideas I learned from others). Are you an artist? That is important as long as you have constructive interest that can lead to a career after release.

There are not many ways in prison to demonstrate – Individual Personal Development, but these are my recommendations unless you have a better idea.

IV) REENTRY PLAN gives your judge insight into your efforts to not re-offend.


Release Planning should begin before your Presentence Interview if, for no other reason than at your Sentencing Hearing, your judge is going to ask you or will want to know what your plan is 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.

Going into more detail, with this as a starting point, I have divided the Release plan into ‘4’ Parts: 

a) is before your Presentence Interview (and is provided along with your Narrative to be woven into your Presentence Report), 

b) is before your Sentence Hearing (building and after giving more thought to your 1st Release Plan),

c) Once inside, here is where it grows – a lot, 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 and

d) The last part details the specifics of what you will be doing once released. This can be started by following this form developed by the MN Dept. of Corrections and The National Institute of Corrections Manual.’ All of this will, or should (as nothing is Guaranteed), make you appear as 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 you with some constructive insight.


1) You have already been prepared to offer to participate in the BOP Financial Responsibility Program if you have any financial penalty (i.e., Restitution).

2) You know of the FSA SPARC-13 Survey and would like to take the classes because you read about the criminogenic programs that could help you – if you were accepted.

3) Start Reading Non-Fiction Books where you have an interest, which will teach you something – possibly a second career. You can schedule yourself to receive 2 non-fiction books at a time, and then you are going to do the following for both the FSA Program Classes and the BOOK Reading,

  1. For the FSA Programs, you will document each day you take the class – what you learned – how you could use what you learned after release, and one aspect during that class where the teacher made a difference. 
    • Also, keeping your record acts as insurance in case 6 months after you take your FSA class, your case manager has no record of you being there – how do you defend yourself?
  2. For each book, you will write in the same softback journal-type notebook(from Amazon) what you felt you could incorporate into your life or a new career.
    • What do these two have in common for your case manager – Over Time? They Demonstrate Incremental Personal Development – What a Suprise and a Very Big Win.
  3. Continue journaling every contact with BOP Correction staff, Case Managers, and Unit Teams, Names, Dates, Times, and Topics, just for your records. For example, after each FSA class attended, keep your record of each class attended so that YOU HAVE YOUR Record to compare against the BOPs. Just to be safe. You want to get credit for each hour of Earned Time Credit you are entitled to. There are too many news articles where the BOP Autocalculation has Not Worked. If you have concerns, calmly take the time to ask your counselors or case manager why your Earned Time Credits are not Showing up. 
    • I am updating this June 2023. I read an article a while back about the new BOP Director Peters; TEN MONTHS IN, Colette Peters’s job HAS NOT GOTTEN EASIER. She faces many challenges as she diligently strives to right the ship/improve the system, and is being bucked along the way. After reading what Walter Pavlo wrote, my takeaway is that she is trying; the calculations will be done, even though some don’t like change. 
    • Try and stay strong; I am always available for questions, mostly 7/365.

4) RRC Manager (and BOP Staff; Unit Team, Case Manager)

When it’s time to be considered for Halfway House, your Case Manager Has Influence and is looking for,

    • INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS
    • Who’s Eligible – is this in your PSR
    • Who Has No Infractions
    • Your Reentry Plan has grown quite a bit from before your Presentence Interview.  All of this is good, even if it doesn’t work out.

The Residential Reentry Center (RRC) Manager has to consider,

  • Limited bed space
  • They’ll look for those who will succeed –  that will make them look good!
  • Depends on the BOP Case Manager’s Input regarding the inmate’s entire file.
  • The RRC Managers also want to show that they release successful persons from their RRC, successfully back into their communities and not back into The BOP.
  • After, you may transition to supervised release.

The Probation Officer. During Supervised Release and Home Confinement, will essentially get a biographical update of you before they meet you by reviewing your entire file, including your PSR and everything that has transpired since you were first incarcerated.


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

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

-Marc Blatstein

We are not Attorneys; you need Legal Representation.

FACING A FEDERAL INDICTMENT, FOLLOW THESE STEPS.

THE DOJ HAS A 98% ⚖️CONVICTION RATE 

YOU’VE BEEN INDICTED AND FACING PRISON

NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO GIVE UP

Admiral William H. McRaven, rising to become the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations commander, masterminded the successful special ops raid on Osama bin Laden in 2011. His experiences hold for any challenging situation, including those facing federal indictments and temporary imprisonment.

His Lessons to Live By, inspired by leaders from Mandela to a young girl in Pakistan, Malala, should leave you with hope. Take 15 Minutes and watch this video; it may change your Life, To – “NEVER GIVE UP.”

#10. ADMIRAL McRaven: LESSONS TO NEVER GIVE UP



Did the FBI  wake you at 6 a.m. this morning with their search warrant?

Yes, which of these below applies to you?

  • Were you involved in PPP or other Loan Frauds?
  • As a physician, was encountering the FBI unexpected?
  • Have you heard rumors that the authorities have been asking questions?
  • You’ve worked in business or government – have things suddenly changed?
  • Are you dealing with federal charges after all the years of hard work you’ve put into building your business?
  • Were issues related to legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, gambling, or other factors contributing to your charge?

‘First,’ you need Legal Representation – we are not Lawyers.


If you have heard rumors that the FBI has been asking questions or if you’ve received a Target Letter, you have run out of time and need legal representation. Listen to my video below, as this was how it started for me.

Unfortunately, worrying won’t help you or change your current events. It didn’t for me.

It’s decision time: do you go to Trial or Plea?

  • Trials are expensive and involve hours of discovery, not counting the trial itself. At hundreds to thousands of dollars per hour – understand that by the time you learn that the DOJ is knocking at your door, their Case is Mostly Complete, and their Conviction Rate is 98%, so you may want to ask your attorney; how many cases like yours they have taken to trial (or appeal) and won.
    • Unfortunately, our justice system is far from perfect, and just feeling that you are innocent (and You May BE INNOCENT) may not be enough. That said – if your case is strong – go to trial. But all is not lost, even if you lose.
    • Do not alienate to judge, because even with a guilty verdict, you can regroup, and prepare for a successful Presentence Interview.
  • A Plea will save you money in legal bills and possibly help at sentencing because the prosecutor won’t have to spend as much time preparing for a trial. Whether you elect to go to Trial or Plea, what you do next will impact your future.
  • Preparation for your Presentence Interview needs to include your Story (Autobiography or Your Personal Narrative), a Release Plan, and your Allocution. Should you feel that you may be too nervous to speak in court, (your conversation with your Judge), you can provide your Allocution in written or Video format before your PSI. You are also allowed to bring written notes into court with you. Why? Because judges have been interviewed, and they want to hear from you, the defendant, for many reasons,

1) They want to believe you’ve Accepted Responsibility for your actions.
2) They want to see that you have Remorse for the Pain you have inflicted on your Victims.
3) They understand crimes do not happen in a vacuum – what happened in your life that caused you to break the law?
4) What is your plan (Your Release Plan) not to return to their courtroom?
5) Were there other ramifications, such as losing your professional license to practice in a career you love?
6) Provided in written form is good, and accompanied by a short video is another great option that could be cheaply done on a smartphone.
7) Have you always provided community service or volunteered in your community – if so, talk about it and ask for Character letters for verification.


 

Attorneys know the law, but the nuances of navigating through Federal Prison aren’t part of a traditional legal defense. Are You Ready To Advocate For Yourself and Participate in Your Defense?

 

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

-Marc Blatstein

Sentencing mitigation requires a unique set of knowledge and skills that are of interest to both a) those facing prison and b) those who are responsible for preparing defendants to reenter society as law-abiding citizens.


PREPARATION AND KNOWLEDGE: THE 5 STEPS YOU NEED TO IMPLEMENT

1. YOUR DEFENSE
2. YOUR PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW (PSI): PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED
3. YOUR NARRATIVE AND ALLOCUTION
4. YOUR SENTENCING HEARING
5. YOUR RELEASE PLAN

1. YOUR DEFENSE 

  • Finding an experienced criminal defense lawyer is crucial when dealing with federal charges. The Department of Justice has a high conviction rate, so deciding on going to trial or plea should be carefully considered with your attorney. If the decision is “Trial,” ask your attorney how many cases like yours they have taken to trial – and won. Remember, the DOJ has a 98% Conviction Rate, meaning they usually don’t lose.
  • PROMISES AND GUARANTEES – DON’T LISTEN. Even if you have the Best Legal Team, and they tell you they have worked out an agreement with your Prosecutor for a Lessor Sentence Than The Guidelines, Be Grateful, and get it in writing.
    * Remember, Now Is Not The Time To Relax As Your Judge has Not Guaranteed, 100%, Reducing Your Sentence; Before Your Sentencing Hearing. Continue Your Preparation until the very end.
  • Properly preparing for your Presentence Interview is your next step and is critical for your future. Have you thought about what it entails?

2. YOUR PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW (PSI): PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED

a) YOUR PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW (PSI) – IT IS THAT IMPORTANT: Here, all your Personal Identification and Biographical Background information (proofread for accuracy) is provided to your Probation Officer. It is recommended that you include Your Personal NARRATIVE and Release Plan. WHY?

 

YOUR NARRATIVE INCLUDED IN YOUR PRESENTENCE REPORT – WILL HELP HUMANIZE YOU TO YOUR JUDGE.

    • Everything should be provided to your Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before your Interview. This will result in a less stressful interview day as the officer already knows your background and can take the time to get to know you personally. Asking any remaining questions they may have, they may come away with a more positive view of who you are.
    • The Probation Officer next drafts your OFFICIAL PRESENTENCE REPORT.

b) THE PRESENTENCE REPORT CONTROLS YOUR FUTURE – MEDICAL CARE:
(1) MEDICATION AVAILABILITY: This is important, and attention should be paid to the BOP Generic Drug List (Formulary) for availability as it is online – because this is All There Is. After surrendering, you do not want to learn your medications are different or unavailable.  Non-Formulary or Not Available medications must be addressed with your physician before your Presentence Interview, and should the need arise, these issues should be addressed and solved before your interview date.

(2) MEDICAL: This, too, is important. Why? A recent article noted: (1) 1 IN 4 INMATE DEATHS HAPPENED IN THE SAME PRISON. Being proactive includes providing a comprehensive medical history long before the Presentence Interview, and you set foot in prison. If you need another excuse to act, (2) October 10, 2022, Judge Holds Federal Bureau of Prisons in Contempt for Allowing Man To Waste Away From Untreated Cancer.

    • When providing medical care to individuals with unique medical conditions in the Bureau of Prisons (BOP), it is crucial to have your comprehensive medical history prepared and documented before your Interview date, including all medical records.
    • This includes reports of surgeries (including pathology reports), diagnostic X-rays, CT, MRI, ultrasounds, EEGs, EKGs, and PET scans (Reports and tests on CD or Flash Drives). All recent blood tests, prescriptions (Drugs and Medical Devices), hospital records, and treatment plans from their treating physician.

This provides you with the ‘best chances’ of getting appropriate care; it is essential to gather all relevant contact information for your current treating physicians, including their names, phone numbers, email, and addresses. 

    • Preparing thoroughly for The Presentence Interview is advisable, especially if any concerns about medical care come from the patient, their attorney, or the treating physician. Doing this in advance makes it possible to plan strategically and ensure the patient/defendant is in the best position to receive the necessary care during their time in the BOP. This is urgently recommended in an age where staffing shortages in all areas exist, extending into medical providers in The BOP Federal Medical Centers.
    • I keep adding: No Guarantees – because there are none regarding all aspects of your life once incarcerated. Your best defense is being prepared before and for your Presentence Interview, which includes appointing someone you trust with Power of Attorney. Should you discover that the BOP is not, or cannot provide, the medical care you need, it’s time to involve the court, your attorney, and those attorneys representing the BOP, per their policy statement (#9). If there are concerns before your Interview – begin that process today.
    • Why? If you ever need a second opinion while in prison, this could take up to 36 months (or more) if this is even allowed. Second, the Clinical Director of your facility is not required to follow the Specialist’s Recommendations regarding your medical care. Having your Past Medical History included could make the difference. Again, there are no guarantees, but the last option is The Administrative Remedy Process to fall back on.

(3) SENTENCING: This is your first opportunity to meet and speak with your Judge. By this point, the Judge already knows all about you from your INDICTMENT and likely has a sentence in mind. Your only hope of changing their mind is by helping your Judge understand Who You Are – and this can be done by writing your NARRATIVE and RELEASE PLAN and including them in your Presentence Report, which is now under seal.

Including Your NARRATIVE, Personal Identification, and Biographical Background information to your Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before your Presentence Interview, will help prepare you for your ALLOCUTION.

c) MAKING YOUR BOP PLACEMENT REQUEST is a 3-step simple process. To assist you in presenting a strong placement request to the court, please download our sample BOP (Bureau of Prisons) Placement Request Packet. We include programs specifically designed to support the successful placement and rehabilitation of the defendant. By providing this information to the court, you can demonstrate a clear plan for your client’s rehabilitation and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. 👉 FPC Alderson.

d) AS A LICENSED PROVIDER, I have 30+ years of personal experience in healthcare, along with how medical care is delivered in prison due to my felony conviction in 2006 when I was incarcerated. With the support of colleagues, my medical license was reinstated in 2010, and several years later, I transitioned from patient care, taking what I have learned to provide Preparation and Knowledge to those facing the reality of federal prison.

    • I want to ease your concerns and answer all of the questions you and your loved ones have as you go through this life-altering event together. With Preparation and the Knowledge that prison is temporary, you will be best positioned, knowing what to expect when entering and the work you’ll need to do to help expedite your release. At the same time, it’s important to remember that the BOP holds the final decision-making power in this process. Therefore, neither I nor any attorney, consultant, or mitigation expert can guarantee any specific outcome.

3. YOUR NARRATIVE AND ALLOCUTION

Navigating through Federal Prison is not usually part of a traditional legal defense. This requires a unique set of knowledge and skills after a guilty verdict or plea and is of interest to your STAKEHOLDERS. Specifically, the NARRATIVE, ALLOCUTION, and RELEASE PLAN are of interest to your judge and the other STAKEHOLDERS you haven’t yet met. Are you prepared?


4. YOUR SENTENCING HEARING

In addition to your legal defense, are you prepared to meet your Judge, and if so, what are you planning to say? Have you read your attorney’s Sentencing Memorandum? Is your NARRATIVE and just a few Character Letters attached? Are you and your legal team prepared to make the 3-point BOP Placement Request?


 

5. YOUR RELEASE PLAN

Your plans to reenter your life take on serious meaning the closer you get to your release date. What was your plan, if any? Can you retire as you’re financially set for your remaining years, or do you have to co-parent or care for a family member? Do you have a plan once released, to ease yourself back into the workforce? Unfortunately, most had no plan, and that can be a humbling experience.

This is where the idea of Creating a Release Plan comes from, and though it starts small before your Presentence Interview – as it’s put to paper, it evolves. Mine looked more like a drunken sailor when I started; I was taking daily notes in Pensacola Camp, thinking about this type of work – but mostly thinking about my appeal (silly as the majority fail) and my wondering if I would ever practice again. I never considered arriving at my court date only to have my appeal denied and then be resentenced – I just assumed that the judge would say yes or no. Who Knew?

This is a longer story; my license to practice was reinstated in 2010, and for the rest, call me.


Contact me if you need recommendations for attorneys who practice Federal Criminal Defense and have experience in Federal Court. These should be attorneys with experience in cases like yours and empathy for your stress.


 

This video is for you. If you received a Target letter invitation to speak to a Grand Jury – get Legal Representation first. For a federal crime, it is best to have an attorney who practices federal criminal defense, having had cases similar to yours, and practices in federal court. It sounds obvious, except for those unfortunate few who just wing it.

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


Your Judge Already Knows 
The DOJ wants you in Jail.
The Prosecutor wants to convict you.
Your Attorney is paid to keep you out of prison.

Judges Also Know That Crimes Aren’t Committed In A Vacuum.
This is Your Opportunity to Help Your Judge Understand Who You Are: Allocutions Are Not Meaningless

Federal Judge Mark Bennett is among many judges who agree with 👉 incorporating your Personal Narrative into your Presentence Report. This will enable the court to understand your background and the factors that led you to commit the offense – without making excuses for your actions.

It is crucial to take responsibility for your actions, express genuine regret for the harm caused to your victims, and speak humbly from the heart during your court appearance. To help your judge understand who you are, refer to the Personal Narrative in your Presentence Report. I recommend watching my video (below) for further guidance on communicating your story and showing remorse effectively.

Are You Prepared Today – To Speak To Your Judge?

Speaking from the heart could influence the courts and impact your sentence – for the BETTER. On the other hand, if you are not prepared, it may be best not to say anything. 


Do You Feel Prepared For Your Presentence  Interview? Have You Picked The Right Attorney – For You? Are You Comfortable (Nervous Is OK) To Speak With Your Judge at Sentencing?

 

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

-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, some staff will genuinely care about you and their job, while others look at you as a number. The only person who can control Your Reactions and Emotions  Is You.


Don’t let this be a missed opportunity!

PPRSUS is here to help.

Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/ngu.donaldtong/?ref=pexels