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SENTENCING. THE NARRATIVE, ALLOCUTION AND YOUR JUDGE. ARE YOU READY?

I) YOUR NARRATIVE

HUMANIZE YOURSELF TO YOUR JUDGE
THE DOJ HAS ALREADY TOLD YOUR STORY THROUGH YOUR INDICTMENT
A WELL-WRITTEN NARRATIVE IS THE STORY THAT SHARES YOUR LIFE HISTORY: ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY AND REMORSE FOR THE VICTIMS HARMED

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, your judge will read and assume 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. I’m available to answer any questions.

This 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: Besides your charges, they will learn more about who you are. This 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?

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

If your attorney doesn’t want your Narrative, this is ‘Your Life’—You Decide.
Insist that they include it In Your PSR,

“I’m not saying it; this is from Federal Judge Mark Bennett.”
But if you cower to the attorney’s wishes – Regrets after sentencing can’t help you.


Title 18, Section 3553, states 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.


DOWARD DEPARTURE Factors/Variances (Woven into the Narrative or Memorandum)

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Conviction and Restoration of Rights: News, Commentary, and Tools



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 a current treating therapist exists, 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. There is a need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.
    5. The public needs to be protected from further crimes the defendant commits.
    6. The defendant must receive educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment.

II) Your NARRATIVE: Influences STAKEHOLDERS You Haven’t Met Yet.

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.
          • If you have already graduated from college or graduate school or built a successful business, consider teaching a course and giving 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) Your ALLOCUTION.

Developes from your Narrative. During the judge’s conversation with you, in addition to covering the points below, he/she may want to know your plan is not to return to their courtroom.  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 sometimes ask defendants what they will do to reduce their need to re-offend upon release.
    10. Show his/her strengths and weaknesses.
    11. If you can show that you and the court agree on the seriousness of the offense, the chances of the court accepting your other statements will increase.

 


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


3/28/2024, Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years. When You Don’t Accept Responsibility, and Have No Remorse for Victims You’ve Harmed.

Judge Kaplan went on to say that,

    1. Bankman-Fried repeatedly committed perjury and witness tamperring.
    2. “This man could do something very bad in the future, and it’s not a trivial risk at all.”

The two things that SBF should have done,

    1. Accept Responsibility – Don’t Blame ‘Others.’
    2. Express Remorse – Judge Kaplan said he expressed “never a word of remorse for the commission of terrible crimes.”

The current CEO of FTX, John Ray, noted that “Mr. Bankman-Fried continues to live a life of delusion.” 

My Comments,

    1. Was there ever a moment when his legal team encouraged him to accept responsibility and express remorse for the victims harmed?
    2. Video or written, with or without mental health professionals working to bring out the story of his life, at the same time, answering the How and What happened as this event exploded out of control.
    3. While their sentencing memorandum was well-written, most of it should have been written by SBF, if for no other reason than Judges are paid to say nice things about the defendant. This may have been reflected in a better sentence – No Guarantees. 
    4. SBF’s 25-year sentence will age him two years for every year incarcerated.

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 NARRATIVE📜 May Help Your Judge🤞Mitigate Their Sentencing Decision

YOUR NARRATIVE YOUR STORY,

Provided 1-2 Weeks Before The PSI; Helps The Judge Know ‘You’, MayMitigate Their Sentencing Decision

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), which is then provided to their Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before their Presentence Interview. The narrative 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 – based on that same INDICTMENT. See this short video about 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 M. Bennett on the importance of  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, leaving the interview where your client appears to be 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

      • 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

      • 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 ten good ones) that Attest to their Character,
      • Show what your client is doing today to change and improve themselves 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 HEALTHInclude 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.

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.

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.

Contact Us ☎️ OUR SERVICE

CONTACT,

My cell is best so we can promptly connect to discuss your current issue or that of a loved one – without any financial obligation: ☎️ 240.888.7778. If I cannot pick up – please leave a message, as I return all calls. 

I want to deliver a service that exceeds your expectations, has your confidence, and earns your trust. Listen to my commentary on an article I co-published in The Federal Lawyer regarding The Critical Role of The Presentence Report (PSR) and how it relates to preparing for your Presentence Interview. The video below includes my narration and comments.

If you are incarcerated, please only contact me through Trulinks.

     

    MY MISSION

    1. SENTENCE MITIGATION AND PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW PREPARATION. HOW?
    2. THROUGH A WELL-WRITTEN PERSONAL NARRATIVE AND RELEASE PLAN.
    3. PREPARATION AND KNOWLEDGE REDUCE FEARS AND RESTORE CONFIDENCE. HOW?
    4. BY LEARNING WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ENTER PRISON.
    5. EARLY RELEASE POSSIBLE THROUGH CONSTRUCTIVE PERSONAL GROWTH.
    6. NO ONE CAN GUARANTEE WHAT THE JUDGE OR BOP WILL DO.

    • The prison experience is nothing like the movies or TV, and you will be OK.
    • As the reality sets in, the idea of losing your Professional License (or losing the only skill you’ve known) can be overwhelming, as “this is all I know,” and some depression may follow. Left unchecked, this could develop into panic and poor decision-making.
    • As prison is temporary, what is your plan once released because you will be released? Some sentenced to life have worked on their Personal Development and Education, ultimately earning their release.
    • To break the depression loop, → Change your focus.
      • You need Legal Representation, but it should be a good fit.
      • An attorney who was a former prosecutor doesn’t always mean they’ll be a great Criminal Defense Attorney – they may be, but how will you know? Ask questions, and don’t be shy.
      • Federal Defenders (for a federal case) could be better than the most expensive attorney, and the only way you’ll find out – is by asking questions.

    SUCCESSFUL COMPASSIONATE RELEASE – DESPITE QUESTIONABLE LAWYERING.

    2.5 Year Sentence; Out In 5.5 Months

     

    A Sentencing Guideline: 109 – 134 Months, Actual Sentence: 84 Months

     

    Not a Guarantee or Promise. I’ll Do My Best. You’ll Still Need Legal Representation.


    EARLY RELEASE → STARTS WITH PREPARATION, KNOWLEDGE, AND SELF-ADVOCACY.

    • Did you ever expect your future to include prison? No, it’s not an overreach to suggest staying out of trouble once inside – please keep this in mind.
      • Why? There will be illegal iPhones there, and at some point, you may be lonely, and a cellmate may offer theirs to you to call home – don’t. All phones eventually get found, and if a phone number from your “Contact List” is on that phone, it could be another charge, and you may lose all of your Good Time and Earned Time Credits – at a minimum. At worst, you could be transferred to another prison, and it’s not worth it.
    • The food is ok,  just not great, but it should not be your 1st question.
      • Invest in Your Personal Growth through Constructive Activities that may Provide Reasons for Early Release.
      • Your ego and ‘controlling attitude’ needs to be left at home. This experience will humble even the most arrogant.
      • If you have a running business, you cannot participate in its activity from prison in any manner, albeit by email, letters, or phone, but there are things to know…
    • Working with your defense team, you’ve provided all the information required to your Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before your Interview.
      • You want to deliver Comprehensive and Accurate files that make up your entire history – Have you done this?
    • We will take all the time you need so that you and your family know,
      • What to Expect – In Prison, and then What To Expect Day 1, so that you will be prepared once inside (as to what to and not to do).
      • This builds confidence before you enter federal prison and will also be a stress reliever for your family.
      • Our support can continue while you’re inside and after.

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

    -Marc Blatstein

    PHYSICIAN PRESENTENCE REPORT SERVICE LLC

     

    Violence In Prison (Camps)

    Hello, and thank you for tuning into my video series “Indicted and Facing Prison: Now What?” My name is Marc Blatstein. In 2006, I was indicted and convicted of a felony, which led to me losing my medical license. This was a life-altering event, to say the least. However, with hard work, I managed to get my license reinstated. Remember, prison is temporary.

    The information in this series and on PPRSUS.com (and PPRSUS Resources) is readily accessible and completely Free to all.

    FIRST – VIOLENCE IN CAMPS IS VERY RARE FOR MANY REASONS, BUT IT CAN HAPPEN

    When dealing with violence, it is crucial to empower yourself by prioritizing respect. Respect is a universal value, forming the bedrock of positive interactions. Always ask permission before sitting on someone else’s bed or borrowing anything. It is empowering to return items in the same condition as you received them and to avoid owing anyone money. These simple actions can help create a harmonious and respectful environment for everyone.

    The repercussions of getting into trouble in a satellite or federal prison camp are severe. You could face additional charges, be transferred to a higher-security prison, and lose all your earned time credits (ETC) and good time credit (GTC).

    While not frequent, they do occur.

    o   Derek Chauvin (stabbed), 47, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd

    o   A federal prison inmate who was able to obtain a firearm at a prison camp in Arizona pulled out the gun in a visitation area and attempted to shoot a visitor

    During your trial or plea, you may have felt that you are not guilty. It’s important to remember that there are many innocent people in prison, as well as too many people incarcerated in the US.

    For those who believe they are innocent and are fighting through an appeal, I recommend asking your attorney how many appeals they have won, either at the appeal level or before going to trial. It’s important to note that the Department of Justice has a close to 95-98% conviction rate, making the odds of winning very low. Speaking from personal experience, I lost my appeal, and the judge sent me back to prison for another year and a day. It was a difficult experience.

    “If you’ve realized that, while you may have believed in your innocence, some aspects of the charges were indeed accurate, no matter how minor, it’s important to focus on what you can influence by sharing with your legal counsel and writing your Narrative and Release Plan, letting the rest to unfold naturally.”

    If you have not yet prepared a well-thought-out Personal Narrative for your pre-sentence interview and sentencing hearing or have not created a Release Plan, it’s never too late to include these crucial steps.

    These are crucial for the judge, the court, and the correction staff (warden, case managers, and unit team). They need to see that you take responsibility, feel remorse for the victims you have harmed and can tell your life story. Failing to do so means that the Department of Justice has already shared your story with the world through your indictment, and it may not paint you in a positive light.

    Wiser individuals than I have said, using their example,

    • If you think there’s life after prison and release, You’re Right,

    But,

    • If you feel there’s no life after prison and release, You’re Also Right.

    “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

    I never knew this to be true because I felt I couldn’t fail, but trust me when I say that I initially took minimum wage jobs before reinstating my medical license.

    So, we all go through this: Now that you’re in prison, and if you’re lucky, before your pre-sentence interview and sentence, if you’ve had a change of heart regarding your charge, this was the perfect time to take ownership of the crime. What does this mean? It’s never too late to regain your soul.

    Judges understand that crimes don’t occur in a vacuum. Attorneys are paid to keep you out of prison. The Department of Justice wants a conviction, no matter what it takes. The Prosecutor wants prison time because they believe you are responsible for all the world’s sins, and they may even have political aspirations.

    Judges aim to comprehend the reasoning behind your actions. However, they are also skilled at detecting falsehoods, which can negatively affect you during your discussions with the court.

    Remember that judges from across the country unanimously agree that your narrative, release plan, acceptance of responsibility, and demonstration of remorse for the harmed victims can significantly influence the scales of justice in your favor.

    Call me Today at 240.888.7778 to engage my services or have your concerns answered. This is my Cell phone number, and I personally answer and return all calls.

    You can also get additional information on my website: PPRSUS.com.

    SELF-SURRENDERING? DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO BRING, WHERE YOU SHOULD GO?

    In this YouTube video, I cover what you can bring when you self-surrender. The optimal time is before noon and then before 4 p.m. In the weeks before, there is additional planning, which I cover below.

     

    ENSURE A SMOOTHER PROCESS IN AND OUT, BEFORE AND AFTER YOU SURRENDER 

    1. Verify with all parties that the receiving facility has received all the required judge’s orders for your arrival before you get there, 18 U.S.C. § 3621(c).
      • If you arrive before your judge’s orders (no matter how rare that may be), you may find yourself being placed in an Isolation Cell, and now that they have you, they’re not likely to let you go.
      • If we have prepared you, your orders will be there, and you’ll have books to read soon, which should take the edge off if they keep you in Isolation for several days.
    2. If you’re ultimately designated to a ‘satellite’ camp, know you must present yourself to the adjacent, ‘higher’ secure facility – not the satellite camp. If you’re going to a Free-Standing Federal Prison Camp (FPC), No Worries, you will not face most of these challenges.
      • Also, know that at the higher secure facility, you will likely see prisoners in handcuffs and shackles, guards with long guns, guard towers, etc., so just an FYI.
      • Being prepared is essential—this is not a time for surprises. Clients deal with the emotional aspects of “prison” in their own way, especially if it’s their first time.
    3. Once inside, you will be screened and given a change of clothes. The clothes and peripherals they came with will be boxed and mailed to your ‘legal residence.’ You’ll also have to strip, squat, and cough.
    4. The copies (or originals) of your birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and social security card will all be kept and returned to you at the time of your release.
      • If you store them somewhere, know who is holding them and where they are.
    5. What Not to do while you’re there,
      • No Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling, or Sex with Inmates or Staff.
      • When you first arrive, keep a low profile until you understand the prison world better; look for someone like you.
      • No chit-chat, casual talking to guards.
      • Don’t be an informant.
      • Don’t use anyone’s Cell Phone.
      • It’s normal to be apprehensive at first.
      • Emails and USPS letters are read, and calls are monitored (Never do a 3-Way Call)
      • Don’t use someone else’s medications.
      • The TV Room is mostly under others’ control – don’t change the channel if others watch TV.
      • Don’t miss the counts. Find out where the Call-Out Sheet is and look at it daily for your name.
      • Be Respectful to other inmates, their personal space (don’t just sit on a person’s bed – ask permission), and staff.
    6. Be aware that banks and different investment, mortgage, and other loan companies may elect to close your accounts due to your criminal charge(s).
    7. Case Managers will be looking for Personal Growth and Development in addition to your taking the First Step Act (FSA) Programs. Keep a record of your activities and conversations with BOP Staff because like insurance –you don’t realize you need it until You Do.
    8. Reading Books (Non-Fiction) for Personal Growth,
      • Amazon sells cheap paperback journals with lined pages, but they will also need writing inside because the BOP may not let in blank pages. These can be inspirational quotes, religious, or anything else, but something is necessary.
      • Constructive Learning. Whatever you are interested in—art, History, Famous people, Banking, Real estate, or painting or drawing—do that.
      • Now The Journal. Every day, start a routine for yourself once you get inside. Every day, write what you’ve done,
        • You’ve taken an FSA Class [note the day, time, class name and find something that you learned],
        • Note every conversation you had with a correction officer (BOP Staff), just in case…
        • Once you start reading BOOKS (Non-Fiction), again [note the day, time, book, and find something that you learned and may want to implement later].
        • As you document your journey, this is also Building your Release Plan
      • You’ve been educated to the max as a Ph.D., Doctor, Lawyer, Scientist, etc., so consider teaching a class to inspire those around you.
    9. Reputation Management. Create a website for yourself before you surrender, and then email home everything you’re doing to rebuild your life. So far, all that is there is your INDICTMENT, and Reputation Management Companies don’t hold up in the long run. I’ve paid for one, and it hasn’t held up. Your daily log of your activities is a great starting point.
    10. Once you enter the BOP, this is another Planet. Frustration and Disappointment are to be expected and will test you to your core.
      • Don’t vent your frustrations to your unit team and case managers; you will only worsen things for yourself. This period is Temporary for you, but for the BOP Staff, it is their job; they are here every day and have heard every complaint. Please stay under their radar and don’t get the reputation of a complainer.
    11. When you first arrive, as soon as you can get to a computer, take your first SPARC 13 Assessment Questions. You may still be offered programs without it, but you will not get any credit.
    12. Cancel all subscriptions to everything unless someone will be paying those fees.
    13. Credit Cards – Card Lock: What It Does, Who Offers It, How to Use It 
      • Credit card companies call the feature different names, often using “lock” or “freeze.” To initiate or cancel an immediate lock, use your card issuer’s mobile app or log in to your online account to activate an on-off switch. Many debit card accounts also feature a lock.
      • New charges and cash advances will be denied when you lock a card. However, recurring autopayments, such as subscriptions and monthly bills charged to the card, will continue to go through. Typically, so will bank fees, returns, credits, interest, and rewards. Transactions that occurred before locking the card are unaffected.
      • Check with your issuer or its website to determine whether you have a card lock and exactly how yours works. Locks work differently depending on the card issuer.
      • Many issuers have added this feature in recent years; check yours. Here is a sampling,
        1. American Express freeze
        2. Barclays SecurHold™
        3. Capital One Card Lock
        4. Chase lock/unlock
        5. Citi Quick Lock
        6. Discover Freeze it®
        7. Wells Fargo Control Tower

     

    WHAT YOU CAN BRING: (P5580.08)

    1. Wedding band, Bible, under $100.
    2. Bring verification if you have had all your Flu and COVID vaccines and boosters.
    3. Prescriptions for Medical Devices and Medications (2-3 weeks recommended; at worst, they are thrown out); at best, they are available for use. When surrendering on weekends or holidays, the BOP may allow these to be used if not available from their on-site pharmacy. Medical devices and glasses (that are not made with metal) are all allowed and should be referenced in your Presentence Report.
    4. ID: birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and social security card. Copies or originals: It depends on how long your sentence is, and whether you will remember where and who holds your document originals.
    5. Cash may or may not be allowed, but you can try $320 ($370 in November and December). Otherwise, use either Money Gram or Western Union, as the funds will be deposited within hours.
    6. Legal papers (not your PSR) can include your Medical File and personal contact list. List of personal names (including phone numbers and addresses). Type on the back of a page from your court case and put it in an envelope labeled ‘Legal’ to take with you when you self-surrender.
    7. Schedule your list of books you’d like to read to start being sent (2 at a time/ month) 2 days before your arrival, lasting most of your pre-calculated stay.
    8. Don’t arrive at lunchtime.
    9. Present to the higher security facility if you expect a satellite camp.
    10. Speeding is sometimes understood at three mph over the limit when driving to surrender.
    11. Arrive early.

     

    WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SURRENDER?

    1. Learn what prison you have been designated to, then ensure they expect you. Did your court paperwork arrive? Are you listed on the BOP website?
    2. If it’s a Satellite Camp – You Surrender to the Higher Facility or Prison.
    3. While the Higher Secure Prison may house Violent Persons, you will not (Should Not) be interacting with them.
    4. You will Interact with the staff, and as they deal with Violent persons (or higher security persons), their attitude toward you may reflect the same harshness.
    5. …in other words, it won’t be a warm welcome or warm first impression.
    6. Bring actual or copies of your Driver’s License, Social Security Card, Medical File, prescriptions for your Medications, and Medical Device, if applicable.
    7. If you had a court-ordered penalty (i.e., Restitution), Paid it in Full, bring Proof. If you do not have proof, contact your attorney ASAP to get that to you before you Surrender. Next, once you have proof that you do not have any court-ordered payment responsibilities, you can keep any amount of money in your Trust or Commissary account.
    8. Sending Money: Western Union is $3 – $500, MoneyGram is $300, Max, and BOP Lockbox is any amount.
    9. Wedding Band, Religious Neckless; Max value of $100 is permitted. No stones.
    10. Release Plan, Phone Contact list (No Color, Not Double Sided): Bring it saying that you read online that this was important, and I wanted to give it to my Case Manager. You can also mail it to yourself that day [no more than three pages per envelope]).
    11. The soonest early release is after you’ve served 25% of your time.
    12. The 1st Case Manager meeting is within 30 Days.
    13. If you’re going to a Satellite Minimum Camp, after being screened and boxing your clothes to be sent home by the BOP, expect to be put into an isolation cell. This could take hours or days for various reasons—just don’t be surprised. If you have already set up the books on a schedule, you may get them today or tomorrow.

    THINGS TO UNDERSTAND AND PREPARE FOR BEFORE YOUR SURRENDER – POSSIBLY LEADING TOWARD EARLY RELEASE

    I. Compassionate Release – What is this?

    II. RDAP: What is this, and do I Qualify?

    III. Your Reentry/Release Plan – Is this Important? What is this?

    IV. FSA—How does it work? What is this? In this video, I review how to successfully implement The First Step Act (FSA).

     

    V. Case Managers, what power do they have over me, and who are they—what do they do?

    VI. Who should you tell the prison to call in case of an Emergency?

    VII. What are the BOP policies for phone calls, email, and personal Contacts, and how do you get money for the commissary?

    VIII. Do you have a business that will be running while you are in prison? What can and can’t you do?

    IX. Understand Your Medical Needs—Is your healthcare available? This is a big deal. Yes, you can get Surgical Second Opinions, and there may be a 1-3 year wait to get an appointment. After the medical second opinion consult reaches your medical team, the BOP is under no obligation to follow it.

    X. Financial Considerations

      • Banks, Power of Attorney, and what they have in common.
      • You have a court-ordered Financial Penalty, so understand its impact on your life in prison and release date.

    XI. Did you learn why your Judge wants to learn about you? Because they know that Crimes Do Not Occur in a Vacuum;

      • Narrative,
      • Allocution,
      • Reentry/Release Plan
      • Letters That Attest To Your Character
      • Are you Prepared?

    VI. Who should you tell the prison to call in case of an Emergency?

    VII. What are the BOP policies for phone calls, email, and personal Contacts, and how do you get money for the commissary?

    VIII. Do you have a business that will be running while you are in prison? What can and can’t you do?

    IX. Understand Your Medical Needs—Is your healthcare available? This is a big deal. Yes, you can get Surgical Second Opinions, and there may be a 1-3 year wait to get an appointment. After the medical second opinion consult reaches your medical team, the BOP is under no obligation to follow it.

    X. Financial Considerations

      • Banks, Power of Attorney, and what they have in common. 
      • You have a court-ordered Financial Penalty, so understand its impact on your life in prison and release date.

    XI. Did you know that your Judge wants to learn about you because Crimes Do Not Occur in a Vacuum;

      • Narrative,
      • Allocution,
      • Reentry/Release Plan
      • Letters That Attest To Your Character
      • Are you Prepared?


    WHY A RELEASE PLAN?

    THIS IS ALL ABOUT PREPARATION; YOU WILL BE GOING HOME ONE DAY
    SUCCESS IS A MENTAL PROACTIVE DECISION – THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT

    I’m here to help you navigate through What You are Going To Encounter – Because I’ve Been Where You Are Now And Understand Your Fears.


    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.