For Attorneys

“It’s surprising how many otherwise competent attorney’s ‘punt’ at the sentencing hearing.” *

What federal judges look for at sentencing
  • Humanize your client.
  • Good ellocution can cause a Judge to impose a lower sentence.
  • Tell us their story, but don’t minimize the seriousness of what your client did.
  • Judge Rice said he will often ask a defendant what he/she is going to do upon release from prison to determine whether he/she is likely to reoffend.
  • Show his/her strengths and weaknesses. If you can show that you are on the same page with the court as to the seriousness of the offense, the chances of having your other statements accepted will increase.
  • When asked which of the cases coming before them they find most challenging, judges agreed: predatory child sexual offenders who have harmed children and white-collar criminals who have harmed vulnerable people.
  • All judges agreed they would rather hear from your client during the sentencing hearing, unless you have new information not contained in your sentencing memorandum and other submissions
MUST READ: The Federal Lawyer (September 2017), by Alan Ellis

PPRS Prison Match™ helps *

  1. Reduces the time, expense and effort needed in preparing your clients Presentence Report, while
  2. Helping in preparation for the sentencing hearing.

The cost of proper research and organization of these PSR-relevant variables can effect the bottom-line of your firm:

  • Federal Prison Camp or Satellite Camp: there are differences.
  • Your Clients Increased Security Level: From a Low to Medium or High. Penitentiary’s (USP) can also be associated with a few Medium or High Secure Facilities.
  • Public Safety Factor (PSF), may be used to reduce a security level before or at the sentencing hearing.
  • There are approximately 3,800 medications available on the BOP Formulary (Formulary). Are all of your clients medications on Formulary?
    • There is a Non-Formulary Medication list, requiring a multiple step referral request process in order to get an approval, or refusal.
    • PPRS Prison Matchhas a comprehensive medication list that can save hours of research time and facilitate inclusion into your clients PSR.
    • Inclusion of Non-Formulary Medications in your client’s PSR highlights the need for discussion at sentencing.
    • Keep in mind that there are certain medications that are simply not available.
  • Medical and Mental Healthcare is dispensed in the BOP through a CARE LEVEL I-IV Structure. Where would you look, and what amount of staff time is needed researching this issue? It could be critical in determining how healthcare is dispensed in order to ensure that your clients healthcare needs are met. Ensure this by documenting them in their PSR, in preparation for the sentencing hearing.
  • Using the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder as an example, is your client able to function in general population with other inmates? Your client may be a candidate for the Skills Program, which is only available at two facilities (Coleman-Medium and Danbury-Low).
    • The Skills Program is part of the BOP’s National Programs that includes Psychological Counseling (For Individuals and/or groups, and can be taken multiple times), which are available at a limited number of facilities.
    • After your research identifies where the services are located, does the defendants current ‘Security Level’ conflict with the programs security availability. Here it may be possible to request a reduction in their PSF, if warranted. Then depending, a facility recommendation can be included within their PSR, and at the sentencing hearing.
  • Verifying RDAP eligibility; note that drug/alcohol abuse also includes prescription medications along with those medications that are available ‘over the counter’. Per the American Bar Association; there must be present a verifiable, documented pattern of substance abuse or dependence within the 12-month period preceding arrest.
  • Where appropriate may help in addressing the recidivism paradigm by matching your client to a facility that supports their interests in learning either an occupation, trade or higher education.
  • Ensuring that the content in the official PSR, is accurate.
  • See if you can get the US Attorneys office to agree to your proposals.

Prison Match™; a Criminal Defense ‘PSR’ Case Management Software*

* (1) There is no guarantee implied or otherwise of final prison placement, medical, medication availability or program enrollment; once incarcerated results and placement may vary. As BOP policies change, a review of P5100.08 ,9/12/2006, or more current BOP Policy’s are recommended. Extenuating client or BOP circumstances may also adversely affect our result.

*(2) In addition to the defense teams insight as to their clients background and defense strategy, PPRS Prison Match™ is meant solely to be used as an aide, as part of your sentencing and prison placement decision making process.