I have been providing medical and surgical management of the lower leg, ankle, and foot for over 30 years, a privilege of practicing a discipline I love.
For transparency, approximately two decades ago, due to a white-collar crime, I, too, was convicted of a felony. There was never any issue regarding the quality of patient care provided, and I took responsibility for my actions and that of my practice. Later, with work and the support of colleagues, my license to practice was restored in full back in 2010.
At sentencing, the judge did say that he did not want to see me back in his courtroom, and both my attorney and I heard what he said – but were we listening? We next asked if we could appeal the indictment, and “I” agreed, assuming (not too savvy on my account) that I would only get a Yes or No at the time of the Indictment appeal – boy, was I wrong! The rest of this story I’ll share once we speak in person.
But I digress…
BEING UNPREPARED WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT
KNOWLEGE AND PREPARATION COULD REDUCE YOUR SENTENCE, 240.888.7778
I had no idea what to expect when entering Prison, as I went directly into an Isolation Cell or Solitary Confinement when I expected to go ‘directly’ to the Satellite Camp. Years later, I learned that my attorney could have informed me that going into the isolation cell (solitary to the rest of us) is “usual and customary” for the BOP when you are designated to a Satellite Camp.
My placement into ‘solitary’ was also preventable because I arrived before all of my judge’s orders – Why, nobody bothered to check as it was Assumed – Incorrectly that the records would be there. So yes, I Panicked, followed by a sudden attack of Claustrophobia. Learn other reasons one is immediately placed in solitary.
Take back control of your life for a personal, one-on-one call (240.888.7778). Marc Blatstein
In federal cases, we assist the defendant and counsel in preparation for the presentence interview.
I. The Personal NARRATIVE
- This is an autobiography of their personal and professional background that includes every aspect of the person’s life, from childhood to the event that caused them to break the law. The Good – The Bad and The Ugly.
- This also includes letters that attest to their character and all aspects of their life needed in the official Presentence Report, which was provided to their Probation Officer 1-2 weeks before their Presentence Interview.
- Once completed, it should contain all of the information needed for the Probation Officer’s Report.
- Have Truthtellers around you.
- We All Make Mistakes
- Those around you should bring out something Positive in you.
- Associate yourself with the appropriate people, in the ‘appropriate situations’ – with the ‘appropriate skills’.
- Enablers may make you feel good for that moment but will not help you in the long run.
- Don’t forget: This is your moment!
II. The Presentence Interview
- All of the defendant’s information is presented 1-2 weeks before their Interview, and what is left on that day is for the PO to ask any remaining questions they may have, with the attorney present. It also allows more time to get to know the individual personally.
III. Sentencing Guidelines Reviewed about a departure below the guidelines.
IV. Reviewing the 1st PSR Draft.
V. Character Reference letters and testimonials are organized.
VI. Summary of information gathered:
- Guidelines Reviewed
- Financial Penalties Ordered
- Criminal History Calculation
- Offense Guideline Calculations (Approximate)
- Options for departure or variance
- The sentence imposed and how the sentence will be served
- Was there a plea agreement, or were they convicted after the trial
- Statute(s) of conviction (including statutory ranges and mandatory minimums)
- Characteristics of the defendant (including age at sentencing, education level, citizenship, marital status, and number of dependents)
- Sentencing, Making Your Placement Request (Timing…)
- This Is Our BOP Packet For Presentation To The Court, Including the Programs Supporting Your Placement Request, for Example –FPC Alderson.
- Depending on your case, the relationship your attorney has created with your Probation Officer, the strength of your NARRATIVE, Release Plan, and ALLOCUTION that have all been woven (along with your Biographical Background and Personal Identifying Information) into the information that was presented to your Officer 1-2 weeks before your interview – and if you have the ‘buy in’ from the prosecutor, the placement request can be included before, or at the time of your Presentence Interview. Having it then included in the Presentence Report; it will now be Under Seal and part of what the court sends to the BOP.
VII. Supporting you and your families on the psychological stresses of imprisonment. These include:
- Understanding the federal prison regulations
- Understanding visiting hours (which can be canceled at the last minute, without any notice or reason), mail and email (is read), commissary, telephone (calls are listened to), what you can bring in, etc.
- Understanding the dos and don’ts, once inside
- Understanding visiting regulations, again, the process on any day, at any time, without regard to how far you traveled, they can close visitation.
- Preparation, Knowledge, and a Reentry Plan will make for a smoother transition for you and your loved ones.
- Does RDAP apply to you? Ask us.
VIII. 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
IX. 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.
For some, this is the hardest part is for those on probation or parole, who represent approximately double those incarcerated, or 3.7 million (state and federal). This disrupts families and much more, representing a ‘Catch-22”: a (1) condition, regulation, etc., preventing the resolution of a problem or situation, or (2) a frustrating situation in which one is trapped by contradictory regulations or conditions.
Prison Policy Initiative, Punishment Beyond Prisons 2023: Incarceration and supervision by the state, May 2023. The top states with the highest numbers of mass punishment (including state prisons, federal prisons, local jails, youth confinement, Indian Country jails, involuntary commitment, parole, and probation) were Georgia, Arkansas, Ohio, Idaho, and Main last out of 50 states and DC.
Even on Parole or Supervised Release, the slightest misstep can send you back to prison for struggling to follow vague and wide-ranging rules or for simply being unable to pay monthly fees, restitution, or other legal-financial obligations. These non-criminal behaviors destabilize families, remove hope, and, in some states, appear to be the “go-to” option when other remedies are a better use of public funds.
Probation or Supervised Release is No Joke. Follow the rules and all will be ok. Probation Officers have a huge caseloads, and unfortunately they are over worked and are expecting 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.
No Matter Where You are in The Investigation Process | There Are Always Things We Can Do
I wanted to provide answers to the many obstacles I encountered – so that others would not have to go through the same frustration of being unprepared.
MY TRANSITION FROM PATIENT CARE HAS GIVEN ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF CARE: ‘PREPARATION AND KNOWLEDGE
Through Preparation and Knowledge, we’re Reducing The Fears That Impact the Lives of Individuals and Families Like Yours, as they Face this Life-Altering Event.
Recommended: www.BOP.gov for updated individual facility information.
Possible Federal Charges: Domestic Violence • Violent Crime • Aggravated Sexual Assault • #Felony #WhiteCollar • #InsuranceFraud • Immigration (#ICE, fear, arrest, border security, DACA, DAMA, and the path to citizenship) • Healthcare #Fraud • Marijuana and/or Drug #Felony (possession, distribution, trafficking) • #CaresAct • Financial #Fraud • #PrisonConsultant • #FederalLegalDefense • #WireFraud • #MoneyLaundering (to conceal and disguise the proceeds of specified unlawful activity) • #Bribery • #SecuritiesFraud • Dementia • Autistic • #SexOffender • #IntellectualDisabilities • Mental Health Diagnosis • Borderline Personality Disorder • #MailFraud • COVID