EARLY PREPARATION BEGINS THE PROCESS FOR BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOMES
Attorneys know the law, but the nuances of navigating through Federal Prison isn’t part of a traditional legal defense.
This is your life and future, therefore don’t leave all of the decisions solely to your legal team. Participate (please follow their recommendations), and respectfully request that they “listen” to your requests, while holding each other accountable.
*NOTHING IS GUARANTEED *
NO ATTORNEY, EXPERT, OR CONSULTANT CAN PROMISE WHAT ANY JUDGE OR THE BOP WILL DO.
I. TAKE OWNERSHIP OF PREPARING FOR YOUR PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW
White-Collar Attorneys know the Law – don’t leave all the decisions that determine your life – solely in someone else’s hands. Work you’ll need to do,
Your Personal NARRATIVE, RELEASE PLAN, ALLOCUTION, answers to the SPARC-13 Assessment Survey and PATTERN along with copies to all of the Biographerical and Personal Identification that your attorney has asked you to gather, will be provided to your Probation Officer 2-3 weeks before your Interview.
This accomplishes three goals, 1st) the Officer has time to fill out their report, allowing them time to 2nd) casually have a personal conversation with you at the time of your interview. This is best as they will get to know you, ask questions and come away from the interview with a different idea of who you are. Likely, someone who is quite the opposite of your INDICTMENT.
3rd) The BOP Case Manager and Unit Team (STAKEHOLDERS), will have read your Presentence Report, which contains all of your work that presents a more personalized version of you – who is quite the opposite of the person in the DOJ INDICTMENT.
Last, the defendants are exposed as to what to expect when they enter prison, how to act as well as how to implement the Administrative Remedy Process.
- YOUR PERSONAL NARRATIVE, STORY, or AUTOBIOGRAPHY
- YOUR ALLOCUTION, THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH YOUR JUDGE WHICH WAS CREATED BY YOUR NARRATIVE AND MAY RESULT IN A LESSER SENTENCE (NO GUARANTEES)
- RELEASE PLAN – MAY CREATE A SMOOTHER PATHWAY TOWARD EARLY RELEASE
- FIRST STEP ACT PREPARATION FOR AND UNDERSTANDING YOUR
- PATTERN SCORE
- SPARC-13 RISK ASSESSMENT,
- THAT YOU WILL TAKE AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE AND LOCATE A TRULINC COMPUTER IN PRISON
- ALL IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING ALL OF YOUR BIOGRAPHICAL AND PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION IN ADVANCE OF YOUR PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW
II. GOOD TIME CREDITS, GTC (15%)
III. FIRST STEP ACT
- FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAM (FRP)
- EARNED TIME CREDITS, ETC (UP TO 365 DAYS OFF SENTENCE)
IV. RDAP ELIGIBLE (UP TO 1 YEAR OFF SENTENCE)
V. SECOND CHANCE ACT
VI. DEPENDING ON YOUR AGE OR MEDICAL CONDITION, COMPASSIONATE RELEASE IS DIFFICULT BUT POSSIBLE
BUT YOU CAN LOSE ALL OF THIS BY GETTING DISCIPLINARY INFRACTIONS, SO NO IPHONES, NO 3-WAY PHONE CALLS, ETC. KNOW THAT ALL CALLS ARE LISTENED TO, AND EMAILS READ.
FEMALE IN THE BOP.
Several articles I’ve published for LinkedIn
Women facing federal incarceration in the BOP and have PTSD
A Female Physician’s Experience As A COVID Long-Hauler Patient
Pregnancy: Supporting Incarcerated Mothers and Infants Together – Federal
THE SENTENCING HEARING: Is Your Client Prepared to Speak with Their Judge?
Facing Prison Can Be Terrifying – Still, You Need to Advocate For Yourself
Is Best Started When You First Hear That The Feds Are Asking Questions
NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS – PREPARATION CAN MITIGATE YOUR SENTENCE
At Your Sentencing Hearing with Your Judge,
Making a Convincing 1st Impression, Starts With Your Allocution
1. Express remorse for the victim(s), understanding their pain, and suffering, and how it has impacted them.
- I created victims (Comes first),
I will have to live knowing that I only have myself to blame and I need to convey this message of apology and regret
- I’m ashamed and embarrassed,- for casting a negative light on my family and community.
2. Agree with the court as to the seriousness of the crime, without minimizing it. Expand on this topic.
- I am not looking to minimize the seriousness of the crime I perpetrated, as this is the first time I’ve been in trouble with the law. My actions are not a true reflection of who I am, or how I think.
3. What in your life brought you to this moment, what happened that caused you to do this?
4. What has this experience taught you?
5. What is your plan to never re-offend, and you will NEVER Be Back Again In Their Courtroom?
- Express what you have learned.
- Walk the judge through the 1)pressures you faced, the 2)rationalizations that you gave in to, and the, 3)opportunity you now see to get yourself on the right path to make things right for your victims and community (THIS ANSWER NEEDS TO BE PRACTICED AND THOUGHT OUT IN ADVANCE) and the awareness that you will not be in this courtroom again.
- I will spend the rest of my life trying to make amends, but do-overs, do not exist.
- I fully understand that there is no excuse for my illegal actions, therefore I am prepared to accept the punishment I deserve.
It is natural to be nervous, therefore, consider Including your ALLOCUTION when you present your NARRATIVE and RELEASE Plan, weeks before your Presentence Interview.
Your Narrative, This Is Your Story In Your Own Words, Unique and Honest.
Even if the sentence does not change – you will not live in regret. The act over months of writing your narrative, when finished is a cathartic experience and will benefit you should you be Incarcerated. Then Home Confinement and Supervised Release, where your NARRATIVE as part of your Presentence Report is now being read by your Probation Officer, another STAKEHOLDER you have yet to meet, and maybe they will be pleasantly surprised and give you a smoother transition. So while there will be moments of disappointment, this too will be temporary.
Men or Women – You will get through this, No matter how long
The things that made you successful in life, are the same ingredients that together we will use to create a Sentencing Mitigation Strategy.
If you’ve been indicted, or even sense it – you need legal representation as the FBI and US Attorney is famous for having an incredibly high rate of convictions – at over 98%.
If You Suspect You’re The Target of | Before The Presentence Interview (PSI) | After The PSI – But Before The Sentencing Hearing | or After Sentencing or You’re Already Incarcerated – There Are Still Things – At All Levels, We Can Do
Most federal defendants end up, whether on plea or trial – going to prison.
- STAKEHOLDERS – EVERYONE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR FUTURES
The Courts – Congress – Your Attorney – Probation Officer – Prosecutor – Judge – BOP Director Peters – BOP Staff; Unit Team, Case Manager, Education, Medical – Residential Reentry Manager / Halfway House, Home Confinement, and many more…
Case Managers need to know that their work matters,
- This is by seeing Incremental Improvements (in reducing criminogenic needs, which to them is “success”), at each of their meetings with you (remember – this is government…), where you will consistently show your development through your developing Reentry Plan, by documenting what you are doing – daily.
- NON-FICTION BOOKS – Remember 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 author that you can use in life, and watch your Release Plan grow.
- You still want OUT of The BOP – Right? Give credit for what you have learned to your Case Manager. Now they too look great in the eyes of their supervisors.…you help others get what they want, and you’ll get what you want, no guarantees, your goal is to win the ‘long game’.
- The books can be on any topic, you have the time, and possibly this could develop into a new career. Biographies of famous people, Art, Art History, Science, Painting, Life Skills, History, Famous women in History, Geology, really 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 advice I have learned from others – long after I was released, who have a broader perspective on this issue. I wished I had known this as I was preparing to enter the system, but I didn’t, and my wish to you, is for you to be “PREPARED” with this knowledge.
- FIRST STEP ACT PROGRAMMING. Keep a running journal that includes the day, date, time, topic, what you learned, and who taught that class, along with some 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.
- 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.
- You’re Educated With a Degree and Experience, Great – Create a Course
- Start planning a curriculum on a topic that you feel would be interesting.
- Organized for classes to meet twice per week for several months,
- Then you run the idea by your case manager, maybe it could help those with their GED, who knows?
- Since all parties agree, your case manager is happy, and your Reentry Plan looks a little bigger – GREAT!
- Let your Case Manager and Unit Team take the credit!
- It’s just one more thing, Working For You.
- 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 in 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.
- Why Document?
- Case Managers are looking to see signs of Incremental Improvements and a reduction in your criminogenic needs. The only way I know of showing them these Incremental Improvements that they need to see – which I have learned from others – is by daily journaling (or logging) everything constructive, that a person does while in custody.
- When taking your First Step Act classes, you have kept a running journal that includes the day, date, time, topic, and what your learned and who taught that class (with some positive comments about the teacher).
Consider this as Insurance; similar to purchasing Life, Health, or Auto: You hope you don’t need it – Until you do.
- Next is Building this “New” Habit, which takes practice – practice – practice.
- Then, repeating this skill daily until it becomes second nature, a great book on this is The Power of Habit: by Charles Duhigg. Why?
What do you do if the BOP has No Record that you took that class, on a certain date, and you find this out 6 Months Later, what do, or can you do?
- READ THIS: Great documentation ‘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).
Build relationships, and not animosity with those Stakeholders, who may choose to advocate for your Early Release, without being asked. How? The 2nd Chance Act.
From Amazon, you can get a softback journal-type notebook, with lined pages. The catch is that The BOP will only let books in if there is writing on the inside pages, inspirational regarding religion, sports, history, biography – just anything, maybe even watermarks.
Examples on Amazon – but I cannot promise that your BOP Location will let them in, each facility acts independently, so to start it’s – Trial and Error. I’ll be adding to this list.
- Daily inspiration notebook: Journal with inspirational quotes on each page – Lined paper – 6×9 inches Paperback – September 18, 2020, by Marlice Press $5.99,
- DREAM BIG DREAMS: College Ruled Notebook – With Inspirational Sayings On Each Page – Hearts On Printed Background Paperback – March 6, 2019, by Village Journals & Notebooks, $6.77,
- My Positivity Journal: Positivity and Affirmation Journal, diary, notebook. 120 lined pages with affirmation and positivity quotes on each page. Paperback, by Busy Digi Bee, $11.89, Justice Impacted Persons – that’s every one of us, who the system has touched.
The Presentence Interview is the precursor to The Presentence Report (Blatstein et al.), and in turn, both will determine your future.
Visit My U-Tube CHANNEL @dr.marcjblatstein
PODCAST SERIES – Federal Sentencing Expertise
SENTENCE MITIGATION: PERSONAL NARRATIVE
For a personal, one-on-one call to discuss your current issue, or that of a loved one, give me a call (240.888.7778). If I am unable to answer, please leave a brief message, as I personally return all of my calls. Marc Blatstein
We are not Attorneys, you need legal representation.
The Process 1st starts with preparing for your Presentence Interview (PSI).
It is never – Too early, to start Preparing.
Presentence Interview Investigation –
In essence, this is your Story. Pepsi, Nike, and Tesla; each of these companies has a brand – which is Their Story, Their Narrative. The DOJ has written its story of you through Their Indictment. Now it’s your turn to define Your Brand, by writing
Your Story – Your Narrative.
- This will determine your future, so please take it Very Seriously – It has many parts
- Your Personal Narrative, your story written by you – directly to the Judge – it’s that important. As you write it, this is ‘your story,’ in a letter format, 1st person, describing your life from childhood to the present. Include everything – Omit Nothing (Too Long is Best). Include parents, siblings, work, jobs, school, in essence, everything, then as it is reviewed and rewritten it will be reduced to reveal who you are as a person and someone who is possibly the opposite of the person that is revealed in the Narrative presented by the DOJ that is currently all over the web.
You will need every inch of 90 days to write your NARRATIVE.
- Diligently collect copies of all your records: Birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, social security cards, certificates of the highest educational level achieved, diplomas, other training certificates, military certificates, medical and hospital records, copies of prescriptions, etc…
Once the Presentence Interview Investigation (PSI) is done and complete – The Presentence Report (PSR) is written – this Report will stay on your record for life. It is then given to the judge, along with sentencing and placement recommendations made by the Probation Officer.
The goal of your attorney is to intervene in this process – before the officer speaks with the prosecutor, in order to get your ‘message on the record’, and into that same Presentence Report – before it reaches the Judge.
- As part of your defense strategy, in addition to your Medical and FSA Programming needs, RDAP and Narrative, we include The BOP Placement Request with
- supporting reasons regarding “Why” the request is being made,
- providing examples from the BOPs’ own Guidelines and Programs Statements.
- Done with a personalized court-ready BOP placement packet, PPRS Prison Match™ (Example – Alderson.)
Following Release From The BOP, Probation will use it to get background information on you for Supervised Release, before you ever meet.
Last, it remains in your record – for life.
The Presentence Interview (PSI)
Gathers your background information for the Presentence Report.
Once the Presentence Report is completed,
Trying to get it changed, is a Big Ask.
Below, is just part of what you need to collect and provide to your legal team in your defense – and the Probation Officer in doing their job. Ultimately, it could all work in your favor. You will need complete copies of the following:
Complete Medical History:
* All Surgery Reports, * All Physician Contact Information * All Blood Tests * All Medical Records, * All: X-Rays, * CT, MRI Reports (CD, if available for both, 2 copies each, one for your families records and the other for the courts Presentence Report), etc.
All Original Prescriptions for:
* Medical Devices * CPAP, BiPAP, * Eyeglasses, * Orthotics, * Prosthetics, * Diabetic Shoes, * Wheelchairs, * Cane, Crutches, * Medications, etc.
Diplomas: * Highest Education Level Completed, * Any Certifications.
Military Service:* Branch, * Rank, * Discharge Type.
Recommendations and References: In Written, and in unique circumstances Video Format, after consulting with your attorney.
If You Suspect You’re The Target | Before The Presentence Interview (PSI) | After The PSI – But Before The Sentencing Hearing | or After Sentencing or You’re Already Incarcerated – There Are Still Things – At All Levels, We Can Do
For a No Obligation Free Consult, Call Dr.Blatstein at: 240.888.7778, or by email. I answer and personally return all of my calls.
We are not Attorneys, you need legal representation.