Judge Rice will often ask a defendant what he will do upon release from prison to determine whether the offender will likely re-offend. “I often engage a defendant in an allocution to hear more about him.”


Release Planning should begin before your Presentence Interview if, for no other reason than at your Sentencing Hearing, your judge will ask you or want to know your plan to not return to their courtroom. In this video, I review why Release Planning should begin before your Presentence Interview if, for no other reason than at your Sentencing Hearing, your judge will ask you or want to know your plan to not return to their courtroom.

The Release Plan is divided into ‘6’ Parts

Part I) Before your Presentence Interview (and is provided along with your Narrative to be woven into your Presentence Report), 

Part II) Before your Sentence Hearing (building and after giving more thought to your 1st Release Plan),

Part III) Once inside, here is where it grows – primarily by documenting your Personal Developmental Growth, which includes the FSA Programs and everything Constructive that you have been working on in areas of interest to you, including mentoring others or teaching classes.

Part IV) Before Release details what you will be doing once released. This can be started by following example forms developed by Rikers Island, the MN Dept. of Corrections – ‘The National Institute of Corrections Manual, or the Release Plan Prep Guide. All of this will, or should (as nothing is Guaranteed), make you appear a better candidate for a Halfway House. These beds are limited, and Residential Reentry Managers want to fill these beds with people who will reenter society successfully. Is this You? This video doesn’t cover everything, but I hope it provides some constructive insight.

Part V) After Release / Post-Incarceration Services


  • For many in BOP custody until he/she completes his prison term (for sentences greater than six months).
  • You’re in a Residential Re-entry Center (halfway house) or working with the BOP’s Community Corrections Management.
  • If you’re eligible to be transferred to home confinement (the last six months or 10% of the sentence, whichever is less), your client will transition from the RRC or CSC with another set of rules and requirements.
  • Even after leaving BOP custody, he/she will start his supervised release period, which is often for three years.
  • Each of these is a different branch of the Justice Department, 
  • You Do Not Want To Get Disciplined or have any Infractions that Could Return You To Prison

Part VI) Supervised Release/Parole/Halfway House –

  • You think You’re Out/Done,
  • But You’re Still Under “Federal” Control,
  • This could be the Hard Part – No Mistakes – Don’t assume,
  • For Questions, Ask your Probation Officer or Residential Reentry Manager First and Often. Not hearing back is Not an OK To do what you want to do.
  • Some are harder to deal with if your charge is a State Charge – But Make This Temporary.
  • Supervised Release – Probation

Probation or Supervised Release is No Joke. Follow the rules, and all will be ok.  Probation Officers have huge caseloads; unfortunately, they are overworked and expect the worst. Be the exact opposite, and good things will happen.

Now, with a New Director of The BOP (Dir. Peters, there is reason for hope and optimism), The First Step Act, the Second Chance Act, and the Work You Do In Investing In Yourself Can Earn Your Way To Freedom. For more on your Mitigation steps, call me.

This is a document that will grow over time and will influence your STAKEHOLDERS.


Your Attorney • The Probation Officer Conducting Your PSI• The Prosecutor • Your Judge • BOP 1st) Designation Staff, 2nd) Your Case Manager, and 3rd) Unit Team • Residential Reentry Manager (RRM) • Probation Officer, • and Others You Have Yet To Meet

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

-Marc Blatstein


When writing your Narrative, Allocution, or Reentry Plan, read it through the Lens of YOUR STAKEHOLDERS: WHAT DO THEY WANT TO HEAR? Through their eyes, there are victims, and there was a crime, but without your narrative, all they have is the DOJ indictment of you – so you may appear like America’s “Most Wanted.”  Only you can change this.

It’s best started before your Presentence Interview and will continue to develop as you add to it during your stay in the BOP.


Writing Your Release Plan, Now Before Your Presentence Interview 

When attempting to write your Release Plan, you don’t need all the answers today! Start with the small parts (bites) that I have provided below. Like the rest of your plan, it will develop over time; I know because mine did. Remember: One bite at a time.

But if you have a letter from someone willing to hire you when you are released based on your skills and character, that is a GREAT letter to include in your plan, your Presentence Report, and your attorney’s Sentencing Memo at your Sentencing Hearing.


Your Reentry Plan addresses your STAKEHOLDERS

You must be Your Own Best Advocate – 

Your Judge: STAKEHOLDER. If your Narrative (with your Reentry Plan) is included in your Presentence Report, you now have your Judges attention because he/she, among other things, wants to know your plan to not re-offend.

  • What are you going to do?
  • In addition to expressing remorse for the victim(s), understanding their pain, suffering, and how it has impacted them, 
  • You have reviewed what your life brought you to this moment that caused you to do this – with no excuses. 
  • You have reviewed the FSA Risk Assessment Program Questions, which made you reflect on your work and read about the many available programs from which to learn.

Your Unit Team, Case Managers, and Counselors are your STAKEHOLDERS. For all your meetings, just like with your FSA Programs and Books that you are reading, document their name, date, time of day, and conversation topic to recall later. Consider it insurance.

  • Review the FSA Risk Assessment Program Questions (SPARC-13) and
    • Weave your answers into your plan before your Presentence Interview.
    • What you hope to learn from the programs and how you need to implement their lessons into your daily life, work, or family life –
    • Include something Positive about the teacher.
    • Praise the Case Manager who recommended you take these programs.
    • For both of these, your Case Manager may ask your opinion,

Your Case Manager, Counselor, and Warden, in their tenure, see’s hundreds to thousands of Adults In Custody (AIC, Director Peters’s new term) pass through their facility. How can you stand out in a good way? We all start off as a number – until we show them otherwise. If you’re looking to take advantage of the FSA and all it has to offer, no promises, but your efforts may result in an earlier release date.

If release plans are not required, then why do them? To reduce your time, are you incarcerated?

  • Without a Plan, why should your Case Manager and the BOP give you a reference to a Halfway House Residential Reentry Manager (RRM)
  • There are not enough halfway house beds in the country to house everyone who wants to use them.
    • Halfway House Residential Reentry Manager (RRM) wants to fill those beds with people who will use them to reenter their communities successfully.
  • Case Managers will Recommend you, which the Warden signs off, and your file then,
    • goes to the Residential Reentry Manager to determine who is best suited for their limited bed space, who needs that time, and who will succeed.
  • Residential Reentry Managers decide who can use the limited number of beds by evaluating your BOP file, including your PSR, Narrative, and release plan.
    • They’re also being judged, so they want to show success. Inmates writing release plans is a way for halfway house managers to make that judgment.

Start your plan before your PSIIt Can Include Parts of Your Narrative,

  • Once inside, give the credit for your plan to your case managers and their recommendations as they offered you FSA programs.
  • Offer that you researched for your Release Plan: National Institute of Corrections website.
    • This template covers Personal Identification, Housing, Transportation, Personal Needs, Employment, Recreation/Leisure Time, Chemical Dependency Treatment/Aftercare, and your Support System.
  • Write as you review your investigation, criminal charge, plea hearing, trial or guilty plea, presentence investigation, and sentencing process. You will see that preparation fulfilled as you develop a reentry/release plan to achieve a better outcome. 
  • QUOTING something like…: “Since my indictment and arrest, I had the time to think about everything I have done. Previously, I didn’t recognize how BAD my decisions were, But I realize it’s Not About Me. It’s about My Victims, What I did, and What I have to do – to make it right.
  • Referencing your PATTERN Score, address applicable points for either Men or Women.
  • If you learn you have a Detainer (hopefully before your Presentence Interview)

1) Followed With copies of your Social Security Card, Driver’s License (expired?), and Birth Certificate. Know where your originals are kept so you can get them, and where they would be if they were taken from you at your arrest?

2) Be Honest with how you fill out BOP forms and talk in prison. If you lie and it gets found out by your STAKEHOLDERS (Judge), you may have more significant problems. Don’t say you have a substance abuse problem – if you don’t. This can be held against you by the Judge or other STAKEHOLDERS.

  • Some of those you meet will be biased against you (try not to let it bother you, be polite)
  • Writing is good, But Showing That You Have Learned You’ve Done Is Wrong Is Where You Want To Be.
    • (The Anger Management Course)
      • Because even if your case managers forget to document your progress, at least your records are complete and

3) Who will be your Support Structure?

  • This includes those who care for you to ensure you don’t return to the judge’s courtroom. These can be family, friends, or others, and they can include a potential employer willing to rehire you following your release, all who have provided letters attesting to your character, and all who are aware of your past criminal behavior.

4) Employment Opportunities?

  • Will you still be allowed to run your own business? Was your business part of your criminal arrest? If Yes – then-No.
  • It is possible, though, to work For Yourself With a great release plan – Yes,
    • Probation May let you work for yourself and travel.
      • Were you working for yourself before your arrest? Yes,
      • If working for yourself – was this job part of your criminal activity? If No, OK
      • What will you do–keep it separate from your criminal conviction?
    • Who’s the owner?
    • Does it need to be registered with the state, licensed, etc?
    • Be Organized: “While incarcerated, I want to plan to own my own business, and these are the steps I will need to take.”
    • Will you need employment? No, I’m retired, but I volunteer or care for a relative.
    • How realistic are your employment opportunities? You’re a physician – at best, you’ll need to reapply to your board, get your CMEs, etc. DEA and Provider Numbers, Medicare and Medicaid, OPM, and HHS.

5) At this point, your Reentry Plan is much shorter than it will be at the end of your sentence.

6) The plan will changeKeep your Case Managers Updated on your REENTRY Plan

  • This is why I need either one year in a Halfway House (or Home Confinement)—here’s what I need to do as I prepare to get back on my feet.

7) After sentencing, especially if the Judge gives you a downward Departure, start thinking about your Reentry plan, add what you wish you had done differently, and add what the judge said at sentencing before you forget.




  • If you have over 12 months of ETC, they could be applied to Halfway House or Home Confinement.
    • If You Have the Appropriate Resources and Reentry Plan
  • ETC in Halfway House: for example, if you have 11 months, the BOP may apply that to early release.
  • If you have 14 months ETC:
    • 2 Months in Halfway House
    • The 2nd Chance Act,
      • The 5 Factor Review: 8 mo. Halfway House, 6 mo. Home
  • Released to Home vs. Halfway House.
    • The BOP now sends inmates to the Halfway House, where they are evaluated for their plan.
      • It is up to the Halfway House to determine if the person meets the Eligibility & Appropriate criteria.
      • It is up to our REENTRY Plan to show why Home Confinement is needed.


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