It is important to understand that there are several individuals and organizations who have a vested interest in your situation, known as STAKEHOLDERS. These include the Courts, your lawyer, the DOJ (who issued your indictment), your probation officer, prosecutor, judge, BOP staff, Residential Reentry Center/Halfway House Manager, and are responsible for you while you are on Home Confinement before you enter Supervised Release. As you approach your Sentencing Hearing, in this video, I review what and who your STAKEHOLDERS are.
All events related to your case must be accurately presented in your Indictment. If this is not the case, providing your own account of events may be necessary through a Personal NARRATIVE. Remember that these STAKEHOLDERS are scrutinizing your actions, so it is important to consider everything from their perspectives. How can you build trust and confidence with each STAKEHOLDER?
Additionally, your judge may already have a sentence in mind. It is crucial to understand that your BOP Case Manager may not completely understand your personal situation, as they can only rely on information from your Indictment and PSR. However, you can take charge by creating your own Narrative and Reentry Plan. Taking responsibility, expressing remorse for any harm caused to victims, demonstrating dedication to rehabilitation, and highlighting unique circumstances can help you distinguish yourself from others in the criminal justice system. This, in turn, will enable you to understand their expectations better and work towards a successful reintegration into society.
Your Narrative and Reentry Plan, along with your Allocution, sparked your Judges interest to speak with you and possibly reconsider the sentence.
It’s essential to recognize that the criminal justice system comprises Internal STAKEHOLDERS. Your BOP Case Manager has restricted knowledge about you and can only collect information from your Indictment and PSR. Nonetheless, you have an opportunity to exhibit your unique circumstances and showcase your dedication to rehabilitation by creating your Narrative and Reentry Plan. This will not only help you distinguish yourself from STAKEHOLDERS but also assist you in comprehending their expectations and working towards a prosperous reintegration into society.
In order to achieve your desired results, it’s crucial to take into account the goals and objectives of your stakeholders. It’s important to effectively communicate your efforts to reduce criminogenic needs and growth to your case manager, even though this may be difficult as they come into contact with numerous individuals daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Although your case manager may document your progress in reducing criminogenic needs in their general file, it’s recommended that you keep your own record or Reentry Plan. This will enable you to track your progress and identify areas for improvement. By adopting this approach, you will draw the attention of BOP staff and successfully reintegrate back into society and your home more quickly. However, it’s important to note that there are no guarantees.
Reading non-fiction books is a proven way to showcase personal growth. To develop this habit, you may consider setting up a regular delivery schedule from Amazon, receiving two books every 3-4 weeks. While reading, take note of the date, time, day, and any valuable insights or knowledge gained from the book. Personally, I listen to podcasts while driving and keep a tape recorder in the car to remember important points. I took notes on everything I studied to retain the information during my school days. You can also apply the same practice to your daily life to track your progress and accomplishments, which can motivate continued growth and success.
Before leaving The BOP, have you considered expressing gratitude to your Case Manager for all the knowledge you have gained? Doing so can leave a positive impression on stakeholders and may even help others achieve their goals. While success cannot be guaranteed, it is worth striving for in the long run. Reading books on various subjects, including biographies of famous people, art and art history, science, life skills, history, notable women in history, geology, and more, might even lead to a new career. If you enjoy painting, then go ahead and paint.
Halfway House Managers select pre-qualified inmates for successful reintegration into society based on recommendations from Case Managers who prioritize Reentry Plans and Incremental Improvement.
To date, all they know about you is what they have read in your INDICTMENT, which was not too flattering.
If You’re Not Satisfied With It ? ⇨ No, Let’s Rewrite Your Story – Your Narrative.
Show your STAKEHOLDERS.
You must first understand their “trigger points because they are seeing many people like you every day – how can you make yourself stand out?” Consider the following questions for each STAKEHOLDER:
- What information do they expect to learn from me?
- What is the best way to show them that I am different from everyone else they meet?
- How can I best demonstrate that I am working toward changing my ways?
How To Communicate With Your STAKEHOLDERS.
- Consider your stakeholder’s goals and objectives.
- Show that you are working towards the desired outcomes by reducing your criminogenic needs, and be clear about them.
- When you do this, you and your case managers will achieve mutually agreeable goals because they will get satisfaction from watching you grow and develop new habits while you prepare yourself for life after prison. Strive to create this “win-win” as you both will have something to be grateful for.
Your NARRATIVE should be included in your PRESENTENCE INTERVIEW, TO BE EMBEDDED INTO THE OFICIAL PRESENTENCE REPORT.
I) Your Narrative Is Your Story – or Autobiography,
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 – that is what your Judge will read and assume is the gospel truth. If you don’t agree with 100% of your INDICTMENT, then you have a choice: to tell your story through Your Narrative. I hope this Video helps, and available for any questions.
Your Attorney: 1. Your attorney will learn more about your Biographical back story.
The Probation Officer: Following the interview and investigation, they will draft the official Presentence Report. Please take the time to proofread it with your attorney, in addition to practicing your Allocution.
The Prosecutor will still likely want to convict.
The Courts /Your Judge usually already has a sentence in mind. This is the 1st time the Judge gets to read your story or NARRATIVE. This could change their mind, in part depending on your conversation (Allocution), as Judges across the country agree, want to hear from the defendants because crimes do not happen in a vacuum.
This possibly opens the door for your ALLOCUTION. During the judge’s conversation with you, in addition to covering the points below, he/she may want to know, in the end, your REENTRY PLAN or what you plan to do when you get out to not re-offend. A short but concise video.
- A sincere demeanor
- Discuss what “taking full responsibility” means to the defendant.
- An acknowledgment that there are victims (e.g., even when the PSR indicates “no identifiable victim,” as it does in most drug cases);
- A more impressive Allocution details how the defendant’s criminal conduct affected the victims.
- An expression of genuine remorse.
- A plan to use prison or probation time productively.
- A discussion of 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.
- Tell their story, but don’t minimize the seriousness of what your client did.
- Judges will sometimes ask a defendant what he/she will do upon release to reduce their need to re-offend.
- Show his/her strengths and weaknesses.
- If you can show that you are on the same page with the court regarding the seriousness of the offense, the chances of accepting your other statements will increase.
II) Departure Factors (Woven into the Narrative)
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:
- The defendant’s role in the offense
- The defendant’s criminal history
- The presence of substantial assistance provided by the defendant to law enforcement
- The defendant’s mental or physical condition
- The defendant’s acceptance of responsibility for the offense
- 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:
- The nature and circumstances of the offense
- The history and characteristics of the defendant
- The sentence must reflect the offense’s seriousness, promote respect for the law, and provide just punishment.
- The need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct.
- The need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant.
- The need to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment.
III) Your Narrative will influence people you have not met in the BOP.
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.
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 not many ways in prison to demonstrate – Individual Personal Development, but these are my recommendations unless you have a better idea.
IV) REENTRY PLAN gives your judge insight into your efforts to not re-offend.
Release Planning should begin before your Presentence Interview if, for no other reason than at your Sentencing Hearing, your judge is going to ask you or will want to know what your plan is 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.
Going into more detail, with this as a starting point, I have divided the Release plan into ‘4’ Parts:
a) is before your Presentence Interview (and is provided along with your Narrative to be woven into your Presentence Report),
b) is before your Sentence Hearing (building and after giving more thought to your 1st Release Plan),
c) Once inside, here is where it grows – a lot, mostly 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 and
d) The last part details the specifics of what you will be doing once released. This can be started by following this form developed by the MN Dept. of Corrections and ‘The National Institute of Corrections Manual.’ All of this will, or should (as nothing is Guaranteed), make you appear as 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 you with some constructive insight.
1) You have already been prepared to offer to participate in the BOP Financial Responsibility Program if you have any financial penalty (i.e., Restitution).
2) You know of the FSA SPARC-13 Survey and would like to take the classes because you read about the criminogenic programs that could help you – if you were accepted.
3) Start Reading Non-Fiction Books where you have an interest, which will teach you something – possibly a second career. You can schedule yourself to receive 2 non-fiction books at a time, and then you are going to do the following for both the FSA Program Classes and the BOOK Reading,
- For the FSA Programs, you will document each day you take the class – what you learned – how you could use what you learned after release, and one aspect during that class where the teacher made a difference.
- Also, keeping your own record acts as insurance in case 6 months after you take your FSA class, your case manager has no record of you being there – how do you defend yourself?
- For each book, you will write in the same softback journal-type notebook(from Amazon) what you felt you could incorporate into your life or a new career.
- What do these two have in common for your case manager – Over Time? They Demonstrate Incremental Personal Development – What a Suprise and a Very Big Win.
- Continue journaling every contact with BOP Correction staff, Case Managers, and Unit Teams, Names, Dates, Times, and Topics, just for your records. For example, after each FSA class attended, keep your record of each class attended so that YOU HAVE YOUR Record to compare against the BOPs. Just to be safe. You want to get credit for each hour of Earned Time Credit you are entitled to. There are too many news articles where the BOP Autocalculation has Not Worked. If you have concerns, calmly take the time to ask your counselors or case manager why your Earned Time Credits are not Showing up.
- I am updating this June 2023. I read an article a while back about the new BOP Director Peters; TEN MONTHS IN, Colette Peters’s job HAS NOT GOTTEN EASIER. She faces many challenges as she diligently strives to right the ship/improve the system, and is apparently being bucked along the way. After reading what Walter Pavlo wrote, my takeaway is that she is trying; the calculations will be done, even though some don’t like change.
- Try and stay strong; I am always available for questions, mostly 7/365.
4) RRC Manager (and BOP Staff; Unit Team, Case Manager)
When it’s time to be considered for Halfway House, your Case Manager Has Influence and is looking for,
- INCREMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS
- Who’s Eligible – is this in your PSR
- Who Has No Infractions
- Your Reentry Plan has grown quite a bit from before your Presentence Interview. All of this is good, even if it doesn’t work out.
The Residential Reentry Center (RRC) Manager has to consider,
- Limited bed space
- They’ll look for those who will succeed – that will make them look good!
- Depends on the BOP Case Manager’s Input regarding the inmate’s entire file.
- The RRC Managers also want to show that they release successful persons from their RRC, successfully back into their communities and not back into The BOP.
- After, you may transition to supervised release.
The Probation Officer. During Supervised Release and Home Confinement, will essentially get a biographical update of you before they meet you by reviewing your entire file, including your PSR and everything that has transpired since you were first incarcerated.
If You Suspect You’re The Target of a Federal Investigation | Before The Presentence Interview (PSI) | After The PSI – But Before The Sentencing Hearing | After Sentencing or You’re Already Incarcerated | There Are Still Things We Can Do
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