Federal Sentencing and Placement – The Process

98% of federal defendants plea

Federal Sentencing

1st: Federal Defendants indicted, >93% likely will receive a federal sentence to a BOP facility

 

2nd: The defendant’s first appearance in court
  • ~93+%, can result in either a plea or verdict of guilty to a federal sentence
  • Between the Defendant’s 1st and 2nd court appearance, a resume or CV of the defendant’s background is developed, called the Presentence Report (PSR).
  • The PSR is where the Defense Team Can make a Placement Request while documenting the defendant’s medical, criminal, work & education histories, etc.
3rd: The defendant’s second court appearance is for the Sentencing Hearing
  • The details of sentencing are not taught in most law schools
  • Judges determine the length of time the defendant is imprisoned
  • Judges can also make a placement request to the BOP
4th: The BOP determines placement
  • Some of the factors that affect placement (BOP Policy Statement P5100.08 (Chapter 4 Pages 5-13 and Chapter 5 Pages 12-13):
    • Judges recommendations
    • Public Safety Factor (PSF) Variables
      • Accepting Responsibility
      • Age
      • Criminal History
      • Education Level
      • Legal Release Residence
    • Management Variables: Pre-determined Security levels
      • Disruptive Group-confirmed member
      • Greatest Offense Severity #
      • Greatest Severity Offense
      • Prison Disturbance
      • Serious escape
      • Serious Telephone Abuse
      • Sex Offender
      • The Threat to Government Officials
    • Medical CARE LEVELS I-IV Structure
    • Mental Healthcare CARE LEVELS I-IV Structure
    • Psychology Treatment Programs
    • Medication Availability is explained in this video.

      • On Formulary, or available
      • Non-Formulary requires a lengthy preapproval process
      • Or Just Not Available, where a similar substitute may be implemented

For Groups: My PowerPoint Presentation

Federal Prison Placement Preparation

The Presentence Report

1st. Prepare For Your Presentence Interview

Properly prepared will allow the probation Office to draft an accurate

Presentence Report – which will control your future

Incorporate these federal prison placement data points:

Medical and Mental Healthcare needs to be implemented through

Video PPRSUS. 14 explains how medical care is provided in federal prisons. The caveat can be read in recent reports in the news:

The BOP CARE LEVELS I-IV Structure

  • Psychological Treatment Programs, while available, have limited access, and several may be security level specific.

The First Step Act Includes;

I) Brave Program: A first-timer young male offender 32 years of age or younger, facing a sentence of 60 months or more

II) Challenge Program: A male inmate facing a high-security penitentiary with a current diagnosis of either Mood, Anxiety, Schizophrenia, Delusion, and/or Substance-induced Psychotic Disorders

III) Mental Health Step Down A male or female who lacks the skills to function in a general population prison setting and is willing to work with Psychiatry Services

IV) Resolve A male or female with a current diagnosis of a mental illness related to physical, mental, and/or intimate domestic violence or traumatic PTSD

V) Skills A significant functional impairment due to intellectual disabilities, neurological and/or remarkable social skills deficits such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), to mention just a few.

VI) Stages: A male inmate with a serious mental illness, a primary diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, and a history of unfavorable institutional adjustment.

VIIa) Sex Offender Non-Residential Single Sex Crime or first-time Internet Sex Offense

VIIb) Sex Offender Residential Multiple sex crimes.

VIIc) Butner’s Commitment and Treatment Program for Sexually Dangerous Persons, Page 12Is considered for sexually dangerous persons with the possibility of criminal recidivism. MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE.

VIII) Female Integrated Treatment: A female with substance abuse (RDAP Eligibility Possible), trauma-related disorders, and other mental illnesses. (FIT) Program

Medication availability falls into 3 tiers; this video helps explain whether your medication will be available by comparing your medication against those on the BOP list available online.

  1. On the BOP Formulary (available).
  2. Non-Formulary; these require a lengthy preauthorization process – so likely Not-Available.
    • As these are just not available. Similar medications are substituted, but how is their efficacy verified?

Security Requirements

  1. Offense Level vs Criminal History Calculation
  2. Criminal History Calculation
    • +3 points for each prior sentence > 1 Year + 1 Month.
    • +2 points for each prior sentence > 60 days, not counted above.
    • +1 point for each prior sentence, <= 60 days not counted above, for up to a maximum of 4 points in this category.
    • +2 points for each revocation with a new charge or under federal supervision.
    • + 1 point for each prior sentence resulting from a conviction of a crime of violence that did not receive any points as noted above because the sentence was treated as a single sentence, up to a total of 3 points for this subsection.

The BOP and Prison Security Level Placement

The Presentence Report – A Medical, Medication, and Security Requirement Referral

PPRSUS.com

As found in my LinkedIn 2/29/2020 post

Compassionate Release

PPRS - PPRSUS - Physician Presentence Report Service

Compassionate Release

The Federal Docket, Updated 9/27/2021

Published by the criminal defense lawyers at Pate, Johnson & Church. Here, they provide the following 12 successful case examples of Compassionate Release,

No alt text provided for this image

…listed by category below.

  1. Medical Condition
  2. COVID-19 Positive/Recovered
  3. COVID-19 Vaccinated
  4. No Medical Condition
  5. No Confirmed Cases
  6. Mental Health
  7. Short Time Served
  8. Family Circumstances
  9. Excessive Sentence
  10. Circuit Opinions
  11. 1B1.13 Policy Statement
  12. Request to Warden

 

The COVID Prison Project appears at first glance to be a great resource as it tracks current data and policy while monitoring COVID-19 and the number of

COVID Cases, Deaths, and Vaccines that are given, as recently as 7/8/2022. It appears that the site updates at regular intervals.

For more…

Self-Surrender To Federal Prison

Self-Surrender To Federal Prison

You’ve been allowed to self-surrender to a minimum federal prison camp – but find yourself in isolation (or solitary confinement), because your paperwork has not arrived. This does happen, and can be avoided!

No alt text provided for this image

For the purpose of this article, we are going to examine the process that follows after the court agrees to let your client self-surrender.

Up until this point, there has been the back and forth between defense counsel, the U.S. attorney, and lastly the court. The defendant’s number one job has been to get their affairs in order and then to show up on the specified day, at their BOP Institution.

The process of getting the court’s order delivered to the specified BOP Institution on time is, for the most part, considered something that automatically happens as the next step in the process. But it is this author’s opinion that at times, the council should reflect on President Ronald Reagan’s famous quote; Trust – But Verify

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Because, in this case, here we have Trust, without the Verification. I offer the following so that more care and empathy for your client can be taken, as you guide them completely through this process.

These steps I believe will help to ensure a smoother, self-surrendering process;

  1. Verify with all parties that: the receiving facility is in receipt of all the required judge’s orders for your client’s arrival – before they get there, 18 U.S.C. § 3621(c).
  2. If your client is ultimately designated to a ‘satellite’ camp, let them know ahead of time that they have to present themselves to the adjacent, ‘higher secure facility – and not to the satellite camp.
  3. Also let them know that at the higher secure facility, they are likely to see prisoners in handcuffs and shackles, guards with long guns, guard towers, etc., so they are not caught off guard.
    • This is because each client will deal with the emotional aspects of “prison” in their own way, especially if it’s their first time.
  4. There they will be screened and given a change of clothes. The clothes that they came with along with peripherals, will then be boxed and returned to their ‘legal residence’.
  5. Their birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and social security card all will be kept, to be returned at the end of their incarceration.

Whatever legal papers you have accumulated, just like medical records, these copies can be kept with you as your own personal records. Your PSR, I believe is not allowed to be brought in with your other personal items.

What happens if you depend solely on the process, and do not verify that the court’s orders have preceded your client’s arrival?

Your client was allowed to self-surrender, and the rest was an ‘assumed formality’…

  • Upon your client’s arrival, the prison’s guards at receiving had not received any of the court’s orders regarding their sentenced incarceration – which does happen, no matter how infrequently.
  • Policy-wise, once they have your client’s birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, and/or social security card, this may only allow the facility to hold your client (meaning that they will not turn your client away), but likely will not allow them to formally admit them into the institution.
  • This ‘hold’ option further may also involve moving your client into an ‘isolation’ cell until the court order arrives, which according to staff, “may take up to a month”.
  • A core value in this author’s opinion is verifying that the institution has received all of his/her required court-ordered intake documents, before your client’s arrival.

Attorneys’ Reputation and Future Referrals: No one really wants to go to prison. Therefore, while this defendant (and their family), may or may not turn out to be a great referral resource, bad reviews on the other hand can come from anywhere and travel at lightning speed – case in point.

  • For those of you who already do this, your clients are grateful – even if they don’t know, or show it.

For more…

Federal Sentencing: From PSR Preparation To Drafting The BOP Placement Request

In ALL cases, preparing for the Sentencing Hearing should start as soon as possible.
Why?
a) Depending on whether it’s a state or federal case, there may only be weeks (or months) after the guilty verdict.
b) Getting all medical records via the HIPPA release can take a long time as some physicians and hospitals have been busy, especially in the age of COVID-19. HIPAA-COMPLIANT AUTHORIZATION FOR THE RELEASE OF PATIENT INFORMATION PURSUANT TO 45 CFR 164.508.
c) Coordinating character references, expert witnesses, and documentation for their PSR all takes time.
d) Developing the PSR, along with recommendations for placement, takes time.

 

I- The Presentence Report is used by;
1st) Judges
To establish the length of the sentence, along with they have the option to make a placement request.

2nd) The BOP, For Use It For Facility Placement.

3rd) Probation: Use it during Supervised Release.

4th) It then becomes a permanent part of the defendant’s record.

5th) Lastly, for inmates, it’s referred to as the ‘Inmates Bible.’

 

II) Sentence Length Determined By The Court based on;

2021 (Released), Judiciary Sentencing INformation (JSIN) In real-time, the platform provides quick and easy online access to sentencing data for similarly situated defendants – An Updated USSC Sentencing Table.

USSC Sentencing Table (Point Based), [2018, CHAPTER 5: SENTENCING TABLE]
Offense Level (0-43+): *24+ categories.

Vs
Criminal History (0-13+)
Points for each prior sentence > 1 Year + 1 Month.
Points for each prior sentence > 60 days, not counted above.
Point for each prior sentence, <= 60 days not counted above, for up to a maximum of 4 points in this category.
Points for each revocation with a new charge or under federal supervision.
Point for each prior sentence resulting from a conviction of a crime of violence that did not receive any points as noted above because such sentence was treated as a single sentence, up to a total of 3 points for this subsection.

 

III) BOP Determines Placement Designation
1st) Healthcare: provided based on a CARE LEVEL I-IV Structure
Applies to Medical and Mental Healthcare CARE LEVELs.
Psychology and Life Skills National Programs have now been embedded into the First Step Act, with its limited availability and associated security requirements.
There are approximately 3,500 Medications in the BOP, which fall into 3 tiers. PPRS Prison Match™ has all of these drugs categorized by tier level should this apply to your client.
Is there a special diet request?
Allergies: all need to be documented in the PSR.

2nd) Non-Medical Placement is based on;
Bed Space Availability. 
Aspirational: placement within 500 driving miles of legal residence.
Population Management: some inmates, for specified reasons, need to be monitored or separated from others.

2a) Public Safety Factors (PSF) & Management Variables [P5100.08, CN-I, 9/4/2019, Tables: Chapter 5, pages 12-13]
Could a Public Safety Factor (PSF: Chapter 4, pages 5-13) warrant a reduced security level?
Accepting Responsibility (may get point reductions).
Voluntary Surrender (gets point reductions).
Drug / Alcohol Abuse may allow RDAP.
RDAP; Required usage is within 1 year prior to the date arrested (illegal or legal medications or drugs).
AGE: 55+ (0Pts), 36-54 (2pts), 25-35 (4pts), <25 (8pts), Unknown (8pts).
Education Level: High School (0pts), GED Progress (1pt), No degree (2pts).

Sentence Length
>10 years – Low
>20 yrs – Medium, (Females: High)
>30 yrs – High

Disruptive Group
Male inmates will be housed in a High-security level institution unless the PSF has been waived.

Greatest Severity Offense
Males will be housed in at least a Low-security level institution unless the PSF has been waived.

Threat to Government Official
Male or female will be housed in at least a Low.

Deportable Alien: (male inmate who is not a citizen will be housed in at least a Low).

History Violent Behavior
A female inmate whose current term of confinement or history involves two convictions or findings – Low.

Serious Escape
A female, serious escape with the last 10 yrs. designated to Carswell Adm. Unit unless the PSF has been waived.
A male inmate with or without the threat of violence or escapes housed in at least a Medium.

Juvenile Violence
A male or female who has any documented:
a) Violent behavior, past or present, which resulted in a conviction, delinquency adjudication, or finding of guilt.
b) Violence: aggressive behavior causing bodily harm, death, or behavior likely to cause serious bodily harm. 

Serious Phone Abuse
a) A male or female who utilizes the telephone to further criminal activities or Promote Illicit Organizations.
b) Conviction is Not Required, housed at least in a Low.
c) The PSF should be entered regarding any one of the following, if applicable.

Criminal acts conducted by telephone
-Leader/Organizer or primary motivator; or
a) communicate threats of bodily injury, death, assaults, or homicides.
b) conducts Fraudulent activity (actual or attempted) in an institution.
-Leader / Organizer who used the telephone to conduct fraudulent activity (actual or attempted)…
a) Smuggled narcotics or alcohol into a prison.
-Federal Law Enforcement notifies the BOP of concern and needs to monitor an inmate’s telephone calls…
a) The inmate has been found guilty of a 100 or 200-level offense code for telephone abuse.
b) A Bureau of Prisons official has reasonable suspicion and/or documented intelligence supporting telephone abuse.

Prison Disturbance
A male or female inmate who was involved in a serious incident of violence, Engaging / Encouraging a Riot:
a) Males will be housed in at least a HIGH-security level institution and
b) Females will be assigned to the Carswell Adm. Unit.

2b) Plus
a) Judicial Recommendations
b) Options For Work Cadre Participation (at secure facilities without satellite camps), where the inmate is allowed to work outside the perimeter of the institution.
c) PSF Waved: An inmate may receive up to three Public Safety Factors (PSFs) wavers.
d) Long Term Detainee transfers for positive or negative behavior may cause placement in a facility different from the scored security or custody level.

 

IV) Making The Placement Request
In recommending a facility placement, it’s helpful to provide a reason, for example:
To facilitate regular family visitation, or
To permit participation in a specific:
a) Medical CARE LEVEL
b) Mental Healthcare CARE LEVEL
c) Psychology has limited in availability and has associated security requirements.
d) Vocational Training Program
e) UNICOR job availability

 

V) Military: Is your client a Veteran?
If possible, connect your client with a facility that caters to veterans.
FCI Morgantown started a Veterans to Veterans Service Dog Training Program in 2016.
The Participants are federally imprisoned military veterans housed in a special wing responsible for training service guide dogs for veterans with mobility impairments, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or other military service missions.

If you’d like to discuss this, I look forward to speaking with you.

Dr. Blatstein

Physician Presentence Report Service

info@PPRSUS.com, 240.888.7778

Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison: The Critical Role of the Presentence Report

Availability of Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison

The Federal Lawyer Jan./Feb. 2021                    Availability of Treatment and Rehabilitation in Federal Prison

 

 

The Critical Role of the Presentence Report
MARC BLATSTEIN, D.P.M.; FAY F. SPENCE, J.D.; E.J. HURST II, J.D.; AND MAUREEN BAIRD

Prisoners have a constitutional right to adequate medical care, but what that means and how to get needed treatment are often not well understood by attorneys representing criminal defendants.
This article attempts to address that knowledge deficit by explaining the medical, mental health, and substance abuse programs and policies in the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), as well as some of the educational, vocational, and other available programs intended to rehabilitate inmates and prepare them for return to society. Equally important, the article explains the critical role of the presentence report (PSR) in determining whether and how needed treatment and programs will be available to a defendant. Documentation is paramount, and the diligent attorney must be proactive in gathering and supplying the appropriate documentation to the probation officer preparing the PSR and to the court, along with a sentencing memorandum advocating for the defendant’s desired sentencing outcome and institutional placement, supported by the sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).

https://www.pprsus.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Dr.-Blatstein_The-Federal-Lawyer-The-Critical-Role-Of-The-PSR_Jan-Feb2021.pdf

MORE THAN WHISPERS – You’re Target #1, The FBI’s Coming

You’re Target #1, The FBI’s Coming

It’s MORE THAN WHISPERS 

You’re Going to  Prison, – There is no way to Dress this up – BUT

If the Rumors and whispers that the FBI is poking around are true…

I’d take that seriously

HELLO AND WELCOME, MY NAME IS MARC BLATSTEIN AND I AM THE PHYSICIAN WHO FOUNDED THE PHYSICIAN PRESENTENCE REPORT SERVICE

AFTER 30+ years IN PRACTICE

MY MORNING WAS interrupted by the feds at 6 am knock at my front door, and a 2nd at 8 am at my medical practice – interrupting my patients and staff, all for a problem that I created.

As I was Guilty, – I Plead to a Felony and was convicted of a federal White-Collar crime, and was sentenced to time in the BOP as a Justice-Impacted Person.

After my release, and several years of hard work, my license was fully restored in 2010.

Around that time;

·        I chose to use my skills in medicine

·        with my understanding of the BOP

·        to assist those of you,

·        who like me,

·        find themselves facing our Criminal Justice System.

 

While I found myself totally UNPREPARED

I Made It My Mission

TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE RESOURCES

That You Will Need

SO, YOU’LL BE PREPARED- BECAUSE

 

IN PRISON – AS IN LIFE

PREPARATION = SURVIVAL

WHILE YOUR STAY IN PRISON WILL BE TEMPORARY (and a bit UNSETTLING)

 

The Goal Is To Be Productive

FOLLOW YOUR REENTRY PLAN

and

Get Home As Soon As Possible

So let’s get to it!

 

If you’re hearing FBI whispers,

•        Start interviewing attorneys, ask questions, get references,

•        Sentencing Memorandum, ask to read samples written for previous clients, are they boilerplate?

•        Then, be honest with your attorney, and yourself – no surprises.

 

PSI Preparation is crucial – You Are your best and only Advocate

Ask yourself: 

•        Do you have confidence in your defense?

•        Do you need additional team partners who are specialized in,

  • Sentencing Mitigation, Allocution, Personal Narrative, and Reentry Release Planning Advocacy

•        All Before Your Presentence Interview

 

If Not, there are No Redo’s ⇒ this is Your Future ⇒ Speak up now

 

PREPARATION and SELF-ADVOCACY are your CORE VALUES

 

PREPARATION:

•        Attorney Interview, Working together – must be a Joint Defense

  • Decision #1: Trial or Plea

•        PRACTICE: Your Allocution (& Memorandum), for the Sentencing Hearing

  • Your Personal Narrative could take a month+ to write
  • The Memorandum is given by your Attorney

•        Your Presentence Interview (PSI)

  • Know Your Narrative → weave it into your conversation with your PO, for placement into your Presentence Report (PSR), which is now complete.

 

SELF-ADVOCACY:

•        Relies on the skills that made you successful, some being “Self-Motivated”

•        At your Attorneys request, your Personal Narrative was included in Your PSR

•        Reentry Planning

•        Sentence Mitigation Strategies are employed Before Sentencing, and During Incarceration


YOUR PREPARATION

Working Together With Your Attorney At Every Stage

 

1st) Be honest with your attorney, about everything –

•        Plea or Trial – Nobody wants surprises

 

2nd) Your PSI, needs to include everything about you.

•        In addition to all your Biographical Background information

•        Medical, Character References, Education, Legal, Etc.

•        Your attorney has connected with your PO before your Interview to;

  • get a “pulse” on how much they know, to
  • present their case/defense strategy
  • and learn the date the PO must have their final PSR completed

•        RDAP (if applicable), Include it now

•        If is not there, and you need it later to reduce your time, that may be a big lift.

•        Compassionate Release (medical issues, transplant, medications (physician testimony)

•        FSA Programs, your attorney will be able to review or know your PSF, and if any of the applicable programs apply;

•        Autism, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anger Management, etc.

•        Your Personal Narrative needs to be finished before your interview so;

•        That you know it, cold, and discuss it in 1st person with your P.O.

•        It should be able to be, copy-pasted, directly into the P.O., PSR

•        This Is  Your Story: In Written and/or Video Format3rd) Time must be allowed for the development of your Personal Narrative, with assistance

 

4th) The PSR is Now Complete and should Include all the Above, including your Personal Narrative – which Judges want to see.

 

5th) Time is spent practicing for your sentencing hearing with your attorney regarding,

1.     If the Judge is aggregable, due to your allocution, and departs below the guidelines

2.     If RDAP is applicable now  is when your attorney can ask for it to be put into the order, and if the judge agrees, then

3.     Politely, also request for 1 specific BOP prison, based on that RDAP program – using this as an example (camp eligible < 10 years), to also be put into the order.

  • Further, should the BOP not be able to do so,
    1. The BOP could notify the court in writing
    2. Why they couldn’t make this placement?

SELF-ADVOCACY

Allocution – Your Personal Narrative

Listen To What Federal Judges Have To Say

THE FEDERAL LAWYER • September/October 2019, VIEWS FROM THE BENCH, Own the Mistake and Demonstrate Sincere Remorse

Judge Richard G. Kopf of the District of Nebraska,

Judge Jon D. Levy of the District of Maine in Portland,

Judge Patti Sarris of the District of Massachusetts

Judge Cynthia A. Bashant;

Judge Morrison C. England Jr;…one of the biggest mistakes defense lawyers can make is not having their client answer the question…

Judge Lawrence C. O’Neill,

Judge James K. Bredar—says he comes out on the bench with a sentence already in mind. “Allocution, however, changes this when I see the defendant has insight into the harm he has done.”

 

NACDL, The Champion • March 2011, Heartstrings or Heartburn:  A Federal Judge’s Musings On Defendants’ Right and Rite of Allocution,

Judge Mark Bennett; A Good Allocution Can Be Beneficial

 

What Federal Judges Want To Hear:

We’re interested in a defendant who has the capability of introspection and who has come to grips with the impact of his offense on others…

 

“No punishment will be enough. If I could go back and change everything, I would.”

 

I am persuaded that the defendant is sincere and demonstrates insight into the crime.

   

Allocution is very important, “I like to have a conversation with the defendant,”…

  

I want him to apologize to the victim and his or her family, particularly if they are in the courtroom.

   

“Allocution, however, changes this when I see the defendant has insight into the harm he has done,” when I see the defendant has insight into the harm he has done”

   

“I am looking for remorse and insight as to why he did what he did and what he is doing to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

  

“It’s very important that lawyers prepare a client for allocution, even if they have gone to trial, and do the job that they are retained to do.”

 

Start paying restitution, even $25/mo, and don’t show up at court in a $900/ month luxury car.


Consultations are on me.

Thank you! Marc
240.888.7778
Physician Presentence Report Service

No matter where you are in The Process, there are things we can do

* No Physician,  Attorney, or Consultant can promise any outcomes.

You’re the FBI Target

You’re the FBI Target

5 Areas You Must Advocate For Yourself

 

PREPARATION = SURVIVAL


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

For a No Obligation Free Consult, Call: 240.888.7778 or by emailI answer and personally return all of his calls.


1st, Start interviewing Attorneys

  • Ask for References
    • I am sure you have several “happy” clients willing to speak with you. Don’t be shy; before I had a hip replacement, I, too, interviewed many orthopedic surgeons asking similar questions.
  • Ask to see “several Sentencing Memorandums,”
    • If they ask Why, or that is Confidential, politely respond by agreeing, but PDF Adobe documents can be redacted, ‘blacking out’ all personal identification.
    • Here, we want to see if they take the time to write each separately, or are they Boilerplate?

 

2nd, You and your attorney,

  • YOU HAVE TO BE HONEST WITH THEM ABOUT EVERYTHING (again, here, too, I was not; Another Lesson Learned)
  • NEXT: as the DOJ has a 98% conviction rate, do you want to go to Trial or Plea?

 

3rd, If you win at Trial: CONGRATS!!

 

4th. If you lose at Trial or Plea, at best, you now only have 90 days to prepare for your Presentence Interview

YOU

  • Collecting copies of your medical records – Everything
  • Hospital, laboratory, radiology, physician, surgical, prescription, and medical devices

Other: copies

  • You get the picture: educational, military, character, community service, work references, original birth certificates, social security cards, licenses, etc.

 

Your Attorney: Preparing their strategy for The Presentence Interview, then

ASAP, they will contact The Probation Officer to learn when their Final Dictation Date Is for Your PRESENTENCE REPORT

  • Why: because they want to get a feel for what the Officer knows while getting their “message on the record, “… AKA Bonding
  • To Set Up YOUR INTERVIEW

BE PREPARED because the P.O. will write your PRESENTENCE REPORT based on your INTERVIEW.

  • YOU NEED TO KNOW – YOUR NARRATIVE COLD

 

Your PRESENTENCE REPORT IMPACTS

  1. Release Date
  2. Security Level Requirements
  3. Medical and Mental Healthcare Needs
  4. Psychology Programs – Limited Availability
  5. FSA Programming, and Criminogenic Needs, Risk AssessmentETC towards early release

 

5th. YOUR PERSONAL NARRATIVE

MEANWHILE, for the last 3 months, you have been writing and rewriting your story – YOUR PERSONAL NARRATIVE that challenges the DOJ Narrative of you – Your INDICTMENT.

Well written, this is your chance to speak directly to the Judge – and where he gets to know who you are, humanizing yourself to the court. Judges understand that crimes do not happen in a vacuum and want to know why you committed your crime.  You now have the opportunity to accept responsibility and have remorse for the pain you have inflicted on your victims.

Done right, it could lower your sentence, but no guarantees

 

Still not convinced – Listen to what these five Judges Say:

A Federal Judge’s Musings on Defendants’ Right and Rite of Allocution,

NACDL, The Champion, March 2011

Judge Mark Bennett, My basic principles of allocution include:

(1) be sincere.

(2) discuss what “taking full responsibility” means;

(3) acknowledge that there are victims (e.g., even when the PSR indicates “no identifiable victim,” as it does in most drug cases);

(4) an understanding of how the crime affected the victims;

(5) express genuine remorse;

(6) a plan to use prison or probation time in a productive manner;

(7) a discussion of why the defendant wants to change his or her criminal behavior; and, perhaps most importantly,

  • a true desire to learn a specific trade and a request to go to a specific Bureau of Prisons institution that offers that trade can sometimes be beneficial.

(8) information that helps humanize the defendant and the defendant’s role in the crime.

 

THE FEDERAL LAWYER • September/October 2019

VIEWS FROM THE BENCH, Own the Mistake – Demonstrate Sincere Remorse

Judge Richard G. Kopf of the District of Nebraska,

One of the best allocutions I have ever heard was:

“Judge, I want to atone for what I did to the victims and my family. I deserve some prison time. I hurt the victims, I hurt my family, and I’ve hurt myself. When I get out, I am ready to take the following steps.”

 

Judge Jon D. Levy of the District of Maine in Portland, “Allocution matters,”

“I will never hold poor communication skills against a defendant. What’s important is whether I am persuaded that the defendant is sincere and demonstrates insight about the crime…”

 

Judge Cynthia A. Bashant of the Southern District of California

“I want him to apologize to the victim and his or her family, particularly if they are in the courtroom. Just like a parent with a child who has done wrong, I am looking for ‘insight’ from the defendant,”

 

Judge Marcia S. Krieger of the District of Colorado in Denver has “seen allocutions where a defendant has shown that he is sincere and thoughtful about what he is saying.”

It is very important for the lawyer to prepare his client for allocution if allocution is to be made.

It is essential for Judge Krieger that a defendant “publicly admit his shame,” which shows her that he has internalized his crime.


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

For a No Obligation Free Consult Call: 240.888.7778 or by email. I answer and personally return all of my calls.

First Step Act – Revised 2022

FSA - First step act

Reduction in Recidivism

Requires the Attorney General to develop a risk and needs assessment system

  • The BOP assesses the recidivism risk and criminogenic needs of all federal prisoners
  • Place them in recidivism-reducing programs
  • Including productive activities to address their needs and reduce this risk.
  •  Under the act, the system provides guidance on the:
    • type,
    • amount, and
    • the intensity of recidivism reduction programming and
    • productive activities to which each prisoner is assigned, including
    • information on which programs prisoners should participate in based on their criminogenic needs.
    • on how to group, to the extent practicable,
      • prisoners with similar risk levels together in recidivism reduction programming and
      • housing assignments.
  • The Act also amends 18 U.S.C. § 4042(a), requiring the BOP to assist inmates in:
    • applying for federal and state benefits and
    • obtain identification, including a
      • social security card,
      • driver’s license or
      • other official photo identification, and
      • birth certificate.
  • The First Step Act also expands the Second Chance Act to deliver recidivism reduction programming.

Incentives for Success

  • The Act amended 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b), so that federal inmate can earn:
    • up to 54 days of good time credit for every year of their imposed sentence
    • rather than, for every year of their sentence served.
    • For example, if you’re sentenced to 10 years, and your maximum good time credit = 540 days.
    • These good-time credits go towards pre-release custody.
    • Ineligible for good-time credit are generally categorized as:
      • violent, or involve
      • terrorism,
      • espionage,
      • human trafficking,
      • sex and sexual exploitation; additionally
      • excluded offenses are a repeat felon in possession of a firearm, or
      • high-level drug offenses
      • For a complete list, see disqualifying offenses

Confinement

  • 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b) requires the BOP to house inmates in facilities within 500 driving miles of their primary residence.
  • The BOP variety of factors goes into placement, including:
    • bed space availability,
    • security designation,
    • programmatic needs,
    • mental and medical health needs,
    • any request made by the inmate related to faith-based needs,
    • recommendations of the sentencing court, and
    • other security concerns.
  • The FSA reauthorizes and modifies a pilot program that allows the BOP to place certain elderly and terminally ill prisoners in home confinement to serve the remainder of their sentences.

Correctional Reforms

  • Criminal justice-related provisions, including;
    • prohibition on the use of restraints on pregnant inmates in the custody of BOP and the U.S. Marshals Service.
    • requirement for the BOP to provide tampons and sanitary napkins for free
    • The FSA requires BOP to give training to correctional officers and other BOP employees:
      • on how to interact and de-escalate encounters with people who are diagnosed with mental illness or other cognitive deficits.
      • Also included is a prohibition against the use of solitary confinement for juvenile delinquents in federal custody.

Sentencing Reforms

  • Changes to Mandatory Minimums for Certain Drug Offenders for some drug traffickers with prior drug convictions
    • the threshold for prior convictions that count toward triggering higher mandatory minimums for repeat offenders,
      • is reduced from the 20-year to a 15-year mandatory minimum,
    • The life-in-prison mandatory minimum (where there are two or more prior qualifying convictions),
      • to a 25-year mandatory minimum.
  • Retroactivity of the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA)
    •  Those who received longer sentences for crack cocaine than if sentenced for possession of powder cocaine can submit a petition in federal court to have their sentences reduced.
  • Expanding the Safety Valve

FEMALE PATTERN RISK SCORING

MALE PATTERN RISK SCORING

Violent Offense Codes for PATTERN Risk Assessment *

Cut points used when calculating an inmate’s Risk of Recidivism

Ambridge Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Fentanyl 12/2020

Possessing Fentanyl – DOJ

In early December 2020, Michael Gamble was paid a surprise visit by law enforcement. At the conclusion of their search, they found at least 90 G of Fentanyl along with a loaded handgun with an attached extended magazine. None of this looks good, and easily crosses an Offense Level of 34 (with its approximate base number of 28 or greater). Michael Gamble, age 37, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Christy Criswell Wiegand and is scheduled sentencing for Feb. 9, 2023.

The DOJ has a case, and while everyone deserves legal representation, in the federal system 98% plea as opposed to going to trial, but I get ahead of myself.

How over the years did a medication initially develop in 1959 by Dr. Paul Janssen as an intravenous surgical anesthetic, wind up on our streets? Recalling my days as a surgical resident in the mid-1980s, this was on no one’s radar, except anesthesia. Interest came initially from large animal veterinarians, which morphed into skin patches for humans in the early 2000s to treat chronic pain. This was followed with user-friendly delivery options; a lollipop, tablet, and nasal spray.

Carfentanyl, a fentanyl analog is approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine, 100 times more than fentanyl, and 50 times more than heroin. It is to be used as a general anesthetic for very large animals.

Fentanyl (Carfentanyl) analogs, including fentanyl-laced heroin, come in many flavors, with street names such as white heroin, Perc-O-Pops, Chiclets, Apache, China Girl, White China, Dance Fever, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, Tango and Cash, Friend, Goodfella, and Redrum (murder spelled backward). The sheer variety and combinations make toxicology testing and accurate death reporting extremely challenging.

Having a cogent defense, that includes sentence mitigation through presentence interview preparation is key. Should you have a question, contact us.