Tag medical health care in prison

First Step Act – Revised 2022

Reduction in Recidivism

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

  • The BOP assess 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, you’re sentenced to 10 years, 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 more 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 on 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 the BOP to provide tampons and sanitary napkins for free
    • The FSA requires BOP to provide 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

Probation Officers | Federal | The PSR

Probation Officers Representing The Court:

They Conduct The Presentence Interview,

This is critical – as from it they prepare

Your Presentence Report (PSR),

Which acts as your “referral” to

The Federal Bureau of Prisons for everything

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For a No Obligation Free Consult Call Dr.Blatstein at: 240.888.7778, or through email at: info@PPRSUS.com. Dr. Blatstein answers and personally returns all of his calls.

Probation receives and evaluates pre-sentence investigation requests.

Their Process:

  • 1st they interview you, and then
    • Identify and pursue leads to obtain evidence.
    • Gather and document evidence by interviewing involved parties, obtaining statements, reviewing and analyzing records and files, etc.
    • Gather criminal history, police reports, victim impact statements, criminal complaints, and information and review them prior to the interview with the offender.
    • Conduct offender criminal history checks, warrant inquiries, and driver’s license abstract checks.
    • Compile and maintain history and case records.
    • Inform offenders of their rights, responsibilities, and purposes of the pre-sentence investigation process.
    • Interview offenders are required by the courts to have a pre-sentence investigation completed.
    • Utilize PSI interview guide and the Criminogenic Domains of Criminal History, Education/Employment, Financial, Family/Marital, Accommodation, Leisure/Recreation, Companions, Alcohol/Drug, Emotional/Personal, and Attitude/Orientation.
    • Complete various extensive assessment tools to gauge offender risk and needs.
    • Collect PSI fees.
    • Coordinate investigations with other law enforcement agencies, regulatory agencies, and other relevant entities.
    • Confirm information gathered during the interview.
    • Communicate with the appropriate Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff, other state agencies, related organizations, other entities, volunteers, and the public to provide information, referral services, technical advice, and consultation regarding PSI.
    • Communicate with Courts, attorneys, law enforcement, and other agencies involved in a court-ordered pre-sentence investigation.
    • Document interview and investigation.
  • Identify and Inform crime victims of their rights.
    • Assist the victim advocates in coordinating victim requests for offender information; victim issues such as recovery from injury, financial losses, or victim mediation; preparation of victim impact statements and reports; communicate offender progress and victim assistance to various local, state, and federal officials, and to treatment staff.

Prepare The Presentence Report and

Recommend administrative, legal, and/or sentencing action.

  • Present evidence to prosecutors, legal staff, or courts.
  • Prepare and present testimony as required for legal proceedings or administrative hearings.
  • Report offender compliance with the presentence investigation to courts.
  • Summarize information gathered during the investigation and interview into the pre-sentence format.

Make sentencing recommendations

  • based on sentencing guidelines and a thorough analysis of:
  • Ensure the report is distributed according to Applicable Code standards.
  • Monitor programs for compliance with state and federal laws compliance.
  • Gather, compile, and maintain statistics for required and requested reports.
  • Investigate and confirm the information on offender release plans or interstate compact investigations.
  • Maintain working knowledge of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR) programs and community-based programs that are available for offenders.

Note: The duties of probation officers listed above are not intended to be all-inclusive.

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 1stand, 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

      • 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

Mental Healthcare In The BOP – Is This Your Client?

Serious Mental Illness In The BOP 

The BOP provides Medical and Mental Healthcare (MH), through their 4 CARE LEVELS.

The BOP’s Psychology Data System (Page 2) Is Filled Out For All MH Levels.

The Designation and Sentence Computation Center places inmates into Care Levels 1 and 2

CARE LEVEL 1 MH

  • No Significant Need.
  • No history of serious functional impairment due to mental illness
  • No need for regular mental health visits
  • No hospitalization in the last 5 years
  • Defendant on their own has sought help
  • Controlled with 2 psychotropic meds (Not MH I if taking antipsychotic)
  1. Psychotropic medications:
    • anti-anxiety agents
    • mood stabilizers
    • stimulants
  2. Antipsychotic medicines, 
    • delusions (false, fixed beliefs) or
    • hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not really there).
    • schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or
    • very severe depression (also known as “psychotic depression”).
  • Clinical visits q 6 mo

CARE LEVEL 2 MH

  • He/she has a mental illness requiring:
  • Routine Ongoing Outpatient visits
    • Medication controlled,
    • Medical visits q 1-6 months
    • Group Therapy, interventions every other week
  • Crisis Oriented, BRIEF MH Care, g., placement on suicide watch
  • Psychiatric Hospitalizations within the last 5 yrs
  • On Antipsychotic or 2 psychotropic meds

CARE LEVEL III & IV designation is made by the BOP’s Office of Medical Designations and Transportation

 CARE LEVEL 3 MH

  • Not In-patient
  • Enhanced Outpatient (Requires outpatient contacts with a prescribing doc > than monthly [at least weekly]); or
  • Housed in A Residential Treatment Program.
  • 2+ Psychiatric Hospitalizations within the last 3 yrs
  • 3+ anti-psychotic meds [Or > 5 meds for multiple Dx]

If you have a client with an MH CARE LEVEL of III, and a Medical CARE LEVEL of II,
The MH placement takes precedence.

Care Level 4 MH

  • Inpatient
    • gravely disabled and
    • cannot function in the general population, as in CARE3-MH
    • medical care 24/7/365
  • Tx plan reviewed every 90 days

Entering The BOP – Verifying The Availability of Your Medications

Verifying Medication  Availability

Will Go A Long Way To Easing Your Client’s Fears

    • They assume that they will still get medical care on the inside.
    • The assumption may also be that they will also get the same medications that they got on the outside,
    • This will likely be a False assumption.

 

Medication availability (~ 3500 different drugs), falls into 3 categories.

1st) On Formulary -Available:

      • These medications are available for BOP healthcare providers for inmate use.

2nd) Non-Formulary -These require a lengthy Preauthorization Process

      • These medications while they are stocked, are not available and require a lengthy Pre-authorization.
      • As the BOP Formulary is available online, and should your medication fall into this category, this discussion should take place long before the Presentence Interview for obvious reasons.

3rd) Similar equivalents – Not On Formulary (Not Available)

      • Here similar or equivalent substitutions are used. It is before this point, and long before the PSI, after consulting with the current treating physician of record, that defense needs to make appropriate decisions regarding this medical problem.
      • Albeit, addressing it before the PSR is complete, with the backing of the US Attorney, and finally the court.
        1. Examples of medication confusion for Cholesterol Control:
          • PCSK9 Inhibitors vs. Statins. Statins are a popular treatment that has been available since the 1980s. PCSK9 inhibitors, on the other hand, are a new type of cholesterol drug. They were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2015.

Generics

    • These are the drug of choice for the BOP as they are cheaper than brand-name medications.
    • It may be beneficial to inform your client ahead of time that, while they’ll be taking a generic medication
      • since there are many manufacturers who each produce similar generic drugs
      • these same drugs, while may differ in color, size, and shape;
      • they should be the same
    • Nobody likes surprises, especially if they are entering prison for the first time.

                                                              Generic Lipitor Good Rx

 

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

  • 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 and a primary diagnostic of Borderline Personality Disorder, along with 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

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

Medication availability falls into 3 tiers:

  1. On the BOP Formulary (available).
  2. Non-Formulary; these require a lengthy preauthorization process.
  3. Last: these are just not available. While similar medications are substituted, 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 that has a new charge or occurs 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

AARP Foundation Finances 50+ (2022)

AARP Foundation Finances 50+ (2022)

Program Description

This program provides financial education and counseling for vulnerable households, particularly adults age 50+.

Older adults face unique challenges in financial planning and weak job prospects. This program will assist the older adult in financial goal setting that translates into positive financial behaviors.

Hours 1.5
Location(s) All BOP Locations
Needs Addressed Finance/Poverty

Long-COVID In Prison

PPRS - PPRSUS - Physician Presentence Report Service

Long-COVID

No alt text provided for this image

Kara Gormont, former Chief of Staff for the Defense Health Agency. A year and a half after developing Long-COVID in November 2020, she learned, that the military at the time had no process to deal with it.

“I truly felt very abandoned by the healthcare system that I had at that time given 28 years of my life to,” read (or listen) to her story, American Homefront Project | By Andrew Hirschfeld, Published April 27, 2022.

Current Treatment Challenges – CDC, 2022: Living with a Long-COVID condition can be hard, especially when there are no immediate answers or solutions. Their website then links to the 2021 page linked below…

Treatment Though Medical Management – CDC, 2021: for Long-COVID In Prison conditions is developed through a comprehensive plan based on:

  • Medical and psychiatric conditions, personal and social situations,
  • Through already established symptom management approaches (e.g., breathing exercises to improve symptoms of dyspnea).
  • Different therapies might include physical and occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, vocational therapy, as well as neurologic rehabilitation for cognitive symptoms.
  • A gradual physical rehabilitation plan for some patients (e.g., persons with post-exertional malaise);
  • Consultation with physiatry for cautious initiation of exercise and recommendations about pacing may be useful.

While not mentioned above, reported in REUTERS, April 18, 2022, The case for testing Pfizer’s Paxlovid for treating long COVID. The article makes several points; 1st, while there have been positive patient results, 2nd, there should be more scientifically regulated studies before conclusions can be made. You be the judge, but either way, it is hard to see this antiviral making its way into any prison pharmacy.

  • To date, there are no established treatments for Long-COVID In Prison. Why is this important, because the symptoms identified with post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 adversely affect the inmates’ ability to care for themselves or function normally, during a normal work day.
  • A remaining question still exists, are 100% of corrections staff fully vaccinated and boosted? Why, because as imperfect as the vaccines are, they do prevent hospitalizations and death. Unvaccinated (and if appropriate unmasked) staff can be active spreaders of the virus.

more…

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

PPRS - PPRSUS - Physician Presentence Report Service

Preparing for the Sentencing Hearing, in some cases should start as soon as possible.
Why?
a) Depending on if it’s a state or federal case, there may only be only weeks (or months) after the guilty verdict to start.
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. 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 Uses 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;
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 that has a new charge or occurs 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 3500 Medications in the BOP, which fall into 3 tiers. PPRS Prison Match™ has all of these drugs categorized by tier level should this applies 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 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
Male 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 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 who are housed in a special wing that is responsible for training service guide dogs, for veterans who have mobility impairments, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (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

Access 2022

Productive Activities (PA)
Access 2022

Program Description

This program is designed for incarcerated women who are survivors of domestic violence.

It assists women in identifying suitable career options to be economically independent upon reentry. An interactive computer component (which can be printed and used in class) is used
to explore career options. Participants also complete testing to determine what career field is best for them.

Hours 10
Location(s) All-female sites
Needs Addressed Cognitions, Mental Health, Trauma
Program Delivery Special Population Program Coordinator