Federal Prison Guidebook includes programs and policies for 105 prisons--educational, vocational, and apprenticeship opportunities, UNICOR, counseling and rehabilitation services, fitness and recreation facilities, religious services, telephone policy, accommodations in surrounding area, and much more.
Although it is Bureau of Prisons policy to place an individual in the least restrictive facility within 500 miles of the inmate’s release residence, many inmates end up far from their families in harsher conditions than necessary. It doesn’t have to be that way.
You can take three steps to ensure that your clients do their time in the best possible facilities. First, learn how the BOP classifies its facilities, and the characteristics of each type of facility. Second, understand how the BOP decides what type of prison is appropriate. Finally, learn how to increase the odds of a favorable placement.
For assistance with all three steps, turn to Alan Ellis and Michael Henderson’s Federal Prison Guidebook.
9 practice tips from the book:
1. Importance of accuracy
2. Meeting preparation – “Highlighted cases are more helpful to probation officers, who are not lawyers and are sometimes put off by memoranda of law”
3. Drug abuse or alcoholism - “It is important for defense counsel to make sure that the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR) adequately documents any drug (illegal as well as prescription) abuse or alcoholism”
4. Medical condition - “A focus on mental or physical problems can be warranted if it supports an argument for a lower sentence based either on Guideline Program Statements or the non-guideline factors. Otherwise, highlighting these problems may have the unintended consequence of the client being designated either to a medical facility rather than a camp, or to a different camp that is not the client’s first choice.”
5. Advance agreement – “Since getting probation officers to change a PSR can be difficult, put your effort into trying to get a good initial draft. That way, you won’t have to file that many objections.”
6. Sentencing memorandum – “The best way to influence the judge’s selection of “tentative sentence” is to file a sentencing memorandum approximately seven days before sentencing.”
7. Maintaining eligibility – “Charge bargaining can result in a better chance at RDAP eligibility”
8. Judicial recommendations – “Unfortunately, some judges don’t like to recommend particular places of confinement at sentencing, believing that they are not “correctional experts,’’ or because they have become discouraged by letters they get from the BOP advising them that their recommendations cannot be honored in a particular case. In these situations, counsel should point out two things.”
9. Credit for prior custody – “Inmates can lose substantial credit towards their federal sentences because of the BOP’s narrow interpretation of 18 U.S.C. §3585(b), which governs credit for prior custody”
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Chapter 1: Prison Programs and Policies
Chapter 2: Securing a Favorable Federal Prison Placement
Chapter 3: Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)
Chapter 4: How to Do Time
Chapter 5: Pre-Release
Chapter 6: Sex Offenders
Chapter 7: Medical Care in the Bureau of Prisons
Chapter 8: Federal Sentencing
Chapter 9: Direct Appeals
Chapter 10: Habeas Corpus: §2255 Motions
Chapter 11: Practice Tips
Chapter 12: The Mid-Atlantic Region
Chapter 13: The North Central Region
Chapter 14: The Northeast Region
Chapter 15: The South Central Region
Chapter 16: The South East Region
Chapter 17: The Western Region
Chapter 18: Privately Managed Facilities Housing Federal Inmates