Articles Posted in Elderly Pilot Program

elderly-prisonAs I wrote about here, through the FIRST STEP Act Congress revitalized and expanded the Bureau of Prisons’ pilot program for transferring “elderly” inmates to home confinement earlier than their younger cohorts. In response to the Act, the BOP issued an operations memorandum setting out eligibility criteria (as well as for home confinement transfers for the “terminally ill”). In short, a prisoner must be at least 60 years old; have served two-thirds of the term of imprisonment; have no history of escapes; and not have been convicted of a crime of violence, a sex offense, or one of a laundry list of similar, excludable offenses.

Yesterday, after presenting to the PACDL White Collar Seminar on the FIRST STEP Act, an attorney approached me regarding an institution’s inertia in processing an elderly prisoner to home confinement; despite repeated inquires and advocacy, there had been no movement in confirming transfer on the fast-approaching eligibility date. Likewise, in speaking with Joel Sickler (with whom I worked 20+ years ago), he relayed a recent situation where an institution took the position than an elderly inmate sentenced to six months’ imprisonment could not be considered for transfer to home confinement after four months (2/3s) because of the length of sentence. In both instances, calls to the local BOP Consolidated Legal Center (CLC) resulted in a prompt resolution, that is, an announcement that the individuals were to be transferred to home confinement consistent with their respective eligibility dates.

The purpose of this post then is to suggest attorneys facing institutional pushback and/or inattention contact the appropriate CLC or, if necessary, Regional Counsel to ensure that otherwise eligible clients are timely transferred to home confinement. CLC contact information can be found in Appendix B to the BOP’s Legal Resource Guide.

Of possible interest to federal prisoners, those subject to a term of federal im1st-Step-231x300prisonment and their respective attorneys and loved ones is this article I recently wrote for NACDL’s The Champion regarding the FIRST STEP Act. Among the provisions of the new law that the article addresses are the incentivized rehabilitative programming-based earned credit system, changes to motions for reduction in sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) (also known as “compassionate release”) that increase prisoners’ access to the courts, and an initiative by which “elderly” and “terminally ill” prisoners can secure earlier transfers to home confinement.

 

 

 

In February, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report, Bureau of Prisons: Eligibility and Capacity Impact Use of Flexibilities to Reduce Inmates’ Time in Prison, in response to a request that it address “(1) the extent to which BOP utilizes its authorities to reduce a federal prisoner’s period of incarceration; and (2) what factors, if any, impact BOP’s use of these authorities.” In April, the Federal Public and Community Defenders issued a reportanalyzing the GAO’s findings.


Last Friday, the GAO posted a letter and accompanying briefing prepared in response to further Congressional inquiry concerning “methods for estimating costs of housing inmates in BOP facilities, Residential Re-entry Centers (RRC), and home detention, as well as the evaluation of and results of the Elderly Offender Pilot Program (the Pilot) and any cost savings to the federal government.” Among other things, the GAO offers:

   The Bureau of Prisons underreports the cost of incarcerating prisoners at standard prison facilities (i.e., FPCs, FCIs, USPs) by not factoring in “construction of new prisons, modernization and repair (M&R) projects costing over $10,000, or depreciation of its existing facilities.”
Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyers Badge
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Badge
Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Contact Information