Following conviction, federal defendants, who were released on bond while their cases were pending, are often permitted to surrender voluntarily to their designated places of imprisonment. This practice has several tangible benefits. From the Bureau of Prisons’ perspective, it provides a cost savings since the agency does not have to transport a newly sentenced prisoner from a local jail to the correctional facility at which he will be housed. For the defendant, the practice affords further opportunity to get one’s affairs in order while also lessening one’s security point total since the BOP subtracts three points for self-surrender. The latter can often be the difference between qualifying for minimum-, as opposed to low-, security placement.
Occasionally, a defendant may need to seek an extension of the surrender date. The BOP cannot modify the date. That authority rests exclusively with the court. Among the reasons that an extension may be sought are to allow time for the BOP to complete a defendant’s designation (and assign a facility to which to report) — less of an issue in recent years; to permit a potential re-designation, where BOP has assigned a defendant inconsistent with a judicial recommendation; or to enable religious observance, where the surrender date falls on or just before a religious holiday. Another reason to postpone surrender is where a defendant’s medical circumstances necessitate immediate treatment or aftercare under the supervision of his primary care physician(s). A story out of Alabamahighlights this circumstance:
A federal prosecutor said Tuesday the government opposes Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley’s request to delay his trip to prison until after Christmas.