Well, today I am going to talk a little bit about my personal reentry experience. I had my program review (team) last Thursday. As of today, I’ve been down just shy of 111 months. My release date as of now is November 2020, but will change to around August 2020 when the good time bill takes effect.
After speaking with my case manager, I was told that I would not be able to get any halfway house due to the fact that my release district does not have a halfway house there. I was immediately dumbfounded. I know several people who have gone to halfway houses in districts they don’t release to. In fact, upon my arrival at my current institution, I was told if I was accepted for RDAP I would have to go to a halfway house probably in Louisiana. I am from Arkansas and my institution is currently in Missouri. Didn’t understand it, but said okay.
Well after fuming over the weekend, I went and spoke to my unit manager today and was told basically the same thing. I presented the argument that I was told if the halfway house in Little Rock accepted me (which they won’t due to my charge), I could go there. So what is the difference between going to a district east of me as opposed to a district north or west of me? His response was that halfway houses are supposed to help you reintegrate and sending you there for a few months only to have to quit your job was pointless.
Doesn’t that happen in the majority of cases? I’m not saying it does in all, but most residents of halfway houses only hold “temp” jobs for that specific purpose. I then proceeded to tell him that even if I could go to Little Rock, Springfield or Tulsa was even closer. He then told me that he would look into it, but don’t expect anything.
Tonight I was doing some research and found a case out of California where a guy filed a motion with his sentencing court. Under 18 USC 3621(b), there are five factors that the BOP must consider when referring an inmate to a halfway house. They are:
(1) The resources of the facility contemplated,
(2) The offense history,
(3) The individual’s characteristics and adjustment history,
(4) Any statement from the sentencing court, and
(5) Any statement from the Sentencing Commission.
This is just a summary of it, but the inmate in California proceeded to file a motion with his sentencing court asking to be recommended for the full twelve months of halfway house that the Second Chance Act allows. While that court did not have the jurisdictional authority to order the BOP to give him the full term, it approved his motion with a strong recommendation he get it.
So that is where I stand now. I am going to try this option. Fortunately, I have been able to review my Statement of Reasons in the past and when a sentence was imposed, the section that says to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant in my case was not marked. Therefore, I am going to also use that argument in my favor. In addition to that, the “fake” statistic that sex offenders have a “frightening and high” rate of recidivism will be included in my motion as well.
Although I know that stat has been proven false, the BOP still seems to live by it and so thus, I will use it in my favor. Halfway houses are supposed to provide inmates the best opportunity to successfully reintegrate back into society. In a 2010 memo from the BOP’s Correctional Services Director, D. Scott Dodrill, he stated that higher risk inmates should be considered for longer RRC placement with a minimum of 90 days.
Based on their own argument, therefore, does that not make us a higher risk and thus eligible for more halfway house? When they decide to debate my argument for the public safety reason, I will simply refer them to the Statement of Reasons and show them that the sentencing judge apparently didn’t find me a serious threat to mark that statement.
So in the end, this is just the beginning of a long uphill battle I know I will face. However, hopefully, if any of you are in similar situations, you can try some of the same techniques and let me know how they work out. As soon as I hear anything on mine, I will definitely share the news.