United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
H. THOMPSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
government has requested an evaluation by the Bureau of
Prisons (BOP) of defendant William Toby Kimbrough's
mental health prior to sentencing. He has admitted to the
charges in his third petition for revocation of supervised
release, for, among other things, possessing sexually
explicit depictions of persons under the age of 18, in
violation of a special condition of his supervision. He has a
lengthy history of severe substance abuse, which began when
he began abusing drugs and alcohol in his early teens.
Following his two previous revocations, He received treatment
for his alcohol- and substance-abuse disorders, and
reportedly has been sober for over a year and a half.
However, he also reportedly suffers from serious mental
illness, which includes an alleged addiction to pornography.
court has held that where there is a reasonable basis to
believe that a defendant's mental disease or defect
contributed to the conduct underlying his or her conviction,
the court should order a mental-health evaluation. See
United States v. Mosley, ___ F.Supp.3d ___, 2017 WL
4230221 (M.D. Ala. Sept. 2017) (Thompson, J.). Such an
evaluation is necessary to aid the court in fashioning an
appropriate sentence, by helping to determine (1) how a
defendant's mental disorder(s) may affect his or her
culpability for the offense conduct; and (2) what
type of treatment, if any, the defendant should
receive during supervised release. The mental-health
evaluation should, therefore, focus on these dual,
overlapping issues of culpability and treatment: the role, if
any, defendant's mental disorder(s) played in his or her
charged conduct, and what treatment is recommended for
defendant's disorders in light of his or her individual
characteristics and history.
stated, Kimbrough is facing punishment for, among other
things, possession of child pornography, and there is reason
to believe that his criminal conduct was impacted by
pornography addiction and possibly other mental disorders.
Further, while his mental health was evaluated in the past,
he has never received an in-patient, longitudinal
Finally, the need to transfer him to an in-patient setting is
apparent because this is his third revocation in five years:
failure to identify and treat the mental issues that underlie
his inability to comply with the conditions of his supervised
release will undeniably result in more revocations, and, as a
result, more time in custody.
U.S.C. § 3552(b) authorizes the court to order that the
study be done by the BOP upon the finding of a
“compelling reason” or where there are no
adequate professional resources available in the local
community to perform the study. In this case, the court seeks
a comprehensive, longitudinal evaluation of Kimbrough's
mental health, including whether he suffers from pornography
addiction and any co-occurring mental disorders, and the
development of specialized treatment plan that will help to
ensure that he does not continue to violate the law. There
are no locally available resources that could provide such an
evaluation in the jail where he is housed (or in any other
local jail for that matter). Such an extended and
comprehensive evaluation is simply not feasible given the
restrictions on access to prisoners in a jail environment.
Furthermore, releasing him from jail in order to obtain such
an evaluation in the community is not an option due to the
high risk that he would abscond from supervision again.
has no objection to the government's motion. Because
Kimbrough does not oppose being transported, and committed,
to a BOP facility for the mental-health evaluation, no
due-process concerns are raised. See Mosley, ___
F.Supp.3d at ___, 2017 WL 4230221 at *5.
in order to ensure that defendant William Toby Kimbrough is
not inappropriately punished for having a disease, to assess
accurately his culpability for the offense, and to mete out
any necessary rehabilitative treatment, it is ORDERED that
the government's motion for a psychiatric examination
(doc. no. 117) is granted as follows:
(1) Pursuant to the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 4241 and
§ 4247(b) & (c), the United States Marshal for this
district shall immediately remove defendant William Toby
Kimbrough to the custody of the warden of an appropriate
institution as may be designated by the Attorney General,
where he is to be committed for the purpose of being
observed, examined, and treated by one or more qualified
psychiatrists or psychologists at the institution. The
statutory time period for the examination shall commence on
the day defendant Kimbrough arrives at the designated
institution. The examination shall be conducted in the
suitable facility closest to the court, unless impracticable.
(2) Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3552(b), the examining
psychiatrists or psychologists shall evaluate defendant
Kimbrough's psychological condition for the purposes of
sentencing and shall include their findings in a report to be
presented to this court.
(a) To assist the court in assessing defendant
Kimbrough's culpability, the study shall discuss his
mental-health history and characteristics, and shall
particularly address (i) whether he suffers from pornography
addiction, any ongoing substance-abuse disorders and/or other
mental disorder(s) and if so, which one(s); (ii) what role,
if any, his pornography addiction and/or other mental
disorder(s) played in his commission of the offenses for
which he now faces sentencing; and (iii) how his pornography
addiction and/or other mental disorder(s) impact his ability
to refrain from possessing child pornography.
(b) In addition to assessing whether defendant Kimbrough
suffers from pornography addiction or any other mental
disorder(s), the study shall provide recommendations for
treatment to be provided to him while on supervised release.
The study should address, in light of his failure to refrain
from possessing child pornography and his other violations of
the conditions of supervision, his personal characteristics,
history, and circumstances; his mental health; and which
treatment modalities, treatment settings, and supportive or
other services are likely to be most effective in helping him
to refrain from possessing illicit sexual material depicting
minors and to learn to respond to life stressors without
resorting to illegal activities.
(3) Finally, the study shall discuss any other matters the
Bureau of Prisons believes are pertinent to the sentencing
factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).