United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
V. S. GRANADE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Defendant, Michael
Nelson's (“Nelson”), Motion Requesting
Judicial Recommendation Concerning Length of RRC/Halfway
House Placement (Doc. 632). The Government did not file a
response. For the reason set forth herein below,
Defendant's motion for recommendation is GRANTED and this
Court recommends that Defendant be released to a Residential
Re-Entry Center (“RRC) or halfway house twelve months
prior to the completion date of his sentence.
February 13, 2012, this Court sentenced Nelson to a term of
200 months imprisonment for Conspiracy to possess with the
intent to distribute cocaine in violation of 21 USC §
846. (Doc. 230). On March 13, 2015, Defendant's sentence
was reduced to 160 months pursuant to guideline changes (Doc.
534) and was then reduced again to 120 months on May 5, 2015,
based on Defendant's assistance with the prosecution of
other individuals (Doc. 559). Defendant's sentence
additionally requires that he complete ten years of
supervised release. (Doc. 534). According to Defendant, he is
to be released from a Federal Prison Camp in Yazoo City,
Mississippi on February 23, 2020. (Doc. 632). Defendant now
seeks a court recommendation from this Court that he be
released to an RRC for the full 12 months allowable under the
Second Step Act which includes six months in an RRC and six
months in home confinement.
Second Chance Act amended 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c) authorizes
the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to allow a prisoner to
spend a portion of the final months of his/her sentence (not
to exceed twelve months) “under conditions that will
afford that prisoner a reasonable opportunity to adjust to
and prepare for reentry of that prisoner into the
community”. 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(1). As such, the
amendment “authorize[d] the BOP to consider placing an
inmate in an RRC for up to the final 12 months of his or her
sentence, rather than the final six months that were
available pre-amendment.” Demis v. Sniezek,
558 F.3d 508, 514 (6th Cir. 2009); see Wood v.
Outlaw, No., 2010 WL 3417811, at *2 (Aug. 26, 2010)
(“Among other things, the Act extended the maximum
allowable RRC placement from 6 months to 12 months.”).
The relevant conditions include placement in a community
correctional facility. 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(1).
to the Act, BOP staff is directed to review inmates for RRC
placement 17 to 19 months before their projected release date
and to consider inmates on an individual basis using the
following five factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b):
(1) the resources of the facility contemplated; (2) the
nature and circumstances of the offense; (3) the history and
characteristics of the prisoner; (4) any statement by the
court that imposed the sentence (concerning the purposes for
which the sentence to imprisonment was determined to be
warranted, or recommending a type of penal or correctional
facility as appropriate); and (5) any pertinent policy
statement issued by the Sentencing Commission. See
18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)(1)-(5). Placement in a community
correctional facility should be "of sufficient duration
to provide the greatest likelihood of successful
reintegration into the' 'community." 18 U.S.C.
this is the Court that sentenced Nelson, it can issue a
recommendation as to the type of penal or correctional
institution that is appropriate as requested by Nelson.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)(4)(B); See also,
U.S. v. Baker, 2013 WL 355867 (M.D. Ala. January 29,
2013). Further, upon review of the information and
documentation submitted by Nelson and considering the
Government has offered no objection, this Court finds that
the requested recommendation is appropriate in this action.
Specifically, in support of his motion, Nelson states as
During my period of incarceration, I have demonstrated
exemplary conduct and have been a role-model inmate. I have
completed numerous release preparation programs for reentry,
including: enrolled to get my GED, banking tutorial,
parenting, guide to home ownership, dress for success, basic
finance, public speaking life plan, smart choices, healthy
relationships, victim impact program, criminal thinking,
coping skills, attitudes of change, money smarts, quality of
life, financial analysis, narcotics anonymous, pre-release
group, going home to stay, and am currently enrolled in two
other courses. Additionally, I have participated in the
United States Probation Seminar for those about to be
released that discuss topics along with the AUSA, which is a
release orientation program: transitioning to the community,
psychology, adjusting your attitude, reintegrating with you
[sic] family, managing your finances, applying for a job, as
well as complying with the rules and regulations of
probation. I have availed myself of every opportunity
available to me while here at the FPD Yazoo City, to be
reformed and to rejoin law-abiding society. I have
demonstrated extraordinary rehabilitation and am an excellent
candidate for the Second Chance Act of 2007.
(Doc. 632 at 1-2). Nelson also indicates that each week he
participates in several 12-step, self-help, self-improvement
groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. (Id. at 2).
Nelson has additionally provided this Court with his Inmate
education Transcript showing his completion of the numerous
classes he has referenced completing. (Id. at 6-11).
Lastly, Nelson indicates that his purpose for seeking this
Court's recommendation is to strengthen his chances of
being given the maximum number of months allowed in an
RRC/halfway house so that he can have the most amount of time
possible to reacclimate to life outside of prison in order to
further his efforts to become a valuable member of society.
Nelson's efforts while incarcerated are commendable and
warrant this Court's recommendation that he be released
to an RRC/halfway house as soon as practicable so that he may
have the most time possible to re-adjust to society.
reasons stated herein above, Nelson's Motion Requesting
Judicial Recommendation Concerning Length of RRC/Halfway
House Placement (Doc. 632)
hereby GRANTED. This Court recommends that Nelson be released
to a Residential Re-Entry Center (“RRC) or halfway
house twelve months prior to the completion date of his