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, Cheryl
Dotson's (“Dotson”), Motion Requesting
Judicial Recommendation Concerning Length of RRC/Halfway
House Placement (Doc. 249). The Government did not file a
August 19, 2015, this Court sentenced Dotson to a term of 41
months imprisonment for each of nine separate counts: Counts
1 (conspiracy to commit loan application fraud), Counts 2-5
(loan application fraud and aiding and abetting), and Counts
10-13 (loan application fraud and aiding and abetting). (Doc.
166). Dotson was additionally sentenced to one month
imprisonment for a separate criminal action. (Id.)
All of Dotson's sentences were to run concurrently with
one another. (Id.) Dotson's conviction and
sentence was affirmed on appeal on August 24, 2016. (Doc.
211). Dotson filed a Motion to Vacate Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2255 on November 20, 2017, which remains pending
before this Court. (Doc. 243). Dotson does not indicate the
date on which she reported for her sentence or her
anticipated release date. However, the record reflects that
Dotson was twice allowed an extension of time in which to
report for her sentence (Doc. 186 and 216) the last of which
stated she would report after the Court of Appels issued a
mandate confirming her convictions. The Court of Appeals
issued its mandate on November 14, 2016. (Doc. 224).
Accordingly, the Court assumes Dotson will be released in
early to mid 2020. Dotson now seeks a recommendation from
this Court that she be given the maximum amount of time
allowable in a halfway house and/or home confinement. (Doc.
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 Dotson, it can issue a
recommendation as to the type of penal or correctional
institution that is appropriate as requested by Dotson.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)(4)(B); See also,
U.S. v. Baker, 2013 WL 355867 (M.D. Ala. January 29,
2013). However, upon review of the information and
documentation submitted by Dotson, this Court does not find
that the requested recommendation is appropriate in this
action. Specifically, the only facts relied on by Dotson in
making her request is that she is 55 years old and that
employment will be hard to find based on her felony
conviction. These facts are not uncommon of prisoners and do
not justify Dotson's request for additional time in a
halfway house. Further, Dotson points out that she has
participated in numerous classes offered at the prison where
she is housed and has completed a release orientation
program. However, a review of Dotson's education
transcript reflects that very few of the courses taken by
Dotson were aimed at skills to improve her sucess in gaining
or maintaining employment after her release. Instead, the
transcript reflects that of the twenty-seven classes in which
Dotson enrolled, approximately ten classes were for health
and/or fitness, nine classes related to elective activities,
i.e. music, sign language, art, crocheting, etc., one class
related to parenting, and seven classes were ostensibly
related to returning to society, i.e. “women in the 21
century”, political science, self-esteem, small
business, successful employment, checking/savings, and
“start a business class”. (Doc. 249 at 5).
Accordingly, Dotson's participation in courses during her
incarceration does not suggest a strong showing of her effort
to be a more valuable member of society once she is released.
Lastly, Dotson's motion fails to persuade this Court that
Dotson is earnest in her effort to seek additional time in a
half-way house in order to increase her likelihood of a
successful re-entry in to society. Instead, it appears that
Dotson may wish only to leave imprisonment as soon as
possible. For example, while Dotson points to the nature of
her offense (fraud), her lack of savings or assets, medical
problems, negative networth, and large restitution as grounds
for an extended stay in an halfway house or home confinement,
just two sentences later, Dotson states she is willing to pay
any and all costs associated with her monitoring device - an
offer that rings hollow given her circumstances. As a result,
this Court is not compelled to grant Dotson's request for
a favorable recommendation.
reasons stated herein above, Dotson's Motion Requesting
Judicial Recommendation Concerning Length of RRC/Halfway
House Placement (Doc. 249) is DENIED.