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Schellberg v. Lindsay

April 28, 2006

MICHAEL R. SCHELLBERG, PETITIONER,
v.
CAMERON LINDSAY, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: (chief Judge Vanaskie)

MEMORANDUM

Michael R. Schellberg commenced this habeas corpus proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 on October 13, 2005. At the time he filed the petition he was incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp at Canaan, Waymart, Pennsylvania. Named as Respondent is Cameron Lindsay, Warden at FPC-Canaan.*fn1 In the petition, Schellberg challenges the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policy regarding the release of inmates to a halfway house, or Community Corrections Center (CCC). He requests the Court to order the BOP to approve him for a six month CCC placement as opposed to the forty-five (45) day CCC placement decision initially made by the BOP, but which was later reduced to thirty (30) days based upon Schellberg's violation of institution rules. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be denied.

I. Background

Schellberg was sentenced to an eighteen (18) month term of imprisonment on April 20, 2005 in this Court for "Interstate Transportation of Stolen Good" and "Aiding and Abetting" in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2314 and 2. He received a three (3) year term of supervised release, and was also ordered to pay restitution and a felony assessment. His projected discharge date with Good Conduct Time is August 16, 2006. Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. §§ 570.20 and 570.21, the BOP determined that Schellberg should be placed in a halfway house for approximately forty-five (45) days before his release date, or on or about July 3, 2006. Schellberg challenges the regulations, and argues that he is entitled to a six (6) month CCC placement pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c).

Service of the petition and a supplement thereto was directed on January 24, 2006. A response was submitted on February 8, 2006. (Dkt. Entry 5.) Following an enlargement of time, Schellberg filed a traverse on February 23, 2006. The matter is now ripe for consideration.

II. Discussion

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b), the BOP is vested with authority to determine the location of an inmate's imprisonment. The statute grants the BOP authority not only to designate the place of imprisonment, but also lists five (5) factors for consideration in making placement and transfer decisions. Section 3621(b) provides as follows:

(B) Place of imprisonment. The Bureau of Prisons shall designate the place of prisoner's imprisonment. The Bureau may designate any available penal or correctional facility that meets minimum standards of health and habitability established by the Bureau, whether maintained by the Federal Government or otherwise and whether within or without the judicial district in which the person was convicted, that the Bureau determines to be appropriate and suitable, considering --

(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 --

(A) concerning the purposes for which the sentence to imprisonment was ...


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