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Walker v. Meeks

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

October 28, 2014

TERRANCE WALKER, Petitioner,
v.
BOBBY L. MEEKS, Respondent.

OPINION[1]

SUSAN PARADISE BAXTER, Magistrate Judge.

Petitioner is a federal inmate who has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [ECF No. 5] in which he contends that this Court should issue an order directing that he be transferred to a Residential Re-entry Center ("RRC, " formerly known as a halfway house). For the reasons set forth below, the petition is denied.

I.

A. Background

On May 23, 2013, Petitioner was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to a 24-month term of imprisonment for Bank Fraud. The court made no recommendations regarding community programming or RRC placement. (Resp's Ex. 2, Attach. 2a, Judgment and Commitment Order).

The BOP designates an inmate's place of imprisonment. In making its designation decision, 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b) requires that the BOP consider: (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 by the Sentencing Commission. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)(1)-(5).

The BOP designated Petitioner to federal prison in McKean, Pennsylvania. His projected release date is currently set at May 11, 2015.

18 U.S.C. § 3624, as amended by the Second Chance Act ("SCA"), PL 110-199 (April 9, 2008), provides the BOP with the discretion to determine whether and how long an inmate is to be pre-released to an RRC or home confinement. At subsection (c), it provides, in relevant part:

(c) Prerelease custody.-
(1) In general.-The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that a prisoner serving a term of imprisonment spends a portion of the final months of that term (not to exceed 12 months), under conditions that will afford that prisoner a reasonable opportunity to adjust to and prepare for the reentry of that prisoner into the community. Such conditions may include a community correctional facility.
(2) Home confinement authority.-The authority under this subsection may be used to place a prisoner in home confinement for the shorter of 10 percent of the term of imprisonment of that prisoner or 6 months.
...
(4) No limitations.-Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit or restrict the authority of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons under section 3621.

18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(1), (2), (4). The SCA also directed the BOP to issue new regulations regarding pre-release custody to "ensure that placement in a community correctional facility by the Bureau of Prisons is- (A) conducted in a manner consistent with section 3621(b) of this title; (B) determined on an individual basis; and (C) of sufficient duration to provide the greatest likelihood of successful reintegration into the community." 18 U.S.C. § ...


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