United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
SUSAN PARADISE BAXTER, Magistrate Judge.
Petitioner, Kareem Burke, 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 challenges the length of his placement in a Residential Re-entry Center ("RRC, " formerly known as a halfway house). For the reasons set forth below, the petition is denied.
A. Relevant Statutory/Regulatory/Policy Background
Several statutes and Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") policies and programs are relevant to Petitioner's case. 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).
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.
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(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 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. § 3624(c)(6). After the SCA was enacted, the BOP adopted regulations, codified at 28 C.F.R. § 570.22, which provide:
Inmates will be considered for pre-release community confinement in a manner consistent with 18 U.S.C. section 3621(b), determined on an individual basis, and of sufficient duration to provide the greatest likelihood of successful reintegration ...