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Brown v. White

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

July 23, 2019

RICHIE BROWN, Petitioner
v.
WARDEN WHITE, LSCI ALLENWOOD Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          A. RICHARD CAPUTO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Richie Brown, an individual formerly housed at the Allenwood Low Security Correctional Institution (LSCI-Allenwood), in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, filed the instant pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (ECF No. 1.) He also submitted a memorandum and exhibits in support of his petition. (ECF Nos. 2 and 3.) Mr. Brown claimed the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) failed to properly consider him for placement in a Residential Reentry Center (RRC) pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3621 and 3624. Respondent filed a Response to the Petition. (ECF No. 8.) For the following reasons, the Court will dismiss the Petition.

         I. Standard of Review

         The habeas statute upon which Mr. Brown relies to challenge the timing of his pre-release placement, 28 U.S.C. § 2241, unlike other federal habeas statutes, “confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the validity but the execution of his sentence.” Coady v. Vaughn, 251 F.3d 480, 485 (3d Cir. 2001). A habeas corpus petition filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is the appropriate means for a federal inmate to challenge a BOP decision to limit or exclude their placement in an RRC. See Woodall v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235, 243 - 44 (3d Cir. 2005).

         II. Background

         In 2013, pursuant to a plea agreement, Mr. Brown entered a plea of guilty to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, a violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2), in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. He was sentenced to a term of 90 months' imprisonment. (ECF Nos. 1, 2, 8 and 8-1.)

         On October 5, 2017, Mr. Brown's Unit Team, pursuant to the Second Chance Act of 2007, individually reviewed and recommended him for RRC placement using the five-factor criteria found in 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b) and evaluating his public safety risk. The BOP determined pursuant to the five factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b), Mr. Brown required only one to 90 days of pre-release RRC placement and that this period was sufficient for Mr. Brown's successful transition and re-entry into the community. (ECF No. 8-1 at 50-55.) The BOP considered the availability of bed space in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Id.) Mr. Brown's offense conduct (multiple firearms violations while on supervised release) and public safety were weighed against the need for re-entry services. (Id.) Mr. Brown's criminal and institutional disciplinary records were also considered, which included transporting firearms across state lines while on federal probation as well as several disciplinary incidents (possessing a hazardous tool, possession of anything not authorized, lying or falsifying statement) within the last year. (Id. at 46 and 51.) With respect to the fourth and fifth factors, the BOP noted that there was no RRC placement recommendation by the sentencing court found in Mr. Brown's file and no policy statements issued by the U.S. Sentencing Commission pertinent to his case. (Id.)

         On December 11, 2017, Mr. Brown filed a motion with his sentencing judge seeking a recommendation of six months of RRC placement and six months of home confinement. See USA v. Richie Louis Brown, 12-CR-0026-RGA-1 (D. Del.), ECF No. 46.[1] On January 31, 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware denied Mr. Brown's request. (Id. at ECF No. 48.)

         The Institutional Referral for RRC Placement (Form BP-210) summarizes the BOP's specific release preparation plan for Mr. Brown:

Inmate BROWN intends to reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia upon release. He does not have verified employment. Unit Team is recommending an RRC placement of 1-90 days and the full range of community programs. This recommendation is in accordance with the Second Chance Act, Woodall vs. Bureau of Prisons, and the criteria set forth in Program Statement 7310.04. Pursuant to the Second Chance Act, the Unit Team has determined the recommended placement is of sufficient duration to provide the greatest likelihood of successful reintegration into the community.

(ECF No. 8-1 at 55.) The Residential Reentry Manager, who is the final authority to determine placement based on bed space at the intended facility, gave Mr. Brown a March 20, 2019 placement date, equal to ninety days in an RRC, the upper end of his Unit Team's recommended range. (Id. at 57.)

         Mr. Brown exhausted his administrative remedies concerning his claims prior to filing his habeas corpus petition. (ECF No. 8 at 2, n. 1.) As relief he seeks the Court recommend a six-month RRC placement based on the BOP's failure to properly investigate his Administrative Remedy challenging his RRC placement.

         III. Discussion

         A. Mr. Brown's ...


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