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Berry v. Marques

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

June 14, 2018

SCOTT THOMAS BERRY, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN R. MARQUES, Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Leo I. Brisbois United States Magistrate Judge

         This matter came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to a referral for report and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1, as well as, upon Petitioner Scott Thomas Berry's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241. [Docket No. 1].

         The Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) determined that placing petitioner Scott Thomas Berry at a residential re-entry center (“RRC”) effective June 5, 2018, would be “of sufficient duration to provide the greatest likelihood of successful reintegration into the community.” 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(6)(C). Approximately a month before that scheduled placement date, the BOP determined that Berry's RRC placement should be delayed until July 31, 2018. Berry believes the revision of the BOP's plans is unlawful, and he has filed the present petition for a writ of habeas corpus requesting that the Court require the BOP to reinstate its prior placement date. See, 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the claims presented by Berry, this Court ordered expedited briefing on the matter.[1]

         For the reasons set forth below, the Court recommends that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, [Docket No. 1], be DENIED, and this action be DISMISSED with prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Second Chance Act of 2007 provides (in part) that

[t]he 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.

18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(1). Although 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c) contemplates that prisoners should generally be moved in the final months of their sentences from traditional prisons to transitional facilities such as RRCs, neither § 3624(c) nor any other statute entitles a prisoner to such a placement for any length of time. Instead, the BOP is given near-total discretion to “designate any available penal or correctional facility that meets minimum standards of health and habitability established by the Bureau . . . .” 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b); accord 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(4) (noting that “[n]othing in this subsection shall be construed to limit or restrict the authority of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons under section 3621”). That said, in designating the place of imprisonment, the BOP is instructed by statute to consider the following five factors:

(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 determined ...

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