Author Archive

Sep

In the course of my interviews with more than 30 federal judges over the past four years on what works and doesn’t work in sentencing advocacy, I asked many of them what a defense lawyer could do when he has a client who has committed a heinous crime. Most judges seem to agree that con men who prey on vulnerable ...

Sep

This newsletter contains a memo we prepared with information about legal programs your clients may want to pursue to reduce their sentences or at least spend the remainder of their sentences at home rather than in a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility due to the current pandemic. These types of relief have traditionally been hard to obtain, but there are ...

Sep

By Alan Ellis and Mark H. Allenbaugh This article reviews the current state of play in the quickly developing law of federal compassionate release. Compassionate release is one of the few grounds a federal judge can reduce a previously imposed sentence to time served. Considering the on-going pandemic, it is being sought at a record pace. We discuss some of the ...

May

I am writing to inform you about legal programs your clients may want to pursue to reduce their sentences or at least spend the remainder of their sentences at home rather than in a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility. These types of relief have traditionally been hard to obtain, but I want you to know about them and the steps ...

Jan

Published on January 9, 2020, “The First Step Act – Earned Time Credits on the Horizon” is the fourth article in a series by Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh and Nellie Klein. The article reviews the new PATTERN risk assessment tool currently being rolled out by the BOP as part of the First Step Act’s recidivism reduction efforts. PATTERN is intended ...

Oct

With increasing frequency, attorneys are seeing clients, particularly in child pornography cases, who suffer from autism. There is a new Bureau of Prisons program for young autistic offenders called The Skills Program. Click to read the article.

Oct

This article which was the follow up to an article that I wrote for Federal Lawyer magazine in September 2017, is the first of a series of articles on judges’ views on effective sentencing advocacy. Click to read the article.

Jun

In 1977, the United States entered into its first prisoner transfer treaty with a foreign country — Mexico. Under this treaty, Mexicans arrested and imprisoned in the United States could be eligible for transfer to their home country in order to serve out their sentences there. Similarly, Americans arrested in Mexico were eligible to apply to have the remainder of ...

May

Federal sentencing and prison experts Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh, and Nellie Torres Klein continue their look at the First Step Act of 2018, a new bipartisan federal prison reform law. In Part 3 of this three-part series, they examine the pilot program offering early release and expanded home confinement to elderly and terminally ill prisoners.

Mar

Federal sentencing and prison experts Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh, and Nellie Torres Klein continue their look at the First Step Act of 2018, a new bipartisan federal prison reform law. In Part 2 of this three-part series, they review a long-awaited revision to the controversial method for calculating good conduct time credits, which may result in more granted ...