Author Archive

Feb

In a recent article for Law360, Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh, Doug Passon and Jonathan Edelstein discuss United States v. Haymond, 869 F.3d 1153, a case before the Supreme Court on February 26, 2019. The court will determine whether the Constitution precludes a judge from imposing “heightened punishment on [defendants out on supervised release] based, not on their original ...

Jan

Federal criminal sentencing experts Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh dissect the First Step Act of 2018, a new bipartisan federal prison reform law. In Part 1 of a three-part series, the authors focus on the significant expansion of the “safety valve;” the reduction of mandatory minimum penalties for second and third-strike offenders; the elimination of a particular draconian ...

Dec

In part 12 of the Law360 Views from the Bench series, Alan Ellis shares insights from three judges when responding to Mr. Ellis' question: What can an attorney do when faced with representing a client who has committed a reprehensible offense with a lengthy criminal record? Click to read the article.

Dec

Most lawyers are understandably unable to advise a first-time federal inmate as to what it will be like in prison. Rarely do they ever get beyond an attorney visiting room. In this four-part series of articles, we, the co-authors of “Federal Prison Guidebook,” with the help of Philip S. Wise, retired Bureau of Prisons assistant director of heath services, offer ...

Aug

The Council of Europe Convention provides an opportunity for some inmates serving sentences in US prisons to request transfer back to their home countries to complete their sentence. This article, published in the July 1999 issue of The Champion, discusses the benefit of such international prison transfers and outlines how prisoners who are nationals of the countries ...

Aug

Inmates often say that 99 percent of lawyers don’t know the first thing about the Bureau of Prisons and the 1 percent who do are all doing time themselves. Understanding these practice tips, published in BNA's Bloomberg Law, will decrease the 99 percent number. Read the article here.

Jul

At the time then-judge Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Trump, we wrote about his position on "relevant conduct." A year later, President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to take the seat of retiring Justice Kennedy. Judge Kavanaugh shares the concerns of Justice Gorsuch on the impact judge-found facts drive federal sentencings, often increasing terms of ...

Jul

Most lawyers understandably are unable to advise a first-time federal inmate as to what it will be like in prison. In this article, the fourth in a series published in Law360 Expert Analysis newsletter, I interview J. Michael Henderson about key aspects of mental health care and substance abuse treatment in the Bureau of Prisons. Henderson has over 23 years ...

Jul

RDAP is the only BOP program through which federal prisoners can earn ...

Jun

The federal presentence investigation report (PSR) is the document most heavily relied on by a judge in imposing sentence—particularly in those cases where a guilty plea has been entered and the court knows little about the defendant. It also is the document that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) relies on in making designations and placements and many other decisions ...

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