Prison Tips

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 ...

Nov

Attorney Allan Ellis discusses the the four-level scale the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) employs in the designation process that seeks to correlate prisoners’ perceived medical needs to resources, both at institutions and in their corresponding communities. Learn more about the criteria the BOP uses to determine how federal inmates are classified into the four medical levels and how community medical ...

Oct

For the past two years, in a series for Law360’s White Collar Expert Analysis column, Alan Ellis has interviewed nearly 25 federal judges and reported their views on  effective sentencing advocacy. In this new series, Mr. Ellis will share Bureau of Prison information and practice tips for lawyers and their clients. In addition to highlighting successful tips from his own ...

Apr

By Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh Published by The National Trial Lawyers, April 13, 2017. Reprinted with permission. Bureau of Prisons policies are complex and difficult to understand—even defense lawyers find them taxing particularly so when it comes to medical and mental health issues. Clients and families are more often than not lost in the bureaucratic maze of ...

Jan

Alan Ellis and Michael Henderson share the ins and outs of the Bureau of Prison's Pre-Release Program in this article published in Criminal Justice, Winter 2017. Click to read the full article.

Oct

When we last visited the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) reduction in sentence (RIS) program (sometimes erroneously called “compassionate release”), the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) had just blasted the BOP. (See Alan Ellis & EJ Hurst II, Federal BOP Puts a Little Compassion in Its Newest Release Program, 28 Crim. Just., no. 4, Winter 2014, at 41.) ...

Oct

BOP policies are complex and difficult to understand--even defense lawyers find them taxing. Clients and families are more often than not lost in the bureaucratic maze of terminology and regulations, and they turn to their lawyers for explanations. This column consolidates the information from the previous articles and adds new information about how inmates with medical needs will be treated ...

Nov

This article is adapted from Alan Ellis’ Federal Prison Guidebook.  I want to acknowledge the contributions of Deborah Bezilla, Todd Bussert, Bruce W. Cameron, Jeff Carson, J. Michael Henderson and Ian Gold. The notion of sex offenders as pariahs in correctional settings is not without foundation. Like the rest of society, ...

Sep

Click for the PDF version. Approximately 97 percent of all federal criminal defendants plead guilty. Seventy-five percent of those who proceed to trial are convicted. There is, therefore, almost a 99 percent chance that a person charged with a federal crime will ultimately face a judge for purposes of sentencing, and 87.6 percent will be sentenced to prison. Thus, ...

Sep

Click for the PDF version of this article. The process of designating a facility for service of a federal sentence has become more complex and involved. Previously, an inmate was assigned a security level and a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facility with a corresponding security level was identified and designated. Now, however, in addition to receiving a security level, each ...