Author Archive

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 ...

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

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 ...

Dec

Law360 is publishing a series of articles written by Alan Ellis. The series is part of the Expert Analysis section of Law360's White Collar Crime practice category. For the series, Mr. Ellis interviewed federal judges at length and asked them to share some dos and don'ts for lawyers and their clients who appear before them at sentencing, as well as ...

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.

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

Attorneys Alan Ellis and Karen L. Landau discuss ways in which federal criminal defendants, who have been convicted of a crime, either after a guilty plea or a trial, may challenge a conviction or sentence. The article, which first appeared in the Criminal Justice, Spring 2002 Edition, answers the following questions: Who is entitled to a direct appeal? What issues ...