United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Wheeling
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SENTENCE REDUCTION
Preston Bailey, Unites States District Judge.
day, the above-styled matter came before this Court for
consideration of the defendant's pro se Motion
for Sentence Reduction [Doc. 38], which was filed on April
23, 2019. In his Motion, the defendant asks this Court to
help him receive a reduction in his sentence for completing
the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program
("RDAP"), for which the Bureau of Prisons
("BOP") has told him he is ineligible. Defendant
also asks this Court to help him receive the maximum amount
of time at a Residential Reentry Center ("RRC"),
commonly known as a "halfway house," allowed by the
Second Chance Act of 2007. Upon consideration,
defendant's Motion must be denied.
entrusted the decision to reduce a prisoner's sentence
for RDAP completion solely to the discretion of the BOP. See
18 U.S.C. § 3621(b), (e); Ayala v. Phillips,
2008 WL 450478, at *7 (N.D. W.Va. Feb. 19, 2008) (Stamp, J.);
Higginbotham v. United States, 2013 WL 2154810, at
*2 (N.D. W.Va. May 17, 2013) (Keeley, J.). The language of 18
U.S.C. § 3621(e) which provides that a prisoner's
sentence "may be reduced by the [BOP]," is clearly
permissive; the statute does not mandate that the
BOP reduce a prisoner's sentence upon completion of the
program. See Lopez v. Davis, 531 U.S. 230, 232
(2001). Furthermore, "Congress has specifically excluded
these subsections from judicial review under the
Administrative Procedures Act ('APA')."
Ayala, 2008 WL 450478, at *7. "Accordingly, any
substantive decision by the BOP regarding [defendant's]
eligibility to receive a one-year sentence reduction is not
reviewable by this Court." Id.
18 U.S.C. § 3621(e) vests the BOP with discretionary
authority to reduce the sentence of a federal prisoner
convicted of a nonviolent offense upon the
successful completion of RDAP. Here, defendant was convicted
under 18 U.S.C. § 2423(b). The BOP considers a
conviction under that statute to be a crime of violence, thus
disqualifying defendant from any reduction of sentence due to
completion of RDAP. See Id. at 244 ("Bureau [of
Prisons] may categorically exclude prisoners based on their
preconviction conduct."); Program Statement P5162.05,
Categorization of Offenses (March 16, 2009), available at
https://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/5162_005.pdf. As judicial
review of this decision is specifically excluded by statute
under the APA, this Court may only review the BOP's
decision if it determines that defendant presents a
cognizable constitutional claim or the BOP's
interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e) is contrary to
well-settled law. This Court finds that neither of the above
defendant's inquiry regarding RRC placement, the Second
Chance Act of 2007, Pub. L. No. 110-99, amended 18 U.S.C.
§ 3624 and provides that the Director of the BOP shal!
"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." 18 U.S.C. §
3624(c)(1). The statute provides that those conditions
"may include a community correctional facility,"
id., commonly known as an RRC or "halfway house."
The statute further provides that the decision to confine a
prisoner in an RRC shall be made on an individual basis and
in light of several factors, most of which are identified in
18 U.S.C. § 3621(b).
federal regulations dictate that a federal inmate may be
released into an RRC for a maximum of twelve (12) months. 28
C.F.R. §§ 570.20-21. However, federal regulations
do not establish any minimum amount of time that a federal
inmate must spend in an RRC. Id. Similarly, federal
regulations do not mandate that federal prisoners must be
released to an RRC at all. Id. The BOP has exclusive
discretion to determine whether, and for how long, to release
an inmate to an RRC. See Davis v. Hendrix, 2019 WL
384005, at *3 (N.D. W.Va. Jan. 30, 2019) (Bailey, J.) (citing
Syrek v. Phillips, 2008 WL 4335494, at*3 n.1 (N.D.
W.Va. Sept. 17, 2008) (Stamp, J.)).
as was the case with 18 U.S.C. § 3621, Congress has
specifically excluded 18 U.S.C. § 3624 from judicial
review under the APA. See 18 U.S.C. § 3625.
Thus, "any substantive decision by the BOP with regard
to a [defendant's] eligibility for RRC placement, or the
length of time in an RRC, is not reviewable by this
Court." Davis, 2019 WL 384005, at *3.
Accordingly, as defendant has provided no evidence of
unconstitutional conduct or that the BOP acted outside the
scope of its authority, there is nothing this Court can do
with regard to his RRC placement decision.
for the reasons stated above, defendant's pro se
Motion for Sentence Reduction [Doc. 38] is
is so ORDERED.
Clerk is directed to transmit a copy of this Order to any
counsel of record herein and to mail ...