United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Bluefield
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. Faber Senior United States District Judge.
before the court is defendant's Motion for Judicial
Recommendation Regarding 9-12 Months of RRC Placement. ECF
No. 465. Defendant requests that the court make a
recommendation to the BOP that she receive a placement of
nine to twelve months in a Residential Re-entry Center
(“RRC”). The government has not filed a
memorandum opposing defendant's Motion. For the following
reasons, the court GRANTS defendant's
motion and issues a non-binding and advisory recommendation
to the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) that defendant
be placed in a Residential Reentry Center for the final
twelve (12) months of her sentence.
Factual and Procedural Background
was charged in a 40-count indictment along with her husband
and other members of her family. She was tried and convicted
by jury on August 23, 2018, on seven counts, listed as
follows: Arson Conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
844(m); Money Laundering Conspiracy, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1956(h); Mail Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 1341 and 1342; Aiding and Abetting an Unlawful
Monetary Transaction, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
1957 and 1952; Mail Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1341; Money Laundering to Promote Scheme, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1956(a)(1)(A)(i); and Unlawful Monetary
Transaction, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957.
December 20, 2018, this court sentenced defendant to 36
months of incarceration to run concurrently on all counts, a
sentence below the Sentencing Guidelines calculation.
See ECF No. 377. Defendant is currently serving her
sentence at FPC Alderson in Alderson, West Virginia, and is
slated to be released from prison on August 27, 2021.
October 17, 2019, defendant, pro se, filed a Motion for
Judicial Recommendation Regarding 9-12 Months of RRC
Placement. ECF No. 465. Defendant requests that the court
make a recommendation to the BOP that she receive a placement
of nine to twelve months in RRC. She explains that RRC
placement would help her successfully transition back into
society and better enable her to secure gainful employment
upon her release. Defendant notes that she has been enrolled
in numerous classes offered at the prison, including those
which relate to job skills and family and parenting dynamics.
She also states that she has been working within the prison,
and that she has maintained a clear conduct record while
incarcerated and has no incident reports.
also submitted a letter to the court, filed on January 10,
2020, that informs the court that she is scheduled for her
six-month team meeting with her case manager in February
2020. ECF No. 468. She submits that a potential RRC placement
will likely be discussed at that meeting.
majority of federal district courts throughout the country,
including courts in this circuit, have concluded that a
sentencing court may make imprisonment placement
recommendations on a defendant's post-sentencing motion.
See United States v. Smith, 2019 WL 4016211, at *3
(W.D. Va. Aug. 26, 2019); United States v.
Patterson, 2019 WL 127962, at *2 (E.D. Va. Jan. 8,
2019). Courts have drawn this conclusion from the Second
Chance Act, which provides that, in designating the place of
an inmate's imprisonment, the BOP shall consider
“any statement by the [sentencing] court . . .
recommending a type of penal or correctional facility as
appropriate.” 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)(4)(B).
upon this court's understanding of the nature of
defendant's criminal conduct,  her positive track record
during her current term of incarceration,  and the benefits
of RRC placement,  the court recommends that defendant
receive a twelvemonth RRC placement. Furthermore, in addition
to RRC placement being beneficial to the defendant, it will
also serve the interests of the victims in this case, as a
large amount of restitution is owed by defendant and her
co-defendants. RRC placement helps ease defendant's
reintegration into the community and increases the likelihood
that defendant will successfully retain gainful employment
that will help her make financial restitution to the victims
of her offenses. Therefore, the court GRANTS
defendant's Motion for Judicial Recommendation Regarding
9-12 Months of RRC Placement, and issues a non-binding and
advisory recommendation to the BOP that defendant be approved
for a twelve-month RRC placement.
any such recommendation a sentencing court makes regarding
placement is not binding upon the BOP. 18 U.S.C. §
3621(b); see also Patterson, 2019 WL 127962, at *2
(holding that a district court may issue a non-binding,
strictly advisory recommendation regarding placement without
running afoul of the limitations on modifying sentences set
out in 18 U.S.C. § 3582 and Fed. R. Crim. P. 35). In
making the recommendation in this case that defendant receive
a twelvemonth RRC placement, this court wishes to reaffirm
that the BOP is in a superior position to evaluate the
extent, if any, to which defendant should serve all or part
of the end of her sentence in an RRC. The BOP has far more
information than this court does about how defendant has done
and is doing, and how she will likely do in the future.
Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Order to counsel of
record, any unrepresented parties, and the Probation Office
of this court.