United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON MOTION TO MODIFY SENTENCING
A. WOODCOCK, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
January 6, 2014, the Court sentenced Ricky Sirois to
forty-eight months of incarceration, three years of
supervised release and a $100 special assessment for engaging
in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to
distribute oxycodone. J. (ECF No. 315). Mr. Sirois
commenced the three-year term of supervised release on June
1, 2015. Pet. for Warrant or Summons for Offender under
Supervision (ECF No. 360). On May 25, 2017, the
Probation Office moved for an arrest warrant, claiming that
Mr. Sirois violated the no-crimes and the no-drugs conditions
of his supervised release. Id. at 1-2. The Court
held a revocation hearing on August 7, 2017 and asked the
Assistant United States Attorney to set forth the bases for
the alleged supervised release violations. Tr. of
Proceedings 3:20-4:4 (ECF No. 381). The Assistant United
States Attorney stated that on July 13, 2017, Mr. Sirois had
been convicted in state of Maine court for the unlawful
possession of heroin. Id. 4:21-24. The Assistant
United States Attorney also stated that Mr. Sirois had tested
positive on two occasions for cocaine and on one occasion for
marijuana. Id. 4:25-5:8. Mr. Sirois admitted that he
committed these violations. Id. 7:23-8:1. On August
7, 2017, the Court sentenced Mr. Sirois to twenty-four months
of incarceration with no supervised release to follow. J. at
1-2 (ECF No. 374).
11, 2018, Mr. Sirois moved this Court to amend the revocation
judgment to include a period in a halfway house. Pro Se
Mot. to Modify Revocation J. to Include Halfway House
Time (ECF No. 385). Mr. Sirois asks for nine months in a
halfway house and, if not, six months. Id. at 1. On
June 21, 2018, he wrote the Court again in support of his
motion. Letter from Ricky Sirois to Clerk of Ct.
(ECF No. 386). On June 25, 2018, he wrote again. Letter
from Ricky Sirois to Clerk of Ct. (ECF No. 387). On June
29, 2018, the Government filed an objection to the motion.
Gov't's Obj. to Def.'s Mot. for Halfway House
Time (ECF No. 389). On July 19, 2018, Mr. Sirois filed
another letter. Letter from Ricky Sirois to Clerk of
Court (ECF No. 387). On July 23, 2018, he filed a final
letter. Letter from Ricky Sirois to Clerk of Court
(ECF No. 392).
Court dismisses Mr. Sirois' motion on two bases. First,
after sentence is imposed, the law severely constrains the
ability of the sentencing court to amend a sentence and the
grounds upon which it may do so. One possibility is 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c), which allows a sentencing court to reduce a
sentence in extremely narrow circumstances. 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c); United States v. Griffin, 524 F.3d 71, 83
(1st Cir. 2008). The statute states the general rule that a
“court may not modify a term of imprisonment once it
has been imposed . . . .” 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). The
statute then allows such a reduction only in rare
circumstances after procedural prerequisites have been fully
satisfied. Id. None of the specified circumstances,
however, is present here. Mr. Sirois' request that the
Court modify its judgment asks the Court to do something that
Court does not have the authority to do.
the Court could amend the revocation judgment, the Court
would not do so in Mr. Sirois' case. The United States
Supreme Court has written that Congress has given the BOP
“plenary control, subject to statutory constraints,
over ‘the place of the prisoner's
imprisonment.'” Tapia v. United States,
564 U.S. 319, 331 (2011) (quoting 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b)).
Federal law permits a court to make a recommendation to the
BOP, “[b]ut decisionmaking authority rests with the
BOP.” Id. at 2390-91. The applicable statutory
provision is 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c)(1):
[The BOP] shall, 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. Such conditions may include a
community correctional facility.
law also provides that a sentencing court may make a
recommendation that a prisoner serve a term of imprisonment
in a residential reentry center. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b).
But the recommendation has “no binding effect.”
Id. Mr. Sirois has not asked the Court for a
recommendation, which is at least theoretically possible, but
to amend the judgment, which is not.
motion, Mr. Sirois mentions that he would like to get a job
in Bangor and presumably requests to be assigned to the
Northern Maine Reentry and Recovery Center (NMRRC) in Bangor.
However, the Court is aware that there are significant
funding issues with the NMRRC and it may well be that the
NMRRC is not accepting new transferees from the Bureau of
Prisons (BOP). In these circumstances, the Court is reluctant
to issue an order or recommendation that cannot be followed.
in Mr. Sirois' case, the Court concludes that the BOP
would be better able than the Court to assess his current
suitability for a halfway house and to prioritize him for
placement among its inmate population.
Court DISMISSES without prejudice the Pro Se Motion to Modify
Revocation Judgment to Include Halfway House Time (ECF No.
 Among other avenues, the statute
allows a court to reduce a sentence “upon motion of the
Director of the Bureau of Prisons.” 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(1)(A). Even if the Director of the Bureau of Prisons
makes such a motion, however, the Court may not grant it
unless it finds that “extraordinary and compelling
reasons warrant such a reduction” or that the defendant
“is at least 70 years of age, has served at least 30
years in prison . . . for the offense or offenses for which
the defendant is currently imprisoned, and a determination
has been made by the Director of the Bureau of ...