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United States v. Stile

United States District Court, D. Maine

September 5, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
JAMES STILE

          ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S PRO SE MOTION REQUESTING JUDICIAL RECOMMENDATION FOR 12 MONTHS RRC PLACEMENT PURSUANT TO 18 USC § 3621(b)(4)

          JOHN A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Court grants an inmate's request for a judicial recommendation to the Bureau of Prisons that he be allowed to serve a portion of his prison term in a residential reentry center with several caveats (1) that in general, the Court is unaware of anything that would significantly militate against such a recommendation, (2) that the Court assumes the accuracy of the Defendant's stated accomplishments while in prison, (3) that the BOP itself has not been represented in this motion and the Court has no information as to its position, (4) that the BOP, not the Court, has the ultimate authority to designate an inmate, and (5) that beyond the individual circumstances presented here, this order reflects this Court's generally positive view of the efficacy of residential reentry centers in bridging the gap from a lengthy period of incarceration to the greater freedom of supervised release.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 29, 2015, the Court sentenced James Stile to 120 months of incarceration, no fine, five years of supervised release, $13, 306.93 in restitution, and a $100 special assessment for his robbery of controlled substances from a Drug Enforcement Agency registered pharmacy in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2118(a). J. (ECF No. 579). On July 30, 2018, Mr. Stile moved this Court to recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that he be allowed to serve the last twelve months of his sentence in a residential reentry center (RRC). Pro Se Mot. Requesting Judicial Recommendation for 12 Months RRC Placement Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. [§] 3621(b)(4) (ECF No. 698) (Def.'s Mot.). The Government responded on August 20, 2018. Gov't Resp. to Def.'s Mot. for Recommendation Regarding RRC Placement (ECF No. 700) (Gov't's Resp.). Mr. Stile replied on August 27, 2018. Reply to Gov't's Resp. to Def.'s Mot. for Recommendation Regarding RRC Placement (ECF No. 701) (Def.'s Reply).

         II. THE PARTIES' POSITIONS

         A. James Stile's Motion

         In his motion, Mr. Stile says that he has a projected release date of June 22, 2020. Def.'s Mot. at 1. He states that the “Unit Team at Allenwood is set to make their recommendation for halfway house 17-19 months prior to the release date of June 22, 2020.” Id. at 5. He says that this means the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) “will submit their recommendation between November of 2018 and January of 2019.” Id. Mr. Stile explains that he intends to return to the Albany, New York area where his only remaining family member Phoebe Smith lives, given that his mother passed away on June 13, 2018. Id. He would like to “resume his profession of training dogs that will be the mainstay of his ability to pay restitution and establish a[n] indepen[d]ent lifestyle in his integrating himself back into society.” Id.

         Mr. Stile represents that he has maintained good conduct while in BOP custody. Id. He lists the programs he has attended and the certificates he has received. Id. He notes that he is without any money and fears that if not assigned to a RRC, he will have to live at a Salvation Army Homeless Shelter. Id. at 6.

         Mr. Stile notes that he has two civil cases pending in the United States District Court for the District of Maine and two civil cases in the state of New Hampshire, which he believes will come to trial in late 2019 and implies that being in a halfway house will allow him to adequately prepare for these trials. Id.

         Mr. Stile extols the benefits of the halfway house program. Id. at 1-5. He points out that inmates “need the support network available to them and the supervision provided by halfway houses and home confinement.” Id. at 3. He says that the maximum period for halfway house placement is twelve months and it is this amount of time he would like the Court to recommend to the BOP. Id. at 4. Mr. Stile argues that such a judicial recommendation would be consistent with the policies underlying the Second Chance Act. Id. at 4-5.

         B. The Government's Response

         In its brief response, the Government confirms that according to the BOP website, Mr. Stile is due to be released on June 22, 2020. Gov't's Resp. at 1. Citing its response to a similar motion in United States v. Sutherland, 1:15-cr-00041-JAW, the Government concedes that the Court has the authority to make a non-binding recommendation to the BOP, but it also notes that reentry center placement decisions are entrusted to the BOP, not the courts. Id. The Government takes “no position” on Mr. Stile's motion, but brings two things to the Court's attention. Id. at 2. First, the Government reminds the Court that it imposed a two-level enhancement for obstruction of justice at the time of Mr. Stile's sentencing hearing. Id. Next, the Government notes that Mr. Stile asserts his good conduct while in BOP custody and that he attached records supporting his statement. Id.

         C. James Stile's Reply

         In his reply, Mr. Stile points out that the Government confirmed that the Court has the authority to make the requested recommendation. Def.'s Reply at 1. He also says that he appreciates the Government's ...


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