United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO REDUCE SENTENCE
UNDER THE FIRST STEP ACT
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
former inmate moves to reduce his period of incarceration
pursuant to the new, more generous good time credit
provisions of the First Step Act. The Court dismisses his
motion without prejudice (1) because the inmate is no longer
incarcerated and therefore the new good time calculations
have no effect on his period of incarceration, (2) because
the new good time credits are not yet available under the
First Step Act, (3) because the inmate did not demonstrate
that he exhausted his administrative remedies before filing
his motion in this Court, (4) because his only avenue of
relief would be a habeas corpus petition, which is no longer
available to him because he is no longer incarcerated, and
(5) because, if the habeas corpus process were available to
him, he would have been required to file the petition in the
place where he was being held, not with the sentencing judge.
January 7, 2014, the Court sentenced Ricky Sirois to
forty-eight months of incarceration followed by three years
of supervised release and a $100 special assessment for
engaging in a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. J.
(ECF No. 315). On December 21, 2018, the President of the
United States signed the First Step Act into law effective
immediately. The First Step Act contains six titles; relevant
here is Title IV, entitled “Sentencing Reform, ”
and the Act's amendment of 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b)(1),
which “changed the manner in which good time credits
are calculated by increasing the maximum allowable days from
47 to 54 per year.” Schmutzler v. Quintana,
No. 5:190046-DCR, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26433, at *2 (E.D.
Ky. Feb. 20, 2019).
about this change in the law, on March 8, 2019, Mr. Sirois
filed a request for a court order recalculating his good time
credits to reduce his period of incarceration. Def.'s
Mot. to Reduce Sentence (ECF No. 424). On March 12,
2019, the Court appointed Federal Defender David Beneman to
represent Mr. Sirois, Order Appointing Counsel (ECF
No. 425), and it issued a Scheduling Order. Scheduling
Order (ECF No. 426). On April 4, 2019, the Government
filed its opposition to Mr. Sirois' motion.
Gov't's Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. for First
Step Act Relief (ECF No. 427). Federal Defender Beneman
declined to file a reply, noting that on March 11, 2019,
United States District Judge George Singal had issued an
order on the same issue, declining to reduce an inmate's
sentence because this part of the First Step Act was not yet
effective and because the Bureau of Prisons has exclusive
jurisdiction to determine good time credits subject to habeas
review. See United States v. Sullivan,
1:94-cr-00042-GZS, Order (ECF No. 114).
it is questionable whether Mr. Sirois qualifies for the good
time credit under the First Step Act because according to the
Bureau of Prisons inmate locator, he was released from
incarceration on April 10, 2019. See
https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc(last visited April 20, 2019).
Even if Mr. Sirois were entitled to reduced good time, the
Court cannot rewind the clock and grant him a retroactive
credit since he is already released. In other words, Mr.
Sirois' request to be released early is now moot because
he has been released.
the good time credit provisions of the First Step Act are not
Judge Reeves of the District of Kentucky noted:
Section 102(b)(2) of the Act specifically provides that the
amendments made in subsection 102(b) of the Act take effect
only when the Attorney General completes the “risk and
needs assessment system” required by Section 101(a) of
the Act. Section 101(a) does not require completion of the
system until 210 days after the Act's enactment. Thus,
Section 102(b)(1) will not take effect until approximately
Schmutzler, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26433, at *4;
United States v. Bellah, No. 2:12-CR-20016-01, 2019
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56076 (W.D. Ar. Apr. 2, 2019); Turnquist
v. United States, No. 1:12-cr-0173 AWI, 2019 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 41857, at *3 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 14, 2019).
once the good time credit provisions of the First Step Act
become effective, Mr. Sirois would first be required to apply
for the credit to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) before filing
an action in the United States District Court, and there is
no indication he has done so. See Bellah, 2019 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 56076, at *1; 28 C.F.R. § 542.10, et seq.
The BOP, not the sentencing judge, has the responsibility to
administer the sentence. United States v. Wilson,
503 U.S. 329, 335 (1992); United States v. Vaughn,
806 F.3d 640, 644 (1st Cir. 2015).
to challenge a BOP good time calculation, Mr. Sirois would be
limited to a habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. §
2241. Rogers v. United States, 180 F.3d 349, 358 (1st Cir.
1999). As Mr. Sirois is apparently no longer in custody,
§ 2241 is by its terms no longer available to him. 28
U.S.C. § 2241(c)(1)-(3).
although it is not clear from the filings and the inmate
locator where Mr. Sirois is physically located at present, if
he still is in custody, “a § 2241 petition must be
addressed to the district court where the petitioner is ...