New York Federal Criminal Practice Blog
April 19, 2009

EDNY Judge Recommends a BOP Designation to Community Confinement . . . and BOP Obliges

After the Second Circuit threw out the BOP’s rule limiting an inmate’s placement in a halfway house to the lesser of the last ten percent or six months of the sentence (Levine v. Apker, 455 F.3d 71 (2d Cir. 2006)), the BOP said that it would endeavor to honor a judge’s recommendation that a defendant be directly designated to a halfway house (also known as a residential re-entry center) for sentences of twelve months or less.  But the skeptics among us wondered how often that would happen in practice.  Well, in United States v. Iaria, 2008 WL 3842517 (E.D.N.Y. August 11, 2008) (Murray Law LLC’s case), EDNY Judge Weinstein sentenced the defendant to six months in custody, but at defense counsel’s request, agreed to recommend RRC designation.  And lo, the BOP obliged, and Mr. Iaria – a father convicted of illegal gambling, and therefore a very appropriate candidate for this placement – has recently completed his sentence at an RRC in Brooklyn, which permitted him to maintain gainful employment throughout the custodial period. 

In an era when our prisons are bursting at the seams with first-time, non-violent offenders, let’s hope more judges recommend direct designation to RCCs (or even impose probation with a condition of community confinement, so that the issue is not left to the discretion of the Bureau of Prisons). 

Lawyers: JaneAnne Murray, Murray Law LLC (defendant); AUSAs Joseph Lipton, Roger Burlingame

See Archives for all posts since September 2007.