Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Low Intensity Supervised Release

Several weeks ago, my supervised release status was changed to "low intensity." I still must abide by the terms of supervised release but the manner in which my compliance is monitored has changed.

Previously, I saw my Probation Officer once a month (he usually stopped by my house... a home visit) and filed a written report at the beginning of each month. For most people, the written report is a simple one page (front and back) document that takes 5 minutes to fill out. However, because I am self-employed, I had to provide more detailed financial details -- usually about 12 pages worth -- which took me a couple hours to compile.

Now, I simply call into a compliance reporting system at the beginning of each month, enter my PACTS NUMBER (I don't know what PACTS is an acronym for) and record my responses to several questions. It takes less than two minutes (I submitted my report on Monday).

I had to appear at the Probation Office last month to set up the system, which involved recording the phone number I would be calling in from in addition to recording several phrases which are used for voice identification. In other words, the combination of phone number and voice identification authenticates that I am in fact the person submitting the report instead of having someone else do it for me.

I have also been assigned a new probation officer who handles the low intensity program, although she just had a baby yesterday so I don't know who my new PO is :)

In any case, the low intensity program removes the only real inconvenience of being on supervised release. I still have to get permission to leave the district and abide by the other terms but those are not difficult.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bill, couple of questions about the Low Intensity Supervised Release:

* Was this something you requested, or did the USPO initiate the status change?

* If the USPO initiated the change, what was the trigger? Did you reach some milestone on the length of Probation?

Thanks In Advance For Your Response

Bill Bailey said...

I didn't request it. I actually don't know what triggered it. I know they lost a couple POs and case loads have increased so this is one way to decrease caseloads and I qualified pretty easily. It only takes 3 minutes to complete the phone "survey" at the beginning of each month so it is a lot more convenient.

Anonymous said...

my son is there now...I am worried sick about him..he was sick he stood in the rain for 3 hours...hasn't seen a dr. yet...made himself ill with grieving over his mistake..began having mini-strokes...and of course fearful of doing anything to create a problem for himself...what is uspo...

Bill Bailey said...

USPO is US Probation Office, a branch of the Court System that manages pre-sentence and post-sentence supervision of defendants. Unlesss your son was immediately arrested and detained until sentencing (which oftentimes occurs with drug offenses), your son would have been assigned a pre-trial officer to maintain contact with him. After trial or guilty plea he would have interviewed with Probation Officer to assist in creating his pre-sentence report (PSR). When he gets out of prison, a probation officer will be assigned to him for his term of supervised release to manage his transition into society.

I was at Pensacola Prison Camp from March 30-June 28, 2007 so I missed the cold weather. They do provide fairly warm coats during the winter but I can imagine it could get rather chilly standing in the rain in Pensacola in January, although I think most work details would provide shelter if it was raining hard.

Your son does not have the luxury of self-pity at this point... it is very important for his mental and physical health that he accept the situation he is in and, instead of living in the past, come up with a positive strategy for using this time wisely. I have several posts written on variations of this theme.

He can also get various supplements from the commissary, such as Vitamin C to help ward off a cold.

Good luck.

alicia said...

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por si te interesa, un saludo.