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).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Supervised Release Terminated Early

I received a welcome voicemail from my PO this morning while on the golf course -- Judge Whitney had granted their request for early termination of my supervised release!

For those who read this blog, you will know I was sentenced to 3 years supervised release. As allowed by law, I sought to have it terminated after one year but was denied.

The prosecutor in Philadelphia was unwilling to go along with any request by the probation office for early termination (in Philadelphia, you must serve 50% before they will consider it). Fortunately, they agreed to transfer jurisdiction to Charlotte (where you must serve 2/3), where the Probation Office has been managing my supervised release. By transferring jurisdiction to Charlotte, the Philadelphia prosecutor no longer had any input into the early termination process. Fortunately, the US Attorney's Office in Charlotte did not oppose the recommendation of the US Probation Office.

So this means I have completed all the terms of my sentence.

No more monthly reports (although those only take 5 minutes since I have been on low intensity).

No more needing permission to travel outside the western district of NC.

No need to seek court permission for international travel. (I am going to Paris for 11 weeks next month.)

No need to avoid contact with other felons.

No need to worry about some other legal violation such as a DUI triggering a violation of supervised release and possibly sending me back to prison.

I will receive a document in the mail in a couple weeks documenting that I have completed the terms of my sentence. This document will allow me to re-register to vote.

As far as I know, the only lasting limitations on my liberties are:

1. I cannot possess a handgun under threat of mandatory minimum 5 years in prison. (Stupid law for non-violent offenders.) Fortunately, I am not interested in guns.
2. I supposedly cannot travel to Canada, England, or Australia (yes, the former penal colony!), although I intend to test the first two countries sometime in the next year just to see what customs does when I show up.

In any case, this lifts a small psychological burden and frees me to be a little more open in my blog about matters I preferred to be more discrete about it.


FrankTopia said...


Lucky said...

Bill - I am approaching the 2/3rd point of my 2 year supervised release (I am in a District with a 2/3 minimum - like the one you are in).

How do I go about requesting early-termination? Did you write a letter to the PO? Or to the Judge? Or does the PO prepare the paperwork?

Bill Bailey said...


Sorry for the delayed reply.

Without the agreement of the Probation Office, you have no chance of getting early termination. Thus, your probation officer needs to initiate the process. Of course, you should certainly broach the subject if he/she has not already. If you have a good relationship with your PO AND have complied with all terms of your release AND completed all terms of your sentence (including restitution and fines), then your PO shouldn't have a problem. Your PO will make the request (will probably have to get the Chief to sign off) to the judge. The US Attorney's Office has 10 days to reply with their input and then the judge makes the decision. If the US Attorney objects, it makes your request more difficult.

Bottom line is that your PO should initiate the request.

Anonymous said...

I had the privilege of staying at FPC Pensacola during 2009-2010. I, like most guests, would have preferred not to be there, but it wasn't too bad, but it still sucked. The room I was assigned was populated with ok guys, all we're willing to advise and help out in getting me situated to their way of life. The main point of emphasis that I got from the guys who had been " down" for a while was to take care of yourself by eating and staying fit. They cautioned not to get sick as " they don't give a %@€£ about you, and they will let you die". I blew that off, but soon found out how true that statement was.
When one arrives at FPC one of the first stops is medical. I took that opportunity to tell the nurse that the only issue I might have would be a muscle spasm in my back, and if that happened all I would need to stretch and take a very hot shower to work it out, and that if i got anything respiratory that would need to be attended to quickly as it turns into something nasty quickly.
Two weeks after I arrived, I got a respiratory bug. I didn't mess around, I filled out a " medical cop out" and sent it in. The guys in the room told me I was wasting my time and that they would prepare a remedy for me. I politely declined and told them I thought medical would be prompt to respond. Two days later, i was barely able to breath, coughing a lot with wmheezing and rattling in my chest,
one of the guys offered his remedy again. At this point I figured I had nothing to lose and accepted. The whole room went into action, what they didn't have, they got from another room. About 15 minutes later I was served a cup of some sort potion, to this day I do not know what all was in it, and was told to drink it all. They told me it was not going to be pleasant but by the morning I would feel much better and I would be surprised as to what I was going to be coughing up. Sure enough, I felt much better the next morning and can't describe the nastiness that my coughs were producing.
A week passed since I had taken the potion and I still had a cough with very little phlem. I reported to medical 10 days after I sent the cop out in, but not for what I ad reported, but for an eye exam. While I was waiting to see the eye doc, I saw my my nurse in a doorway down the hall. He had on a Hawaiian type shirt and was doing some sort of dance for whoever was in the room. He looked down the hallway and saw me waiting and he ducked into the room. Two days later he called me in for my visit. I told him about the tightness, coughing etc, he listened to my chest and declared i had a little congestion left, and that water and exercise should push what was left on out in about a week. He went on to say he figured it would clear itself up and that's why he waited almost two weeks to call me in. I never told him he had been out done by inmates, convicted criminals. Here he was, a medical professional, drawing a paycheck for medically caring for those who became ill at his facility.
This experience,I believe, is a microcosm of what our health system is about to turn into. An employee of the state will be assigned to you to provide medical care and treatment when needed. They will get paid the same if they see 2 patients or 100. Bonuses will be paid on efficiency, which will have nothing to do with how many people you can treat, but rather how much paperwork is generated and filed properly.
There's more, but I feel I have said enough for the moment.....