The Champion

April 2006 , Page 22 

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Securing A Favorable Federal Prison Placement

By Alan Ellis, J. Michael Henderson

There is a 97 percent likelihood that your federal criminal client is going to wind up in front of a sentencing judge. There is also an 80 percent likelihood he will go to prison.1 That’s why for many federal criminal defendants, where they do their time can be almost as important as how much time they’ll do. Although it is the policy of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to place an individual in the least restrictive facility for which he or she qualifies which is within 500 miles of the inmate’s “release residence,” many inmates end up serving their time far from their families and under harsher conditions than necessary. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a lot a defense attorney can do to ensure that his or her clients do their time in the best possible facilities. First, defense attorneys need to understand how the Bureau of Prisons classifies its facilities, and the characteristics of each type of facility. Second, defense attorneys need to understand how the BOP decides what typ

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