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Grid & Bear It
By Henry J. Sadowski
Grid & Bear It columns.
Interaction of Federal and State Sentences When the Federal Defendant Is Under State Primary Jurisdiction
This article details how the Federal Bureau of Prisons computes federal
sentences imposed when the defendant is under the primary custodial
jurisdiction of state authorities. This is probably the single most
confusing and least understood federal sentencing issue. To place this
discussion into context, basic sentencing principles will be discussed
and then applied to state and federal sentencing interaction. The policy
of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) concerning where the federal sentence is
served will also be addressed.
Basic Federal Sentence Computation Decisions
In any computation of a federal sentence, two separate decisions must be
made: when the federal sentence commences and to what extent the
defendant can receive credit for time spent in custody prior to
commencement of sentence.1 For offenses committed prior to
November 1, 1987, each of these decisions i
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