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CARBARCAS v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS

August 15, 2005.

LUIS CARBARCAS, Petitioner,
v.
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, et al., Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDA WOLFSON, Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This matter is before the Court on petitioner Luis Carbarcas' ("Carbarcas") application for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. Respondent filed an answer to the petition on or about July 18, 2005. The Court has reviewed all documents submitted and, for reasons now discussed, will deny the petition for lack of merit. BACKGROUND

Carbarcas is presently in custody at F.C.I. Fort Dix in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He was sentenced on August 19, 1991, in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, to a 30-year prison term with no parole for criminal violations under 21 U.S.C. §§ 848 and 841(a)(1), and 18 U.S.C. § 2.*fn1 Carbarcas' projected release date is July 17, 2007, via mandatory release. See Declaration of Diana Jacobs Lee ("Lee Decl.") at ¶ 3, and Exhibit A at pp. 3-5 ("SENTRY Public Inmate Information sheets).

  In his petition, Carbarcas alleges that he began serving his federal sentence on September 29, 1991 at F.C.I. Fairton in New Jersey. Carbarcas claims that the only good time credit he can earn is the industrial good time credits and lump sum awards under 28 C.F.R. § 523.16, as an "old law" prisoner. It is with the BOP's allocation of lump sum awards that petitioner takes issue.

  Carbarcas alleges that FCI Fairton is a cable factory, and that they make cable products for the military for use in tanks, ships, and airplanes. In 1991, when the Gulf War was underway, the military increased its demand for cable products forcing FCI Fairton to institute a second shift (from 4:00 p.m. to midnight). The inmates were needed to work both shifts, 7 days a week. The "old law" inmates were told that they would receive additional lump sum awards for work above and beyond their normal UNICOR service. Carbarcas claims he has never received his lump sum award for this work. Further, in agreeing to receive lump sum awards of extra work credits, Carbarcas states that he declined to seek a higher pay grade level other than grade level two.

  Carbarcas estimates that his lump sum awards would have computed at 990 days in contrast to the 60 days actually awarded by the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"). As a result, if these lump sum awards were subtracted from his prison term, Carbarcas alleges that he was eligible for release on October 18, 2004. He is 75 years old and has worked for the Federal Prison Industries for more than 132 months without incident. He claims that he is 10 years past the national standard for receiving Social Security benefits.

  In a counter-statement of facts, the BOP records indicate that Carbarcas was designated to FCI Fairton on October 29, 1991. He allegedly earned one year meritorious good time pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 523.11. In early 1992, Carbarcas began working in the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (UNICOR),*fn2 and received industrial good time credit pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 523.14. Respondents state that, from late 1991 to August 1992, Carbarcas was assigned to work various details at FCI Fairton, but outside the ambit of UNICOR. Carbarcas' first UNICOR assignment at FCI Fairton occurred from August 3, 1992 to September 15, 1992. Thereafter, Carbarcas was transferred to a BOP medical facility in Rochester, Minnesota, and was not assigned to any work detail for medical reasons. Carbarcas returned to FCI Fairton on October 29, 1993 and received a UNICOR assignment in February 1994. He continued to work various UNICOR jobs at FCI Fairton until January 27, 2000, when Carbarcas was transferred to FCI Fort Dix. At FCI Fort Dix, Carbarcas was assigned non-UNICOR job details until July 10, 2000. At that point, until the present time, Carbarcas has worked various UNICOR job assignments. His present position is Sorter in the Computer Recycling Factory. See Lee Decl. At Ex. F (SENTRY Inmate History Work Detail printout), and Declaration of Jeff Eobstell, Factory Manager at ¶ 9.

  Respondents also disagree with petitioner's calculation of "earned" extra good time credits. Respondents calculate that Carbarcas is entitled to earn statutory good time (SGT) credit at a rate of 10 days per month on his 30-year prison term without parole, for a total of 3600 days SGT.*fn3 Carbarcas also earned meritorious good time (MGT) credit from October 29, 1991 through August 2, 1992 for a total of 278 days MGT.*fn4 Next, respondents show that Carbarcas earned industrial good time (IGT) credit for his two periods of UNICOR job assignments at FCI Fairton (from August 3, 1992 through October 29, 1993, and from February 11, 1994 through January 27, 2000).*fn5 He also earned IGT during his UNICOR job assignments at FCI Fort Dix, from July 10, 2000 and continuing to the present at a rate of 5 days per month. Thus, adding his MGT and his IGT, respondents contend that Carbarcas has a total of 760 days of "earned" extra good time credit (EGT).*fn6 In addition, Carbarcas has received two Lump Sum Awards (LSA) while incarcerated at FCI Fort Dix.*fn7 The first LSA was effective July 24, 2002 and the second on July 7, 2004. Each LSA was for 30 days credit, for a total of 60 days LSA credit and 820 days total of all EGT credit. This 820 day total does not include the continuing 5 days per month of IGT that Carbarcas is expected to earn if he continues with UNICOR job assignments. Respondents also report that Carbarcas has not had any forfeitures or withholdings of good time credits. See Declaration of Fernando J. Messer ("Messer Decl.") at ¶¶ 3-5; Eobstell Decl. at Ex. 1, pp. 2-4 (SENTRY Sentence Monitoring Computation Date printout); and Lee Decl. at Ex. E (SENTRY Sentence Monitoring Good Time Data printout) and Ex. F.

  Thus, respondents have calculated Carbarcas' credits and mandatory release date, based on his 30-year prison sentence with out parole, as follows:

  Date Computation Began ("DCB") — August 19, 1991 [the date sentence was imposed]

  Total Jail Credit of 607 days [December 20, 1989 through August 18, 1991]

  Expiration Full Term ("EFT") Date — December 20, 2019 [the DCB plus the 30-year term minus the 607 days jail credit]

  SGT — 3600 days [rate of 10 days/month for 30 years]

  Statutory Release Date — February 10, 2010 [the EFT (December 20, 2019) minus ...


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