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Steve Hickman v. Donna Zickefoose

May 12, 2011

STEVE HICKMAN, PETITIONER,
v.
DONNA ZICKEFOOSE, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle United States District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

SIMANDLE, District Judge:

Petitioner Steve Hickman, a prisoner currently confined at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey, has submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241.*fn1 The sole respondent is Warden Donna Zickefoose. The principal issue to be decided is whether the decision of the Bureau of Prisons denying Petitioner's request for early transfer to a pre-release confinement center violated the requirements of federal law, particularly the Second Chance Act, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c).

Because it appears from a review of the Petition and of Respondent's Answer that Petitioner is not entitled to relief, the Petition will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND A. The Second Chance Act

Title 18 Section 3621(b) governs Bureau of Prisons inmate

placement decisions, generally, and provides:

(b) Place of imprisonment. The Bureau of Prisons shall designate the place of the prisoner's imprisonment. The Bureau may designate any available penal or correctional facility that meets minimum standards of health and habitability established by the Bureau, whether maintained by the Federal Government or otherwise and whether within or without the judicial district in which the person was convicted, that the Bureau determines to be appropriate and suitable, considering-(1) the resources of the facility contemplated;

(2) the nature ad circumstances of the offense;

(3) the history and characteristics of the prisoner;

(4) any statement by the court that imposed the sentence - (A) concerning the purposes for which the sentence to imprisonment was determined to be warranted; or (B) recommending a type of penal or correctional facility as appropriate; and

(5) any pertinent policy statement issued by the Sentencing Commission pursuant to Section 994(a)(2) title 28 ... .

... Any order, recommendation, or request by a sentencing court that a convicted person serve a term of imprisonment in a community corrections facility shall have no binding effect on the authority of the Bureau under this section to determine or change the place of imprisonment.

In general, community corrections facilities are "penal or correctional" facilities within the meaning of § 3621(b) and a prisoner can be placed at a community corrections facility at any time during his imprisonment. See, e.g., Miller v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 147 Fed.Appx. 302 (3d Cir. 2005).

A separate provision, 18 U.S.C. ยง 3624(c), governs the BOP's obligation to facilitate inmates' re-entry into society, and permits the BOP, among other things, to place prisoners in pre-release ...


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