United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Sheik Naieem Trice, an inmate incarcerated at FCI Fort Dix,
filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2241. Respondent filed an Answer, and
Petitioner did not file a reply. For the following reasons,
the Court will deny the Petition.
case arises from Petitioner's incarceration while serving
his sentence at FCI Fort Dix. It is difficult to discern
Petitioner's view of the events in light of the
Petition's rambling and colorful language. The Court
discerns that in 2014, Petitioner was incarcerated at FCI
Schuylkill, in Pennsylvania, where officials screened him for
admission into the Bureau of Prisons' (“BOP”)
Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”). The BOP
administers the RDAP as an intensive treatment program to
reduce the risk of relapse for participants. If a prisoner
successfully completes the program, the BOP may, in
its discretion, reduce a prisoner's sentence by up to one
year. See 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e)(2); Anderson
v. Schultz, No. 09-4683, 2010 WL 5017352, at *2 (D.N.J.
Nov. 23, 2010).
March of 2015, Petitioner started the RDAP at FCI Schuylkill
and completed a portion of the program in December of 2015.
In April of 2016, Petitioner had transferred to FCI Fort Dix.
At FCI Fort Dix, officials housed Petitioner and the other
RDAP inmates who had completed the initial portion of the
program, in a separate unit. Officials required these inmates
to attend community meetings and to abide by the rules and
regulations of the RDAP. It appears that Petitioner construed
these classes as requiring him to “repeat” RDAP
in violation of his “contract” (ECF No. 1, at
7-9) and that the RDAP was subjecting him to some kind of
involuntary servitude for the program's amusement.
Petitioner declined to stay at the RDAP unit and withdrew
from the program. As a result, the BOP did not provide
Petitioner with a discretionary sentence reduction. To the
extent that Petitioner challenges that decision, he has not,
according to Respondent, filed any administrative appeals.
then filed the instant Petition but did not specifically
request any relief from the Court. Respondent filed an
Answer, and Petitioner did not file a reply.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
corpus petitions must meet heightened pleading
requirements.” McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S.
849, 856 (1994). A petition must “specify all the
grounds for relief and set forth “facts supporting each
of the grounds thus specified.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254
Rule 2(c) (amended Dec. 1, 2004), applicable to § 2241
petitions through Habeas Rule 1(b). A court addressing a
petition for writ of habeas corpus “shall forthwith
award the writ or issue an order directing the respondent to
show cause why the writ should not be granted, unless it
appears from the application that the applicant or person
detained is not entitled there.” 28 U.S.C. § 2243.
“[f]ederal courts . . . [may] dismiss summarily any
habeas petition that appears legally insufficient on its
face.” McFarland, 512 U.S. at 856. More
specifically, a district court may “dismiss a [habeas]
petition summarily when it plainly appears from the face of
the petition and any exhibits . . . that the petitioner is
not entitled to relief.” Lonchar v. Thomas,
517 U.S. 314, 320 (1996).
28 U.S.C. § 2241, the “writ of habeas corpus shall
not extend to a prisoner unless . . . [h]e is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” “Challenges to the validity of
any confinement or to particulars affecting its duration are
the province of habeas corpus” but prisoners may only
present “requests for relief turning on circumstances
of confinement . . . in a § 1983 [or Bivens]
action.” Muhammad v. Close, 540 U.S. 749, 750
(2004) (citation omitted). Stated differently, a petitioner
may only bring a claim in a § 2241 petition if it
“would fall within the ‘core of habeas' and
require sooner release” if a court decided the
claim in petitioner's favor. Leamer v. Fauver,
288 F.3d 532, 542 (3d Cir. 2002)(emphasis added).
those principles in mind, it is not entirely clear what
Petitioner seeks from the Court as he does not ask for any
specific relief. That said, the Court will construe his
Petition as seeking a discretionary sentence reduction under
the RDAP. Under that program, after “an inmate
completes RDAP, the BOP has discretion to reduce
what remains of his sentence by as much as one year.”
Scott v. FCI Fairton, 407 Fed.Appx. 612, 615 (3d
Cir. 2011) (per curiam) (emphasis added) (citing 18 U.S.C.
§ 3621(e)(2)(B); 28 C.F.R. § 550.55). Stated
differently, even if Petitioner successfully completed the
program to perfection, the statute “still affords the
Bureau complete discretion to require Petitioner to serve his
full sentence.” Beckley v. Miner, 125
Fed.Appx. 385, 388 (3d Cir. 2005).
appears that Petitioner believes he completed enough of the
RDAP prior to his transfer to FCI Fort Dix, such that it was
unjust to require him to participate any further. Respondent
offers evidence that Petitioner was aware of the consequences
of an early withdrawal, but nevertheless, Petitioner resigned
from the program. (ECF No. 4-4, at 6-13). As a result,
officials informed Petitioner that he was no longer eligible
for early release. Id.
addressing the merits of Petitioner's argument, the Court
observes that he has failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies on this claim. Although 28 U.S.C. § 2241
contains no statutory exhaustion requirement, a federal
prisoner may not ordinarily bring a § 2241 petition,
challenging the execution of his sentence, until he has
exhausted all available administrative remedies. See,
e.g., Callwood v. Enos,230 F.3d 627, 634 (3d Cir.
2000). According to the BOP's records, Petitioner has not
filed any administrative appeals regarding the RDAP and his
early release eligibility. Further, Petitioner has not
alleged any facts that would permit the Court to find that
exhaustion would be futile ...