Federal Prison Designations

I received a call yesterday that troubled me. A white collar defendant who had plead guilty to securities fraud was upset that he did not get the federal prison he had hoped for. His goal was to serve time at Taft Federal Prison Camp, where I served my 18-month sentence. Instead, he was designated to Lompoc Federal Prison Camp.

“Did your lawyer ask for a prison designation at sentencing?”, I asked.

“Not a specific one. He just asked for a prison in Southern California. I did not do any research on Taft Federal Prison Camp until after my sentencing,” he said very politely.

Things went bad in our conversation when he told me that he had a federal prison consultant to help him with a re designation. The prison consultant said he would “guarantee” it. He paid him $5,000 for the re designation.

Before I finish, let me get to the truth about federal prison designations and other Bureau of Prisons Programs like RDAP (Residential Drug Abuse Program).

The Truth About Federal Prison Designations

The Truth About Federal Prison Designations

1: No Guarantees Exist For Prison Designations

Of course, I only have one version of the story. Rather then speculate, I must reiterate the truth. There is no way to guarantee a federal prison designation. To those reading, please do not give money to anyone that guarantees an outcome or a specific federal prison.

2: Use The Statistics To Your Advantage

The white collar defense attorney should have asked for a specific federal prison. Seventy-four percent of judicial recommendations were followed by the Bureau of Prison in 2015. The BOP did its job here. They honored his request by sending him to a federal prison in southern California. It is very important you research what federal prison you would like to go to, and you choose one that has capacity.

3: The Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP).

I understand the importance of wanting to complete RDAP. But just like a federal prison designation, no one can guarantee access into this program. The key to getting into RDAP is disclosing your history of drinking or drugs in your pre sentence investigation. That sets the tone. Just be careful about guarantees please.

The good news is the white collar defendant will do just fine at Lompoc Federal Prison Camp. There are a lot of benefits to Lompoc. But to those reading this please use this story as a cautionary tale. Please be very careful about those offering guarantees on prison designations or RDAP.

Thank you,
Justin

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The Truth About Federal Prison Designations
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