A Massive Blow To The Gut

On Friday, Chris and I received a massive blow to our guts delivered by the Federal Bureau of Prisons or in Particular FCI Florence. My husband filed for compassionate release on April 10, 2020, with the Warden. My husband is an extremely detailed person; he not only submitted on April 10 through interoffice prison mail, but he then sent certified mail and also gave his case manager out of courtesy a copy of his compassionate release.

We anxiously waited for the required 30 days with no response. Our lawyer was then free to file a motion with the courts. However, before we could file, there was a lot of work to be done. We had to obtain Chris's medical records from FCI Florence. That in itself was a feat. We then obtained an opinion from an outside physician regarding Chris's cancer diagnosis to be filed with his motion.

Chris's compassionate release was officially filed on June 11. The enormous relief both of us felt was like a glacier of stress just melted away. We now knew that by June 25, the prosecution would respond, and now we had done everything we could. The lawyer wrote a comprehensive and thoughtful motion. It is, in my opinion, compelling and brilliant.

We had seven days of the wind again in our sails. On day eight, the massive blow that took the wind out of our sails came upon us like a wicked storm where the storm clouds circle upon you without warning. The prosecution could not verify with FCI Florence the April 10, 2020 date. The prison is giving a June 9 date. Herein lies the mix-up. On June 9, my husband was called to his case manager's office to inform him he was denied for home confinement. We felt a significant blow to the gut with this news, but we knew we had compassionate release on the table. We felt confident that with only three-months until his release and with Chris's recent cancer diagnosis, the Judge would allow him to come home and begin medical treatment. At this meeting, the case manager asked my husband to fill out an informal request for compassionate release even though she knows he already filed on April 10. Chris asked, " Will this affect my original date of April 10?" Her response was no; it will not.

Today we are left scrambling in finding a way to prove his April 10 filing date or be forced to wait the 30-day administrative exhaustive period. Our other option is for the warden to show mercy on my sick husband and respond to his request promptly.

My husband's story and experience are not unique. Nothing flows fluidly within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The only thing consistent about the BOP is that they are inconsistent.


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