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Sanderson v. Feather

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 28, 2014

JAMES C. SANDERSON, Petitioner,
v.
MARION FEATHER, Respondent.

Stephen R. Sady, Chief Deputy Federal Public Defender, Portland, Oregon, Attorney for Petitioner.

S. Amanda Marshall, United States Attorney, Natalie Wight, Assistant United States Attorney Portland, OR, Attorneys for Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER

MICHAEL H. SIMON, District Judge.

Petitioner brings this habeas corpus case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 challenging the Bureau of Prisons' ("BOP") decision to exclude him from the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program ("RDAP"). For the reasons that follow, the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (#1) is denied.[1]

BACKGROUND

On February 26, 2013, petitioner was sentenced to 51 months' imprisonment in the Western District of Virginia for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. The District Court recommended that petitioner participate in drug treatment during the course of his sentence.

In 1990, Congress tasked the BOP to make substance abuse treatment available for inmates with substance abuse issues. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(b). This congressional action led to the creation of RDAP. In order to successfully complete RDAP, inmates must complete three separate phases of that program: a minimum of 500 hours of a unit-based component, follow-up services, and a community transitional drug abuse treatment component. 28 C.F.R. § 550.53; Program Statement 5330.11. As an incentive to prisoners to enroll in RDAP, Congress provided that inmates who successfully complete RDAP are entitled to an early release benefit of not more than one year, assuming they are otherwise eligible for early release. 18 U.S.C. § 3621 (e) (2) (B)

Prior to March 16, 2009, inmates who were not eligible for placement in the community transitional component of RDAP could still participate in the earlier phases RDAP, but could not avail themselves of the early release benefit. 28 C.F.R. § 550.58 (1997). On March 16, however, the BOP issued final rules that excluded all prisoners with detainers from participating in any aspect of RDAP. 28 C.F.R. § 550.53; Program Statement 5330.11.

At issue in this case is petitioner's exclusion from RDAP based upon a detainer filed in Mendocino County, California:

[A] review of your Presentence report, page nine, reveals, "A state probation violation warrant from the County of Mendocino, California, was issued on December 13, 2011, which remains pending." As per Program Statement 5330.11, Psychology Treatment Programs, chapter two, page thirteen, inmates applying for RDAP admission must be able to "complete all of the components of the RDAP, e.g., is able to participate in community transition drug abuse treatment." Thus, your current outstanding pending charge precludes you from participating in community transition drug abuse treatment and, as such, prohibits you from being granted a RDAP clinical interview.

Petitioner's Exhibit C.

Petitioner now brings this habeas corpus action in which he challenges the BOP's decision to exclude him from RDAP and its accompanying early release benefit. He claims that the BOP's policy prohibiting his placement in RDAP due to his pending detainer violates the clear statutory mandate of 18 U.S.C. §3621 as well as §§ 553 and 706 of the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"). He also reasons that if the BOP was wrong to exclude him from participating in RDAP, then it would also be wrong to exclude him from the early release benefit of RDAP in the event he successfully completes the program.

DISCUSSION

I. Statutory ...


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