United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge.
December 12, 2016, the court received a letter from Sean
Bradford Contee, an inmate housed at the Federal Correctional
Institution (“FCI”) McKean in Bradford,
Pennsylvania. Contee states that he is participating in the
Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”) and his
current release date is March of 2018, with possible
consideration for a six-month halfway-house placement upon
his successful completion of the RDAP program. ECF No. 1.
Contee asks this court to recommend to his Unit Team that he
receive an additional three to six months more of halfway
house or home confinement so he “can begin the process
of finding fulltime employment while at the halfway
house…” He asks that the court consider his
Petition as a request under the Second Chance Act for
additional halfway house time. Id. As Contee's
letter did not seek to attack the fact of his conviction, but
rather concerns the length and duration of his confinement,
it was construed as a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Petition for
habeas corpus relief.
was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute and
possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine
base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846. He was sentenced
to a 108-month term of imprisonment, four years of supervised
release, and ordered to pay a special assessment of
$100.00. See United States v. Contee, Criminal No.
DKC-13-175 (D. Md.). Criminal judgment was entered on
February 4, 2014. Id. at ECF No. 62. On November 24,
2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit affirmed the criminal judgment. Id. at ECF
No. 77; see also United States v. Contee, 585 Fed.
App'x 260 (4th Cir. 2014). On January 8, 2016, an Order
was entered reducing Contee's sentence to an 87-month
term under 18 U.S.C. § 3582. See United States v.
Contee, Criminal No. DKC-13-175 (D. Md.) at ECF No. 83.
Personal Jurisdiction Over § 2241 Petition
28 of the United States Code § 2241(a), gives the
district courts general jurisdiction and the resulting power
to grant writs of habeas corpus “within their
respective jurisdictions.” 28 U.S.C. § 2241(a). A
petition for writ of habeas corpus “does not act upon
the prisoner who seeks relief, but upon the person who holds
him in what is alleged to be unlawful custody.”
Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court, 410 U.S. 484,
494-95 (1973). An application for a writ of habeas corpus
“shall allege....the name of the person who has custody
over him and by virtue of what claim or authority, if
known.” 28 U.S.C. § 2242.
over an action under § 2241 lies in the federal district
court where the petitioner is incarcerated or in the federal
district court where the petitioner's custodian is
located. See Rumsfeld v. Padilla, 542 U.S. 426, 447
(2004); Braden v. 30th Judicial Circuit Court of
Kentucky, 410 U.S. at 494-95; Kanai v. McHugh,
638 F.3d 251, 255 (4th Cir. 2011); United States v.
Hinton, 347 Fed. App'x 885 (4th Cir. 2009). Contee
is confined in the District of Pennsylvania. This court has
no jurisdiction to adjudicate his 28 U.S.C. § 2241
petition and the matter shall be dismissed without prejudice.
Motion to Extend the Time of Halfway House Placement
were the court to examine Contee's request as a motion to
extend the time of his halfway house placement, it would find
that it has no discretionary basis for doing so. The Second
Chance Act of 2007 permits eligible inmates to spend some
portion of the final twelve months of their sentence in a
community correctional facility, also known as a halfway
house or residential reentry center (“RRC”). The
statute provides in relevant part:
(1) In general. The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall,
to the extent practicable, ensure that a prisoner
serving a term of imprisonment spends a portion of the final
months of that term (not to exceed 12 months), under
conditions that will afford that prisoner a reasonable
opportunity to adjust to and prepare for the reentry of that
prisoner into the community. Such conditions may
include a community correctional facility.
18 U.S.C. § 3624(c) (emphasis added).
statute only directs the BOP to consider placing an inmate in
a RRC for up to the final twelve months of sentence. See
Demis v. Sniezek, 558 F.3d 508, 514 (6thth
Cir. 2009); see also Lovett v. Hogstern,
2009 WL 5851205 (6th Cir. Dec. 29, 2009) (unpub.);
Travers v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2009
WL 4508585 (D. N.J. Nov. 30, 2009) (Hillman, J.) (finding
that “... nothing in the Second Chance Act entitles
Petitioner to a halfway house placement longer than the
120-150 days already approved. These pre-release placement
decisions are committed, by statute, to the discretion of the
Director of the Bureau of Prisons, whose exercise of
discretion is to be guided by the enumerated
considerations.”); Creager v. Chapman, 22010
WL 1062610 (N.D. Tex. Mar. 22, 2010) (holding that although
Petitioner disagrees with her RRC placement date after
consideration of the § 3621(b) factors, this “does
not establish a constitutional violation, as nothing in the
Second Chance Act or § 3621(b) entitles [Petitioner] or
any other prisoner to any guaranteed placement in a
residential reentry center[ ]” and “ ‘the
duration of [RRC] placement is a matter to which the [BOP]
retains discretionary authority.'” (citations and
quotation omitted)); Chaides v. Rios, 2010 WL 935610
(E. D. Cal. Mar. 15, 2010) (“In sum, the BOP has
discretionary authority to transfer an inmate to an RRC at
any time, after considering the factors set forth in 18
U.S.C. § 3621(b), and has a separate and distinct
obligation to consider an inmate for transfer to an RRC for
up to twelve months prior to the inmate's release date,
after considering the factors set forth in section
3621(b)”). (citation omitted).
plain language of the statute makes clear that placement in
an RRC is discretionary and not mandatory. To determine the
appropriate length and place of pre-release custody, the BOP
is required to consider placement “on an individual
basis” and “in a manner consistent with [18
U.S.C. § 3621(b) ], ” which sets forth five
factors that the BOP must consider in determining a
prisoner's place of imprisonment. See 18 U.S.C.
§ 3624(c)(6)(A) & (B); 28 C.F.R. § 570.22. The
factors are: (1) the resources of the facility contemplated;
(2) the nature and circumstances of the offense; (3) the
history and characteristics of the ...