This is a very strange and interesting place. I’m sure that all prisons are different but it always amazes me how some people in authority act. It must have something to do with people that will dominate you if they can, the lack of respect, the laziness, and the lack of human compassion. I’ve previously written how vindictive and uncaring some people here can get but I want to tell you some more about furloughs for funerals and compassion.
A friend was given an original release date of December 13th. But, the release date got moved twice to December 27th. The guy’s brother called the camp to get a message to his inmate brother that his mother was dying. The brother was finally able to talk to the camp administrator. The camp administrator told the brother that “they don’t forward messages to the inmates”, essentially refusing to do anything to let the inmate know that his mother was near death. The brother finally notified my friend by email. To make matters even worse, my friend saw this camp administrator twice since the brother’s call and she never said a thing about his mother! This is a cold, cold woman.
He called his mother in the hospital after getting the message from his brother. His mother died on December 12th in the evening. The camper asked for a furlough to attend the funeral. He was willing to attend the funeral and return to Butner immediately thereafter, and then wait out his final few days. The camp administrator refused the furlough request.
It can’t be because they were afraid he was going to escape. Admittedly, this guy may have pissed off certain management but I don’t think that was the reason. I don’t know if they refused it because they were too lazy to do the paperwork, or they just didn’t care. I think it is the latter reason. This guy was a transfer from Maxwell. He said furloughs were common and encouraged. He cited several guys that were granted compassionate furloughs, or a furlough in the city while family visited from out of town.
One friend’s wife was diagnosed with cancer the week after their last visit, and she could no longer travel to see him. The camp administrator denied a furlough to visit her before she died. He was also denied a furlough for the funeral. A young teen daughter is left to pick up the pieces without him. This story is common. Family members die, and they are refused furloughs.
I have an elderly white collar friend who has eleven months remaining on his sentence. He has been in and out of cancer treatment, which is why he is at Butner. His case was national news. His wife is totally mortified about his circumstances. She wants him to keep a low profile as possible and for him to do his time and get out. He is very worried about her because she has not been coping well.
In addition, his daughter is unofficially engaged to marry the son of a famous person. He believes they are delaying their engagement announcement until he is released. This daughter frequently travels internationally and has been harassed by the FBI on her travels. They questioned her about her travels trying to determine whether my friend hid any money overseas. He hadn’t, and if he did, he wouldn’t have involved his daughter.
His son was killed in action in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb while on patrol. He asked for a furlough to attend his hero son’s funeral. He was initially denied, then approved, provided he was shackled and accompanied by three BOP officers. I guess they couldn’t come right out and say they weren’t going to give him the furlough. This guy is about 70 and absolutely no flight risk. Also, this is not the type of guy who causes any problems. His wife said, “no way” to their requirements so they will have the funeral when he is released. This guy was given furloughs at both other two camps he was at. This past Sunday marked the six-month anniversary of the son’s death; He took it hard. This is an example of the troubles that incarceration can impact a family.
Just before my transfer here, another guy was told that he had very little time to live due to his cancer. He asked for a compassionate release furlough so he could go home to visit his last days with his family. The camper died in his bunk about a month or so after he asked for the compassionate release. His compassionate release was approved a couple of days AFTER he died.
Butner has a policy, or practice, that furloughs are not granted, period.