Released for Christmas

Life after Prison

May 10

Saturday, December 17th, 2011 |

I have two friends that are leaving on Tuesday so they will be released for Christmas. I am very excited for Bill and Joe.  Both guys will have to go through the “merry-go-round” on Monday. The merry-go-round is obtaining each of the department heads signature to clear them for release. I think this is just a formality since it is not required if you are given “immediate release”.

I’ve previously written that there have been a lot of guys in the past six weeks that have received their immediate release because of the new law equalizing drug sentencing. The BOP really humps it to get the immediate release guys out the front door as soon as possible.  This is generally before midnight, no matter when they receive the court order on that day. What a pleasant surprise that would be to be told suddenly that you are going home!  However, this is not true for those going through the normal release procedures.


Bill kept a lot of books and other personal stuff. He is going home via plane so he can’t take everything with him. A town driver (an inmate trusted with doing errands around the area) will drop him off at the airport. I think he will be going home with only a satchel. Accordingly, Bill has been shipping everything home. He had about 10 or 13 boxes shipped earlier this week.  Bill is retired, handicapped and a Care Level 3, so he is going directly to home confinement.

His probation officer visited his wife’s home to check it out. They want to make sure that it is a stable and permanent home environment. I hope that he settles quickly with his wife, grown children and grandchildren. He’s been through a lot lately and deserves a break.


Joe lives in Burlington, NC so his wife and daughters will pick him up. He told me that he can leave any time after 8:30 am. His wife and daughters will be at R&D at 8 am to get him out of Butner as soon as he can walk out of the front door. Joe will be able to box all his stuff and take it with him. He will be going to a halfway house.

BOP typically sends everyone home by bus, and they will pay for the ticket. An inmate will have to pay for his own train or plane fare if he goes that route. The BOP doesn’t want released inmates doing side trips on their way home.  If an inmate drives to a halfway house with their family, the BOP calculates the time they think it takes to get home.  The inmate must report to the halfway house at that time. Joe will probably have enough time to drive and have lunch with his family before reporting to the halfway house.

Joe is scheduled for six months at the halfway house but most guys can get that time reduced. He will be required to work while at the halfway house. Joe is a white-collar guy so I don’t know what kind of work they will expect from him. He will be required to give 25% of everything he makes to the halfway house as rent.

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