An older white-collar guy arrived in our unit from California today for a supervised release violation. Alan’s probation officer told him at their first meeting that he hated white-collar defendants. The PO said he would do everything he could to violate him. What a shock to find out your PO is such an ass!
Alan was three days late with a mandatory monthly report. That was enough to violate him.
Alan was picked up and spent 10 months in a medical unit at a Federal Detention Center in San Bernardino, CA. The judge yanked his supervised release and ordered him back to prison to serve his supervised release time. BOP sent him to Butner because he has a lot of health issues. Alan previously did his time at the camp in Jessup, GA. He has another 10 months or so to complete before being finally released.
All this becomes an issue because all federal inmates serve 85% of their sentence. At sentencing, judges assess defendants with an additional period of supervision by a probation officer. Probation officers are officers of the court and supervise released inmates during the remainder of their sentence after release from prison and during their supervised release period. These officers follow the BOP terms of release until the sentence is completed, and then the court-mandated terms of the supervised release. These guys have a lot of power over released inmates.
Interestingly, Alan said that there were Jessup campers with long supervised release times that would violate on purpose. Subsequently, they filed a motion with the court for immediate release. The theory being that the additional time served would do away with all the remaining supervised release.
This is not the only time I have heard of a probation officer intentionally violating an inmate and inventing a reason to legally do so. One of Christine’s friend’s husband was on supervised release. The family owned a farm that the probation officer wanted to own. The inmate’s wife saw the PO put bullets on the fridge during a home visit. Being in possession of bullets is a clear violation of any inmate’s supervised release. When she confronted the PO, he said, “who are THEY going to believe … you or me?”
Result: the inmate went back to prison and lost the farm that had been in his family for generations! Guess who owns it now?