September 14, 2016 (Fault Lines) — This story is purely hypothetical. Okay? Don’t demand that I wink.
The offender is young—in her mid-twenties. She is a white female. She is addicted to meth. She probably injects it, but I can’t say for sure. She had a 36-month prison sentence, but I cut it to time served under Rule 35(b) because she ratted out her compatriots. She never served a day in prison. She just rattled around the county jails that the USMS uses to hold prisoners locally until it is time for the AUSA to use her to “encourage” pleas from others. Once in a while, those like her may have to testify, but not very often.
The cravings are ever present. They have not stopped, and I am pretty sure they won’t. Our heroine gets pregnant on supervised release while using the crystal. US Probation works out in-patient drug treatment. She fails. As I recall, four times they set up drug treatment. Our pretty either gets kicked out or never even shows.
She gets pregnant yet a second time. She is 18 weeks or so along.
We set a hearing date. She doesn’t show up. The Marshals track her down to a meth house. With warrant in hand, they knock on the door. Someone opens the door. The Marshals tell the door opener that he has two choices.
The residents can shove her out the door. Or, the Marshals will enter by force and conduct a protective sweep in the process, no doubt finding meth and the paraphernalia that goes with it. The residents shove her out the door into the waiting arms of the semi-bored US Marshals. It works all the time.
She appears before me in her jump suit. She weeps ‘cause life sucks. Her lawyer recounts the story of the woman’s life of tragedy and degradation. For reasons that escape me, the statutory maximum for a supervised release violation that I have available to me on this class of felony is 36 months in prison with up to 60 months of additional supervised release.* If had my way, I should be able to incapacitate her for the statutory maximum of the underlying offense–10 years. Whether I would do so is another story.
Anyway, I sentenced her to 36 months in prison with no supervised release. I don’t want to spend any more resources on her when she gets out because, well, that would be a waste. In reality, I want her to become someone else’s problem when she hits the streets.
As a result of her hellish addiction, I recommend to the BOP that she be given RDAP. Due to the pregnancy, I also recommend placement in MINT. I haven’t the slightest idea what the BOP will do. BOP is not bound by my recommendation, and this huge agency does what it wants.
The Marshals take her away. She is just another failure.
Oh, well, it’s quittin’ time (again).
Richard G. Kopf
United States District Judge (NE)