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Somebody in the Bureau of Prisons is Lying

Steve Stockman
Former congressman Steve Stockman is the only insulin-dependent diabetic over 60-years-old remaining in the Beaumont Prison Camp in Texas.  All other elderly diabetic inmates have been moved, or are in the process of being moved, to home confinement to protect them from the COVID-19 virus still spreading in the federal prison system.

Stockman has gone through the internal required process to request transfer to home confinement in order to shelter-at-home in the face of the virus. Citing her husband’s several Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identified COVID risk factors, Stockman’s wife, Patti, had issued a tearful plea in early April to President Trump to ensure her husband was moved home to escape the deadly virus.

She also wrote a personal letter to the Beaumont prison complex, laying out all instances of the Centers for Disease Control identified COVID-19 risk factors that her husband possesses. Patti addressed in her letter every single criteria Attorney General William Barr identified in a March 26 direction for Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to use in expediting identification of inmates for home confinement.

In Senate Judiciary Committee hearings with Bureau of Prison officials on Monday, June 1, Senator Dick Durban (D-IL) expressed his disappointment with Bureau of Prison’s failure not to do more to protect individuals in its custody from the threat of COVID-19.

Stressing that it is not a partisan issue, Sen. Durban reminded BOP Director Michael Carvajal that, “in December 2018, the Senate came together across the aisle to pass the First Step Act in an overwhelming 87-12 vote. The First Step Act gave BOP the authority to quickly release or transfer vulnerable inmates to home confinement.”

At least twice during the hearings, Carvajal acknowledged that “prisons are not designed for social distancing” because they are constructed to contain many prisoners in what Carvajal described as “open dorm or barrack-style living spaces.”

That is precisely the design of the Beaumont camp where roughly 550 men have been housed together in cattle barn-style units with chest-high concrete “stalls” in which two-three inmates are bunked together. Stockman reported to his wife that the space is such that, if inmates both sit on their bunks, their feet pretty much touch. One man at a time has room to get dressed in their space.

Carvajal reported to the Sen. Hawley (R-MO) that the method BOP has found to be the most efficient/timely method of reducing population for COVID protection is home confinement. He said that the criteria for prioritizing comes out of Attorney General Barr’s two memos, neither of which specifies any percentage of sentence served as a factor.

Responding to Sen. Coons (D-DE) who pressed him to ensure all COVID-19 vulnerable inmates are reviewed for transfer, Director Carvajal said that a 50%-of-sentence-served criteria was only employed by BOP “early on in order to triage the number of inmates” who needed to be processed.  He repeated his claim to Connecticut Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT).

Patti Stockman says that this stage of the game is no longer “early on,” nor is the BOP now in triage mode.  Somebody in BOP is lying because, while Carvajal was making this claim to senators, the Beaumont camp administrator announced to camp inmates that the percentage-served is the primary deciding factor for whether they will go to home confinement.

Sen. Blumenthal suggested his belief that U.S. District Judge Michael Shea’s ruling last month in a civil rights case brought by federal inmates, reflect practices around the country.  The judge ruled “that prison officials are making only limited use of their home confinement authority, as well as other tools at their disposal to protect inmates…” and that “these failures amount to deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm to inmates in violation of the Eighth Amendment."  https://reason.com/2020/05/12/judge-rules-in-favor-of-federal-inmates-in-coronavirus-suit-orders-speedier-releases/

Mrs. Stockman estimates that between 30 and 50 friends and family members have contacted the BOP either through voicing on-line concerns or through letters to national, district, or local BOP officials, expressing concern that Stockman be transferred home, given his numerous health compromises. Individuals have received standard online and letter responses, not one of which address the fact that Mr. Stockman suffers from the main CDC risk factors.

In mid-April Steve Stockman was advised by his prison case worker that he was on “the list” to transfer to home confinement. This was verified and he was called on April 23 to report to quarantine, along with other inmates, for a 14-day period prior to transfer home. However, as he was stepping into the quarantine room the next day, he was directed back to the housing unit and told he had been removed from “the list.”

The prison’s medical negligence, and numerous other improprieties to which her husband has been subjected over his two years in the system, have led Mrs. Stockman to call for an Inspector General investigation of the BOP treatment of her husband. She believes that these and the prison’s last-minute reversal of its decision in April to send her husband home add up to cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.

- Patti Stockman has been married to Steve for 31 years, is a conservative activist in her own right, and partnered alongside him in all his political endeavors. She has her own professional career, having worked for NASA 35 years. Visit www.DefendAPatriot.com to read more, lend your name to the petition for a pardon, read both briefs, or donate.

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