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02/27/1997 Call for letters to U.S. Sentencing Commission
The U.S. Sentencing Commission is back at it again. After a landmark
refusal to modify guidelines for money-laundering over a year ago along
with crack cocaine guidelines (which were coupled together for review)
the Commission is giving money-laundering a second run.

Last time the Commission had a chance to modify the guidelines one
member of Congress said, "What do we know about the money laundering
amendment?" The answer was, "Nothing, but the Justice Department
opposes it." That was the extent of the public discussion on whether
the money laundering amendment should be killed.

The current amendment as well as that proposed in 1995 will seek to
direct prosecution efforts for money laundering at those who the law
should apply to. A per-case review will mandated thereby eliminating
vindictive type prosecution and the seeking of low level offenders for
the profit of the federal bureaucracy.

Everyone should be interested in the passing of this amendment and
should scrutinize all aspects of such discussion. Money-laundering
has become more common in recent years, where prosecutors have
needed to find more interesting avenues to produce income through
asset-forfeiture and similar abusive means.

Letters should be sent to:

Public Information
U.S. Sentencing Commission
One Columbus Circle, N.E. Suite 2-500
Washington, D.C. 20002-8002

Letters should say something to the effect of:

"Money-laundering sentences should be changed to equal the underlying crime,
similar to the '1995 proposal'. Existing sentences should be retroactive to cure
those being harmed by disparity in the guidelines.

The current sentences are unfair and should be changed. The government uses
the charging process to unfairly increase sentences and the 1995 proposal would
eliminate this."

10/25/96  New Federal Prisoner detention policy

SOURCE: August Prison Life Magazine 

      The Federal Bureau of Prisons, the office that oversees the federal prison system added to its already strict regulations dealing with inmates deemed "violent" or terroristic.

     Published on May 17th in the Federal Register and codified in 28 CFR Part 501, wardens will be allowed to hold prisoners in administrative segregation with no visits, no phone calls, no mail and no interviews with members of the media.

    Wardens at federal prisons are now allowed to segregate those prisoners when there is "an identified concern that the inmate's communications with other persons could serve as an instrumentality for acts of  violence and terrorism."

     Upon meeting this wide and unspecified criteria, an inmate will be placed in total isolation for an initial period of 120 days, and thereafter in 120 day increments of additional isolation upon a mere written notice by the institution Warden.

     The Bureau claims it is implementing the new regulations as an "interim rule" under the "good cause" provision of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) in order to "protect the public interest and to protect against the risk of acts of violence and terrorism." Because the new rules do not constitute a "significant regulatory action" they were not subject to review of any sort and will pass without any review.