United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
DONALD LLOYD JONES FED. REG. No. 20250-179
WARDEN C. MAIORANA, SECTION P
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KATHLEEN KAY, Magistrate Judge.
Before the court is the petition for writ of habeas corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 by pro se petitioner Donald L. Jones (hereinafter "Jones"). Jones is an inmate in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (hereinafter "BOP"), and is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, Louisiana (hereinafter "FCIO").
This matter has been referred to the undersigned for review, report, and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636 and the standing orders of the court.
Jones is a BOP inmate serving a 151 month sentence for distribution of child pornography imposed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Doc. 1, p. 1-2. In his application, Jones complains that he was denied appropriate consideration for full-term placement in a Residential Reentry Center (hereinafter "RRC") in accordance with the Second Chance Act. Doc. 1, p. 4. Jones claims that the BOP and FCIO discriminate against sex offenders by limiting such offenders' RRC placement to a maximum of 90 days. Doc. 1, att. 2, pp. 3-6. Jones contends that this restriction is contradictory to the law passed by Congress pertaining to the Second Chance Act. Furthermore, Jones argues that the restriction amounts to a constitutional equal-protection violation because the BOP does not make placement decisions on an individual basis. Id. at pp. 6-7.
As relief for the alleged violations, Jones asks this court to expedite review of this matter and to conduct an evidentiary hearing as to whether he should be released to an RRC. Id. at pp. 9-10.
A. Habeas Corpus as the vehicle for challenging RRC placement decisions
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, a federal prisoner may challenge the manner in which his sentence is being executed by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the judicial district where he is incarcerated. In order to state a claim for relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, a habeas corpus petitioner must allege and establish that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution and laws of the United States.
Importantly, for purposes of the instant case, it is well established that a prisoner may utilize the provisions of § 2241 to challenge the BOP's regulations regarding placement in an RRC, Community Corrections Center (hereinafter "CCC"), or halfway house. See, e.g., Mihailovich v. Berkebile, 2007 WL 942091 (N.D.Tex. 2007). In Mihailovich, a BOP inmate challenged the BOP's refusal to place him in an RRC. The court held that:
[A]s noted in Woodall v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 432 F.3d 235 (5th Cir. 2005), confinement in a traditional federal prison is qualitatively different' from community confinement, and thus justifies utilization of § 2241 for challenging BOP regulations regarding placement in a CCC. 432 F.3d at 243-44. In light of Sonnier v. Francis, 217 Fed.App'x. 410 (5th Cir. 2007)..., the facts of Carson v. Johnson, 112 F.3d 818 (5th Cir. 1997), ...