[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 234 (Thursday, December 5, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73083-73084]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-29076]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Bureau of Prisons

28 CFR Part 571

[BOP-1168-P]
RIN 1120-AB68


Compassionate Release

AGENCY: Bureau of Prisons, Justice.

ACTION: Interim rule.

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SUMMARY: The Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) changes its regulations on 
compassionate release, to provide that when considering an inmate for 
reduction in sentence, the General Counsel will solicit the opinion of 
the United States Attorney in the district in which the inmate was 
sentenced; and the final decision is subject to the general supervision 
and direction of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General.

DATES: This rule will be effective December 5, 2013. Written comments 
must be postmarked and electronic comments must be submitted on or 
before February 3, 2014. Comments received by mail will be considered 
timely if they are postmarked on or before that date. The electronic 
Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) will accept comments until 
Midnight Eastern Time at the end of that day.

ADDRESSES: To ensure proper handling of comments, please reference 
``Docket No. BOP 1168'' on all electronic and written correspondence. 
The Department encourages all comments be submitted electronically 
through http://www.regulations.gov using the electronic comment form 
provided on that site. An electronic copy of this document is also 
available at the http://www.regulations.gov Web site for easy 
reference. Paper comments that duplicate the electronic submission are 
not necessary as all comments submitted to http://www.regulations.gov 
will be posted for public review and are part of the official docket 
record. Should you, however, wish to submit written comments via 
regular or express mail, they should be sent to Rules Unit, Office of 
General Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, 320 First Street NW., Washington, 
DC 20534.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Qureshi, Office of General 
Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, phone (202) 307-2105.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Posting of Public Comments

    Please note that all comments received are considered part of the 
public record and made available for public inspection online at 
www.regulations.gov. Such information includes personal identifying 
information (such as your name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter.
    If you want to submit personal identifying information (such as 
your name, address, etc.) as part of your comment, but do not want it 
to be posted online, you must include the phrase ``PERSONAL IDENTIFYING 
INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph of your comment. You must also 
locate all the personal identifying information you do not want posted 
online in the first paragraph of your comment and identify what 
information you want redacted.
    If you want to submit confidential business information as part of 
your comment but do not want it to be posted online, you must include 
the phrase ``CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS INFORMATION'' in the first paragraph 
of your comment. You must also prominently identify confidential 
business information to be redacted within the comment. If a comment 
contains so much confidential business information that it cannot be 
effectively redacted, all or part of that comment may not be posted on 
www.regulations.gov.
    Personal identifying information identified and located as set 
forth above will be placed in the agency's public docket file, but not 
posted online. Confidential business information identified and located 
as set forth above will not be placed in the public docket file. If you 
wish to inspect the agency's public docket file in person by 
appointment, please see the For Further Information Contact paragraph.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  The Bureau published a proposed rule 
revising all of the regulations in 28 CFR part 571, subpart G, on 
December 21, 2006 (71 FR 76619). We also published an interim rule 
making a technical change to the regulations on February 28, 2013 (78 
FR 13478).
    We now withdraw the proposed rule published in 2006. The Bureau is 
continuing to consider issues relating to compassionate release and the 
public comments submitted in response to the 2006 notice of proposed 
rulemaking.
    At this time, we are promulgating this interim rule which makes the 
following changes to the regulations on compassionate release: (1) 
Providing that, when considering an inmate for reduction in sentence, 
the General Counsel will solicit the opinion of the United States 
Attorney in the district in which the inmate was sentenced; and (2) 
clarifying that the final decision is subject to the general 
supervision and direction of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney 
General.
    Section 571.62 describes procedures the Bureau follows to review a 
request for reduction in sentence. The request must be reviewed by the 
Warden, General Counsel, Medical Director (for medical referrals), the 
Assistant Director (for non-medical referrals), and the Director. 
During the course of this review, the United States Attorney's Office 
is consulted and made aware of a request being considered for approval.

[[Page 73084]]

This is current practice for requests for reduction in sentence.
    We now codify this practice to make it clear to inmates and the 
public that the United States Attorney's Office will be consulted in 
the course of the review of the Office of General Counsel. We will 
therefore insert a provision stating that the General Counsel will 
solicit the opinion of the U.S. Attorney in the district in which the 
inmate was sentenced.
    Also, in Sec.  571.62(a)(2), which describes the Bureau's approval 
of a request to make a motion for compassionate release, we add a 
statement clarifying that final decision authority is subject to the 
general supervision and direction of the Attorney General and Deputy 
Attorney General.

Administrative Procedure Act 5 U.S.C. 553

    The two changes made in this interim rule are ``matter[s] relating 
to agency management'' as described in 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1), and are 
``rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice'' as described 
in section 553(b)(A), and, accordingly, they are not subject to the 
requirement for prior notice and comment under section 553(b). These 
changes impose no new restrictions on inmates or the public. Because 
this rule relates to agency management as described in section 
553(a)(1), and is not a ``substantive rule'' as described in section 
553(d), this rule is not subject to a requirement for a delayed 
effective date. This rule is made effective upon issuance.

Congressional Review Act

    The Bureau of Prisons has determined that this action pertains to 
agency management and, accordingly, is not a ``rule'' as that term is 
used by the Congressional Review Act (CRA), (Subtitle E of the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, (SBREFA)). Therefore, the 
reports to Congress and the General Accounting Office specified by 
section 801 of SBREFA are not required.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    This regulation has been drafted and reviewed in accordance with 
Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and Review'', section 
1(b), Principles of Regulation, and Executive Order 13563, ``Improving 
Regulation and Regulatory Review''. Because this interim rule is 
``limited to agency organization, management, or personnel matters,'' 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, section 3(d)(3), it does 
not fall within the scope of a ``regulation'' or ``rule'' that is 
subject to review under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly this 
regulation has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget.

Executive Order 13132

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, under Executive Order 13132, 
we determine that this regulation does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Director of the Bureau of Prisons, under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), reviewed this regulation and 
certifies that it will not have a significant economic impact upon a 
substantial number of small entities for the following reasons: This 
regulation pertains to the correctional management of inmates committed 
to the custody of the Attorney General or the Director of the Bureau of 
Prisons. Its economic impact is limited to the Bureau's appropriated 
funds.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This regulation will not result in the expenditure by State, local 
and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed 
necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 
1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This regulation is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This 
regulation will not result in an annual effect on the economy of 
$100,000,000 or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or 
significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, 
productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United States-based 
companies to compete with foreign-based companies in domestic and 
export markets.

List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 571

    Prisoners.

Thomas R. Kane
Deputy Director, Bureau of Prisons.

    Under rulemaking authority vested in the Attorney General in 5 
U.S.C 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510 and delegated to the Director, Bureau of 
Prisons in 28 CFR 0.96, we amend 28 CFR chapter V, subchapter D, part 
571, as follows.

SUBCHAPTER D--COMMUNITY PROGRAMS AND RELEASE

PART 571--RELEASE FROM CUSTODY

0
1. Revise the authority citation for 28 CFR part 571 to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3565; 3568 and 3569 
(Repealed in part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 
1987), 3582, 3621, 3622, 3624, 4001, 4042, 4081, 4082 (Repealed in 
part as to offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987), 4161-
4166 and 4201-4218 (Repealed as to offenses committed on or after 
November 1, 1987), 5006-5024 (Repealed October 12, 1984, as to 
offenses committed after that date), 5031-5042; 28 U.S.C. 509 and 
510; U.S. Const., Art. II, Sec. 2; 28 CFR 1.1-1.10; D.C. Official 
Code sections 24-101, 24-461, 24-465, 24-467, and 24-468.

Subpart G--Compassionate Release (Procedures for the Implementation 
of 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(1)(A) and 4205(g))

0
2. In 571.62, the second sentence of paragraph (a)(2) is removed and 
two sentences are added in its place to read as follows:


Sec.  571.62  Approval of request.

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * * The General Counsel will solicit the opinion of the 
United States Attorney in the district in which the inmate was 
sentenced. With these opinions, the General Counsel shall forward the 
entire matter to the Director, Bureau of Prisons, for final decision, 
subject to the general supervision and direction of the Attorney 
General and Deputy Attorney General.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-29076 Filed 12-4-13; 8:45 am]
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