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escritora
03-19-2013, 02:01 AM
I've read that a newly convicted person can ask for a specific prison to serve out his or her sentence.

Is this true?

Can the convict's lawyer provide a letter the day of sentencing and the judge won't read it out loud in court? Or does the judge have to read the letter out loud? Or does the convict's lawyer simply make that request verbally at the sentencing?

Who makes the final decision? The judge? The people at the reception center?

Sorry for all the questions. I'm trying to cover all the bases and I am sure I forgot something.

Thanks for your help!

Weirdmage
03-19-2013, 02:53 AM
I've read that a newly convicted person can ask for a specific prison to serve out his or her sentence.

Is this true?

I'm pretty sure they can ask. Whether or not it would do any good would most likely depend on where in the world you are, how long the sentence is, and what the crime is. I think you'd have to research what the policy is under the circumstances of your story. -Or at least provide the circumstances before someone can give you an answer.



Can the convict's lawyer provide a letter the day of sentencing and the judge won't read it out loud in court? Or does the judge have to read the letter out loud? Or does the convict's lawyer simply make that request verbally at the sentencing?

As far as I know, the sentencing is just a formal reading of what the sentence is, so a letter from the convict won't have any effect on anything. But I think it would depend on the judge if he/she allows anything at the sentencing other than the reading of the sentence.


Who makes the final decision? The judge? The people at the reception center?

Not sure if this is related to the letter you mentioned, in which case I answered above.
Don't think the people at the reception centre would read a letter from the convict. But that would be up to the rules of the individual prison I think.

jclarkdawe
03-19-2013, 03:07 AM
US?


I've read that a newly convicted person can ask for a specific prison to serve out his or her sentence.

Is this true? They can ask, but it will do nothing to a bit. Fed or state does impact this. Inmates are sent for processing and in some states only one prison does the processing. Then from processing the prison decides which prison will be the most appropriate for the inmate. Some prisons have programs that may be of benefit to a particular inmate.

Can the convict's lawyer provide a letter the day of sentencing and the judge won't read it out loud in court? A letter about what? Yes, a judge doesn't have to read the letter out loud in court. Or does the judge have to read the letter out loud? Or does the convict's lawyer simply make that request verbally at the sentencing? As part of sentencing, the defendant's attorney can make recommendations to the court (judge). Sometimes that will be incorporated into the sentencing order, sometimes not.

Who makes the final decision? The judge? The people at the reception center? A judge can make recommendations to the Department of Corrections, but they are merely recommendations.

Sorry for all the questions. I'm trying to cover all the bases and I am sure I forgot something.

Thanks for your help!

What are you trying to do? I can probably answer your question a lot better if I knew your goal here. For instance, someone who needs protective custody can give some room on where they go.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Jim Clark-Dawe

thothguard51
03-19-2013, 03:19 AM
The defendants lawyer can ask the court for a particular institution for his client to serve his sentence. Generally it is based on things like access for family visits, or if the prison has facilities to treat a medical condition the defendant has. The courts may or may not take into consideration this request, depending on the severity of the crime and defendants attitude during the trial.

Generally, the defendant is sent to a holding facility until the transfer to whatever prison the defendant is sent to is arranged. If its a local crime with time of less than a year, the defendant more than likely will stay in the town or city jail during that time. If a federal crime, they will be sent to a federal prison, and not a state prison. In most cases, the defendant will be interviewed by trained staff to access their mental outlook and assess their security threat.

At sentencing, the judge may or may not grant the victims family members the right to read a letter to the court. The defendant may also read a letter to the court, if the judge has approved such before hand. In both cases, the victims and defense has to notify the judge before hand in most cases. Judges hate things that upset their court rooms.

Now, remember, every case and outcome is different so if you have something different happening in your story than is the normal, so long as the reasoning is explained well, you should be good to go...

escritora
03-19-2013, 03:58 AM
Thanks for the insight thus far. This is for the US.

My character is going to be sentenced to five years in prison for armed robbery. He wants to go to a prison that's in another State so his mother can't visit him (or can visit very rarely). I prefer the mother not know he's making this request. He decides he wants this request on his way to the sentencing.

I want the judge to receive the letter right before she's ready to deliver the sentence.

That said, based on the responses so far, it seems that the CO Department makes the final decision. So can my character's lawyer contact the CO Department after the sentencing and I can bypass the judge altogether?

jclarkdawe
03-19-2013, 07:16 AM
It almost definitely will not happen. I would not allow a client to make such a request.

Out-of-state placements are charged to the originating state. Ideally, if you send an inmate to another state, that state sends you back another inmate and you have a wash. But if you can work a trade, the originating state is going to be paying a premium for another state housing the inmate. Out-of-state transfers are nearly always as a result of disciplinary issues.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

escritora
03-19-2013, 07:48 AM
It almost definitely will not happen. I would not allow a client to make such a request.

Glad I asked! Thanks for the input.

jclarkdawe
03-19-2013, 05:20 PM
As far as someone not visiting an inmate, that's easy to solve. Inmates are asked in their first couple of weeks to submit a list of people eligible to visit them. These people then go on an "approved visitor" list. Convicted felons cannot visit people in prison, even family, in most states, for an example of someone who would not be approved for visits.

If he doesn't want his mother to visit him, beyond just refusing to visit with her, he can tell her the prison wouldn't approve her. Many correction departments will not tell a person why or why not they were approved, which includes the fact that the inmate never listed his mother for approval.

I had several clients that didn't want their mother to see them in prison. The smarter ones just told her up front. Others used the prison's known ability to obstruct anything to make sure it didn't happen. My personal favorite was the client who told mommy that due to overcrowding the only visiting hours he could get were 5 - 6 AM, because he knew there's no way his mother could get up that early. Fortunately for him his mother was no smarter then he was and didn't know that the prison published visiting hours and all inmates got visits during those hours.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

WeaselFire
03-19-2013, 05:29 PM
First, the judge doesn't decide where or how the sentenced is served, that's the prison department of whatever jurisdiction. Choice depends a lot on the prisoner, crime and sentence. Location of family is often taken into consideration. Location of potential rehab opportunities as well. Location of former cellmates, gang members and so on can come into play.

But the judge has no say, only the prison board.

Jeff

escritora
03-19-2013, 06:04 PM
If he doesn't want his mother to visit him, beyond just refusing to visit with her, he can tell her the prison wouldn't approve her. Many correction departments will not tell a person why or why not they were approved, which includes the fact that the inmate never listed his mother for approval.

That solves my problem. Thank you so much.

(The 5am -6am story is hysterical)

ironmikezero
03-19-2013, 11:23 PM
Keep your character out of the (US) federal system. Federal judges do not make (convict) housing decisions; the US Bureau of Prisons does. Federal prisoners may be, and frequently are, routinely moved among the BOP facilities for internal security reasons - visitations notwithstanding. See the related links below...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_Prisoner_and_Alien_Transportation_System

http://www.usmarshals.gov/jpats/

http://www.bop.gov/

escritora
03-20-2013, 03:32 AM
Thanks for the links. I'll check them out!