Congress set forth two overshadowing constraints during the creation of the guidelines. The Commission was instructed, for each category of offense involving each category of defendant, to establish a sentencing range that is consistent with all pertinent provisions of title 18, United States Code, Crimes and Criminal Procedure. Secondly, if a sentence specified by the guidelines includes a term of imprisonment, the maximum of the range established for such a term shall not exceed the minimum of that range by more than the greater of 25 percent or 6 months, whichever is greater, except that, if the minimum term of the range is 30 years or more, the maximum may be life imprisonment. They called this the 25% Rule.
Certain factors (Offender Characteristics)
“Alternative sentencing is not an option for everyone”, says Robin Stover, Federal Prison Consultant for the Prison Consulting Group, “but it is a viable option and should be explored by all first time, non-violent offenders. Why would anyone want to spend time in a federal prison when he or she may be eligible for an alternative sentencing option.” Prison Consulting Group can evaluate a defendant, prior to sentencing, to determine the eligibility for alternative sentencing and if eligible prepare an Alternative Sentencing and Mitigation Report for the defendant.
On January 12, 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the United States Sentencing Guidelines are advisory rather than mandatory. This opened up a whole host of personal and offense characteristics that can be considered by the courts in imposing a sentence. Since the Guidelines have become advisory only, there have been many situations in which the courts have varied significantly from the Guidelines. A federal offender can now receive a downward departure or a discretionary sentence for a multitude of reasons other than providing 5K1.1 “substantial assistance” to the government. Stover said, ”Factors which may contribute to a downward departure are physical disabilities, family circumstances, age, coercion, duress, and mental incapacity.”
The Prison Consulting Group will do a complete and accurate background history as well as an evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s crime. The resultant Alternative Sentencing and Mitigation Report may provide the sentencing judge with the basis for a substantial downward departure from the initial Federal Sentencing Guideline level.
Stover stated that the Prison Consulting Group works closely with the defendant, his attorney, his family, and associated medical and other professionals to construct a comprehensive presentation for the defendant. In this time of longer and more severe sentences for white collar defendants, it is good to have someone knowledge in alternative sentencing and sentence mitigation on your side.
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Robin Stover is a nationally recognized Federal Prison Consultant and founder of the Prison Consulting Group (PCG). As a Federal Prison Consultant with PCG, Robin is recognized as an authority in pre-and post-conviction strategy, positioning, preparation, and education. Robin is knowledgeable in all facets of federal prison life and with the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) rules, regulations, and program statements.
PCG prepares clients for admission to the 500-Hour Residential Drug Abuse Program which offers up to a 12 month sentence reduction and a 6 month halfway house designation. We also provide assistance with designations, judicial recommendations, transfers, furloughs, A R Appeals, Second Chance Act submissions, MINT program requests, restitution, ICE issues, and the BOP's Compassionate Release and Commutation of Sentence Program.
Prison Consulting Group offers the prison preparation course titled, "How to Survive Federal Prison", go to http://prisonconsultinggroup.com.