United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
inmate John Thomas Kline has filed a pro se petition
for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241
to challenge the decision of the Bureau of Prisons not to
immediately release him to home confinement pursuant to the
Second Chance Act of 2007 and to not immediately grant him an
additional 49 days of good conduct time pursuant to the First
Step Act of 2018. [D. E. No. 1 at Page ID # 4-5] Kline has
filed an emergency motion seeking immediate release on these
grounds. [D. E. No. 4] This matter is before the Court to
conduct an initial review of the petition as required by 28
U.S.C. § 2243.
April 2014, Kline pleaded guilty in this Court to
distributing oxycodone and carrying a firearm in furtherance
of his drug trafficking, and was sentenced to 84 months
imprisonment. United States v. Kline, No.
7:13-CR-14-KKC-EBA (E.D. Ky. 2013). Kline is currently
projected to be released from BOP custody on August 10, 2019.
See https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last visited on
January 11, 2019).
petition and accompanying motion, Kline contends that he is
entitled to immediate release to home confinement. He first
states that the First Step Act increased the maximum
allowable good conduct time from 47 to 54 days per year. The
Act, which was enacted on December 21, 2018, amended 18
U.S.C. § 3624(b)(1) to change the manner in which such
credits are calculated. Given his 7-year sentence, Kline
concludes that he is entitled to 49 additional days of good
conduct time, which would advance his projected release date
from August 10, 2019 to June 22, 2019. He then asserts that
the Second Chance Act of 2007 requires that he be placed in
home confinement six months before his release date. He
therefore requests immediate release because that six-month
period came and went on December 22, 2018. Kline alleges that
on December 23, 2018 Case Manager Boyles refused to
immediately release him to home confinement. Kline does not
indicate in his petition what steps, if any, he has taken to
formally exhaust his administrative remedies available within
the BOP. [D. E. No. 1 at Page ID #5-6, 8; No. 4 at Page ID
Court has considered Kline's arguments, but concludes
that his petition must be denied. First, Kline did not
exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing his
petition. Before a prisoner may seek habeas relief under
Section 2241, he must first exhaust his administrative
remedies within the Bureau of Prisons. Luedtke v.
Berkebile, 704 F.3d 465, 466 (6th Cir. 2013);
Fazzini v. Northeast Ohio Correctional Center, 473
F.3d 229, 231 (6th Cir. 2006). This case underscores the
importance one of the core values that the exhaustion
requirement is designed to serve: ensuring that the Court has
an adequate record before it to review the agency action in
question. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 89 (2006).
Without a full administrative record explaining the BOP's
actions and the reasons therefor, the Court lacks an adequate
evidentiary basis upon which to review the claims asserted in
the petition. Here, Kline provides no indication that he
filed an inmate grievance with the warden. More
fundamentally, in the brief two-week period when the events
in question transpired it was impossible for Kline to have
filed inmate grievances with the warden and to appeal a
denial and each level to the BOP's regional and national
offices. 28 C.F.R. §§ 542.10-. 18.
that were not so, Kline's demand for relief is predicated
upon a false premise: that he is entitled to be placed in
home confinement for the last six months of his sentence. The
Second Chance Act amended 18 U.S.C. § 3624(c) to afford
the BOP the discretion, but not the obligation, to
place inmates in home confinement or a halfway house during
last portion of their sentence. Heard v. Quintana,
184 F.Supp.3d 515, 520 (E.D. Ky. 2016); Demis v.
Sniezek, 558 F.3d 508, 514 (6th Cir. 2009); Boals v.
Quintana, No. 5:15-cv-335-JMH, 2015 WL 8665404, at *2
(E.D. Ky. Dec. 11, 2015). Such placements are generally for
3-6 months just prior to the inmate's release. In
addition, by statute such determinations are insulated from
judicial review even where an inmate contends that the BOP
abused that discretion. 18 U.S.C. § 3625; see
Boulware v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 518 F.Supp.2d
186, 188 n.3 (D.D.C. 2007); Bernard v. Roal, 716
F.Supp.2d 354, 358-61 (S.D.N.Y. 2010); Zuspan v.
O'Brien, No. 1: 13-CV-167, 2013 WL 6805574, at *4
(N.D. W.Va. Dec. 20, 2013).
Kline did not exhaust his administrative remedies prior to
filing suit and because he is not automatically entitled to
the placement in home confinement for the last portion of his
sentence, he has failed to establish a right to habeas
it is ORDERED as follows:
Petitioner John Thomas Kline's petition for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [D. E. No. 1]
Kline's "Emergency Motion for Immediate Release
..." [D. E. No. 4] is DENIED.
action is DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the Court's docket.
Judgment shall be entered contemporaneously with this
Memorandum Opinion and Order.