United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division
ANTWANE J. RHODES, Petitioner,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. WILHOIT, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Antwane J. Rhodes is confined at the Federal Correctional
Institution in Ashland, Kentucky. Proceeding without an
attorney, Rhodes has filed a petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in which he
challenges the calculation of his sentence. [D. E. No. 1].
This matter is before the Court on initial screening pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2243. See Alexander v. Northern
Bureau of Prisons, 419 Fed.Appx. 544, 545 (6th Cir.
2012, Rhodes pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and
possess with the intent to distribute over 1, 000 kilograms
of marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841 and
846, as well as money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 1956. The trial court then sentenced Rhodes to 120
months in prison. See United States v. Antwane J.
Rhodes, No. 2:12-cr-122-MHW (S.D. Ohio 2013). Rhodes is
currently projected to be released from the custody of the
Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on March 28, 2020.
See BOP Inmate Locator,
https://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last visited on May 28,
has now filed a § 2241 petition, and he argues that, in
light of the First Step Act of 2018, the BOP should
immediately recalculate his sentence to allow him to take
advantage of amendments affecting the manner in which good
conduct time credits are calculated. The First Step Act,
which was enacted on December 21, 2018, amended 18 U.S.C.
§ 3624(b)(1) to change the manner in which credits are
calculated by increasing the maximum allowable good conduct
time from 47 to 54 days per year. According to Rhodes, the
changes made by the First Step Act would result in him
receiving "an additional 70 days of good time credits .
. ., advanc[ing] his Projected Release date of March 28, 2020
to January 21, 2020." [D.E. No. 1 at 1]. Among other
things, Rhodes seeks an order directing the BOP to
recalculate his time in accordance with the amendments of the
First Step Act. [Id. at 13].
Court will deny Rhodes's petition for two reasons. First,
Rhodes indicates that he has not taken steps to formally
exhaust his administrative remedies within the BOP, claiming
that "[t]here is no requirement that Petitioner exhaust
administrative remedies within the BOP before seeking relief
from this Court." [Id. at 11]. The United
States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, however, has
repeatedly made it clear that a prisoner must fully exhaust
his remedies within the BOP before he may seek habeas relief
under § 2241. See, e.g., Luedtke v. Berkebile,
704 F.3d 465, 466 (6th Cir. 2013); Fazzini v. Northeast
Ohio Correctional Center, 473 F.3d 229, 231-33 (6th Cir.
2006). This exhaustion requirement ensures that the agency
has an opportunity to review and revise its actions before
litigation is commenced. This preserves judicial resources as
well as administrative autonomy and also ensures that a court
reviewing the agency's final action does so based upon a
developed and complete evidentiary record. See
Noriega-Lopez v. Ashcroft, 335 F.3d 874, 881 (9th Cir.
2003); Moscato v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 98 F.3d
757, 761-62 (3d Cir. 1996). In this case, the BOP may
ultimately award Rhodes the credit he seeks. Nevertheless, he
must first provide prison officials notice of the problem so
that they have the opportunity to resolve the matter and
potentially avoid litigation.
even if Rhodes had exhausted his administrative remedies, the
Court would deny the relief sought. Rhodes is correct that
Section 102(b)(1) of the First Step Act of 2018, Public Law
115-391, amended 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) to permit federal
inmates to earn 54 days of good conduct time for each year of
the sentence imposed, effectively abrogating Barber v.
Thomas, 560 U.S. 474 (2010). However, this provision has
not yet taken effect. Section 102(b)(2) of the Act provides
that the amendments made in subsection 102(b) take effect
only when the Attorney General completes the "risk and
needs assessment system" required by Section 101 (a).
And Section 101 (a) does not require completion of the system
until 210 days after the Act's enactment. Thus, Section
102(b)(1) will not take effect until approximately July 2019.
Rhodes may be frustrated with this process, this Court
applies the law as it is written. As another federal court
recently put it, "Congress chose to delay the
implementation of the First Step Act's amendments until
the Attorney General could complete the risk and needs
assessment. The Court has no power to rewrite or disregard
the statute in order to accommodate Petitioner's
situation." Shah v. Hartman, No. 1:18-cv-7990
at Record No. 12 at 4 (N.D. 111. Jan. 3, 2019).
reasons outlined above, Rhodes has failed to establish a
right to habeas relief. Accordingly, it is hereby
ORDERED as follows:
Rhodes's petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 [D. E. No. 1] is
action is DISMISSED and