United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
GREGORY F. VAN TATENHOVE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the 28 U.S.C. § 2241
petition and related documents filed by Petitioner Brian Fry,
an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution-Manchester
in Manchester, Kentucky. Proceeding without an attorney, Fry
challenges the Federal Bureau of Prisons's
(“BOP”) calculation of his sentence. [R. 1.]
Specifically, Fry contends that the BOP is unconstitutionally
denying him early release under 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e) and
28 C.F.R. § 550.55(b). For the reasons that follow,
Fry's petition will be DENIED.
2008, Fry pled guilty to a money laundering conspiracy in
violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956(h) and
1956(a)(1)(B). See United States v. Fry, Case No.
6:07-cr-47-RAW (E.D. Okla. 2008), R. 405 therein. The Eastern
District of Oklahoma sentenced Fry to a term of two hundred
forty months in prison. [Id.] According to Fry's
habeas petition, corrections officers at FCI-Manchester
determined that Fry was eligible to participate in the
Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”),
completion of which sometimes result in a shorter sentence.
However, Fry was told that, although he could participate in
RDAP, he would be ineligible for a sentence reduction upon
RDAP completion. [R. 1-1 at 5.] Fry claims the BOP has
arbitrarily revoked his eligibility for a sentence reduction
and, thus, has violated his right to procedural due process.
[Id.] Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243, Fry's
petition is now before the Court for a preliminary screening.
the Court's initial screening, a § 2241 petition
will be denied “if it plainly appears from the petition
and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled
to relief.” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing § 2254
Cases in the United States District Courts (applicable to
§ 2241 petitions pursuant to Rule 1(b)). The Court
evaluates Fry's petition under a more lenient standard
because he is proceeding without an attorney, and, at this
stage of the proceedings, the Court accepts his factual
allegations as true and construes all legal claims in his
favor. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555-56 (2007).
the leniency afforded to pro se petitioners, the
Court will deny Fry's petition. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§ 3621(e)(2)(B), the BOP may reduce the length of
incarceration for certain nonviolent offenders as an
incentive for their completion of a residential substance
abuse treatment program, such as RDAP. The BOP exercises
discretion regarding whether to grant RDAP graduates early
release or modified conditions of confinement, and even when
an inmate successfully completes RDAP, the BOP still enjoys
the discretion to deny that inmate early release. See
Lopez v. Davis, 531 U.S. 230, 241 (2001); Orr v.
Hawk, 156 F.3d 651, 653-54 (6th Cir. 1998).
dedicates a portion of his petition to addressing whether his
conviction for conspiracy to commit money laundering was a
violent or nonviolent offense [see, e.g., R. 1-1 at
5-7], but that point is ultimately immaterial. An
inmate's ability to participate in RDAP and whether or
not that participation results in a reduction to the
inmate's sentence are matters solely committed to the
BOP's discretion. 18 U.S.C. § 3621(e) “does
not implicate a constitutionally-protected liberty interest
because it does not mandate a sentence reduction.”
Heard v. Quintana, 184 F.Supp.3d 515, 519 (E.D. Ky.
2016). Accordingly, Fry “has no liberty interest in
discretionary release from prison prior to the expiration of
his or her sentence. Nor does a prisoner have a liberty or
property interest in participating in a prison rehabilitation
program.” Id. (internal citations omitted);
see also Sesi v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 238 F.3d
423, 2000 WL 1827950, *2 (6th Cir. 2000) (noting same);
Standifer v. Ledezma, 653 F.3d 1276, 1280 (10th Cir.
to the extent Fry contends the BOP failed to abide by its own
regulations and Program Statements [see R. 1-1 at 6-7], he is
still not entitled to habeas relief. Prison regulations are
“primarily designed to guide correctional officials in
the administration of a prison”, not to “confer
rights on inmates.” Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S.
472, 481-82 (1995). An agency's alleged failure to adhere
to its own policies does not on its own state a due process
claim. See, e.g., Bonner v. Federal Bureau of
Prisons, 196 Fed.Appx. 447, 448 (8th Cir. 2006)
(“[A] violation of prison regulations in itself does
not give rise to a constitutional violation.”).
the Court hereby ORDERS as follows:
Petitioner Brian Fry's petition for a writ of habeas
corpus [R. 1] is DENIED;
matter is DISMISSED and
STRICKEN from the ...