FCI Estill Attorney and Legal Services

Nov, 07 11 Post by: admin | No Comments

Legal Correspondence

Legal correspondence from attorneys will be treated as special mail ifit is properly marked. The envelope must be marked with the attorney’s name and an indication that he/she is an attorney, and the front of the envelope must be marked “SPECIAL MAIL – open only in the presence of the inmate.” It is your responsibility to advise your attorney about this policy. If legal mail is not properly marked, it will be opened and processed as general correspondence.

Attorney Visits

Attorneys should ordinarily make advance appointments for each visit. Attorneys are encouraged to visit during the regular visiting hours; however, visits from an attorney can be arranged at other times based on the circumstances and availability of staff. Attorney visits will be subject to visual monitoring but not audio monitoring.

Legal Material

During attorney visits, a reasonable amount of legal materials may be allowed in the visiting area with prior approval. Legal material may not be transferred during attorney visits unless previously approved. You are expected to handle the transfer of legal materials through the mail.

Attorney Phone Calls: In order to make an unmonitored legal phone call, you must make arrangements through a member of your unit team. Your request should be written on an Inmate Request to StafJform to your counselor at least 24 hours in advance. A check will be conducted for any legal phone call requests due to an imminent court deadline. (Step 2.3.1)

Law Library

The law library contains a variety oflegal reference materials for use in preparing legal papers. Reference materials
include the United States Code Annotated, Federal Reporter, Supreme Court Reporter, Bureau of Prisons program statements, institution supplements, indices, and other legal materials. The law library schedule is posted in the Education building. An inmate law library clerk is available for assistance in legal research. Legal materials are also available in the special housing unit ordinarily via an Inmate Request to Staff.

Notary Public: Under the provisions of Title 18 United States Code 4004, certain staff are authorized to administer oaths and to take acknowledgments. Contact you unit team for more details. A recent change in the law allows that a statement to the effect that papers which inmates sign are “true and correct under penalty of perjury” will suffice in federal courts and other federal agencies unless specifically directed otherwise.

Copies of Legal Materials

In accordance with institution procedures, you may copy materials necessary for research of legal matters. A debit card operated copy machine is available in the Education Department for inmate use. Inmates who are without funds and can demonstrate a clear need for particular copies may submit a written request for a limited amount of duplication to their unit team. In the event the copy machine in the education department is out of order you can request copies from the unit team provided you pay the cost of the copies.

Freedom of Information (FOI)/Privacy Act of 1974

The Privacy Act of 1974 forbids the release of information from agency records without a written request by, or without, the prior written consent ot; the individual to whom the record pertains, except for specific instances. All formal requests for access to records about another person and/or agency record other than those pertaining to themselves (including program statements and operations memoranda) shall be processed through the Freedom of Information Act, Title 5 United States Code 552. Address all concerns to: Federal Bureau of Prisons, FOIAIPA Section, 320 First Street, N.W., HOLC Building, Room 738, Washington, D.C. 20534

Inmate Request to Review Central File

An inmate seeking to review his inmate central file shall submit a request to his case manager via Inmate Request to Staff(copout). The inmate’s request will be acknowledged and will be permitted to review the file whenever practicable. All file reviews will be done under constant staff supervision. An inmate may review his central file with the (exception for the section marked FOI Exempt). (Step 1.5.4)

Inmate Access to Other Documents

You may request access to the non-disclosable documents in your central file and medical file
or other documents concerning yourself that are not in your files by submitting a “Freedom of Information Act Request” to the Director of the Bureau of Prisons. Such a request must briefly describe the nature of records wanted and approximate dates covered by the record. You must also provide your register number and date of birth for identification purposes. A request on your behalf by an attorney for your records will be treated as a “Privacy Act Request” if the attorney has forwarded your written consent to disclose materials. If a document is deemed to contain information exempt from disclosure, any reasonable part of the record will be provided to the attorney after the deletion of the exempt portions.

Executive Clemency

You are advised that the President of the United States is authorized under the Constitution to grant executive clemency by pardon, commutation of sentence, or reprieve. To apply for executive clemency, you must do so on forms that are available through your unit team. The rules governing these petitions are available in the law library.


A pardon is an executive act of grace that is a symbol of forgiveness. It does not denote innocence nor does it expunge the record of conviction. A pardon can be in “full” or in “part,” depending on whether it absolves a person from all or a portion of the crime. A pardon may have conditions imposed or it can be “absolute,” which is without conditions of any kind. A pardon restores basic civil rights and facilitates the restoration of professional and other licenses that may have been lost by reason of the conviction.

An application for pardon may not be submitted until the expiration of at least 5 years from the date of release from confinement. In cases involving crimes of a serious nature, such as violation of narcotics laws, gun control laws, income tax laws, perjury, and violation of public trust involving personal dishonesty, fraud involving substantial sums of money, violations involving organized crime or crimes of a serious nature, a waiting period of7 years is usually required.

Commutation of Sentence

This is the form of executive clemency power used to provide post-conviction relief to you during your incarceration. The President of the United States is authorized by the Constitution to grant clemency for federal offenses. Commutation of sentence is usually the last chance to correct an injustice which has occurred in the criminal justice process.


A reprieve is the suspension of an execution of a sentence for a period of time and is ordinarily an act of clemency
extended to a prisoner to afford him an opportunity to seek improvement of the sentence imposed. A reprieve differs from a
commutation which is a reduction of a sentence and from a pardon, which is a permanent cancellation of it.
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