United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon, United States District Judge.
Harris filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. §2241 challenging her expulsion from the
Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”) while she
was an inmate in the Bureau of Prisons. (Doc. 1).
matter is now before the Court on respondent's Motion to
Dismiss Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus as Moot. (Doc.
18). Petitioner has not filed a response to the motion.
Facts and Procedural History
2006, Harris was sentenced in the Eastern District of
Missouri to 130 months imprisonment and 5 years supervised
release for conspiracy to distribute and possession with
intent to distribute methamphetamine in violation of 21
U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). At the time she filed her habeas
petition, she was an inmate in the custody of the Bureau of
in the BOP, Harris was accepted into the RDAP. Pursuant to 18
U.S.C. §3621(e)(2)(B), the BOP “may” reduce
an inmate's term of incarceration by up to 12 months
after successful completion of an RDAP. Harris did not
successfully complete the program; she was expelled from the
RDAP on July 7, 2013. See, Doc. 15, Ex. 3.
to the motion to dismiss, petitioner was released from the
BOP on June 18, 2015. Respondent argues that the petition is
moot because, even if petitioner prevailed and the Court were
to order her term of imprisonment reduced, that ruling would
have no tangible benefit to petitioner.
has not informed the Court of her release from prison or of
her current address.
Court agrees that the petition is moot, but for a slightly
different reason than the one advanced by respondent.
28 U.S.C. § 2241(c), a writ of habeas corpus
“shall not extend to a prisoner” unless she is
“in custody.” The “in custody”
requirement is satisfied if the petitioner was in custody at
the time of the filing of the petition. Spencer v.
Kemna, 118 S.Ct. 978, 983 (1998).
fact that petitioner has been released from prison, standing
alone, does not mean that the petition is moot.
Respondent's argument ignores the fact that, upon her
release from the BOP, petitioner began serving a 5 year term
of supervised release. If petitioner were entitled to a
reduction in her prison term, she would be entitled to have
her term of supervised release end earlier to reflect the
earlier release date and resulting in an earlier start of her
period of supervised release. See, White v. Indiana
Parole Board, 266 F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2001).
release from physical custody does not necessarily render the
petition moot, the petition must still present a “case
or controversy” under Article III, §2 of the
Constitution. That is, the petitioner “must have
suffered, or be threatened with, an actual injury traceable
to the [respondent] and likely to be redressed by a favorable
judicial decision.” Spencer, 118 S.Ct. at 983
(internal citation omitted).
the petition no longer presents a “case or
controversy.” Petitioner cannot show that she is
legally entitled to a reduction in her prison term. She
argued in her petition that she was expelled from the RDAP
for impermissible reasons based on her age, race and physical
condition. However, successful completion of the program
would entitle her only to be considered for early release.
Whether to grant early release is a matter within the
discretion of the BOP. “When an eligible prisoner
successfully completes drug treatment, the Bureau thus has
the authority, but not ...