September 12, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Central
District of Illinois. No. 07-CR-20006 - Harold A. Baker,
WOOD, Chief Judge, and Easterbrook and Sykes, Circuit Judges.
case comes to us for the second time after a district court
revoked Sylvia Hollins's supervised release stemming from
her 2007 federal conviction. In the first appeal, we granted
a joint motion for summary reversal and remand for
resentencing. See United States v. Hollins, No.
15-3750 (7th Cir. Jan. 27, 2016). The district court obliged
with a resentencing hearing held on February 25, 2016.
Hollins has appealed from the new sentence, which she asserts
is tainted by several procedural flaws. We find no error,
however, and so we affirm the district court's judgment.
has struggled for nearly 30 years against her addiction to
crack cocaine. Unfortunately, but predictably, this has led
to a long string of criminal convictions involving
incarceration, stints in various treatment centers, and home
confinement. In the present case, she pleaded guilty in 2007
to distributing five or more grams of cocaine base in
violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1) and (b)(1)(B).
She was sentenced to 92 months' imprisonment and eight
years of supervised release. The Bureau of Prisons released
her in November 2012.
the next year, Hollins tested positive for cocaine numerous
times and was convicted of theft in the Champaign County
(Illinois) Circuit Court. She received a very light
sentence-three days in jail-but this conviction prompted the
district court to modify her conditions of supervised
release. It required her to spend 120 days in community
confinement in a local jail, so that she could "get
clean" and "regain focus of her life." The
court's hopes were unrealized. Following her release from
the jail in December 2013, Hollins again tested positive for
cocaine use on several different occasions. Once again, the
district court modified her supervised release and gave her
another 120 days of community confinement at the Prairie
Center, an addiction treatment facility. While at the Center
she tested positive for cocaine and was returned to the
county jail for the rest of her sentence.
2014, still concerned about her drug use, the district court
modified Hollins's supervision conditions to add six
months of in-home confinement. Hollins began to serve that
sentence upon her release from the county jail in June 2014,
but she failed again. She was arrested for retail theft in
Urbana, Illinois, in September 2014, during the term of her
in-home confinement. The district court thereupon placed her
in community confinement for 120 days and stayed her in-home
confinement. She completed the community confinement on
February 4, 2015, and resumed her in-home confinement on
February 27, 2015.
March 16, 2015, Hollins pleaded guilty in state court to the
retail theft charge stemming from her September 2014 arrest
and was sentenced to one year's imprisonment in the
custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC)-a
sentence that was to start on May 13, 2015. Between February
and May 2015, Hollins failed to report for drug testing on
three occasions. She attended outpatient substance abuse and
mental health counseling sessions between February and May,
but she was discharged for failing to participate
successfully in the program; the discharge was dated May 13,
2015, the day she reported for her Illinois sentence. At that
point she had 31 days of her federal in-home confinement
remaining to be served.
Hollins was in IDOC's custody, her probation officer
petitioned the district court to revoke her supervised
release based on her two retail theft convictions. The
district court issued a warrant and Hollins was detained
pending her revocation hearing after IDOC released her in
November 2015. The district court conducted the first
revocation hearing on December 7, 2015. On January 26, 2016,
we granted the parties' joint motion for summary reversal
and remanded for resentencing in light of United States
v. Boultinghouse, 784 F.3d 1163, 1178 (7th Cir. 2015).
The district court conducted the resentencing hearing on
February 25, 2016. At that hearing, the government
recommended a 24-month sentence, Hollins argued in favor of a
12-month sentence, and the district court imposed a 28-month
sentence. The district court issued an order on February 26,
2015, clarifying the reasons behind its decision to revoke
supervised release and impose the additional prison time.
argues that the district court procedurally erred at the
resentencing hearing by failing adequately to address her
arguments in mitigation, relying on the probation
officer's recommendation, and failing adequately to
address the factors listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).
review challenges to the sentence imposed at a revocation
hearing under a highly deferential standard comparable to
that with which we review sanctions imposed by prison
disciplinary boards. Boultinghouse, 784 F.3d at
1177. We will affirm the district court's chosen sentence
as long as it is not "plainly unreasonable."
Id. When revoking supervised release, a district
judge must consider the Sentencing Guidelines policy
statements, which are found in U.S.S.G. Chapter 7, Part B.
The judge must also consider the ...