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Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to the Federal Prison & the Criminal Justice System that do not fit into any other Federal sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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  #26  
Old 02-09-2019, 09:41 AM
Girl22472 Girl22472 is online now
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After a few attempts of getting a hold of the attorney considering sentencing was scheduled for Tuesday and we had still heard nothing he finally heard back from him yesterday. According to him because of the shutdown the courts are at least 2 weeks behind and he's at least one week behind. He wasn't specific with my husband only saying that Tuesday wouldn't happen and that it would be in "early April." I had just checked PACER yesterday and nothing had been noted since November 6th but I checked again today and yesterday they added that the hearing Tuesday was vacated and reset for April 4th.

Both hubby and I were kind of on the fence about it. I pointed out to him this was NOT going to happen a few weeks ago and if the courts didn't change it we were going to insist that the attorney did because we had not seen or heard anything since the initial talk for the PSR. We knew probation still had it as of a few weeks ago because one of our children were called and they had checked his credit. We haven't discussed character letters or made sure that the PSR had everything in it the man said it would. While the sooner the time is started, the sooner it is over, this is the area where we do not want to cut corners since the sentence is being left solely up to the judge. In the same respect by the time of the next court date I will have paid my last huge rent payment to the house I'm living in and likely in the process of moving and he will still have his SS coming in so it will still help and I won't have to figure out how to pay for where we're living now at all.

It's just irritating that it took until yesterday to get an answer.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:57 AM
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Federal courts are notorious for rescheduling things, and it often depends on the judge. It's good that delaying his sentencing helps out financially. His social security payments should continue until he has been locked up for 30 days, so being allowed to "self surrender" should mean a few more checks too.

What happens to my benefits when I am in prison?

If you receive Social Security, your benefits will be suspended if you’re
convicted of a criminal offense and sent to jail or prison for more than 30
continuous days. Your benefits can be reinstated starting with the month
following the month of your release.

Although you can’t receive monthly Social Security benefits while you’re
incarcerated, benefits to your spouse or children will continue as long as they
remain eligible.
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  #28  
Old 02-09-2019, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
Federal courts are notorious for rescheduling things, and it often depends on the judge. It's good that delaying his sentencing helps out financially. His social security payments should continue until he has been locked up for 30 days, so being allowed to "self surrender" should mean a few more checks too.

What happens to my benefits when I am in prison?

If you receive Social Security, your benefits will be suspended if you’re
convicted of a criminal offense and sent to jail or prison for more than 30
continuous days. Your benefits can be reinstated starting with the month
following the month of your release.

Although you can’t receive monthly Social Security benefits while you’re
incarcerated, benefits to your spouse or children will continue as long as they
remain eligible.
Yes, this has always been the big concern. I didn't work for nearly 10 years before all of this happened. Most people that I discuss this situation doesn't understand how we can "lose" the $2,000 a month he brings in until I explain a) it is for HIM and b) the government doesn't care what kind of burden this brings to me. We don't qualify for the spousal or children benefits as our children are grown and the only time we were allowed the spousal was when I didn't work and our children were minors. It's been stressful wondering how I would pay the large rent payment we currently have. Our lease had just renewed the end of April last year and he was arrested May 21st.

On the upside I went back to work, and then changed jobs to work full time and at more (although granted not wonderful) pay. Add that to the fact that my grown son will live with me and he just changed to a better and more paying job, we'll have a lower rent payment and we'll no longer have the cost for the ankle bracelet or cable since we're going to have it removed and we should be good. We're saving money now and paying off debt to put us in a better position.

I'm also hoping that the judge will consider his house arrest more important as he will be on the house arrest nearly a year at time of sentencing (if it goes through in April, hubby is concerned another shutdown will delay it again). I know legally it doesn't count as any time but considering that he cannot go further than our porch without permission for therapy, court or lawyer, not to mention the restrictions inside we're hoping they will count for something with the judge who we're giving sole power on sentencing.
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  #29  
Old 02-09-2019, 03:33 PM
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You are looking to receive a variance for the time on House Arrest. If you ask for it that way, it probably won't be granted. But it sounds like you have a number of good variance issues to explore. Your husband's lawyers should be writing a sentencing memorandum that asks for variances based on your husband and family's issues. It sounds like the attorney is quite passive, your husband needs to see the lawyer and maybe follow up with a letter explaining that he wants mitigation information presented to the judge before sentencing. This is important for a best sentence.
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  #30  
Old 02-09-2019, 03:46 PM
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You are looking to receive a variance for the time on House Arrest. If you ask for it that way, it probably won't be granted. But it sounds like you have a number of good variance issues to explore. Your husband's lawyers should be writing a sentencing memorandum that asks for variances based on your husband and family's issues. It sounds like the attorney is quite passive, your husband needs to see the lawyer and maybe follow up with a letter explaining that he wants mitigation information presented to the judge before sentencing. This is important for a best sentence.
Yes, the lawyer believes my husband's medical records will likely be the best option to explore for variance. When we talked to the guy doing the PSR we went through them and I told him that I had the original medical records (from 2002) in the house somewhere and would be happy to look for them if he couldn't get them with what hubby signed to consent or because of the age. He initially said it wouldn't be necessary because it is evident by looking at him that obviously he has medical issues but then said go ahead and look. That was in November and I found them, emailed the lawyer about it and then later when my husband was in the hospital and we were keeping the regular PO and attorney in the loop I mentioned it and said we'd talk about it at a later point. The records are still sitting here waiting as we haven't heard from either since.

We plan to explore every option to variance as possible including his personal and family mental issues, his therapy and information from his therapist to hardship on family as well as support for future. Whatever it takes. IMO the judge needs to know it all so he can make an informed decision.

We'll still go in expecting 3.5 to 5 years but hoping for even one day less than 3.5 years.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:18 PM
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Don't believe the PSI PO, and be sure his lawyer presents all appropriate mitigation factors to the sentencing judge, in a timely manner. It will be up to the judge, but at least you will have given him the best chance for a lenient sentence.

'Just looking at him shows he has medical problems' is just about the worst bullshit I have ever heard. If it isn't documented, it doesn't exist,
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  #32  
Old 02-25-2019, 02:12 PM
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My husband is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 12th. He called the attorney today to confirm the time and date but we haven't heard from him in a bit. He's out of the office today so it'll probably be Monday before we hear back from him.

We met for the PSR the end of October but aside from speaking to the attorney when my husband was in the hospital in December we haven't heard anything...from anyone. I've heard that the PSR writer should have come to our home and he has not.When I talked last to the attorney I told him I had some medical records that the guy writing it has asked to see if I could find, which I finally did.

Does anyone know if the shutdown or even the First Steps has possibly caused a delay in federal courts? I just feel like with it being Jan 11th already and sentencing scheduled for just a month from now that it's going to be delayed and wondered if it could be because of either of these things. We should have heard (home visit) from the regular PO this week and that didn't happen either which is odd.
Just wanted to see how things worked out for you
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:22 PM
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Yeah, I know. And once we DO have a meeting with him I'm going to suggest (guess I should say insist) JUST that for these reasons. Not only do we need to review the PSR, but we still have to go over things about character letters AND it's most important that the judge has adequate time to review all of that before he decides on sentencing! I realize the judge rules fairly similar in these cases but every case and defendant should be seen as unique in some way. My husband's medical issues, among other things, should play a role in his sentencing and his placement.
How are you doing? How did everything work,out. Prayers
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  #34  
Old 02-28-2019, 06:26 PM
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How are you doing? How did everything work,out. Prayers
Nothing new as of yet. Already beginning to worry April wont go through. Rule 32 says to defendant 35 days before and we are almost at that mark. It to be with judge 14 days before.
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:31 AM
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Well, we are right back where we were in February. Still have heard nothing from the attorney and sentencing is scheduled for one week from today. My boss messed up and didn't give me Thursday and Friday off as I requested so I tried the attorney yesterday and his office is closed this week... ugh!! PACER hasn't changed yet either. Last night his sentencing was scheduled on Tuesday and the lawyer called Friday to say it was delayed. PACER was updated Friday night with the date and the lawyer called on Monday with the date. Well, the lawyer's secretary called.

I've chosen not to worry about it as much as I was in February because I have so many other things going on.... most importantly a move but it's no less irritating. We have had to figure things out with the PO to get him moved and she's off most of this week. So then we had to figure out what we need to leave so that he/we aren't left here with nothing until he can get moved. Thankfully she is giving him more time out than she initially indicated she would to help with the move. Sadly, he's only seen the house through pictures and a video that I sent his aunt when I was over there one day but it is what it is.

Yesterday we were discussing sentencing being delayed again. I told him I'd rather it be delayed than not done correctly (still no character letters written or anything set with the attorney) and sentencing done. That being said we both are ready for the next stage to start and get out of the "unknown" period. I welcomed the last delay because his SS is still in to finish the last big payment at the house we're in now. Moving forward we'll use his money to get other bills caught up so we're in a better financial situation before he leaves.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:21 PM
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So here it is Monday and the PO moved him today. She said court was still on the books for Thursday and she hadn't heard anything and had no reason to believe it wouldn't happen. When I mentioned "Rule 32" she acted like it wasn't a "rule" that was followed and didn't mean anything... ugh. I then made a call to the attorney and got his secretary. She called me back this afternoon and said that he had called and said it was being vacated for Thursday and they were trying to find a date in May but nothing was set yet. Pacer shows it's now been set for May 14! The secretary indicated that the delay this time was because we had not been counseled by the attorney to prepared.
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Old 04-01-2019, 10:56 PM
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So here it is Monday and the PO moved him today. She said court was still on the books for Thursday and she hadn't heard anything and had no reason to believe it wouldn't happen. When I mentioned "Rule 32" she acted like it wasn't a "rule" that was followed and didn't mean anything... ugh. I then made a call to the attorney and got his secretary. She called me back this afternoon and said that he had called and said it was being vacated for Thursday and they were trying to find a date in May but nothing was set yet. Pacer shows it's now been set for May 14! The secretary indicated that the delay this time was because we had not been counseled by the attorney to prepared.
As you have still not seen a copy of the PSR you need to ask what the heck is going on with that. You should have been interviewed as well separately from him. Additionally, since you still have the medical records, regardless of the PO seeing your husband and that it is clear that he has medical issues, the judge more than likely will have his mind made up before sentencing for the most part, so you definitely want to get copies (keep one set for yourself) of the medical records to the PO. My husband was directly in contact with the PO himself, so you should consider just mailing the PO the stuff directly and get him to confirm receipt. You can also ask him when he will have a copy of the PSR for you but in a nice way since so many factors are in his control.

As for your lawyer, he is probably welcoming the delays, but regardless, not sure how the sentencing date could be changed because of the lawyer not being prepared. You haven't seen the PSR and it doesn't sound like the prosecutor or your attorney has filed a sentencing memorandum or as you previously said, any character letters have been written. You should have people write the letters now so that you have them in your possession and ready. The last thing you want is for this thing to creep up on you and be a go and then you not being prepared. Letters should be addressed to the judge, but come to you first, then your attorney should forward them on to the PO who will pass them on to the AUSA and judge.

Good luck!!
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Old 04-02-2019, 07:29 AM
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As you have still not seen a copy of the PSR you need to ask what the heck is going on with that. You should have been interviewed as well separately from him. Additionally, since you still have the medical records, regardless of the PO seeing your husband and that it is clear that he has medical issues, the judge more than likely will have his mind made up before sentencing for the most part, so you definitely want to get copies (keep one set for yourself) of the medical records to the PO. My husband was directly in contact with the PO himself, so you should consider just mailing the PO the stuff directly and get him to confirm receipt. You can also ask him when he will have a copy of the PSR for you but in a nice way since so many factors are in his control.

As for your lawyer, he is probably welcoming the delays, but regardless, not sure how the sentencing date could be changed because of the lawyer not being prepared. You haven't seen the PSR and it doesn't sound like the prosecutor or your attorney has filed a sentencing memorandum or as you previously said, any character letters have been written. You should have people write the letters now so that you have them in your possession and ready. The last thing you want is for this thing to creep up on you and be a go and then you not being prepared. Letters should be addressed to the judge, but come to you first, then your attorney should forward them on to the PO who will pass them on to the AUSA and judge.

Good luck!!
I would ask that and in fact it is on my list of questions to the attorney but we have to get the attorney to get back with us! lol Last month we called and left two messages for him to call back and I even sent him an email with some questions that he didn't answer!

Yesterday the PO kept pushing to tell him that if he was sentenced (or even just had a change of plea hearing this week) that he would be required to go to the probation department and register right then. My son was worried because there is a home daycare in the next block from our new house but were pretty sure it's more than 1000 feet for one, for two we're not even sure if he'll have residency restrictions yet, let alone the fact that with SS we're not sure how it will matter while he's on house arrest until that happens.

The lawyer's office just called to confirm the court date and time and I mentioned we need to get in to see him so she's going to get with him about going in sometime soon..
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  #39  
Old 05-07-2019, 10:01 PM
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I went on Pacer tonight... not sure why but something told me to check it. ... Sure enough the third sentencing date set for next Tuesday has been rescheduled. Now we're set for July 1st. Two things feel odd to me about this date... It's a Monday... two of the other dates were on Tuesdays and one was a Thursday. All three were at 1:30 in the afternoon, this one is at 10 in the morning. Not to mention they actually rescheduled it a week ahead of time. The other two times it happened only 2-3 days before. IF this one goes through in July and he gets to self surrender as expected by the time he leaves it will be nearly 3 years since this all began and more than a year not just on "house arrest" but by federal definition he's been on "house incarceration."

We just wish this would all end so we can move forward!!
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:46 PM
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***update***

Finally met with the attorney today and went over the PSR... nothing really spectacular. The only thing that threw me off was the line that said nothing indicated a reason to deviate from the guidelines but the lawyer told me that they never put publicly (on paper) their recommendations really. He said they either agree with the guidelines or will suggest more time but he has never seen one say lower but that doesn't mean that at the PO's "secret" meeting with the judge he won't give a suggestion that we'll never know for sure.

As far as the delays the lawyer claims that 2 of the three, including the last one was from the court as they are still recovering from the shut down and those in custody take priority over those who are not. Because of that he claims that it may work in our favor because it's given him more time being out without incident... guess we'll see. The next date is set for July 1st and at first he was kind of wishy washy about if it'll happen since the judge is out of town the rest of the month but later said we should plan on it going through because the judge knows he's ready and it's been so long. Again, I guess we'll see.

We asked about the fact that the PO stated that as long as he is allowed to SS after sentencing he will be required to go to the PO's office and register. The lawyer likes the PO about as much as we do and knows that she's been a pain in some of her threats and false statements. He was pissed that she had threatened to have him detained at sentencing because the monitor shook and was excited when we told him she was planning to leave until we told him she changed her mind. He said that we will plan their game and go to the office after sentencing but that he's certain they are going to send him to the sheriff's department and that when he goes there they will ask for paperwork that we won't have for 7-14 days and they will say come back. He also said that the guy that is in charge of that area in the sheriff's department is a very nice and accommodating guy. Not only will he be able to answer our questions about if there will be any residency restrictions but with the non-violent ones he has helped go back to the judge to get an order allowing them time to be able to move if needed and other things.

fbopnomore..... there was a thing in the PSR about lie detector tests and we had discussed it before with the lawyer. He said that while it's in there he has never ever seen it implemented and that they had even changed the wording that basically a health care provider or therapist would have to be the one that makes the request to the PO. Another line talked about one of the rules is to not lie to the PO.... "as long as not to violate 5th Amendment rights." While this is federal there was a recent state case in Indiana that touched on this with SO's in which they were attempting to get people to confess to things they had never been charged with or admit guilt when they claimed innocence and were kicking people out of programs for it. The inmates one the case.

The lawyer said his main points at sentencing are going to be hubby's medical but more importantly pointing out that there was 18 months from the time of the initial search until his arrest, plus he has been on house arrest for over a year now without incident. He said he's going to point out that obviously the officers who appeared at our house, and had a confession from him, in November of 2016 did not see a threat and by waiting as they did the government felt the same. He said he has never had a case like that in which they waited so long to charge someone.

He gave his request of prisons to the attorney today which of course we know is just a request but the attorney mentioned something interesting. He claimed that if the BOP found his medical needs dire (which I severely doubt they will) that they could send him to a medical facility in Maryland to which he claimed not to be discouraged because according to him inmates there are often released soon. Has anyone else heard this?

With any luck this will be coming to an end soon and we can start our next "new normal."
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  #41  
Old 06-03-2019, 02:16 PM
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Maryland? There is not a FMC in Maryland, are you sure he didn’t say Massachusetts?

Regardless, people do not get released from a FMC any faster than they do from a FCI.

FMCs

Butner, NC FMC

Devens, MA FMC

Fort Worth, TX FMC

Lexington, KY FMC

When the BoP says dire health issues they mean it and I think most lows are less bad than FMCs. FMCs house ALL security levels together and they do not separate risk of violence.

They may concentrate SOs into housing units together, but rec, eating, education? Everybody is together.

Oh! I forgot one.

Rochester, MN FMC
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:33 PM
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If there have been changes to what US Probation Officers require for polygraph tests during supervised release, I don't know anything about them. In my case, I was required to attend (and pay for) SO treatment, plus take (and pay for) 2 lie detector tests that had very little to do with being labeled a sex offender (did you, even once, lie to your probation officer was question number one). My understanding was that they were ordered by the PO, but it would have been just as easy for the PO to tell the therapist to require them.

As for having the PO order you to register on the State's SO registry prior to incarceration, that should be governed by the State's registry laws (who must register, and when), but the POs can require anything they want regardless of the actual law. I was ordered to register on the Florida SO registry even though it wasn't required by their state law for a 3 day visit. I called the FL Sheriff and asked what would happen if I came in to register even though it wasn't required. The answer, you will be registered: for life by the way.

My opinion is that some federal probation officers enforce laws as they wish they were written rather than the way the Legislature actually passed them.
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Old 06-03-2019, 05:59 PM
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If there have been changes to what US Probation Officers require for polygraph tests during supervised release, I don't know anything about them. In my case, I was required to attend (and pay for) SO treatment, plus take (and pay for) 2 lie detector tests that had very little to do with being labeled a sex offender (did you, even once, lie to your probation officer was question number one). My understanding was that they were ordered by the PO, but it would have been just as easy for the PO to tell the therapist to require them.
Was the fact that you were required to attend SO treatment put in your PSR? I need to go over his with a fine tooth comb but we discussed it and he indicated that the treatment he has now will qualify. Hubby had brought it up because there was the whole issue of he wasn't supposed to be around felons and yet he was required to do treatment or whatever to which hubby responded with how was he to know if any of them were felons (he does group therapy) and if they were how could he do the treatment or other group therapies that were issue specific. The lawyer pretty much said yeah, the thing was full of contradictions. I agree with you on the issue of it being easy for the PO to tell the therapist to get a test.

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As for having the PO order you to register on the State's SO registry prior to incarceration, that should be governed by the State's registry laws (who must register, and when), but the POs can require anything they want regardless of the actual law. I was ordered to register on the Florida SO registry even though it wasn't required by their state law for a 3 day visit. I called the FL Sheriff and asked what would happen if I came in to register even though it wasn't required. The answer, you will be registered: for life by the way.
Well initially the PO surprisingly admitted she knew little about the registry since it was ran by the state and her job was simply to make sure her clients complied. I'm not sure how many clients she has that is on the SOR because she knows very little about these types of crimes and she's a pre-trial PO so if she has any they are from previous crimes. Then suddenly she called one day and said that when he's sentenced he'll have to go there to their office to register. She stated this again when she thought he was going to court in April. The lawyer said today we'll just play the game and as he said "jump through their hoops" and in the end they will send him to the sheriff's department. And he says without paperwork the sheriff's department won't do anything so I suspect we'll get lip from her until she verifies it for sure. Lawyer said it'll probably be 2 weeks to get the paperwork and longer to get it processed and he may actually be gone before it even goes all the way through. And of course we all know that it doesn't count through incarceration so who knows what will happen.

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Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
My opinion is that some federal probation officers enforce laws as they wish they were written rather than the way the Legislature actually passed them.
I'm sure this is true! Hubby's PO makes things up as she goes and then changes things later all in attempts to make herself seem to appear to know what the hell she's doing and talking about. Everyone would be a whole lot happier if she would simply say she didn't know and she had to inquire about things and actually LEARN something rather than spew out things that aren't true, make decisions despite her lack of knowledge of things or change things repeatedly. Just keeping fingers crossed that the next PO is better and more knowledgeable or at the very least acknowledge when they aren't sure.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:47 PM
bellisq bellisq is offline
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[quote=safran;7778991

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Old 06-04-2019, 06:03 AM
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Supervised release/probation/parole can be extremely frustrating and confusing, more so with some POs. It is always best to comply with whatever the PO requires and to not complain regardless of how you feel about what is happening. I often had to remind myself that "this will end", and it did.
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