BOP MEANS: Back Off the Punishment: Making the Case That Judges Must Fix the BOP by Imposing Fewer and Shorter Prison Terms


The Bureau of Prisons is dysfunctional, dangerous and dehumanizing.  Its failures have been well-documented recently in the press, in OIG reports, and in judicial opinions.

But some judges still don’t understand that they have the power and the responsibility to do something about it.  Moreover, lawyers don’t always know that BOP dysfunction is powerful sentencing mitigation. More specifically, if the BOP is ill-equipped to provide adequate medical care, mental health treatment, programming and safety, then we MUST send less people to BOP and for less time!

This isn’t just my opinion – it’s a direct quote from the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, Collette Peters, on her recent appearance on 60 Minutes.

Helping us get set for sentencing is a returning champion, Walter Pavlo, frequent Forbes contributor and founder of, a reputable BOP consulting firm.



  • The good, bad and ugly of Collette Peters’s recent 60 Minutes appearance;
  • The scathing new opinion from Judge Furman of the SDNY concerning abysmal conditions in MDC Brooklyn;
  • Changes to the sentencing guidelines support giving less time to less people and alternatives to incarceration;
  • Practical advice for presenting BOP problems as MITIGATION in every sentencing and re-sentencing (i.e. compassionate release, clemency, etc.).


Walter Pavlo:

60 minutes piece with Collette Peters:

Furman Opinion (U.S. v. Chavez):



Prison Consultants and the Myth of the Fixer: 

BOP Stands for Big Ol’ Problems: Exposing Dysfunction & Danger at the Federal Bureau of Prisons

BOP Stands for “Backwards On Purpose” With Current BOP inmate Bilal Kahn:

Telling the story of Prison at Sentencing with Maureen Baird:


Recent OIG report on inmate deaths (suicides, medical emergencies, homicides) in BOP:


The Federal Prison System is in Crisis.  Here are the Top 3 Reasons Why, The Hill, 2/9/24

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