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Allan Ellis' Federal Prison Guidebook

Allan Ellis' Federal Prison Guidebook is a 312 page book that gives a detailed rundown of federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities. Alan Ellis is a California attorney who specializes in the pre-sentence and post conviction representation of federal prisoners. He is nationally recognized as an expert in this area of law. Ellis wrote the book to answer the questions of criminal defendants facing federal incarceration and to assist lawyers in getting the "best" federal prison for their clients.

The Guidebook carefully explains BOP classification policies and procedures and the importance of the Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) report in determining where prisoners are placed. It also discusses judicial recommendations, self surrender and the importance of ensuring inaccurate PSI information is corrected before the BOP receives it.

The essence of the book is, like the title says, a guidebook to all federal prisons. Organized geographically, it gives detailed information about each BOP facility. Each listing provides the facility's address, phone and fax number; its physical location and how to reach it by plane, train, car or bus. The Guidebook lists the facility's history; the judicial district it is in; its security levels; rated and current population levels; staffing level; how prisoners are housed; educational and vocational/apprenticeship programs; library and law library facilities and services; UNICOR production; counseling/rehab services; health services; smoking areas; fitness and recreation programs; religious services; commissary; phone services; visiting days and hours, including procedures for attorney visits; and whether the prison accepts Fed-Ex and express mail. An appendix lists those BOP facilities that offer residential drug and alcohol programs, including those in Spanish.

All lawyers who represent federal criminal defendants should have a copy of this book to answer their clients' questions as well as advocate for facility placement. Libraries, especially those in prisons; and law libraries, should have a copy of this book. BOP prisoners, who are frequently transferred would probably find the Guidebook to be a worthwhile investment, especially for those who receive visits. With solid, reliable and up to date information the Guidebook makes it unnecessary to rely on rumor, innuendo and gossip when evaluating BOP facilities. Criminal defendants facing the prospect of doing time in the BOP might want to get a copy.

As the only book of its type the Guidebook provides a unique and invaluable resource. Copies are $19.95 for prisoners; $39.95 for everyone else. Shipping is $1.50 for the first copy; $1 for each additional copy. Add $3 for priority shipping. Order from: Law Office of Alan Ellis, P.O. Box 2178, Sausalito, CA 94966-2178.

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