United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM & ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE
DEFENDANT'S REQUEST FOR EARLY TERMINATION OF
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS United States District Judge.
case comes before the Court following Defendant Joyce Dawn
Ferrell's request for early termination of her probation.
After considering Ms. Ferrell's letter and the responses
of the United States and the Probation Office for the
District of Columbia, the Court will deny Ms. Ferrell's
request. However, the Court will permit Ms. Ferrell to
resubmit her request through the Probation Office for the
District of Columbia six months after the date of this
Memorandum & Order.
January 9, 2014, Ms. Ferrell pled guilty to a single count of
Theft of Government Property, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§ 641. See Min. Entry (Jan. 9, 2014); Plea
Agreement, ECF No. 3. The Statement of Offense agreed to by
Ms. Ferrell and the United States explains that Ms. Ferrell
made unauthorized purchases at the Naval Research
Laboratory's commissary store and then sold those items,
including tools and computer equipment, at pawn shops in
Virginia and Maryland. See Statement of Offense at
1, ECF No. 4. The total loss to the United States was $26,
029.34. See Id. at 2.
Court held a sentencing hearing on April 10, 2014.
See Min. Entry (Apr. 10, 2014). The Court considered
the Presentence Investigation Report (ECF No. 11), the
Probation Office's sentencing recommendation (ECF No.
12), the sentencing memoranda filed by the United States and
Ms. Ferrell (ECF Nos. 13, 15), and the parties' oral
arguments. After balancing the factors found in 18 U.S.C.
§ 3553(a), the Court imposed a sentence of 48 months of
probation with various conditions and ordered restitution in
the amount of $26, 029.34. See Judgment at 2-4, ECF
serving more than two years of her sentence, Ms. Ferrell sent
the Court a letter requesting the early termination of her
probation. See Letter from Joyce Ferrell (Sept. 28,
2016), ECF No. 19. Ms. Ferrell states that she cannot be
considered for certain advancement opportunities at work
while she is on probation, but that those opportunities would
allow her to pay restitution in an accelerated manner.
See Id. at 1. Ms. Ferrell states that she has
“a stable place in the community” and that she
complied with the terms of her probation, including
completing required counseling. See id.
Court ordered the Probation Office for the District of
Columbia to submit a report addressing Ms. Ferrell's
request and describing her compliance with the terms of her
supervision, including the status of her restitution
payments. See Min. Order (Nov. 4, 2016). The Court
also ordered the United States to state its position on Ms.
Ferrell's request for early termination of her probation.
United States opposes Ms. Ferrell's request. See
Gov't's Opp'n to Def.'s Pro Se Mot.
For Early Termination of Probation (“Gov't's
Opp'n”), ECF No. 21. In its response to the
Court's Order, the United States objects to early
termination of Ms. Ferrell's probation because she has
not yet paid the full amount of restitution ordered by the
Court. Id. ¶ 6.
Probation Office for the District of Columbia also filed a
memorandum in response to the Court's Order. See
Probation Mem., ECF No. 22. The memorandum notes that the
Probation Office for the District of Maryland supervises Ms.
Ferrell. That office believes that Ms. Ferrell does not pose
a specific threat to the community and it does not oppose Ms.
Ferrell's request for termination of her probation.
memorandum also states that in cases where an offender has
displayed exemplary conduct or made an outstanding adjustment
to supervision, the Probation Office for the District of
Columbia may recommended reduced subversion or termination of
supervised release. The memorandum concludes that Ms.
Ferrell's adjustment to supervision has been
satisfactory, but does not exceed expectations. The
memorandum notes that Ms. Ferrell got off to a slow start
making restitution payments, and although she has developed a
routine of making payments and has caught up on arrearages,
the Probation Office for the District of Columbia believes
that Ms. Ferrell's conduct does not demonstrate a full
commitment to satisfying her restitution obligations. For
these reasons, the Probation Office for the District of
Columbia does not recommend early termination of Ms.
termination of probation is governed by 18 U.S.C. §
3564(c), which requires the court to consider factors set
forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), to the extent they are
applicable. The section 3553 sentencing factors
include: (1) the characteristics of the offense and the
defendant; (2) whether the sentence reflects the seriousness
of the offense, deters other criminal conduct, protects the
public, and rehabilitates the defendant; (3) the other
available sentences; (4) the sentences and applicable
sentencing range for the defendant's crime; (5) pertinent
policy statements provided by the Sentencing Commission; (6)
the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities; and (7)
the need to provide restitution to any victims of the
offense. See 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1)-(7). A
court must ensure that the sentence imposed is sufficient,
but not greater than necessary, to accomplish the goals of
sentencing. Id. § 3553(a). After considering
the 3553(a) factors, the court may “terminate a term of
probation previously ordered and discharge the defendant . .
. if it is satisfied that such action is warranted by the
conduct of the defendant released and the interest of
justice.” 18 U.S.C. § 3564(c).
analogous context of a request for early termination of
supervised release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
3583(e)(1),  the D.C. Circuit has held that a district
court must consider the 3553(a) factors before
denying a motion for early termination. See United States
v. Mathis-Gardner, 783 F.3d 1286, 1288 (D.C. Cir. 2015).
Although a district court need not provide an explanation of
that consideration “where the reasons for denying the
motion are apparent from the record, ” id. at
1289, the court should “provide some indication of
[its] reasons” where the defendant has presented a
substantial argument that changed circumstances render a
previously imposed sentence inappropriate, id. at
1289-90. Because this ...