Nancy Ferneau- 25 Year Sentence

I am 66 years old and in very poor health.  I have spent 15 years at the Women’s Medical facility in Carswell, Texas due to the following list of medical conditions:  

1) 3 back surgeries- rods and screws

2) 1 neck fusion

3) 7 knee surgeries, 1 replacement

4)1/2 thyroid removal

5) Kidney removal-cancer

6) Breast lumpectomy and radiation for cancer , taking a cancer pill for 5 yrs (2 1/2 to go)

7) Stroke 2002

8) Hepatitis C

9) Rheumatoid Arthiritis

10) Osteo arthritis

11) Neuropathy

12) Fibromyalgia

13) need surgery on both feet but can't have it done due to cancer meds, so it won’t heal

14) COPD

15) Asthma

16) spot on lung

Even worse, they took away all my pain meds due to the Opioid crisis so the pain is sometimes excruciating.

Regardless, I am a fighter because I refuse to succumb to my ailments and waste away in prison. I have a wonderful family I’m anxious to reunite with, especial my 82 year old mother who cannot visit me due to a stroke and her age.

In 2017 I filed for a compassionate release based on my medical history, age and amount of time served.  In my view, I meet the criteria for an RIS (reduction in sentence) motion for compassionate release. Realistically, no one at this facility has ever received a compassionate release and the Warden even made a joke about it.  I prayed I would be the exception because I have a letter from my judge stating he supports my compassionate release It was denied so I filed an appeal to BOP region headquarters and received this response, “Inmates are considered for RIS if they are disabled, meaning the inmate cannot carry on any self-care and is totally confined to a bed or chair…“  Also, …”you do not suffer from a debilitating condition which would render you completely disabled or incapable of self-care…”

Lastly, even if I met those requirements, i was also denied based on the nature of my non-violent drug crime, “As stated in the Warden’s response your case was reviewed and your deemed inappropriate for RIS as approving the request would diminish the severity of the offense.”

The First Step Act will provide oversight and transparency with regard to compassionate releases because even the Inspector General’s scathing report on BOP’s failure to grant legitimate claims has not led to an increase in the number of compassionate release granted.  It also requires Wardens to give a detailed reason for any denial.

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