Response to Call to Action for Shane A. Smith’s bio
I’ve been working on self-advocacy for some time, ever since I arrived in prison over one and a half years ago. One of the goals I have is to be home before my son graduates from high school. Some would think there is no way with my sentence and when I had to start serving in prison, but I refuse to just believe what others say. Instead, I starting reading every legal book and document that was available to me, especially related to the CARES Act (now no longer in force) and the First Step Act, along with compassionate release and all the other legal mechanisms that our laws and constitution allows for prisoners who almost all are serving way longer sentences than needed. I read and read and took notes and reviewed the notes on everything that I needed to do to earn the credits, FTC and GCT, and the remedies available to inmates when the BOP doesn’t implement or execute the laws exactly as Congress wrote them or intended them. I have found errors in program statements and procedures that the BOP follows that unlawfully deny prisoners credits and so I have completed those administrative remedies within the BOP by exercising my rights to request those credits. Once those are exhausted, I will use the courts to exercise my rights and see if the judiciary will make the BOP comply with the law. It’s a process, it can be tedious and the system is set up to try to get people to get frustrated and quit, but my goal is too important to me and being with my family to start the healing process is too important to me to quit, and so that drives me to continue to learn and understand the laws and the processes and to keep moving forward positively. I know with faith, hard work, and by not giving up, I will achieve what I set out to do!