Thursday, January 2, 2014

Expanded Good Time Credit?

Since the dawn of time (2003, for present purposes) I have been fielding client questions about an increase in the amount of good time credits that would be available for inmates to earn.  Well, there is now legislation that may make this a possibility.

Senate Bill 1675, known as the Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act of 2013, has recently been referred to committee. The Bill, if enacted, would amend 18 U.S.C. 3624(b) to permit an inmate to earn up to 54 days a year of good time, a modest increase of the current 47.  It would also be retroactive, meaning that a client who has served a ten year sentence might be eligible for up to 70 additional days of good time.

More significantly, the Bill would allow inmates to earn up to an additional 60 days per year of good time for participating in programming, which includes prison jobs, drug treatment, vocational training, or other programs designated by the Bureau of Prisons as reducing recidivism.  These sentencing discounts would be capped at 30% of the inmate's sentence, meaning no greater reductions would be awarded.

This increase in good time credit availability is not a new idea.  The Bureau of Prisons has itself endorsed the concept for some time.  Hopefully this time the idea comes to pass.  So call your Senator or Representative!

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