New Rule May Allow Federal Prisoners to Be Released Based on Time Credits

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Hartford Criminal Defense Lawyers

People who are convicted of federal crimes often face harsh prison sentences. Fortunately, some programs are available to help these prisoners be released early while also encouraging them to re-enter society successfully and avoid criminal activity in the future. The First Step Act, which was passed in 2018, created a program that allows prisoners to earn time credits against their sentences. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently implemented a new rule that will put this program into effect, and it may allow thousands of prisoners to be released in the near future.

Implementation of the Time Credits Program

The programs created under the First Step Act are meant to help convicts take steps to limit the likelihood that they will re-offend after being released, while also ensuring that they will be productive members of society. The law allows prisoners to earn time credits by participating in Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction (EBRR) programs such as literacy programs or occupational education programs, as well as Productive Activities (PAs) such as Alcoholics Anonymous, drug abuse treatment programs, and programs that address physical and mental health and provide education and job training.

For every 30 days that a prisoner participates in applicable programs, they will receive 10 days of time credits. If a person is considered to be at a low risk of recidivism, they may receive an additional five days of time credits for each 30-day period of participation in these programs. Credits may be used to allow a prisoner to receive early placement in pre-release custody in a Residential Reentry Center (RRCs) or home confinement, and up to 12 months of credits can be applied toward a person’s supervised release.

When the First Step Act was initially passed, it left the decisions about how to implement the new rules up to the Bureau of Prisons. The rule that was originally proposed by the BOP only counted time credits earned after January 15, 2020. However, the new rule retroactively applies time credits earned after December 21, 2018. Based on this change, an inmate may be eligible for immediate release if the amount of their time credits exceeds the remainder of their sentence, there are less than 12 months before the end of their term of imprisonment, and they have been sentenced to a term of supervised release after their term of imprisonment.

Contact Our Connecticut Federal Crimes Attorney

Based on the new rules, people who have been convicted of federal crimes may be able to get released from prison more quickly. At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can help inmates determine their eligibility for pre-release custody or supervised release, and we can help them make sure the time credits they have earned are calculated and applied correctly. We also defend clients who are facing federal charges, helping them protect their rights and minimize their potential consequences. To get legal help with matters related to federal crimes and sentences, contact our Hartford criminal defense lawyer at 860-290-8690 and schedule a free consultation today.

Sources:

https://www.nacdl.org/newsrelease/011322_FirstStepActRule

https://www.bop.gov/inmates/fsa/docs/bop_fsa_rule.pdf

https://www.bop.gov/inmates/fsa/docs/evidence_based_recidivism_reduction_programs.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/13/us/politics/federal-prisoners-release.html

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