April 13, 2016 , 2016 Updates on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

April 13, 2016

As many know currently pending in Congress are two bills, one in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives that reflect a major change in federal sentencing policy and federal prison related matters. We want to explain what these bills do NOT do. Over the past year we have received hundreds if not thousands of calls and emails asking whether the “65% law has passed” or whether it will go into effect in November of 2016. There is much confusion in the federal prison system often fueled by prison rumor and, of course, hope.

The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123) as currently written and IF passed does NOT increase good time credits for federal inmates. There is no change proposed as to good time. However, it will permit Earned Time Credits.

If it becomes law, S. 2123 would let certain prisoners who successfully complete recidivism-reducing programs and productive activities earn time credits as follows: Low-risk prisoners: 10 days of credit for 30 days of programming/work and Medium- and high-risk prisoners: 5 days of credit for 30 days of programming/work. Those credits can be used ONLY for increased Halfway House Time and Home Confinement time—and is not a reduction in sentence. Rather, those credits can only be used to increase time in exchange for more time in lesser restrictive environment. The last time a 65% bill was before Congress was 2011 and is was shot down 3 times. The only changes that will go into effect in November are changes to the United States Sentencing Guidelines which do not and cannot affect good time. As always if you have any questions please feel free to call us at 615-696-6153 or email us at help@nationalprisonconsultants.com