For those of you who have loved ones currently incarcerated in the federal system.

FIRST STEP ACT EARNED TIME CREDITS (ETC)

EBRR and PA Programs

The programs that an individual participates in, must be recommended by BOP staff to be recognized as part of their risk and needs assessment requirements in order to be accepted for earned time credit.

“To earn FSA Time Credits,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell was quoted, these four “conditions must be met,
“The program must be an EBRR programming or PA productive activity;”
“The inmate must be assigned by Bureau staff to the EBRR programming or PA productive activity based on his criminogenic needs;”
“The inmate must successfully complete the EBRR programming or PA, productive activity;
“The EBRR programming or PA, productive activity must be completed on or after January 15, 2020.” [My opinion; 1st) I recommend getting your “program recommendations in writing”, (as I am confident that they have already pre-printed up forms that are likely in triplicate, so everybody gets their copy) – then don’t lose it, 2nd) you now have proof that the BOP recommended you take that particular program or activity. Dr. MJB]

FSA Inmate Benefits

Early Release: Minimum and Low-Risk Inmates

You may also receive five (5) additional days of time credit for every 30 days of successful participation in EBRR/PA Programs if,

  • You have not increased the risk of recidivism over their last two assessments.
  • Can apply your earned credits to pre-release custody or supervised release if you have the warden’s approval and you,
    • § do not pose a danger to society.
    • § have made a good faith effort, and a 30% lower risk of recidivism.
    • § are unlikely to recidivate.

A Person is eligible for transfer to supervised release if,

  • § You’ve met the standards above,
  • § Supervised release is already part of their sentence as ordered by the court,
  • § Are within 12 months of the end of their sentence, and either
    • do not pose a danger to society.
    • have made a good faith effort to lower their risk of recidivism, and
    • are unlikely to recidivate.

 

Alternative Benefits: Medium and High-Risk Inmates

Incentives for completing EBRR and PA Programs

  • They have to petition to redeem the Earn Time Credits (ETC) they earn, per the approval of the Warden  
    • The determination that they are not likely to re-offend, or
    • They’re Not a Public Safety Threat.

Otherwise, they would be considered for alternative incentives

  • Up to 510 phone minutes per month (which prisoners must pay for) or,
  • If available, video conferencing privileges, for up to 30 minutes per day.

Or the warden may

  • Add additional time for visits.
  • Add additional time using the BOP’s email system (which prisoners must pay for).
  • Transfer to a prison closer to the person’s home, if the warden approves.
  • Increased commissary spending limits and product offerings; (which prisoners must pay for).
  • Consideration for transfer to preferred housing units.

Those at Medium and/or High-Risk Levels should be able to move to a:

  • Low or Minimum risk by reducing their “Dynamic” Factors.

“Static” factors are fixed,
Age at first conviction
If the Current offense was violent
If it was a Sex offense conviction
Criminal history score
History of violence
History of escapes
Was Voluntary surrender an option?

“Dynamic” factors can change over the course of a person’s incarceration.
Age at time of assessment? (the older we get, the less we argue, from the author…)
Infraction convictions (any)
Infraction convictions (serious and violent)
Number of programs completed (how many)
Number of technical or vocational courses completed (how many)
Drug treatment while incarcerated – if needed?
Drug education while incarcerated – if needed?

<First Step Act Reforms>

Who Is Disqualified from Participating?

The Definition of “A Day” 

  • A calendar day is a day on which the person is participating in whatever assigned programming takes place, on that date.

Is completion of an EBRR or PA program, required – no.

Times when a person cannot be considered a successful participant

  • When they’re in the SHU.
  • On designated status outside the BOP facility (for example, extended medical placement, court appearances, furlough).
  • On a writ or temporary transfer to the custody of another federal or nonfederal government agency.
  • On a mental health hold; or
  • Who declines to participate in the recommended EBRR or PA Program.

FSA Credits can begin on day one

  • Another reason to consider the benefits of the PSR as a proactive placement tool for those with long sentences.

PATTERN,

  • Is the BOP Risk and Needs Assessment System
  • Assessing the recidivism risk and criminogenic needs of all federal prisoners, and 
  • Then placing prisoners in recidivism-reducing programs (EBRR) and productive activities (PA) that address their individual needs, to reduce this risk.
  • Examples of recidivism risk and criminogenic needs,
    • Anger/Hostility;
    • Antisocial Peers;
    • Cognitions;
    • Dyslexia;
    • Education;
    • Family/Parenting;
    • Finance; Poverty;
    • Medical;
    • Mental Health;
    • Recreation/Leisure/Fitness;
    • Substance Abuse;
    • Trauma; and
    • Work. 

Other Sentencing Reforms

Mandatory Minimum Sentences (Page 2) (where applicable)

  • A defendant who previously would have been sentenced to 20 years might now face 15 years.
  • The new law also gives judges greater discretion to ignore the Mandatory Minimum

Expanding the Safety Valve (Page 3)

  • The FSA also expands the safety valve provision, which allows courts to sentence low-level, nonviolent drug offenders with minor criminal histories to less than the required mandatory minimum for an offense.

Pre-release placement refers to:

  • Home confinement and/or,
  • Halfway house (also known as Residential Reentry Center (RRC)

The Second Look Act

  • For those who committed a crime before the age of 25, and
  • Who has served a minimum of 15 years in prison,
  • They can apply to the DC Superior Court to have their sentence reviewed. 

For those who participated in The FSA 12/21/2018 – 1/14/2020.

  • Those credits are being awarded, retroactively.

Retroactive Application of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Section 404 (Page 4)

§ 523.43 Loss of FSA Time Credits.  

  • Inmates who are found guilty of misconduct may not earn incentives for the time periods listed below.
  • The below time periods will begin the day after the Unit Disciplinary Committee or the Disciplinary Hearing Officer has found that the inmate has committed the prohibited act(s).
    • 120 days for a 100 Series incident report. 
    • 90 days for a 200 series incident report.
    • 60 days for a 300 series incident report.
    • 30 days for a 400 series incident report.

For additional information, contact the Reentry Services Division (RSD) by sending an email: BOP-RSD-NRB-FSA@BOP.GOV

Call us for your free consult, 240-888-7778

or email us at: info@PPRSUS.com