909, 2022

The Never Ending Saga of The First Step Act, Federal Time Credits and some miscellaneous rants………

September 9th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

I have written a monthly blog for the Sentencing Partners Newsletter for the past two years and thought I'd start to post them to my blog. Below are the past few articles including some hot off the press info I just received from inside. Enjoy.......  Federal Time Credits-Down Memory Lane A few months back, I indicated I was going to track the months that have elapsed since the BOP internally circulated a draft program statement entitled, “ First Step Act of 2018-Time Credits: Procedures for Implementation of USC 3632(d)(4). I am unaware of any specific changes that have evolved in the past thirty-two months aside from what I am experiencing firsthand within the trenches of the system. It is unfortunate I am not able to report that the SENTRY and INSIGHT systems have been fully integrated and operational. While the BOP is on record indicating an August first activation, I [...]

206, 2022

More First Step Act Nonsense

June 2nd, 2022|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , |

The BOP implementation of the FSA has come under criticism from the beginning but there is a great deal of blame to go around aside from the BOP which includes the DOJ, Independent Review Committee and the legislators who are the most culpable. While many things within the beltway are ill conceived, the FSA is a certain kind of special. The criticisms I had regarding the bill even prior to it becoming law have focused on its discriminatory and convoluted nature, over emphasis on magic programs and the reinvention of the wheel specifically when it comes to the PATTERN risk assessment and time credits. Since the beginning of federal incarceration, the federal government has never picked and chosen who did and did not receive good time. Going back to before the “old law” (pre-1987); all people earned both statutory and extra good time despite the nature of the offense. Even [...]

103, 2022

Seven Steps to Humanity and the Holy Grail

March 1st, 2022|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , , |

The siren song for the transparency, accountability and oversight of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has reached another fever pitch set off by a bit of transparency and attention during the pandemic.  Recently, Senators Jon Ossoff and Michael Braun launched a bi-partisan working focusing on the agency's implosion which compliments the efforts of "The BOP Reform Caucus" who met with Director Carvajal for the first time late last year.  Prison reform is not rocket science so here are seven reforms which can be initiated almost immediately under the existing policy and statutory framework, provided the new director is chosen from outside the agency and is allowed to bring support staff to have their back. So, without further ado...................   Allow upward mobility to qualified leaders without mandating mobility. The BOP “F up, move up” cycle can be broken by picking the best candidate for management related jobs based on [...]

102, 2022

The Algorithm Blues

February 1st, 2022|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , |

What a difference a month makes      There have been many developments since the BOP issued the final rule regarding the First Step Act, Federal Time Credits (FTC). Shortly after last month’s article, I began getting feedback from across the country about conflicting information from BOP staff and the incarcerated about the awarding of the credits. People in the RRC and on home detention have told me they had never participated in any work or educational programs but received large awards of FTC, but others who completed programs and worked, were told they had not earned any time credits because the programs did not qualify. More than one case manager told me there is some type of glitch in the SENTRY program and the automated SENTRY sentence computation function has yet to be finalized. I will draw some general conclusions about the implementation of the rule at the end [...]

1401, 2022

FSA/FTC (My humble opinion & sarcasm from analysis of the final rule)

January 14th, 2022|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , , |

I had a chance to dissect the Rule released yesterday and a have a few comments about what caught my eye from a BOP correctional treatment perspective. While the final rule is a lot broader in application and liberal as far as the actual awards of FTC, let us not be dancing on the tables because it’s still discriminatory and restrictive to a lot of PEOPLE. One of the stats that caught my eye was that approximately 75,000 of 131,000 PEOPLE (almost 60 %) are medium and high risk and simply are not eligible for the FTC!  While that number sounds high already, it doesn’t even take into consideration the minimum and low risk individuals that do not meet the other restrictive criteria of identified crimes, prior offenses, non-citizens, DC Code cases, etc. You can stay up on the table celebrating dancing if your part of the white-collar lobby or [...]

1301, 2022

Federal Good Time Credits ( SH#@s Getting Real)

January 13th, 2022|Categories: Criminal Justice and Prison Reform|Tags: , , , , |

Federal Time Credits (FTC) Questions I have for the DOJ/BOP: Are people only being awarded for completing an evidenced based recidivism reduction program (EBRRP) IF a “need” was identified and keyed into that area on the computerized assessment? Are people awarded the FTC if their crime of conviction is NOT on the list of the crimes Congress excluded from receiving the credits, but the crime is determined violent or a “director’s discretion case”, under BOP policy? Are productive activities going to be expanded to include work assignments other than UNICOR and regimented activities such as art, recreation and leisure/sports leagues.  For instance, a person assigned as a companion for the institution suicide watch program should be awarded time as a “productive activity”.  The July 2021 National Catalogue seems sparse in the productive activities section, and the listed productive activities resemble more of brief programs. How do the hours awarded for [...]

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