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ACTION ALERT! FedCURE's Contact Congress Campaign: BARBER Amemdment Good Time Bill


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FedCURE Frequently Asked Questions  


Federal Bureau of Prisons - Community Corrections Centers (CCC) Placement:

Prerelease Custody.--

            ``(1) In general.--The Director of the Bureau of Prisons
        shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that a prisoner serving
        a term of imprisonment spends a portion of the final months of
        that term (not to exceed 12 months), under conditions that will
        afford that prisoner a reasonable opportunity to adjust to and
        prepare for the reentry of that prisoner into the community.
        Such conditions may include a community correctional facility.

            ``(2) Home confinement authority.--The authority under this
        subsection may be used to place a prisoner in home confinement
        for the shorter of 10 percent of the term of imprisonment of
        that prisoner or 6 months.

List of U.S. Residential Reentry Centers (formally known as Half Way House)

  • BOP Memo on Revised Guidance for Residential Reentry Center Placements: 24 June 2010.


  • Residential Reentry Center (RRC) - formally Half Way House (HWH) - and Home Confinement, length of stay? 

    The average expected length of stay (transfer date to projected release date) in pre-release community confinement (RRC and home confinement, if approved) for fiscal year 2008 was 100.8 days or about 3-1/3 months. BOP does  not track length of stay in home detention separately. 

    Home confinement authority.--The authority under this subsection may be used to place a prisoner in home confinement for the shorter of 10 percent of the term of imprisonment of  that prisoner or 6 months.

    Generally, an inmate is eligible for HWH 6 months before release date, or 10% of the total sentence, whichever is less.

    * Federal Bureau of Prisons "RRC' Placement Criteria (210608)

    Our goal is to place inmates in pre-release RRC's for the amount of time necessary to provide the greatest likelihood of successful reentry.  Staff are making inmates pre-release RRC placement decisions on an individual basis based on the following criteria: the inmates need for pre-release services; the resources and ability of the RRC to meet the offenders needs; the nature and circumstances of the inmates offense, the inmates history, and any potential risks to public safety; any statement by the sentencing court regarding a period of community confinement; and the need for the BOP to manage our inmate population in a responsible manner.
    Even though eligibility has been increased to 12 months, it is our experience that inmates pre-release needs can usually be met with 6 months or less in a pre-release RRC.  As you know, halfway house beds are a scarce commodity and one inmate's use of a bed beyond his/her actual needs restricts another inmate from use of that bed.  A pre-release RRC placement beyond 6 months will be highly unusual and will be based on extraordinary needs and compelling circumstances.  We will continue to balance each inmates individual needs with our duty to use our limited resources judiciously and to provide pre-release placement to as many inmates as possible.
    Federal Bureau of Prisons

    The Second Chance Act 

    When does the Second Chance Act (Public Law 110-199) implement?  

    The Second Chance Act implementation does not go into effect until fiscal '09, which begins 10/01/08.  Release is discretionary by Federal Bureau of Prisons.  

    What is the eligibility criteria for the over 65 provisions--release criteria--of the Second Chance Act?  

    Must be over 65, no violence, no sex offense and must have served a minimum of ten (10) years and/or seventy five percent (75%) of the sentence.  WHICHEVER IS GREATER..  The Statute states: "75% of the term of imprisonment to which the offender was sentenced"  

    As of September 30, 2008, the Federal Bureau of Prisons preliminary assessment as to the number of eligible inmates is a mere 83.  Anyone that thinks they are eligible needs to get their name and number to FedCURE at: http://www.fedcure.org/contact.shtml for review.  ASAP.


    If you know someone who qualifies submit the following information to FedCURE at: http://www.fedcure.org/contact.shtml

    • Name
    • Number
    • Crime committed
    • Sentence
    • Time served to date.  

    Definition of an Elderly offender - "Subject to Possible Release via Sec. 231 of the 2nd Chance Act." Public Law 110-199

    (i) not less than 65 years old; (ii) who is serving a term of imprisonment that is not life imprisonment based on conviction for an offense or offenses that do not include any crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18, United States Code), sex offense as defined in section 111(5) of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act), offense described in section 2332b(g)(5)(B) of title 18, United States Code, or offense under chapter 37 of title 18, United States Code, and has served the greater of 10 years or 75 percent of the term of imprisonment to which the offender was sentenced; (iii) who has not been convicted in the past of any Federal or State crime of violence, sex offense, or other offense described in clause (ii); (iv) who has not been determined by the Bureau of Prisons, on the basis of information the Bureau uses to make custody classifications, and in the sole discretion of the Bureau, to have a history of violence, or of engaging in conduct constituting a sex offense or other offense described in clause (ii); (v) who has not escaped, or attempted to escape, from a Bureau of Prisons institution; (vi) with respect to whom the Bureau of Prisons has determined that release to home detention under this section will result in a substantial net reduction of costs to the Federal Government; and (vii) who has been determined by the Bureau of Prisons to be at no substantial risk of engaging in criminal conduct or of endangering any person or the public if released to home detention.

     Federal Good Time Allowances, how is it calculated?  

    Statutory GCT is 15%, which works out to 54 days/year. In reality, however, because of the calculation method used by the BOP which figures GCT based on full years served, not the length of sentence, it works out to 12.5%, closer to 47 days/year. The link to the calculator explains this process and will allow you to figure out the GCT to within a day or two for any sentence.  http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=356619  

    Will other sentencing guidelines change?


    There is nothing on the table to make all of the sentencing guidelines retroactive.  The reason the United States Sentencing Commission recommended a change in the crack guidelines is that there is a disparity between sentences for powder and crack although there is no scientific basis for that disparity in that powder and crack are chemically the same.  This has nothing to do with meth or race.  And, the difference in sentence is 100 times for crack compared to powder.

              Retroactive sentence reduction is only for Crack Cocaine.


    H.R. 1475 - Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2009" is a Bill to restore the former system of good time allowances toward service of Federal prison terms, and for other purposes.  Original introduced 25 September 2008. Reintroduced 12 March 2009.

    Read H.R. 1475 - "Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2008" at: http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml    

    • It offers inmates, other than lifers, from 15% to 60% off of their sentences as a good time and work inducement depending on the length of their sentence and what they do with their time.  If you call that a laugh, compare that to the 12.5% they get now and the years it can cut a sentence.
    • It is not a parole bill
    • Federal Institutions do not figure good time.  That comes from the Federal Bureau of Prisons computation center in Texas and is done by a computer program.  The statutory good time is prefigured into the release date. 
    • Good time has never applied to lifers.
    • Industrial good time applies to any job within the prison. 

    H.R. 1475 applies to all inmates, except those sentenced under old law (offenses committed prior to 01 November 1987); and to those defendant's sentenced on or after the date of enactment.  The bill is retrospective and prospective.    

    H.R. 1475 shall apply with respect to-- 

    (1) all prisoners, other than those to whom the former system of the former chapter 309 of title 18 applies, as of the date of the enactment of this Act; and

    (2) all periods of imprisonment of the prisoners to whom it applies that occur after the date of that enactment.

    • Prospective application means it applies to the sentence beginning the day the bill becomes law and forward thereafter. 
    • Retrospective application means it applies to all inmates at the time of passage, however, it applies to a sentence beginning the day the bill becomes law and forward from that date.
    • Old law inmates (offenses committed prior to 01 November 1987) already receive the same good time allowances as provided for in H.R. 1475.
    • The reason for the prospective application is generally understood because Congress is unwilling to provide for a wholesale release of inmates--a so called watershed bill.  
    • H.R. 1475 does not exclude any inmates by type of crime.  The good time allowances provided for therein have nothing to do with the type of offense.  It has to do with the length of the sentence, good behavior and prison work.  

    What happened to H.R. 261 - Federal Prison Bureau Nonviolent Offender Relief Act of 2007?

    • This bill was introduced, but it has no cosponsors and is not going anywhere. 

    What is the status of the "Criminal Justice Tax Relief Act" (the so called Federal parole Bill)? 

    The bill has still not been introduced although Rep. Davis is in favor of putting it in and it is a matter of timing as to when it will be put in and that is not up to FedCURE, it is up to the Congressman.  As presently written, federal parole would be discretionarily available to all inmates.

    • Parole is always discretionary, so it cannot be retroactive. 
    • Parole would be based among other things on the sentence and time already served.  

    Where do Bills go? 

    Bills "die on the floor"  They conclude at the end of session and need to be reintroduced at the next session.   

    Will FedCure march in DC? 

    Yes, but it is postponed.  The wheels of justice are turning and a march needs to facilitate or celebrate the movement.  Now is not the time.   

    What about the New Inmate Mail Recipient List Policy?  30 or 100 Names?

    Some institutions are reporting 100 names other 30.  FedCURE is seeking clarification from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Central Office.   

    • Inmate mail is generally slower due to holidays and lock downs. 
    • Inmate mail is not withheld by the BOP, unless it unapproved mail. 
    • Paperback books and magazines can be sent to inmates.


    What about TRULINCS (Trust Fund Limited Inmate Computer System--e-mail)?

    Facility Questions:

    The BOP has no more Boot Camps

    No Facilities are closing

    No conjugal visits

    ITS Phone minutes:  300 minutes a month, except for November and December then 400 minutes a month.  Minutes do not roll over, and are paid for as used out of the inmate's account.  If the money is there, the minutes may be used.  When all minutes are used, no more calls can be made until the following month

     College courses for inmates, where are they available?

    Ashworth University

    Ohio University

    Louisiana State University 

    What can we do about bad food?  NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION LABEL? 

    If anyone gets a label to FedCURE with the "unfit" language on it, we will put it on the Federal Bureau of Prisons, National Food Service Administrator's desk the next day in Washington, DC.  The facility food service administrator can expect to be fired. 

    • PAST THE EXPIRATION DATE:  Unless it's many months or even years past its freshness date, it's probably ok.

    What's my loved one eating?  Where can I find the BOP menu?   


    What to do about Abuse by BOP Staff? 

    A tort claim against the U. S. Government can be filed within two years of a negligence incident.  It is done on a form that you should be able to find on the internet.  Look under Federal Tort Claims Act.  They are almost always denied and you need to sue them, which takes years and skills most people do not have.  Usually the lawsuit accompanies what is called a Bivins action against the federal employee who is responsible for the damage asserting that s/he acted outside their official capacity.   

    What is a team meeting and who is present? 

    Team is made up of the Unit Mgr., Case Mgr. and Counselor.  At Team meetings, a member of the Psych. Dept sometimes joins in as does a member of the Education Dept.   

    How does an inmate get moved/transferred? 

    After 18 months of clear conduct he can request a transfer closer to home from his Case Mgr.  Moves start with the Case Mgr. and are reviewed by the Team.  18 months of clear conduct is required to initiate.  Moves are more automatic when security and custody levels change.  Do they solve problems?  Sometimes, but not always the way one would like.  Other inmates are not involved in Team functions.  If he is already within 500 miles of his release residence, it is likely that it will not be granted.  

    Can a Federal prisoner file for bankruptcy? 

    Federal prisoners certainly can file a bankruptcy petition.  The problem is how to get to what is called a creditor's meeting before the bankruptcy trustee.  You have to be a resident in the district of filing for six months.  Ask the court if it would be possible for the trustee to come to the prison for the meeting.  Money owed to governments cannot be discharged. 

    Can Federal prisoners get divorced?

    Yes, just like everyone else

    • Either party can file, subject to the rules of the state the divorce is filed in
    • It's a common occurrence, and difficult for the inmate to contest as the defendant


    USA = United States Attorney

    AUSA = Assistant United States Attorney

    HC = Home Confinement

    HWH = Half-Way-House

    RRC = Residential Reentry Center (formerly: HYH = Half-way-House)

    RDAP = Residential Drug Abuse Program

    USSC = United State Sentencing Commission

    USPC = United States Parole Commission

    For all Legislative Updates:  See:  http://www.fedcure.org/information/Legislation.shtml

    How do I find my congressperson? 


    How do I write Congress?

    What do I ask my Congressmen and Representative? 

    Contact your Congressperson.  Personal visit to their office is best, fax, phone and e-mail next best, snail mail last.  Remember to request co-sponsorship and support of existing bill (in this case HR 1475).  

    How to receive daily e-mail from FedCURE:


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    Archives from 2002 to present:

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