The Department of Justice announced that a new rule has been submitted to the Federal Register that implements the Time Credits program required by the First Step Act for individuals incarcerated in federal facilities who have committed nonviolent crimes. As part of the implementation process, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has begun transferring eligible inmates out of BOP facilities to a supervised release program or Residential Reentry Centers (RRCs). acronym in English) or home confinement (HC).
“The First Step Act, a critical piece of bipartisan legislation, promised a path to an early return home for eligible incarcerated individuals who invest their time and energy in programs that reduce recidivism,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department is doing its part to deliver on this promise and is pleased to implement this important program.”
The First Step Act of 2018 provides eligible inmates with the opportunity to earn 10-15 days of time credits for every 30 days of successful participation in Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction Programs and Productive Activities. Earned credits can be applied toward a previous placement in pre-release custody, such as RRC and HC. Additionally, at the discretion of the BOP director, up to 12 months of supervised release credit may be applied. Inmates are eligible for time credits retroactive to December 21, 2018, the date the First Step Act was enacted, subject to the BOP eligibility determination.
Implementation will occur on an ongoing basis, beginning with immediate releases for inmates whose Time Credits Earned exceed their days remaining to serve, are less than 12 months from release, and have a term of Supervised Release. Some of these transfers have already begun, and many more will take place in the coming weeks and months as the BOP calculates and applies time credits for eligible incarcerated individuals.
The final rule will be published by the Federal Register in the coming weeks and will take effect immediately. The rule, as submitted to the Federal Register, can be viewed here: https://www.bop.gov/inmates/fsa/docs/bop_fsa_rule.pdf