Tripp Laino, 202-999-4273
FAMM releases statement following new rule from BOP implementing Earned Time Credit
WASHINGTON – FAMM President Kevin Ring released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Prisons’ release of a new rule implementing the Earned Time Credit provisions of the First Step Act of 2018:
“Attorney General Garland and the Justice Department turned lemons into lemonade,” Ring said. “We’re already hearing directly from joyous people benefitting from this change — families across the country are going to be reunited.
“While Congress unwisely restricted the number of people who could benefit from the Earned Time Credit, the Justice Department today made clear that it will implement the provisions boldly and expansively, so that thousands of people will benefit. Many more will be encouraged going forward to participate in rehabilitative programming that will reduce recidivism and make the country safer.”
When the rule was first proposed, FAMM argued for a broad reading of the program in our public comment. Many of the concerns we raised were addressed with changes made to the final rule. We are pleased to see these changes that include:
1. Allowing eligible individuals to earn 10-15 days of credit for every 30-day period that they successfully participate in recommended programming or productive activities based on their risk and needs assessment
2. Individuals on home confinement and in halfway houses, not just those in BOP facilities, are eligible to earn those same credits
3. People are being awarded credits retroactively, based on their activities from December 21, 2018, with certain limitations.
FAMM continues to believe that, as designed, the First Step Act’s earned time credit provisions fail many of the people who should benefit. They exclude too many people because of the offense they committed and fail to target programming to those who would most benefit from it. Racial disparity is a byproduct of the risk assessment tool.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal level and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.