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Old 02-04-2019, 12:41 AM
Dino2016 Dino2016 is offline
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Default First step act early release question

My husband reported to Morgantown in July, 2018 for a 25-month sentence. Hoping that the First Step Act legislation that was signed into effect recently will benefit him as he is a 1st time offender, non-violent crime, and 68 yrs old. Would he need to initiate a review of his status? Is there anything I can do? He wants me to contact his lawyer but I am a little hesitant just yet as I believe that would be a bit premature. As I read and understand, he has to serve 66.6% of his sentence but he also gets “good time”..... do you subtract good time and then calculate 66.6% or vice-versa? At my last visit, one of the inmates said that someone had their attorney write a letter about the new legislation and their possible out date but then got reprimanded and was told that the attorney was trying to do the BOPs job.... that could be true or false... who knows? Any ideas on what, if anything, I should do? Home confinement would be welcomed!!
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:50 AM
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Good time under the new law (54 days/year instead of 47) will eventually (when the bop gets around to it) reduce his sentence to 85%. Any more will require the agreement of the bop, so he should discuss it with his unit team case manager. Up until now, the bop has been extremely reluctant to use the compassionate release power they already had, so I wouldn't be overly optimistic that they will change because of the first step act.

If you anger them, and they hate outside interference, my guess is that it would not be helpful to his cause. The bop is still deciding what to do (and what they won't do) because of the new law, so if it were me, I'd wait until that process is completed and then bring it up with the unit team. Just my opinion, but I am a big proponent of letting the prisoner decide, so if he wants you or his lawyer to get involved, that's different.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:37 AM
Dino2016 Dino2016 is offline
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I know I read somewhere in the new legislation about 66%.... where did I get that? And yes, I believe we’ll just lay low and let the days tick while the BOP sorts through everything....surely don’t want to ruffle feathers.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino2016 View Post
I know I read somewhere in the new legislation about 66%.... where did I get that? And yes, I believe we’ll just lay low and let the days tick while the BOP sorts through everything....surely don’t want to ruffle feathers.
I haven't read through everything on the new law but there is something in it about inmates over 60 years old, that could possibly where you saw that but I cannot say for sure.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:36 PM
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Here's some youtube links that explains:

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Old 02-04-2019, 01:37 PM
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and....
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:51 PM
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......hope that helps
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:09 PM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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A few things here. with the 25 month sentence your husband will earn back just over 14 days of good credit time, assuming he has no shots or loss of it. That is supposed to come in July with the enactment of the first phase of the First Step Act being implemented. It should show up on inmate locator. There is nothing an attorney can do to get that process sped up.

As for the 2/3 provision, yes that has to do with the "elderly provision" and it would be 2/3 of his 25 months sentence, so just after he serves 16-2/3 months he would be "eligible" for the elderly provision. The problem here and why it doesn't make sense to file any petition is that the elderly provision is also not being immediately implemented and it is a pilot program that is only going to initially be available at certain prisons. So, unless your husband is at one of the "chosen" (not yet announced) prisons, he wouldn't be eligible for this anyway. There are some other factors as well to be eligible for the elderly provision and of course it is somewhat discretionary however, the bottom line is that there is no reason to hire an attorney at this point. My husband turned 60 in January and was 2/3 into his sentence in December so we had our attorney research this and contact the BOP and what not and this was the result and information provided. Fortunately, my husband was being released into the HWH on Jan 31, so other than getting ripped off of 25 days, it wasn't the end of the world and he survived.

Having said that, there are a ton of "jailhouse lawyers" in prison and they're "helping" guys send in petitions, but these guys are not now, nor have they ever been attorneys. My husband said one guy where he was claimed to be an attorney, yet he was in there for just that, pretending to be an attorney on the outside. So inmates have no clue, and just buy into this crap and pay these guys in stamps or whatever. One of the Co's when my husband left, told him that over 100 inmates have already sent in petitions based on the First Step Act. So dumb. Literally nothing is happening right now, it's a wait and see. Your husband should not be admonished or punished if he files a petition with his attorney, but having said that, the BOP is where it would go, not the prison who shouldn't know that, unless he is filing it through them. If you hire an outside attorney, you would be able to sign assuming your his POA and then it's all done that way and the prison wouldn't know. But trust me, if that many have already done it where my husband was, a ton have already done it where your husband is as well.

Bottom line though, save your $ and sit and wait to see what happens after July, because until then, absolutely nothing is happening with the First Step Act, unless Congress or someone else steps in to change the language over what they passed. We researched this thoroughly and this is what we paid a lawyer to do, so that we weren't making assumptions or guessing because he is the expert, not us.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:33 PM
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Conduct shots do not reduce the amount of regular good time, so the new law will retroactively add one extra week of good time for every year of the original sentence for every federal prisoner except those serving life sentences.

Punishments available to the disciplinary hearing officer, DHO, for serious conduct violations (shots) include the loss of some already earned good time, but only after a hearing and a guilty verdict.

The bop has received quite a bit of bad publicity over their refusal to compassionately release eligible elderly prisoners. It did cause them to issue a new policy, but apparently hasn't resulted in very many releases under the existing law.

The first step act "reauthorizes" and "reforms" two provisions of the Second Chance Act that have been the law since 2007 (12 years and almost nothing done by the bop yet).
FAMM FAQ, Page 5 https://famm.org/wp-content/uploads/...p-Act-FAQs.pdf

Reauthorizes an elderly prisoner early release pilot program from the Second Chance Act of 2007, allowing elderly and elderly terminally ill prisoners to be released from prison early if they are at least 60 years old, have served 2/3 of their sentences, and meet all of the other requirements

and Reforms the BOP’s compassionate release process for prisoners facing “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances, including - Allowing prisoners to appeal denials of compassionate release to federal courts after all other BOP remedies have been exhausted or at least 30 days have passed since the request was submitted;
- Requiring annual data reporting on BOP’s use of compassionate release;
- Creating an expedited timeline for BOP consideration of compassionate release requests of terminally ill prisoners;
- Permitting family members, lawyers, and BOP staff to help prisoners file compassionate release requests;
- Requiring better notice to BOP staff and prisoners of when compassionate release is available and how to ask for it;
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:20 PM
ladeur ladeur is offline
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Default First Step Act in PDF

Attach is the First Step Act Highlights in pdf....
Attached Files
File Type: pdf FirstStepAct.pdf (500.0 KB, 4 views)
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:55 PM
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This is the biggest change in my opinion. I guess Congress finally caught on that the law doesn't matter when the bop decides to ignore it. (54 days of good time became the law in the 1970s, and it still hasn't been implemented by the bop 40+ years later , also the bop has always been able to pay money to newly released prisoners to help with the costs of reintegration, but they almost never do).

" Hold the Bureau of Prisons accountable because we know that well-intentioned legislation can be thwarted or undermined during the implementation phase. Throughout the bill, there is language providing that BOP and the Attorney General shall do things, not just that they may do them. Specifically, that incarcerated individuals shall earn time credits for programming, that the credit shall be applied towards time in prerelease custody and that BOP shall transfer them to prerelease custody. It also states that BOP shall place lower risk individuals in home confinement. Finally, BOP shall set up a savings account for 15% of inmate compensation to be used to assist with the costs associated with release from prison. The bill also provides for a biannual GAO audit and requires he Attorney General to report annually to Congress on the activities implemented, the effectiveness of the programming, the recidivism rates and savings".
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:44 PM
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Default Home confinement

I wonder if he will be eligible for home confinement and if so, when? I read where it was at the end of the sentence and that home confinement was 10% or 6 months, whichever was less. In this case, it would be 10% if it’s based on 25 months....which would be roughly 2 months of home confinement. If he was fortunate enough to be on home confinement, received good time and qualifies for elderly provision, seems like he could be out and finish his sentence at home by September.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockchalk1 View Post
A few things here. with the 25 month sentence your husband will earn back just over 14 days of good credit time, assuming he has no shots or loss of it. That is supposed to come in July with the enactment of the first phase of the First Step Act being implemented. It should show up on inmate locator. There is nothing an attorney can do to get that process sped up.

As for the 2/3 provision, yes that has to do with the "elderly provision" and it would be 2/3 of his 25 months sentence, so just after he serves 16-2/3 months he would be "eligible" for the elderly provision. The problem here and why it doesn't make sense to file any petition is that the elderly provision is also not being immediately implemented and it is a pilot program that is only going to initially be available at certain prisons. So, unless your husband is at one of the "chosen" (not yet announced) prisons, he wouldn't be eligible for this anyway. There are some other factors as well to be eligible for the elderly provision and of course it is somewhat discretionary however, the bottom line is that there is no reason to hire an attorney at this point. My husband turned 60 in January and was 2/3 into his sentence in December so we had our attorney research this and contact the BOP and what not and this was the result and information provided. Fortunately, my husband was being released into the HWH on Jan 31, so other than getting ripped off of 25 days, it wasn't the end of the world and he survived.

Having said that, there are a ton of "jailhouse lawyers" in prison and they're "helping" guys send in petitions, but these guys are not now, nor have they ever been attorneys. My husband said one guy where he was claimed to be an attorney, yet he was in there for just that, pretending to be an attorney on the outside. So inmates have no clue, and just buy into this crap and pay these guys in stamps or whatever. One of the Co's when my husband left, told him that over 100 inmates have already sent in petitions based on the First Step Act. So dumb. Literally nothing is happening right now, it's a wait and see. Your husband should not be admonished or punished if he files a petition with his attorney, but having said that, the BOP is where it would go, not the prison who shouldn't know that, unless he is filing it through them. If you hire an outside attorney, you would be able to sign assuming your his POA and then it's all done that way and the prison wouldn't know. But trust me, if that many have already done it where my husband was, a ton have already done it where your husband is as well.

Bottom line though, save your $ and sit and wait to see what happens after July, because until then, absolutely nothing is happening with the First Step Act, unless Congress or someone else steps in to change the language over what they passed. We researched this thoroughly and this is what we paid a lawyer to do, so that we weren't making assumptions or guessing because he is the expert, not us.
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Old 02-07-2019, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino2016 View Post
I wonder if he will be eligible for home confinement and if so, when? I read where it was at the end of the sentence and that home confinement was 10% or 6 months, whichever was less. In this case, it would be 10% if it’s based on 25 months....which would be roughly 2 months of home confinement. If he was fortunate enough to be on home confinement, received good time and qualifies for elderly provision, seems like he could be out and finish his sentence at home by September.
Possible, but unlikely given that is less than a year served on his sentence and the BOP doesn’t act quickly and no one knows which prisons will be allocated as the pilot programs for the elderly provision and even if his is one, he would still need to have served 2/3 of his sentence which would be almost 17 months. So many guys are full of false hope thinking they should have been out of prison yesterday, but it is really all these guys have to focus on and talk about inside. I wouldn’t fixate on it if I were you because it will drive you crazy. Just let things happen as they are meant to be and in July when things start to be implemented you will have a better sense as to what is going on.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:44 AM
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Unless the bop experiences a complete policy change, the elderly early release "pilot" program will continue to be mostly ignored. For the most part, they hate to release anyone early, even those who are eligible, and the availability of the program itself is very limited.
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