Since the First Step Act of 2018 became law, the Bureau of Prisons has been charged with implementing a new system that grants “earned time credits” to inmates, who can reduce time off their sentences by enrolling productive programming. Most recently, the BOP had been criticized for interpreting the First Step Act narrowly, thus denying earned time credits to many inmates who sought to have their sentences reduced.
In particular, the BOP had been using an “interim calculation policy” since January 2022 that allowed eligible inmates to accumulate time credits up to 365 days (1 year) “or 18 months from their release date, whichever happens first.” In other words, inmates serving shorter sentences were unable to maximize the amount of time their sentences could be reduced.
A district judge in the Southern District of New York recently struck down this rule, holding that this 18-month cut-off date was not consistent with or authorized by the Final Rule published in the Federal Register. The judge rejected the BOP’s declaration stating that this calculation was necessary so the BOP could calculate a “predictable release date.”
Click here to read Walter Pavlo’s article in Forbes.