BOP’s Calculator for Earned Time Credits Struck Down by Court

The Federal Docket

November 22, 2022

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.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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