‘Congressional Research Service’ Report, Recommends Increasing Good Time Credits and Reinstating Parole for Federal Offenders. [FCN/INST-170203]
– Historic, Groundbreaking ‘Congressional Research Service’ 2013 Report –
Recommends Increasing Good Time Credits and Reinstating Parole for Federal Offenders.
FedCURE Special Report:
Alleluia! After more then twenty-five years of campaigning for federal criminal justice reforms, to reduce the federal prison population, comes an historic, ground-breaking 2013 report, from of all places the Congressional Research Service (CRS)* titled, “The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy Changes, Issues, and Options.” The report documents the United States’ “historically unprecedented increase in the federal prison population.” It supports the long held view by many, including, but not limited to: FedCURE, its members, partners, fellow advocate organizations, former and current members of Congress, high level government officials, the nations most respected, independent nonpartisan think tanks, prominent scholars, criminal justice professionals and an overwhelming majority of the public, that Congress cannot build its way out of the mass incarceration dilemma it now faces, because of a failed criminal justice policy; and recommends Congress “changing or reversing some of the policies that have been put into place over the years which contributed to the increasing number of federal prison inmates,” inter alia, increasing good time and reinstating parole. The BARBER AMENDMENT, post,** a simple two sentence undisruptive statutory amendment, genuinely accomplishes these ends, with out disrupting release or reentry processes and public safety, by restoring–rolling back–federal good time allowances to pre-1987 levels. Virtually, BARBER is a $1.2 billion dollar annual austerity sentencing bill.
While elaborating on “several options Congress could consider if policymakers wanted to expand early release options for federal inmates, including (1) reinstating parole, (2) expanding good time credits, and (3) expanding the conditions under which courts could reduce sentences pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(1)(A),” it is abundantly clear that the report concludes, inter alia, that the way out of the dilemma–to reduce the growth of the federal prison population–is for Congress to employ “Early Release Measures.” These measures include “(1) modifying mandatory minimum penalties, (2) expanding the use of Residential Reentry Centers, (3) placing more offenders on probation, (4) reinstating parole for federal inmates, (5) expanding the amount of good time credit an inmate can earn, and (6) repealing federal criminal statutes for some offenses.” BRAVO!
Moreover, according to the report and righteously so, “Congress might also consider changing or reversing some of the policies that have been put into place over the years which contributed to the increasing number of federal prison inmates. Some of these options include placing some inmates in alternatives to incarceration, such as probation, or expanding early release options by allowing inmates to earn more good time credit or allowing inmates to be placed on parole once again. Congress could consider reducing the amount of time inmates are incarcerated in federal prisons by limiting the number of crimes subject to mandatory minimum penalties or reducing the length of the mandatory minimum sentence. Finally, policymakers could consider allowing states to investigate and prosecute offenses that have become subject to federal jurisdiction over the past three decades.” Id., at p. 57.
* Note: The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is an arm of the Library of Congress devoted to providing for Congress research and analysis on legislative issues. In addition to meeting with Congressional members and staffers, CRS releases reports and issue briefs for members of Congress. These reports and issue briefs are made available to Congress through a web site that is not available to the general public. The CRS strongly believes that its sole purpose is to directly serve Congress and not the public. https://opencrs.com/faq/
** BARBER AMENDMENT: A bill to amend Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3624(b)(1) as follows: by striking the number “54” in the first sentence as it appears and inserting in lieu thereof the number “128”; and in the same sentence, by striking “prisoner’s term of imprisonment” and inserting in lieu thereof “sentence imposed.” This amendment is retroactive. [END].
NOTICE: The Barber Amendment has not been introduced. FedCURE is seeking bipartisan support for the bill in the 113th Congress.
Special thanks to Nathan James, Analyst in Crime Policy, CRS, firstname.lastname@example.org
, for this report.