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ACTION ALERT! FedCURE's
Contact Congress Campaign: BARBER Amemdment Good Time Bill
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The BARBER AMENDMENT ~ 115th Congress
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Many thanks to the tens of
thousands of American's who supported H.R. 1475 in the 111th Congress and The BARBER AMENDMENT Petition in the 112-14th Congress.
Although the bill did not pass and BARBER not introduced, it is not the last hurrah for federal good
time legislation. Please continue to contact your Congresspersons urging them to
sponsor FedCURE's proposals in 115th Congress.
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].
Note: The BARBER AMENDMENT has not been
introduced. FedCURE is seeking bipartisan support for the bill in the
SECOND LOOK: Introducing The Sentencing Reform Act ~ (best practices, evidence based legislation to establish a retroactive, hybrid system of parole and good time allowances; retroactive 1-1 ratio for crack cocaine penalties and retroactive repeal of mandatory minimum sentences, for most federal offenders;
and provide reentry opportunities for people coming home from prison).
Note: The Sentencing Reform Act has not
been introduced. FedCURE is seeking bipartisan support for the bill in
the 115th Congress.
FedCURE's Federal Good Time Bill Campaign: "Top 10 Ideas for Change in America"
~ 115th Congress ~
Call - to - Action ~ BARBER Amendment ~ Federal Good Time Bill
Come on everyone! Pitch in
and contact the 115th Congress. We can do it!
Hi! Thank you for coming & helping to reach out to the 115th Congress. Here are your campaign tools: First, sign the petition on this page and forward to your friends. Then start
calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. The Switchboard
can direct you to your Congressional Representative and
Senators. Once you reach the office, you can use the talking points
below or share your own story. Then go to: POPVOX and send your message to Congressional Members and Legislative Staff.
Finally, and most important, click on the "Contact Congress Now!" button, below, to send your message to your Congresspersons.
Subject: The BARBER AMENDMENT -
Increased Good Time Allowances.
I am asking you to please support The BARBER
AMENDMENT, which would 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].
SECOND LOOK: The Federal Bureau of
Prisons is running at 38% over operating capacity. In October 2012 the
GAO's David C. Maurer reported, on GAO 12-743, that a 10% reduction in the
federal prison population would save $660 million a year - FedCURE estimates the
number is over $1.2 billion dollars a year. Maurer also reported that home
confinement would be half the cost of incarceration or half way house (RRC). See
the video [19:04-19:52] here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25878123 The President's Budget for
FY 2012 and 2013, included 48 to 58 million dollars (respectively) in offsets
for a proposed legislative initiative that would have allowed 54 days Good
Conduct Time for inmates, as well as for general administrative
efficiencies. Neither proposal was passed by Congress.
What is more, however, is an historic,
groundbreaking 2013 report, from the 'Congressional Research Service' (CRS)
*/ titled, "The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Overview, Policy
Changes, Issues, and Options" thoroughly documents the United States'
"historically unprecedented 790% increase in the federal prison
population." The Report supports the long held view by many, including
FedCURE, its members, partners, fellow advocate organizations, former and
current members of Congress, judges, 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
, 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 "Relief Valve" and $1.2 billion dollar annual
austerity sentencing bill. BARBER does not reduce the bureau's budget, but redirects $1.2 billion dollars from
incarceration to reentry, e.g., housing and employment.
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. Sec. 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."
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
* Note: Special thanks to
Nathan James, Analyst in Crime Policy, CRS, firstname.lastname@example.org, for this report. 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/
Bipartisan Support: Republican's
(www.RightOnCrime.com) and Democrat's ( http://www.besmartoncrime.org) and members of Congress agree that the current prison
system is way so ineffective and that we have been wrong on crime for the past
28 years. It has been a escalating burden on taxpayers who are footing the bill
for more prisons. The penal model enacted by Public Law 98-473 (Sentencing
Reform Act of 1984) of "incapacitation" in lieu of "rehabilitation and reentry"
has failed miserably. We can and must do better.
Our economic crisis is due in part to the
state of our judicial system where so many first time non violent offenders are
given Draconian sentences and no means to redeem themselves. Once in the prison
system, they have no reason to desire rehabilitation or work towards early
Americans want to see results, not stiffer sentences. We can
change they way the judicial system enforces punishment and how inmates serve
their time in a way that would benefit both the inmate and society.
The BARBER AMENDMENT would benefit the following:
* The BARBER AMENDMENT allows the Federal
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to maintain correctional worker staffing and help
relieve overcrowding of prisons.
* The Federal Bureau of Prisons has a budget
that exceeds $6.8 billion dollars a year. After the FBI, the BOP has the
largest budget of any unit in the Department of Justice.
* The BARBER AMENDMENT saves taxpayers $1.2
billion dollars per year on incarceration cost, that can be redirected to reentry.
* Releasing 10% of the federal prison
population will not disrupt existing Federal Bureau of Prisons policy and procedures and public safety; and GAO says saves $660 million a
* The BARBER AMENDMENT - Good Time Allowances
rewards those inmates who have shown positive behavior.
* Although early release would not be
guaranteed, it would allow a Second Chance to those who prove they are
deserving of it.
* The cost to house an inmate for 12 months is
almost $30,000.00. Costs rise significantly for all inmates over age 60 and
nearly double or quadruple for inmates with medical issues.
* People in prison do not receive the same
health care as free people and lengthy non-parolable sentences cause medical
emergencies for those in facilities; and huge indigent health care costs upon
* The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) is the
largest police force in the United States, more then 38,000 employees. The
AFGE.org, the FBOP's labor union, is battling on the Hill to add 15,000
correctional officers because of safety concerns due to overcrowding and
budget cuts. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that building additional bed
space in prisons will not resolve the systemic issues of the prison system. We
can not build our way out of this.
* The BOP has been triple bunking because of
lack of bed space, which heightens tensions and makes it more dangerous for
both staff and inmates.
Federal Sentencing data collected, post
Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (over 29 years) provides the gold standard of
evidence on what works and what does not; and when is the proper time to release
an offender from a sentence while posing no risk to public safety. I would also
direct you to these facts: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=164544453571541
The government's experts on these issues
all support reforms, such as early release, via increased good time allowances
and reinstating parole, as evidenced in the CRS Report, supra, and
further, by the distinguished panels sitting on FedCURE NEWS Presentation Second
Look. Please take the time to watch U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen
Breyer (Video #1), U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder (Video #2) and most of
all, Patricia Cushwa, Commissioner of the United States Parole Commission (Video
#11) and Harley G. Lappin, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Video
#8). I would be remiss, however, if I did not strongly urge you to view
all of the video's on "Panel Four, titled: Good Time, Community Corrections and
Re-Entry." See the exclusive videos here:http://www.fedcure.org/SecondLook.shtml
This chart shows federal
inmate cells at normal rated capacity versus overcrowded conditions at low,
medium and high security facilities. Despite a ten year build out,
increased double bunking and triple bunking, since 2003, the overcrowding
rate hovers at 38%. The federal prison population was 165,000 in January
2003. April 2013, it was 218,500. Proof, the bureau
cannot build its way out of crowding.
Testimony of Director, Charles E. Samuels, Jr., to House Appropriations, Subcommittee, 17 April 2013:.
[Quote] The BOP confines over 176,000 inmates in
Bureau-operated facilities, which have a total rated capacity of just under
129,000 beds. Crowding is of special concern at higher security facilities,
including penitentiaries (operating at 54 percent over capacity) and medium
security institutions (operating at 44 percent over capacity). These facilities
confine a higher number of inmates who are prone to violence than lower security
facilities. The BOP has managed overcrowding by double and triple bunking
inmates throughout the system, or housing them in space not originally designed
for inmate housing, such as television rooms, open bays, program space,
In addition to double and triple
bunking, to manage crowding, we have improved the architectural design of our
newer facilities and have taken advantage of improved technologies in security
measures such as perimeter security systems, surveillance cameras, and equipment
to monitor communications. These technologies support BOP employee's ability to
provide inmates the supervision they need in order to maintain security and
safety in our institutions. We have also enhanced population management and
inmate supervision strategies in areas such as classification and designation,
intelligence gathering, gang management, use of preemptive lockdowns, and
controlled movement. While we continue to look for ways to address crowding in
our facilities, the challenges continue as we face continued growth in the
The BOP performed a rigorous analysis of
the effects of crowding and staffing on inmate rates of violence, and found a
direct relationship between crowding, staffing, and institution safety. Data was
used from all low, medium, and high security BOP facilities for male inmates for
the period July 1996 through December 2004. We accounted for a variety of
factors known to influence the rate of violence and, in this way, were able to
isolate and review the impact that crowding and the inmate-to-staff ratio had on
serious assaults. This study found that increases in both the inmate-to-staff
ratio and the rate of crowding at an institution (the number of inmates relative
to the institutions rated capacity) are related to increases in the rate of
serious inmate assaults. An increase of one in an institutions
inmate-to-custody-staff ratio increases the prisons annual serious assault rate
by approximately 4.5 per 5,000 inmates.
The BOP employs many management
interventions in an attempt to prevent and suppress inmate violence. These
interventions are resource-intensive and include: paying overtime to increase
the number of custody staff available to perform security duties, utilizing
staff from program areas (detracting from inmate programs and other vital
institution functions), locking down an institution after a serious incident and
performing intensive interviews to identify perpetrators and causal factors,
performing comprehensive searches to eliminate weapons and other dangerous
contraband, and designating and housing inmates in Special Management Units
(SMU). SMU inmates consist of sentenced offenders who participated in or had a
leadership role in geographical group/gang-related activity, or those who have a
history of disruptive, disciplinary and/or misconduct infractions. The BOP
designates inmates to SMUs because greater management of their interaction is
necessary to ensure the safety, security, and orderly operation of BOP
facilities, and protection of the public. SMU inmates require a more restrictive
confinement than general population inmates. The BOP currently has three SMU
locations. [End Quote].
Sadly, while the bureau and DOJ argue for relief, the President's Budget or FY 2014,
once again submits an unrealistic proposal to address crowding with
a miniscule budget offset of "$41 million for a proposed legislative
initiative, which, if passed, would allow additional Good Conduct Time
credit for inmates." This is the same proposal to increase Good
Conduct Time credit by a mere seven (7) days a year, that Congress turned
down in the President's Budget's for FY2012 and FY2013, as "unrealistic,"
meaning that a seven day increase as a $41 million dollar offset, does little to
safely reduce the growth of the federal prison
population. BARBER, on the other
hand, is a truly realistic legislative reform, installing a
system wide "Relief Valve" and as a $1.2 billion dollar annual
austerity sentencing bill.
FedCURE is calling on the
President and Members of Congress to enact the BARBER AMENDMENT ~ a proposed
bill to increase federal good time allowances ~ to safely reduce the federal
prison population by at least 10%, with out disrupting release or reentry processes and public safety, at a cost saving's of $1.2 billion dollars
annually. These savings on incarceration can be redirected (within in the
bureau's budget) to reentry. http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml
Since inmates "earned" the right to be in prison,
why can't they also "earn" the right of release and reentry?
The BARBER AMENDMENT would
greatly contribute to the healing of our economy and the healing of our nation.
There are almost 219,000 people incarcerated in federal prison today and the
majority of these are first time non violent offenders, whom under current
Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Probation Office procedures, can be safely
released via increased good time allowances, with no disruption to release and
reentry processes and public safety
Accordingly, I urge you, in the most strongest
terms, to please support The BARBER AMENDMENT.
Signed by: _____________________
Send your message to your Congressperson(s) and Chairpersons, Honorable Bob Goodlatte and Honorable Charles E. Grassley. Click Contact Congress button and see contact information below.
Keep calling until your Congressperson(s) agree to
sponsor the BARBER AMENDMENT, make an appointment to see them, if necessary
to get their support.
Fax & Write to
The Honorable Bob Goodlatte, Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2138 Rayburn House Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3951
All Committee Members:
The Honorable Charles E. Grassley,
United States Senate
Committee on the
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Telephone: (202) 224-7703
Fax: (202) 224-9516
All Committee Members;
FedCURE's Idea "Increase Federal Good Time Allowances" is the Winner in the "Top 10 Ideas for Change in America" on Change.org.
Sign the petition on FedCURE/CHANGE.org: http://tinyurl.com/nry98ja
FedCURE has put out a call for interviews of people with cases that will
benefit from the BARBER AMENDMENT - Federal Good Time Bill.
Please contact FedCURE at: http://www.fedcure.org/contact.shtml.
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