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FedCURE NEWS - 21 October 2014 [Updated]

-|- In + Prayer -|-

||| FedCURE SPECIAL REPORT |||

Chrisa J. Mayhew, Director of Social Media, FedCURE, and the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. FedCURE's Record Testimony for the Task Force Hearing on Collateral Consequences, held in Rayburn Room 2237, on 26 June 2014:

At 9:30 a.m., the Overcriminalization Task Force convened a hearing on Collateral Consequences at which representatives from the ABA and NACDL testified about their organizations' respective reports.

Immediately thereafter, starting at 11:30 a.m. in Rayburn Room 2226, Representatives Conyers, Scott, and Cohen presented a forum on Personal Narratives of Collateral Consequences. Reps. Conyers and Scott each gave very brief (3-minute) opening remarks. Then, Rep. Cohen introduced the forum participants who all suffer collateral consequences of conviction. He served as the moderator for the Q&A session with the audience after the participants gave their prepared remarks. The forum participants are as follows: Bernard Kerik, Piper Kerman, Lamont Carey, and Anthony Pleasant.

More to come. Stay tuned . . .

Streaming on our Facebook page at: 

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10203115805509437&id=1035618950

FedCURE TESTIMONY (pdf):  FedCURE-TESTIMONY_TaskForceHearing_CollateralConsequences.25062014.pdf

FedCURE


United States Sentencing Commission

18 July 2014

RETROACTIVITY * APPROVED

The United States Sentencing Commission voted unanimously today at a public meeting to apply a reduction in the sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal drug trafficking offenders retroactively, meaning that many offenders currently in prison could be eligible for reduced sentences beginning November 2015.

Unless Congress disapproves the amendment, beginning November 1, 2014, eligible offenders can ask courts to reduce their sentences. Offenders whose requests are granted by the courts can be released no earlier than November 1, 2015.

The Commission estimates that more than 46,000 offenders would be eligible to seek sentence reductions in court. These offenders’ sentence's could be reduced by 25 months on average.

For more information on this decision, view the Commission's press release or visit the website:

Join the discussion and the Q & A on our Facebook stream:

[Emphasis:  Underline is FedCURE.]

ALERT! PUBLIC COMMENT Coming up on 07 July 2014:

On April 30, 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission submitted to Congress amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines. The Commission seeks public comment on the issue of whether to apply the amendment to the drug quantity table retroactively.

The Commission will receive public comment on this issue through July 7, 2014 (60 days from publication of the Federal Register Notice. Public comment can be e-mailed to public_comment@ussc.gov.

http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/amendment-process/official-text-amendments/20140430_Amendments.pdf

http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/amendment-process/reader-friendly-amendments/20140430_RF_Proposed_Amendments.pdf

http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/amendment-process/federal-register-notices/20140430_FR_Final_Amendments.pdf


04 June 2014

|-|-| FedCURE HOME |-|-| 

||| FCN |||

Commutations Initiative Briefing and Q&A Phone Conference

Please pass this information on to people who may be interested in hearing more information about the Administration’s new Commutations Initiative, particularly attorneys in public interest organizations and minority bar associations. Information has already gone out widely to the federal public defender and large law firm communities, as well as to the ABA membership. Please help make sure no one falls through the cracks!

To: Interested Persons

Re: Commutations Initiative Briefing and Q&A Phone Conference

Thursday, June 19th at 1:00 pm (ET)

Note: This is a nationwide phone conference briefing

Call in number 800-747-5150 code 721 5631#

Please RSVP to justiceroundtable@opensocietyfoundations.org & include your name and state

Several months ago Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced an initiative to review certain outdated prison sentences through the president’s power to commute, or shorten, prison terms. The initiative encourages qualified federal prisoners to submit commutation petitions for consideration. The DOJ’s criteria for selection are that prisoners:

· be serving a federal sentence

· be serving a sentence that, if imposed today, would be substantially shorter

· have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels

· have served at least 10 years

· have no significant prior convictions

· have demonstrated good conduct in prison

It has been estimated that approximately 23,000 federal prisoners meet the criteria of having served at least 10 years. The Department of Justice has requested the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who petition the Office of the Pardon Attorney pursuant to these criteria.

A new entity, Clemency Project 2014, is coordinating the recruitment and training of volunteer attorneys, and assisting prisoners who feel they meet the criteria to find pro bono legal representation. If you think you may be interested in assisting prisoners via this new commutations initiative, email your name and contact information to clemencyproject@nacdl.org. A mandatory training is being developed that you will be required to complete.

On Thursday, June 19th at 1:00 pm (ET) the Justice Roundtable’s Commutations Working Group will host a nationwide conference call for interested persons to be formally briefed on the Administration’s new commutations initiative, answer any questions you may have, and to let you know how you can plug into this dynamic and fast-moving process. The specifics of the conference call are at the top of this email. Feel free to forward this email to people interested in finding out more information about this major initiative.

###

SOURCE:  Justice Round Table:  Commutations and Pardons Working Group.  FedCURE, sitting member.

06 May 2014

Federal Bureau of Prisons
 
BOP Supports DOJ Clemency Initiative
 
Inmate population provided information regarding filing clemency petitions.
 
Updated 05:30 PM ET, May 6, 2014

 
(BOP) - On May 5th, the BOP provided inmates with information regarding eligibility for the Department of Justice's clemency initiative. DOJ worked with bar associations, criminal defense lawyers, and not-for-profit organizations to provide assistance to certain inmates in filing clemency petitions. Inmates were provided specific criteria concerning the initiative, and they were given access to a survey to assist the outside lawyers assess the cases. All this information was posted on the Inmate Electronic Bulletin Board accessible by most inmates. Inmates who do not have access to electronic messaging may complete a paper version.
 
You may view the notice provided to inmates here.
 
23 April 2014

FedCURE ~  Chairman's Message:
 
FedCURE sits on the OSI/JRT Commutations and Pardons Working Group, along with fellow criminal justice reform coalition members, whom have methodically and steadfastly urged President Obama to exercise his Executive Clemency Powers to commute unjust federal sentences; and along with the thousands of messages you all sent to the President and AG, Holder, over the past two years, we are pleased to report today's announcement, that the President and Mr. Holder have set out to do so with DOJ's Clemency Initiative (see DOJ press release below).  .
 
Thank you Mr. President and Mr. Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States. 
 
Praise the Lord! and congratulations, to all of our fellow advocates, criminal justice reform coalition and most importantly, the thousands of FedCURE members, supporters and friends.  Job well done.
 
This proves the power of unified advocacy--everyone pulling together to work on the same cause--to reduce federal prison sentences.  Let there be no doubt that, together, we are powerful advocates.  To that end, let us move forward on the BARBER AMENDMENT ~ a measure to retroactively double good time allowances.  Please join the campaign to enact the BARBER AMENDMENT:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml.
 
Respectfully,
 
Mark A. Varca, J.D., Chairman,
www.FedCURE.org
 
 
The United States Department of Justice 
Justice News Banner
 
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole at the
Press Conference Announcing the Clemency Initiative
 
Washington, D.C.~Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 

Good morning and thank you all for being here. I am pleased to announce a Department of Justice initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted, or reduced, by the President of the United States.

 

Last year, the Attorney General launched a new 'Smart on Crime" initiative. Smart on Crime was conceived with an eye toward addressing the crises caused by a vastly overcrowded prison population and with a goal of redirecting some of the dollars we spend on prisons to prosecutors and law enforcement agents working to keep our streets safer. It is designed to strengthen the criminal justice system, promote public safety, and deliver on the promise of equal justice under law.

 

In 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced unfair disparities in sentences for offenses involving crack cocaine. But the Fair Sentencing Act did not apply to those who were sentenced before its passage. And now there are many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime--and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime. The fundamental American concept, equal justice under law, requires that our laws be enforced fairly--and not just going forward, but it is equally important that we extend this fairness to those who are already serving prison sentences for their crimes.

 

Last December, President Obama took steps toward addressing this situation by granting commutations to eight men and women who had each served more than 15 years in prison for crack cocaine offenses. For two of these individuals, it was the first conviction they'd ever received -- yet, due to mandatory guidelines that were considered severe at the time, and are out of date today -- they and four others had received life sentences. Since that time, the President has indicated that he wants to be able to consider additional, similar applications for commutation of sentence, to restore a degree of fairness and proportionality for deserving individuals. The Justice Department is committed to responding to the President's directive by finding additional candidates who are similarly situated to those granted clemency last year, and recommending qualified applicants for reduced sentences.

We are launching this clemency initiative in order to quickly and effectively identify appropriate candidates, candidates who have a clean prison record, do not present a threat to public safety, and were sentenced under out-of-date laws that have since been changed, and are no longer seen as appropriate. While those sentenced prior to the Fair Sentencing Act may be the most obvious candidates, this initiative is not limited to crack offenders.

Rather, the initiative is open to candidates who meet six criteria: they must be

  • (1) inmates who are currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense today;
  • (2) are non-violent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs, or cartels;
  • (3) have served at least 10 years of their sentence;
  • (4) do not have a significant criminal history;
  • (5) have demonstrated good conduct in prison; and
  • (6) have no history of violence prior to or during their current term of imprisonment.

Identifying worthy candidates within our large prison population will be no easy feat. A good number of inmates will not meet the six criteria. But we are dedicating significant time and resources to ensure that all potentially eligible petitions are reviewed and then processed quickly to ensure timely justice.

 

First, we have put in place an extensive screening mechanism. Next week, the Bureau of Prisons is notifying all federal inmates of our initiative and providing them with these six criteria. If an inmate believes he or she fits these six criteria, the Bureau of Prisons will provide them with an electronic survey to fill out that will allow Department lawyers to efficiently screen whether the petition merits further consideration.

 

Second, I am pleased to announce that all inmates who appear to meet these six criteria will be offered the assistance of an experienced pro bono attorney in preparing his or her application for clemency. In January, I gave a speech to the New York State Bar Association in which I called upon private attorneys to volunteer to assist potential candidates in assembling commutation petitions – ones which provide a focused presentation of the information the Department and the President will consider -- in order to meaningfully evaluate whether a petitioner qualifies under this initiative. Since that time, dedicated and experienced criminal defense and nonprofit lawyers have responded to that call. These numerous groups and individual attorneys, who are calling themselves Clemency Project 2014, will be working with inmates who appear to meet the six criteria and request the assistance of a lawyer. I am very grateful for the work of these volunteers and am confident that their commitment and expertise will result in high-quality petitions that the Department of Justice will be able to process on a more efficient basis.

 

Third, the Department of Justice is detailing lawyers to the Pardon Attorney's Office on a temporary basis to review applications for commutation submitted under this initiative. These attorneys -- importantly, to include those with experience as federal prosecutors -- will provide the rigorous scrutiny that all clemency applications must undergo while providing the additional eyes necessary to review the numerous additional petitions that are invariably likely to be submitted. In addition, we are taking the unusual step of working with the Federal Public Defender Service to try to get some of their attorneys detailed to the Pardon Attorney's Office to support this initiative. I will be personally involved in ensuring the Pardon Attorney’s office has the resources needed to make timely and effective recommendations to the President.

 

Fourth, once we have made a preliminary determination that a petition is worthy of serious consideration, we will consult with both the United States Attorney's Office and the trial judge that handled the case to get their views on the propriety of granting the application.

 

Finally, I want to thank Ron Rodgers for his service as the United States Pardon Attorney. Over the past several years, Ron has performed admirably in what is a very tough job. He has demonstrated dedication and integrity in his work on pardons and commutations. In the tradition of Senior Executive Service attorneys in the Department, Ron has asked me to allow him to move on to another assignment within the Department. I told him I would do that, but only after he helped with the transition to new leadership in the Pardon Attorney’s Office. In that vein, I am pleased to announce that Deborah Leff will be coming in to lead the Pardon Attorney's Office. Debby has committed her career to the very basis of this initiative - achieving equal justice under law. As Acting Senior Counselor for Access to Justice, her fundamental mission has been to help the justice system deliver outcomes that are fair and accessible to all. She has worked to increase access to legal counsel and legal assistance for those who are unable to afford lawyers. And, she has also been instrumental in the standing up of Clemency Project 2014. Importantly, she is known in both the Department and the legal community as a dedicated advocate and public servant. I am confident that she will do a wonderful job providing recommendations to me and the President on this initiative and on the clemency process going forward.

 

Let there be no mistake, this clemency initiative should not be understood to minimize the seriousness of our federal criminal law and is designed, first and foremost, with public safety in mind. Even low-level offenders cause harm to people through their criminal actions, and many need to be incarcerated. Our prosecutors and law enforcement agents worked diligently and honorably to collect evidence and charge these defendants, and then fairly and effectively obtained their convictions. These defendants were properly held accountable for their criminal conduct. However, some of them, simply because of the operation of sentencing laws on the books at the time, received substantial sentences that are disproportionate to what they would receive today. Even the sentencing judges in many of these cases expressed regret at the time at having to impose such harsh sentences. And several United States Attorneys are proactively providing names of individuals they believe should be part of this initiative. Correcting these sentences is simply a matter of fairness that is fundamental to our principles at the Department, and is a commitment that all Department of Justice employees stand behind.

 

In the same vein, it is important to remember that commutations are not pardons. They are not exonerations. They are not an expression of forgiveness. Rather, as the President said, they are an “important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice and fairness.” He noted that “many of [these individuals] would have already served their time and paid their debt to society” had they been sentenced under current law. For our criminal justice system to be effective, it needs to not only be fair; but it also must be perceived as beingfair. These older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today's laws erode people’s confidence in our criminal justice system. I am confident that this initiative will go far to promote the most fundamental of American ideals - equal justice under law.

.
Source: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/dag/speeches/2014/dag-speech-140423.html


Visit Justice Ministries International, FedCURE's faith-based partner at: http://www.jmi.2go.tv/, offering the "Laws of Life" teaching series.  Approved by Texas Department of Corrections.

~ Join the Comment Stream - Oppose S.1675 ~

07 March 2014:  Legislation

S.1675, Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act 2013 (Whitehouse, Portman)

Ordered Reported By Roll Call Vote, 15-2

Substitute Amendment ALB14155 (Whitehouse, Cornyn)

 
Cornyn-backed prison-reform bill clears Judiciary Committee:

Posted on March 7, 2014 | By William T. Brown
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to advance a bill co-sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that aims to improve the efficiency and lower the population of the federal prison system.

Cornyn said Texas has been at the forefront of prison reform and by "reducing the number of prisoners in the justice system, we have been able to cut costs for the state, and improve the safety of our communities."

Cornyn said he hopes the Senate will vote to follow Texas’ lead with the federal system.

The Federal Prison Reform Act of 2013 calls for the formation and implementation of a system to evaluate the risks and needs of prisoners, enhancing recidivism reduction programs, lowering the probability of repeat offenders and an accumulation of time credits for qualifying prisoners which could lead to shorter sentences in federal facilities.

Prisoners who would be excluded from this program are: all sex offenders, terrorism offenders, violent offenders, repeat offenders, major organized crime offenders, and major fraud offenders.

Prisoners who have an acceptable risk level and accumulate enough time credits by participation in anti-recidivism programs and prison work programs could be released to a halfway house or home confinement once their time credits match the remaining days of their sentence.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) chairman of the committee, said he backed the measure because "If we do nothing" "if we fail to address our burgeoning prison population" "we will be cutting the very programs that help keep us safe."

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island , co-sponsor of the bill, said, "States like Rhode Island have shown that it is possible to cut prison costs while making the public safer." When inmates are better prepared to re-enter communities, they are less likely to commit crimes after they are released."

Cornyn said he hopes the bill, approved by the Judiciary Committee Thursday, will soon go to the full Senate for a vote.
http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2014/03/cornyn-backed-prison-reform-bill-clears-judiciary-committee/

11 December 2013

Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice - 2013: Addressing the Growing Crisis in the Federal Prison System.

Attached to this memorandum is the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) 2013 list of top management and performance challenges facing the Department of Justice (Department), which we have identified based on our oversight work, research, and judgment. We have prepared similar lists since 1998.  By statute this list is required to be included in the Department's Agency Financial Report.  http://www.fedcure.org/information/DOJ-OIG_Challenges2013.shtml

New GAO-14-121 Report: According to BOP officials, BOP's biggest challenges are managing the continually increasing federal inmate population while providing for inmates care and safety, as well as the safety of BOP staff and surrounding communities, within budgeted levels. BOP officials project continuing inmate population growth and estimate increases in funding needs for the foreseeable future. Consultation with congressional decision makers could help BOP identify what additional information, if any, is needed, such as providing more comprehensive detailed information on projected costs using data already gathered by BOP. This could enhance the transparency of BOP's budget justification and the President's budget request and better inform congressional decision making. See:   http://www.fedcure.org/documents/GAO-14-121-FBOP_BudgetTransparency_041213.pdf

"System-wide, the Bureau is operating at 36 percent over rated capacity and crowding is of special concern at higher security facilities, with 51 percent crowding at high security facilities and 45 percent at medium security facilities."  Charles E. Samuels, Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons.
 
Despite a ten year build out, spending over $1 billion dollars a year outsourcing prison cells from private prison contractors, increased double bunking and triple bunking, since 2003, the overcrowding rate hovers at 38% and FBOP forecasts 44%. The federal prison population was 165,000 in January 2003.  November 2013, it is hovering at 219,200.  America cannot build its way out of crowding.   Private prisons bring in about $3 billion in revenue annually.  Senate Committee Report says "None of these efforts, however, have had a significant impact on prison overcrowding" and says no more prisons. See: Senate Committee on Appropriations FY2014, Report No. 113-000, at pp. 90-91.
 
BARBER AMENDMENT, on its own, or amended to: S.619 and H.R.1695 ~  the "Justice Safety Valve Act,"  to H.R. 2371 ~ the Prisoner Incentive Act of 2013, or S.1410 - the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013, increasing 54 to 128 days, retroactively, is CURE.   $1.2 billion Incarceration dollars shift to $1.2 billion Re-Entry dollars, annually.
 
"For every dollar we invest in programs like these we are going to save much more in prison costs, an outcome that will enable spending limited law-enforcement resources on other priorities."Attorney General, Eric Holder.
 
"New consideration should be given to the reinstatement of parole for federal offenders to help restore fairness in the criminal justice system and relieve overcrowding in the swelling federal prison system.  The federal system, which holds about 220,000 inmates, is at least 40% over capacity, according to the Justice Department. Parole, which was abolished for federal offenders convicted after 1987 as part of tough anti-crime measures of the time, 'ought to be discussed.'"  Attorney General, Eric Holder.
 

~ 06 November 2013 ~

"Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons &

Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism”

Senate Judiciary Committee    |   Full Committee
 
View a webcast of this hearing
 
 
DATE:  Today, 06 November 2013  |  TIME: 10:00 AM  |  ROOM: Dirksen 226

 
OFFICIAL HEARING NOTICE / WITNESS LIST:

October 25, 2013

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing entitled "Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism" for Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Senator Whitehouse to preside.

By order of the Chairman.

Witness List

Hearing before the
Senate Committee on the Judiciary

On

"Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
10:00 a.m.

Panel I

Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Washington, DC

Panel II

John E. Wetzel
Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Representative John Tilley
Chair, Judiciary Committee
Kentucky House of Representatives
Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Nancy G. La Vigne, Ph.D.
Director, Justice Policy Center
The Urban Institute
Washington, DC

Matt DeLisi, Ph.D.
Professor and Coordinator, Criminal Justice Studies
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa

Dr. Jeffrey Sedgwick
Managing Partner and Co-Founder
Keswick Advisors
Richmond, VA


Over-criminalization is an issue of liberty.
 
As federal criminal laws and regulations have increased, so has the number of Americans who have found themselves breaking the law with no intent of doing so.
Americans who make innocent mistakes should not be charged with criminal offenses.
 
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
Over-Criminalization [bi-partisan] Task Force of 2013

Over 39,000 e-Certified signatories.   Many kind thanks' for your support.
 
|-|-| BARBER AMENDMENT PETITION |-|-|
 
 
{-|-}  BARBER AMENDMENT IS CURE ~ Dangerously Over Crowded Federal Prison System  {-|-}
 
$1.2 billion Incarceration dollars shift to $1.2 billion Re-Entry dollars.
 
Despite a ten year build out, spending over $1 billion dollars a year outsourcing prison cells from private prison contractors, increased double bunking and triple bunking, since 2003, the overcrowding rate hovers at 38% and FBOP forecasts 44%. The federal prison population was 165,000 in January 2003.  August 2013, it is hovering at 219,200.  America cannot build its way out of crowding.   Private prisons bring in about $3 billion in revenue annually.  Senate Committee Report says "None of these efforts, however, have had a significant impact on prison overcrowding" and says no more prisons. See: Senate Committee on Appropriations FY2014, Report No. 113-000, at pp. 90-91.
 
BARBER AMENDMENT, on its own, or amended to: S.619 and H.R.1695 ~  the "Justice Safety Valve Act,"  to H.R. 2371 ~ the Prisoner Incentive Act of 2013, or S.1410 - the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013, increasing 54 to 128 days, retroactively, is CURE.   $1.2 billion Incarceration dollars shift to $1.2 billion Re-Entry dollars.
 
For every dollar we invest in programs like these we are going to save much more in prison costs, an outcome that will enable spending limited law-enforcement resources on other priorities." Attorney General, Eric Holder.

19 SEPTEMBER 2013.

STATEMENT OF CHARLES E. SAMUELS, JR., DIRECTOR, FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS

BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON CRIME, TERRORISM, HOMELAND SECURITY AND INVESTIGATIONS

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

~   HEARING ON THE OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS  ~

 

WEBSITE:  http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/hear_09192013.html

WEBCAST:  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hclive02

STATEMENT (10 pg PDF):  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/SamuelsWitnessTestimonyHouseJudiciaryHearings19092013(c)FedCURE.pdf

FedCURE:  http://www.fedcure.org/information/FederalBureauOfPrisonsPage.shtml


Senate Committee on Appropriations FY2014

DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE AND JUSTICE, AND SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL.

Committee Report No. 113-000. - pp: 89-161

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Committee Recommendation FY2014 - $6,831,150,000.

Construction.-BOP currently has no plans to activate new prisons, aside from those activations proposed in the fiscal year 2014 request, for the remainder of this decade because it has no plans to submit significant new construction appropriation requests in coming fiscal years. After receipt of the GAO's comprehensive assessment of ways to reduce prison overcrowding, BOP shall submit to the Committee a comprehensive plan, including funding for new prison construction if merited in future requests.

The Committee directs BOP to continue providing the Committee the most recent monthly status of construction report, and to notify the Committee of any deviations from the construction and activation schedule identified in that report, including detailed explanations of the causes of delays and actions proposed to address them. These reports are critical to the Committee's ability to monitor and assess BOP's needs. BOP shall collaborate and coordinate with the Justice Management Division on methods that will efficiently deliver these critical reports to the Committee in a timely manner.

Senate Committee on Appropriations FY2014 - Report NO. 113-000, p. 89.

. . . and

We cannot buy our way out of this problem-this path is unsustainable and these issues must be addressed. The OIG has testified that the Department "cannot solve this challenge by spending more money to operate more Federal prisons . . .

Senate Committee on Appropriations FY2014 - Report NO. 113-000, p. 91.

FULL COMMITTEE REPORT, Bookmark and disseminated compliments of FedCURE:   
FedCURE Note: To be sure, the Senate Committeee, in this report, is saying no more prisons.  To do that and to keep things under control, in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the inmate population has to be substantially reduced.  FedCURE believes, based on an overwhelming majority of information established on the matter, that a reduction in at least ten-percent (10%) of the current inmate population (hovering at 219,000), can be safely released by Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Probation Office, via the BARBER AMENDMENT ~ increased good time allowances, with no disruption to release and reentry processes and public safety. 

Moderated discussion here (free subscription required) - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FedCURE-org/.

FedCURE



113th Congress | Second Session | 2013

~ c2a ~

 
FedCURE's Call-2-Action page:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR2642.shtml

29 January 2014

LATEST FARM BILL ~ Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013:
http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR2642.shtml

Keep the conversation going ~ tweet: #Piss4Food

 
CONTACT PRESIDENT OBAMA & CONGRESS ~ NOW!
Reduce the Federal Inmate Population by 10%.

Sign the BARBER AMENDMENT Petition on CHANGE.org at: http://snipurl.com/1o7gdj

|-|-| FedCURE Call-2-Action |-|-|
 End the "War on Drugs"
42 years  |  $2.5 Trillion  |  45 million arrests
 

|-|-| FedCURE Call-2-Action |-|-|

It was 42 years ago that our miss-guided political system attacked America and declared, what is now undoubtedly deemed, the failed "War on Drugs." The attack has gone on for 42 years, cost over $2.5 trillion dollars, tallied up 45 million arrests and insurmountable collateral damages to society.  America is not now and never will be drug free.  It is time to declare a truce.

While our President and our politicians talk about how to end the "War on Drugs,"  most of the 7.8 million American's languishing in prisons or on some type of government supervision are non-violent drug offenders.  The lost lives and collateral damages are no longer acceptable for political gain rather then for public good.

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, 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. 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. §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.

 
Full Report, 60 pg. PDF (indexed to highlighted sections) available at: http://www.fedcure.org/documents/CRS_FederalPrisonPopulationBuildup_R42937-220113fc.pdf

* 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/
Special thanks to Nathan James, Analyst in Crime Policy, CRS,  njames@crs.loc.gov, for this report.
 
Kindly dissiminate this message and the report to your lists and to your Congressperson(s); and urge them to support the BARBER AMENDMENT | http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml

Sadly, while the bureau and DOJ argue for crowding relief, see:
Testimony of Director, Charles E. Samuels, Jr., to House Appropriations, Subcommittee, 17 April 2013, 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.

The President and Members of Congress must work across the isle, side-by-side, on bipartisan legislation to end the "War On Drugs."  They must rely on the data mining findings of criminal justice records from the last three decades, conducted by the nation's top criminal justice professionals, reform advocates, NGO's, government and policy makers, that have established the very best evidence based practices the country has ever known; clearly defining what works and what does not work in criminal justice. They must act on the CRS report, supra. 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%, at a cost saving's of $1.2 billion dollars annually.

The "War on Drugs" was launched in 1970, by the 91st Congress, with Public Law 91-513, on which President Nixon successfully branded drug addicts as criminals. However, to his credit and not to be overlooked, a whopping two-thirds of Nixon's $100 million dollar crime budget went for treatment & rehabilitation.  The budget for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, alone, is $6.7 billion dollars for FY 2013.
America is the World's Mass Incarcerator because of the "War on Drugs."  No doubt about it.  "The Growing Inmate Crowding [in the Federal Bureau of Prisons] Negatively Affects Inmates, Staff, and Infrastructure."  The crowding is so severe and so dangerous that the GAO has sounded the alarms.  In its recently released detailed report and recommendations on the state of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (GAO-12-743), inter alia, GAO says the matter is only to get worse and something has to be done; and now!.

A copy of the report and its recommendations can be found here:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/GAO-12-743-BOP-Crowding.pdf.

A GAO/FedCURE live video chat on GAO-12-743 streams below and can also see the video [19:04-19:52] here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25878123.

New Film:  'Breaking The Taboo ~ What will it take to end the war on drugs?'  Featuring prominent statesmen including Presidents Clinton and Carter.  Narrated by Morgan Freeman (English version) & Gael Garcia Bernal (Spanish version). 58 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/user/breakingthetaboofilm

New PEW Report: A majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not. See: http://www.people-press.org/2013/04/04/majority-now-supports-legalizing-marijuana.

We can and must do better. Vote for the BARBER AMENDMENT.

 
F edCURE

GAO Report: [Federal] Bureau of Prisons

Growing Inmate Crowding Negatively Affects Inmates, Staff, and Infrastructure

U. S. Government Accounting Office
REPORT: GAO-12-743, Sep 12, 2012

LIVE CHAT!  ~ FedCURE & U.S. GAO Live Chat on BOP Report GAO-12-743

Held: Wednesday | 03 October 2012 | 12:00 PM EST

On Ustream at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/gaolive

Users submited questions in advance by emailing them to: AskGAOLive@gao.gov.

During the chat, users submited questions in three ways:

Email: AskGAOLive@gao.gov | On twitter: use the hashtag #AskGAOLive | On Ustream: use the chat box next to the video

FedCURE's concentrations on GAO 12-743:
  • Legislation to increase federal good time allowances;
  • Cost savings by maximizing Reduction In Sentence (RIS) under current law and policy;
  • Cost savings by direct placement of federal inmates to home confinement from an institution, pursuant to the Second Chance Act;
  • Total cost savings by reducing the federal inmate population by 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively.
 

In response, GAO's David C. Maurer reported 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

Be smart. Study the report and watch video and heed what GAO's David C. Maurer reported. We look forward to your participation.

What GAO Found

The Department of Justice's Bureau of Prisons (BOP) 9.5 percent population growth from fiscal years 2006 through 2011 exceeded the 7 percent increase in its rated capacity, and BOP projects continued population growth. Growth was most concentrated among male inmates, and in 2011, 48 percent of the inmates BOP housed were sentenced for drugs. From fiscal years 2006 through 2011, BOP increased its rated capacity by about 8,300 beds as a result of opening 5 new facilities and closing 4 minimum security camps, but because of the population expansion, crowding (or population in excess of rated capacity) increased from 36 to 39 percent. In 2011 crowding was most severe (55 percent) in highest security facilities. BOP's 2020 long-range capacity plan projects continued growth in the federal prison population from fiscal years 2012 through 2020, with systemwide crowding exceeding 45 percent through 2018.

According to BOP, the growth in the federal inmate population has negatively affected inmates, staff, and infrastructure, but BOP has acted within its authority to help mitigate the effects of this growth. BOP officials reported increased use of double and triple bunking, waiting lists for education and drug treatment programs, limited meaningful work opportunities, and increased inmate-to-staff ratios. These factors, taken together, contribute to increased inmate misconduct, which negatively affects the safety and security of inmates and staff. BOP officials and union representatives voiced concerns about a serious incident occurring. To manage its growing population, BOP staggers meal times and segregates inmates involved in disciplinary infractions, among other things.

The five states in GAO's review have taken more actions than BOP to reduce their prison populations, because these states have legislative authority that BOP does not have. These states have modified criminal statutes and sentencing, relocated inmates to local facilities, and provided inmates with additional opportunities for early release. BOP generally does not have similar authority. For example, BOP cannot shorten an inmate’s sentence or transfer inmates to local prisons. Efforts to address the crowding issue could include (1) reducing the inmate population by actions such as reforming sentencing laws, (2) increasing capacity by actions such as constructing new prisons, or (3) some combination of both.

Why GAO Did This Study

BOP operates 117 federal prisons to house approximately 178,000 federal offenders, and contracts with private companies and some state governments to house about another 40,000 inmates. BOP calculates the number of prisoners that each BOP run institution can house safely and securely (i.e., rated capacity). GAO was asked to address (1) the growth in BOP's population from fiscal years 2006 through 2011 and BOP's projections for inmate population and capacity; (2) the effects of a growing federal prison population on operations within BOP facilities, and the extent to which BOP has taken actions to mitigate these effects; and (3) actions selected states have taken to reduce their prison populations, and the extent to which BOP has implemented similar initiatives.

GAO analyzed BOP's inmate population data from fiscal years 2006 through 2011, BOP's 2020 long-range capacity plan, and BOP policies and statutory authority. GAO visited five federal prisons chosen on the basis of geographic dispersion and varying security levels. The results are not generalizable, but provide information on the effects of a growing prison population. GAO selected five states based on actions they took to mitigate the effects of their growing prison populations—and assessed the extent to which their actions would be possible for BOP. GAO makes no recommendations in this report. BOP provided technical clarifications, which GAO incorporated where appropriate.

For more information, contact David C. Maurer at (202) 512-9627 or maurerd@gao.gov.

Source: http://www.gao.gov/assets/650/648123.pdf

FedCURE Working 92 p. PDF: http://www.fedcure.org/documents/GAO-12-743-BOP-Crowding.pdf

Also see: "RISING PRISON COSTS: RESTRICTING BUDGETS AND CRIME PREVENTION OPTIONS."
STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD OF CHARLES E. SAMUELS, JR., DIRECTOR FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS.
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY UNITED STATES SENATE.
01 August 2012, 99 p. PDF: http://www.fedcure.org/documents/Dir.Samuels,BOP-RISING_PRISON_COSTS-SenJud-01082012.pdf

Sign the BARBER AMENDMENT Petition on CHANGE.org at: http://snipurl.com/1o7gdj
 


FedCURE Report: State of Reduction In Sentence Initiatives For Federal Offenders
Increased Good Conduct Time | Special Programming Credits | Elderly Release | Compassionate Release Program

Report Issued: 14 May 2012

Please Note: None of the bills listed in the Report and found here passed the 112th Congress.
They will have to be reintroduced in the 113th Congress.
Please contact you Congressperson(s) urging them to do so.

 


VIDEO featuring Charlie Sullivan, the co-director of CURE:  http://aje.me/w0QLfx
Why are so many Americans in prison?
We ask if the US should reconsider its 'lock 'em up and throw away the key' approach to crime and punishment

_______

Charles E Samuels, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons: 
 
Testimony before the United States Sentencing Commission 16 February 2012. 
 
http://www.fedcure.org/documents/CharlesE.SamuelsDirFBOP_Testimony-USSC-15-160212.pdf

_______

U.S. Sentencing Commission: Crack Cocaine | Effective Date of Retroactivity 01 November 2011
(Details & Watch Hearing Below).

Second * Look

UPDATE: Good Time Proposals & Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2011:

 
Please Note: None of the bills below and found here passed the 112th Congress.
They will have to be reintroduced in the 113th Congress.
Please contact you Congressperson(s) urging them to do so.

 
The bad news at the end of the 112th Congress was that the House Report on COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2013 - reveals that the House (of Lords) did not enact the BOP's good time proposals, in fact scolded the bureau in making "the assumption of significant savings from unrealistic legislative proposals" and  not to do so in future budget requests.  See: FedCURE 14 May 2012 Report above and details below.

As we have previously noted in these discussions, we are looking at the Good Conduct Time (GCT) Proposed Legislation Change and Compassionate Release Program provisions, as proposed in the President;s FY 2013.  The offset proposed by DOJ/BOP, that has failed the HOUSE, on 10 May 2012, was totaled at $58 million.  Of that $41 million was for GCT.

(Excerpt from House Report, as it relates to the Federal Prison System)

COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2013

 HOUSE REPORT 112 -

FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

(INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

The Committee recommends $6,820,217,000 for the salaries and expenses of the Federal Prison System, which is $268,936,000 above fiscal year 2012 and the same as the request.

Reentry research and reforms. The Committee continues its efforts to understand and address the drivers of overcrowding, costs and recidivism. The Committee directs the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to undertake a comprehensive analysis of its policies and determine the reforms and best practices that will help reduce costs and recidivism. The Committee is aware that most State corrections systems began their reform process by providing outside experts with corrections data in order to obtain a comprehensive analysis. The Committee encourages the Director to share additional corrections data with outside experts in order to build upon prior efforts.

In addition, the Committee directs the BOP to report to the Committee not later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act on successful State-level reforms that have the potential to be adapted to the Federal prison system in order to reduce recidivism and the costs of incarceration. Such report shall distinguish between reforms that could be implemented under existing Department authority and reforms that would require statutory changes in order to be implemented.

Sentence reduction opportunities. In its fiscal year 2012 budget request, the Department submitted two proposals to amend the statutory law on Federal inmate good conduct time to provide inmates additional incentives to encourage positive behavior and save $41,000,000 during the fiscal year. The two proposals were not enacted. For fiscal year 2013, the Department again included the proposals in its request and built a $41,000,000 offset into its request. The Committee expects that the BOP will not base its future budget requests on the assumption of significant savings from unrealistic legislative roposals. The Committee expects the BOP to find alternative ways to accomplish savings and operate within the budget request.

Growth in inmate population. The recommendation supports the anticipated growth in the inmate population by completing the activation of two prisons and starting the activation of an additional two newly constructed prisons.

Contract confinement. The recommendation supports the requested program increase of $25,865,000 for 1,000 low security contract confinement beds. The Committee expects the BOP to meet bed space needs using State, local and private prison capacity, if these facilities meet the BOP's standards, as a means to control overcrowding.

Inmate data. The Committee encourages the National Institute of Corrections to recommend best practices for State corrections agencies to develop, maintain, and update inmate home address data.

BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES

The Committee recommends $90,000,000 for the construction, acquisition, modernization, maintenance, and repair of prison and detention facilities housing Federal inmates, which is the same as fiscal year 2012 and $9,189,000 below the request.

Construction.—Although the BOP anticipates activating up to seven new prisons by fiscal year 2018, it will be unable to maintain that schedule without significant new construction appropriation requests in fiscal years 2014 and beyond. The Committee has already provided initial appropriations for the construction of four new prisons, which the Department proposed to rescind. Due to inmate population and overcrowding growth estimates, the Committee encourages the BOP to include funding for construction in future requests. In addition, the Committee directs the BOP to continue to provide a monthly status of construction report, and to notify the Committee of any deviation from the construction and activation schedule identified in those reports.

Id., at p.48-49: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/CJS-FY13-FULL_COMMITTEE_REPORT.pdf

A summary of the FY 2012 CJS bill can be found here: http://appropriations.house.gov/news/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=290672

#####

Please Note: None of the bills below and found here passed the 112th Congress.
They will have to be reintroduced in the 113th Congress.
Please contact you Congressperson(s) urging them to do so.

FedCURE Call-2-Action:  Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2011 (112th)  |  Contact Your Senators Urging Them To Reintroduce This Bill In 113th Congress. NOW!

 
Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2011 (Introduced 6/20/2011) STATUS: DIED in 112th, as amended by S.1231.

 
FedCURE Call-2-Action: S.1231 ~ Second Chance Reauthorization Act | Contact your Senators. Now! http://www.fedcure.org/documents/S.1231SCRA2011.shtml:
 
S.1231, as amended by (ALB11493), 21 July 2011, [Struck out] `SEC. 2907. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. Subsequently, Congress passed H.R. 2112 - Public Law No: 112-55, The 'Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012' (continuing appropriations through 12/16/2011). Wherein, $63 million dollars is given to DOJ for Second Chance Act.  The President's Budget for FY 2013, at page 793, states that "$58 million in offsets are included for: a proposed legislative initiative that would allow additional Good Conduct Time for inmates; expanding the compassionate release program; information technology savings; and realignment of administrative operations."
 
S.1231, as amended by (ALB11493), 21 July 2011, provides, in part, as follows:
  1. Increased good time "at the rate of 54 days per year of sentence imposed;" and 
  2. To earn credit towards a sentence up to 60 days a year for an inmate who successfully participates in a program that has been demonstrated to reduce recidivism; and 
  3. Additionally, SEC. 4. FEDERAL REENTRY IMPROVEMENTS, amending SCA, Section 231(g), Elderly Release provisions, broadening the scope of inmates who qualify by reducing the age limit from 65 to 60, or 75% of (the greater) of 'imprisonment to which the offender was sentenced.'
Committee approval is only the first step in the legislative process. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act now moves to the full Senate for consideration.  You and your contacts and their contacts must rally if you want the bill to pass.
 
Sen. Chuck Grassley no longer opposes good time (your 2012 calls worked). Please contact Sen. Grassley, urging him to reintroduce S.1231, as amended. 
CONTACT:
Sen. Chuck Grassley
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224 - 3744
Fax: (202) 224-6020
http://www.grassley.senate.gov/Copy-of-contact.cfm
 
FedCURE is strongly urging Sen. Portman's office and Sen. Judiciary Committee members that S.1231 be amended to read "at the rate of 128 days per year of sentence imposed;" and that SEC. 4., amending SCA, Section 231(g), to read that, an "Eligible elderly offender.-- who is not less than 60 years of age and has served the lesser of 10 years or 75 percent of the sentence imposed, excluding a sentence of 99 years or more." 
 
You can do the same.  Fill out the widget form below "Tell Congress that you support S. 1231."
 

SUPPORT S.1231 - SEND A LETTER TO CONGRESS.

Automatically track S. 1231 on GovTrack.US here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1231

Background Information on Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2011:

Preview sections of S.1231, released to FedCURE on Monday, 13 June 2011, for reauthorization of funding for Second Chance Act, for the next five years, would have adopted the President's FY 2012 Budget proposal, to increase the current federal good time of 47 days to 54 a year.   However, that is not in the original bill.  Instead, there is a provision to earn credit towards a sentence up to 60 days a year for an inmate who "successfully participates in a program that has been demonstrated to reduce recidivism, is eligible to earn additional credit toward satisfaction of the sentence being served by the prisoner.", but the programming is not defined.  Additionally, Section 231(g), Elderly Release provisions, would have broaden the scope of inmates who qualify by reducing the age limit from 65 to 62 and the time served requirement from 75% to 65%.  However, S.1231 reduces the age requirement to 60 years of age, but all other requirements under current law remain unchanged (see: FAQ). The President's Budget for FY 2013, at page 793, states that: "$58 million in offsets are included for: a proposed legislative initiative that would allow additional Good Conduct Time for inmates; expanding the compassionate release program; information technology savings; and realignment of administrative operations."

FedCURE NEWS:  Congress passes H.R. 2112 ~ The 'Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012' ~ $63 million dollars is given to DOJ for Second Chance Act:

On 15 September 2011, the Senate subcommittee overseeing the U.S. Justice department budget voted to eliminate the funding provisions of  S.1231 ~ Second Chance Reauthorization Act, in the interest of saving money (in light of the CBO Cost Estimate, post).  Senate Judiciary Committee Pat Leahy (D-VT) vowed to try to get the funds reinstated, making the point that without successful reentry programs, recidivism will increase prison costs, thus eliminating any savings.   Thank God, the Senator was successful if funding the SCA in another bill: H.R. 2112 ~ The 'Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012.' A $130.4 billion dollar appropriations bill funding five agencies. $63 million dollars is given to DOJ for Second Chance Act (half requested in SCRA - down from $100 million and $87 million over two years). The bill also expands the suthority of Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR). The president signed the bill into law on 18 November 2011.

What is more, however, if the committee is really serious about saving money, that it moves forward to pass S.1231, as amended (ALB11493), with the huge money savings good time provisions, which would provide: 

1)  Increased good time "at the rate of 54 days per year of sentence imposed;" and

2)  to earn credit towards a sentence up to 60 days a year for an inmate who successfully participates in a program that has been demonstrated to reduce recidivism; and

3)  additionally, SEC. 4. FEDERAL REENTRY IMPROVEMENTS, amending SCA, Section 231(g), Elderly Release provisions, broadening the scope of inmates who qualify by reducing the age limit from 65 to 60, or 75% of (the greater) of 'imprisonment to which the offender was sentenced.'

On 21 July 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved this version of S. 1231, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2011, authored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rob Portman (R-OH). The bill provides for increased good time "at the rate of 54 days per year of sentence imposed" and resources to state and local governments, as well as community-based organizations, to improve the success rates for people released from prison and jail. The committee reported out the bill on a 10 to 8 party line vote. 

Committee approval is only the first step in the legislative process. The Second Chance Reauthorization Act now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Previously, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act was brought up at mark-up on 14 July 2011 and the Manager's Amendment, including the good time expansion provision (total 54 days a year), was accepted.  Sen. Grassley proposed an amendment to strike the good time amendment from the bill but it was defeated 11 to 7 with all Democrats and Senator Lee voting against.  The bill, however, is held over until this week when Sen. Grassley will likely propose several other amendments including one to strike the earned time provision from the bill.
 
Sen. Grassley was an Ex-prosecutor, so he should know better.  He looses all creditability when he does not acknowledge a broken federal justice system, especially the Federal Bureau of Prisons system and what needs to be done to fix it.  Albeit, he supports reentry dollars, he is way way out of touch with sentencing and good time earnings.  Flood his office.  FLAME him!   

FedCURE is meeting with Sen. Portman's office and Sen. Judiciary Committee members urging that S.1231 be amended to read that: "Eligible elderly offender.-- who is not less than 60 years of age and has served the lesser of 10 years or 75 percent of the sentence imposed, excluding a sentence on 99 years or more."

FedCURE's Talking Points: http://www.fedcure.org/documents/FedCURE~ProposedAmendmentsS.1232,%20SEC.%204-Sec.231(g)SCA-070711.pdf

Although, FedCURE was pushing to lower the age requirement to 45 years and the time served to 50%, it is at least a step in the right direction, while we continue to move forward with the Barber Amendment (below).

Accordingly, we ask you to contact your Senators. It is especially important for you to reach out to all Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee and to all Republican Senators. Judiciary Committee members are:  Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Kyl (R-AZ), Sessions (R-AL), Graham (R-SC), Cornyn (R-TX), Lee (R-UT), Coburn (R-OK), Leahy (D-VT), Kohl (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Schumer (D-NY), Durbin (D-IL), Whitehouse (D-RI), Klobuchar (D-MN), Franken (D-MN), Coons (D-DE), Blumenthal (D-CT). Those underlined are especially important.  Please strongly urge them to support FedCURE's amendments to the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, which tweaks important sections of the Second Chance Act so its provisions can be employed in a more meaningfully way.

Please use FedCURE CONTACT CONGRESS page to contact the Senators in these states: http://www.fedcure.org/ContactCongressREP-SEN.shtml


Thank You for your support. 

Pass it on! .. . Pass it on!

FedCURE


EPP Group Hearing on the rehabilitation of former prisoners

 
European Parliament (EP) Justice Committee
 
European Parliament (EP) vs. United States Congress

~ SECOND * CHANCE (Social Redemption) ~

 
Rehabilitation Programmes for Former Prisoners Endorsed, by EPP Group
 
 
[03:56 video presentation]


 
The BARBER Amendment ~ 113th Congress

 
Many thanks to the tens of thousands of American's who supported H.R. 1475 in the 111th Congress.  Although the bill did not pass, it is not the last hurrah for federal good time legislation.  FedCURE announces The Sentencing Reform Act of 2011and The Barber Amendment.   Please continue to contact your Congresspersons urging them to sponsor FedCURE's proposals in 113th Congress.

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012

Department of Justice: Federal Prison System, Federal Funds-2012.

Page 731 thru 734. PDF here:   http://www.fedcure.org//documents/FederalPrisonSystem-FederalFunds-2012_Page731-734_cFedCURE2011.pdf

MARCH 17, 2011

STATEMENT OF HARLEY G. LAPPIN, DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS
BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION: [Excerpt  from pages 3 & 4]

The Department of Justice is working with Congress on two legislative proposals that will provide inmates with enhanced incentives for good behavior and participation in programming that is proven to reduce recidivism, while also reducing crowding somewhat. The first proposal increases good time credits available by seven days per year for each year of the sentence imposed. The second proposal creates a new sentence reduction credit that inmates can earn for successful participation in recidivism-reducing programs, such as Federal Prison Industries, education, and occupational/vocational programming.
Full text at: http://www.fedcure.org/documents/USSC_LegislativePublicAffairsPublicHearingsMeetings20110317TestimonyBOP-Lappin.pdf

Background:

The Bureau of Prisons has worked with the Department of Justice to develop proposed legislation to amend the federal inmate good conduct time credit statute (Title 18 United States Code Section 3624(b)) to provide inmates incentives that encourage positive behavior.  The legislation would increase good time credit availability by seven days per year for each year of the sentence imposed.   This would result in a reduction, within a year, of approximately 4,000 federal inmates in custody, and such reductions would continue for several subsequent years, resulting in a significant savings of taxpayer dollars.  At the end of the first year following enactment, we expect  a cost avoidance of up to $41 million.  

This proposed legislation would not only reduce our crowding, it would also increase the incentives for inmates to comply with institution rules.  Inmates who refuse to comply with institution rules could lose some or all of the available credits, thereby prolonging their time spent in custody.  
Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Whereas,

FedCURE's Barber Amendment, the President's and BOP's proposals, infra, are in harmony.  The only issue, for the public to decide, hence Congress, is that while the President's and BOP's measure would change the way the bureau computes good time, as does Barber, it is only a modest 2% increase of 7 days to give the full 15% reduction (54 vs. 47 days).  Whereas, the Barber Amendment would give a little over a 1/3rd reduction (128 vs. 54).   Aside from that race, everything else is in harmony.  So we ask you all to crank it up and start contacting your Congresspersons urging them to introduce and pass the Barber Amendment.  See below.

 
SECOND LOOK:  Introducing The Sentencing Reform Act of 2011 ~ A Bill to establish a hybrid system of parole, increased good time allowances and reentry opportunities; repeal mandatory sentencing; and establish a 1 to 1 sentencing ratio for crack and powder cocaine for federal offenders.  
 
FedCURE NEWS Special Video Presentation:  http://www.fedcure.org/SecondLook.shtml
 
Note:   The Sentencing Reform Act of 2011 has not been introduced.  FedCURE is seeking bipartisan support for the bill in the 113th 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" .
 
Note:   The Barber Amendment  has not been introduced.  FedCURE is seeking bipartisan support for the bill in the 113th Congress.



FedCURE's Federal Good Time Bill Campaign: "Top 10 Ideas for Change in America"

 
~ 113th Congress ~
 
National Call - to - Action ~ BARBER Amendment ~ Federal Good Time Bill  
|-|-| FedCURE Call-2-Action |-|-|

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »
 
 
Ninety Percent (92%) Public Support for BARBER Amendment - Good Time Bill.
 
Come on everyone!  Pitch in and contact the 113th Congress.  We can do it!
 
"BARBER Amendment" on the "Good Time Bill"
 

Sign the petition on FedCURE/CHANGE.org:  http://snipurl.com/1o7gdj

Support | Comment the Barber Amedment on FedCURE/POPVOX:  http://pvox.co/JaNx5Y

Hi!  Thank you for coming & helping to reach out to the 113th Congress. Here are your campaing tools: First, sign the petition on this page and foward 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.
 
MESSAGE:
    Dear Members of the 113th Congress of the United States, 
     
    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. § 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 operating at 149% over capacity.  A 10% reduction in the federal prison population would save taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars per year.  The President's Budget for FY 2012, includes millions of dollars in offsets for a proposed legislative initiative that would allow additional Good Conduct Time for inmates, as well as for general administrative efficiencies.   BARBER goes further to save $1.2 billion dollars annually.  Put that against the President's pay freeze for Federal employees that will save $28 billion over the next five years--the measure is a continuation of the administration’s Accountable Government Initiative, designed to cut cost and save taxpayer dollars.  
     
    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 release.
     
    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 saves taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars per year.
     
    *  Releasing 10% of the federal prison population pursuant to existing Federal Bureau of Prisons policy and procedures without disrupting processes and public safety.
     
    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 release.
     
    *  The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) is the largest police force in the United States, more then 37,000 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, 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 28 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 the least possible 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, as evidenced by the FedCURE NEWS Presentation on Second Look.  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: Good Time, Community Corrections and Re-Entry."  See the exclusive videos here:  http://www.fedcure.org/SecondLook.shtml
     
    Since inmates "earned" the right to be in prison, why can't they also "earn" the right to be out?
     
    The Barber Amendment of 2011 would greatly contribute to the healing of our economy and the healing of our nation. There are almost 211,000 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 public safety.
     
    Accordingly, I urge you, in the most strongest terms, to please support The Barber Amendment
      
    Sincerely Yours,



    Be Relentless:

    •  Keep calling until your Congressperson(s) agree to sponsor the BARBER Amendment, make an appointment to see them, if  necessary to get their support.

      Write to:
      The Honorable Lamar Smith, Chairman
      Committee on the Judiciary
      U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
      2138 RHOB, Washington, DC 20515-6216
      Telephone: (202) 225-3951
       
      The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman
      United States Senate
      Committee on the Judiciary
      224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
      Washington, DC 20510
      Telephone: (202) 224-7703

FedCURE's H.R. 1475 Campaign: "Top 10 Ideas for Change in America"

Congratulations! It is Official:


FedCURE's Idea to "Increase Federal Good Time Allowances" is the Winner in the "Top 10 Ideas for Change in America" on Change.org.

Job Well Done! Stay Tuned!

Click on the VOTE Button to Learn More

FedCURE has put out a call for video interviews of people with cases that will benefit from H.R. 1475. 
Please contact FedCURE at:  http://www.fedcure.org/contact.shtml.

Federal Good Time
Jane Browning, Executive Director, International Community Corrections Association

Watch live streaming video from fedcure at livestream.com

Enter your donation below:

 
S.1789:   Fair Sentencing Act of 2010
 
FedCURE NEWS: U.S. Sentencing Commission: Crack Cocaine | Effective Date of Retroactivity Set for November 1, 2011 [FCN-300611-INST]

 
U.S. SENTENCING COMMISSION VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO APPLY FAIR SENTENCING ACT OF 2010
AMENDMENT TO THE FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES RETROACTIVELY
 
Effective Date of Retroactivity Set for November 1, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 30, 2011)  The United States Sentencing Commission voted unanimously today to give retroactive effect to its proposed permanent amendment to the federal sentencing guidelines that implements the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. Retroactivity of the amendment will become effective on November 1, 2011-- the same day that the proposed permanent amendment would take effect -- unless Congress acts to disapprove the amendment.  [Approximately 12,040 defendants will be eligible to file Sec. 3582(c) motions to the sentencing court for a sentence reduction--average 37 months, under Amendment 750 (A) & (C).  The measure is expected to save the Federal Bureau of Prisons $240 million dollars.]. 

Full Text:  http://www.ussc.gov/Legislative_and_Public_Affairs/Newsroom/Press_Releases/20110630_Press_Release.pdf

U.S. Sentencing Commission: Crack Cocaine | "Reader-Friendly" Version of Amendment on Retroactivity

(Effective November 1, 2011, If Congress does not act to the contrary)

This compilation is an unofficial "reader-friendly" version of the amendment to policy statement §1B1.10 (Reduction in Term of Imprisonment as a Result of Amended Guideline Range) (Policy Statement), as promulgated by the Commission on June 30, 2011. The official text of the amendment is also posted below as published in the Federal Register. The official text of the amendment also will be incorporated into a forthcoming supplement to the Guidelines Manual.
 

Federal Register Notice of Final Action Regarding ~ Crack Cocaine ~Amendment on Retroactivity, Effective November 1, 2011:
http://www.fedcure.org/documents/USSC-RetroactiveCrackCocaine-USSG1B1.10-011111.pdf

http://www.ussc.gov/Legal/Amendments/Reader-Friendly/20110630_RF_Amendment_Retro.pdf
 
 
30 June 2011

U.S. Sentencing Commission

Crack Cocaine Sentencing CSPAN Video Library

The U.S. Sentencing Commission held a public meeting on lowering crack cocaine sentencing guidelines. The commission voted in favor of the change. Members voted, unanimously to retroactively modify sentences pertaining to federal drug offenses, including reduction in term of imprisonment as a result of the amended guideline range recently adopted by Congress. Additionally, commissioners voted on provisions of the Fair Sentencing Act, which recently reduced the disparities in penalties between powder and crack cocaine, for some prisoners already serving time for crack cocaine offenses.  Watch Hearing:  http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/CrackCoc.

Hearing Transcript:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/USSC-RetroactiveCrackCocaineHearing_Transcript300611ocr.pdf


 

Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott

Virginia's Third Congressional District

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Larry Dillard

(202) 225-8351

July 28, 2010

 

Scott Statement on Passage of the Fair Sentencing Act

WASHINGTON, DC. Congressman Robert C. (Bobby) Scott, Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, issued the following statement on passage of S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010: 

Today, S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, historic bipartisan legislation, was passed by the House of Representatives. This bill will reduce the100-to-1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine in federal law to 18-to-1. 

Under current law, it takes only 5 grams of crack cocaine to trigger a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence, but for powder cocaine it takes 500 grams to trigger the same 5-year mandatory minimum sentence.  S. 1789 moves the threshold amount of crack for a 5-year mandatory minimum sentence from 5 grams to 28 grams and makes a similar reduction to an 18-to-1 ratio for the ten-year mandatory minimum.  

Studies have shown that there are no pharmacological differences between crack and powder cocaine.  Yet, crack offenders are serving extremely long sentences, while people who have committed more serious drug offenses, or serious violent crimes, are serving shorter terms.  Kemba Smith, a college student in my Congressional District who had a very minor role in a crack conspiracy involving her boyfriend who was a drug dealer, was sentenced to 24 and 1/2 years and served 7 years before her sentence was commuted by President Clinton.   

And the higher penalties for very small amounts of crack have the bizarre effect of punishing those lower in the drug distribution chain much more severely than the drug kingpins in the chain who distribute the larger amounts of powder from which the crack is produced.  

The differences in penalties for crack and powder cocaine also have a disparate racial impact.  More than 80% of people convicted in federal court for crack offenses are African American, while only 27% of those convicted of powder cocaine offenses are African American.   

Although I think the fairest approach would be to totally eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine, the bill we passed today represents substantial progress toward that goal.            

I would like to thank Senator Durbin and Senator Sessions, as well as their colleagues on both sides of the aisle, for developing this successful bi-partisan compromise.  I would also like to thank House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn for his tenacious efforts to get the bill scheduled for action in the House this week.  And, I would like to thank House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Mel Watt and Rep Charles Rangel for their long-standing dedication to addressing this unfairness between crack and powder cocaine penalties.

 Further, I would like to thank the advocates and organizations that have worked tirelessly for many years to reform the federal crack cocaine law such as Wade Henderson, Nancy Zirkin and Lisa Bornstein from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Nkechi Taifa from The Open Society Policy Center, Laura Murphy and Jennifer Bellamy from the ACLU, Julie Stewart and Jennifer Stitt from Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Marc Mauer and Kara Gotsch from The Sentencing Project, Jasmine Tyler from the Drug Policy Alliance, Hilary Shelton with the NAACP and Bruce Nicholson with the American Bar Association. 

# # #

 

1201 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: 202-225-8351   Fax: 202-225-8354   Web:  bobbyscott.house.gov  

Full Text:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/S.1789.shtml

 

 

 
H.R.5143

House Passes National Criminal Justice Commission Act

 
07/27/2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Senator Jim Webb and Rep. Bill Delahunt that creates a blue-ribbon, bipartisan  commission charged with undertaking a top-to-bottom review of the nation’s criminal justice system.

It has been over four decades since we conducted a comprehensive review of our criminal justice system, said Delahunt. Today our prison population is expanding at an alarming rate, with costs to the taxpayers that are unsustainable.  The bill passed tonight will assess the current crisis, reverse these disturbing trends and help save taxpayer money. I am proud to have joined with Senator Jim Webb on this issue. His tireless efforts championing this bill will help ensure quick passage.

I want to congratulate Congressman Delahunt for guiding the National Criminal Justice Commission Act to success in the House, said Senator Webb. This bill will take a long overdue, comprehensive review of our criminal justice system, taking a look at what’s broken and what works.  With tonight's success, I look forward to swift legislative action in the Senate.

Despite the fact that crime rates have declined nationally over the past two decades, the U.S. currently incarcerates more than 2.3 million individuals -the highest rate in the world.  Studies show that by 2011, prison expenditures will cost taxpayers almost $75 billion.

In an effort to combat these alarming trends, the commission will study all areas of the criminal justice system, including federal, state, local and tribal governments' criminal justice costs, practices, and policies.  After conducting the review, the Commission will make recommendations for changes in, or continuation of oversight, policies, practices, and laws designed to prevent, deter, and reduce crime and violence, improve cost-effectiveness, and ensure the interests of justice.  The bill has been endorsed by approximately 100 organizations. In the House, it is co-sponsored by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Robert C. (Bobby) Scott (D - VA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and Tom Rooney (R-FL).

The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2010, was introduced in the Senate as S. 714 by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA). The bill has received widespread bipartisan support and has 39 cosponsors in the Senate, including Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Ranking Member Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Judiciary Committee member Senator Orrin G Hatch (R-U). 

The passage of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act is the latest in a series of legislative victories for Delahunt. Earlier this month, President Obama signed the Financial Services Regulatory Reform Act, which included provisions establishing a Consumer Financial Product Protection Bureau, a legislative proposal that Delahunt introduced last March. 

In May, President Obama signed Delahunt's Travel Promotion Act. The FY 2011 Defense Department Authorization bill included language allowing no-cost transfers of military bases, such as the South Weymouth Naval Air Station. Over the winter, Congress created the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the causes of the financial meltdown in the fall of 2008.  This legislation was introduced in the House by Delahunt last fall.

To watch a video of Delahunt's remarks, please click here:  http://www.youtube.com/repdelahunt#p/u/0/8hM0C4pKdU0

URL:  http://delahunt.house.gov/2010/07/house-passes-national-criminal-justice-commission-act.shtml

Full Text and Congressional Record at:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR5143.shtml.


 
GROUNDBREAKING REPORT

Center for Economic and Policy Research

1611 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 400

Washington, D.C. 20009

202-293-5380

www.cepr.net

The High Budgetary Cost of Incarceration

John Schmitt, Kris Warner, and Sarika Gupta

June 2010

Executive Summary

The United States currently incarcerates a higher share of its population than any other country in the world. The U.S. incarceration rate of 753 per 100,000 people in 2008 is now about 240 percent higher than it was in 1980.

We calculate that a reduction by one-half in the incarceration rate of non-violent offenders would lower correctional expenditures by $16.9 billion per year and return the U.S. to about the same

incarceration rate we had in 1993 (which was already high by historical standards). The large majority of these savings would accrue to financially squeezed state and local governments, amounting to about one-fourth of their annual corrections budgets. As a group, state governments could save $7.6 billion, while local governments could save $7.2 billion.

A review of the extensive research on incarceration and crime suggests that these savings could be achieved without any appreciable deterioration in public safety.

Other findings include:

In 2008, one of every 48 working-age men (2.1 percent of all working-age men) was in prison or jail.

In 2008, the U.S. correctional system held over 2.3 million inmates, about two-thirds in prison and about one-third in jail.

Non-violent offenders make up over 60 percent of the prison and jail population. Nonviolent drug offenders now account for about one-fourth of all offenders behind bars, up from less than 10 percent in 1980.

The total number of violent crimes was only about three percent higher in 2008 than it was in 1980, while the total number of property crimes was about 20 percent lower. Over the same period, the U.S. population increased about 33 percent and the prison and jail population increased by more than 350 percent.

Crime can explain only a small portion of the rise in incarceration between 1980 and the early 1990s, and none of the increase in incarceration since then. If incarceration rates had tracked violent crime rates, for example, the incarceration rate would have peaked at 317 per 100,000 in 1992, and fallen to 227 per 100,000 by 2008 – less than one third of the actual 2008 level and about the same level as in 1980.

 
 

 
FedCURE's Idea to "Increase Federal Good Time Allowances ~ H.R. 1475"
Winner of the "Top 10 Ideas for Change in America for 2010."
 
 
For daily updates and to Subscribe, simply send an e-mail to: FedCURE-org-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
The United States Sentencing Commission
 
 - presents - 
 
The Annual National Seminar
 
on the
 
Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Cosponsored by ABA Criminal Justice Section

June 16 -18, 2010 o Wednesday - Friday o Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, Louisiana

 Brochure & Registration:  http://www.ussc.gov/TRAINING/SYMPO2010/2010_Agenda_Annual_National_Seminar.pdf


The United States Sentencing Commission presents the Annual National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines  

Hilton New Orleans Riverside 
2 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70140
United States

 

CLICK HERE | PLAY VIDEO

Congressional Black Caucus |
Community Re-Investment Taskforce.

SYMPOSIUM:  Rethinking Federal Sentencing Policy
Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act" Sponsored by:  Harvard and Yale Law Schools.

| Wednesday, 24 June 2009, 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM |

U.S. Capitol Visitors Center,

Orientation Theater South

Washington, DC.


  • Hon. Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Eric Holder, Jr., Attorney General, Department of Justice
  • FedCURE: Panel 4: Good Time Allowances, Community Corrections and Re-Entry
  • Federal Criminal Justice Policy Makers


Introduction of Justice Stephen Breyer by

Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Executive Director 

Remarks by

Hon. Stephen Gerald Breyer  
Supreme Court of the United States

 Kate Smith, Acting Dean, Yale Law School


 
 

MAP:  http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/Visit/Image%20-%20Large%20Capitol%20Complex.gif

Press:  ABC, NBC, CNN (Covering Highlights) & FedCURE News (Taped gavel to gavel coverage, plus exclusive follow up interviews with the nation's top CJR policy makers).

VIDEO: To obtain video footage of this event and or fees for video production, contact FedCURE at: http://www.fedcure.org/contact.shtml

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
Click here for:  Symposium Information and Presentation Materials

 

21 December 2010 (Last Update)

 

FOIA

Ion Spectrometer Records

Federal Cure (FedCURE) v. Lappin:  No. 07-843, 2009 WL 692159 (D.D.C. Mar. 18, 2009) (Walton, J.)

Re: Records concerning use of ion spectrometer scanning at BOP facilities

• Fee waiver: It is uncontested that the requested information concerns an identifiable operation or activity of the government, and that plaintiff lacks a commercial interest in the information. Plaintiff "analyzes and synthesizes technical information" for its on-line discussion group, and has shown that it will disseminate the requested information "'to a sufficiently broad audience'" of those interested in the subject. The fact that plaintiff does not distribute printed materials is not a bar to its claim, and its "website, [online] newsletter and chat room are an adequate means of disseminating information." Furthermore, plaintiff's "stature as the largest advocacy group for federal inmates . . . lends credence to its position that a substantial number of individuals have and will continue to access its newsletters, chat room services and daily news updates." Finally, given the limited amount of information concerning ion spectrometry currently available, "any dissemination of information regarding the BOP's use of [it] will enhance the public's understanding of the technology."

FedCURE has obtained the records set out below after prevailing in the above styled case against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, to release the records pursuant the FOIA.  See:  http://www.fedcure.org/information/250205-FBOP-FOIA-PA-ION.shtml.  The bureau would not release the records without FedCURE paying $3,976.00 and would not grant FedCURE a FOIA fee waiver and FedCURE sued.  Consequently, the bureau paid $40,742.50 in FedCURE's attorneys fees and $585.64 in other fees and costs.

   

FedCURE invites the public to examine these records and to contribute to the analysis that would provide evidence to support the premise that the Ion Spectrometer machines are unreliable and therefore the Federal Bureau of Prisons must discontinue using the machines at all federal institutions.  Please send your comments and or findings to FedCURE at: http://www.fedcure.org/contact.shtml

   

FedCURE Notice:  Ion Spectrometry Device Program ~ Federal Bureau of Prisons: COMPLAINTS | PROCEDURES, see:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/FedCURE_Notice-Ion_Spectrometry_Device_Program.shtml.

For Bureau Policy and Procedures on the Ion Spectrometry Device Program see:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/5522_001-IonSpectrometryDeviceProgram.pdf

Please note:  Information has been redacted by the bureau claiming certain FOIA exemptions.  The bureau may have to produce the redacted information at a later date.  Additional records are forthcoming and we will publish here.  

FedCURE

                                                                                                                                       

   fIRST FOIA Production 08 January 2010:

  1. 1-FedCURE_v_Lappin-FOIA-ION-CoverLetter-Production-080110.PDF
  2. 027_98.wpd
  3. 5522_0011 Ionizer Procedures.wpd
  4. Bastrop.PDF
  5. Big Sandy-R.pdf
  6. BIG-05-03326 LOGrcd-R.pdf
  7. BIG-05-03326 LOGrcds-ION-R.pdf
  8. BIG-05-03326 Part 1_IONrcds-R.pdf
  9. BIG-05-03326 Part 2_IONrcds-R.pdf
  10. BIG-05-03326 Part 3_IONrecds-R.pdf
  11. Butner.pdf
  12. Chicago.pdf
  13. CRW-05-0-3326-ION-Rcds-1.pdf
  14. CRW-05-03326-ION-Rcds-2-R.pdf
  15. CRW-05-03326-ION-Rcds-3-R.pdf
  16. CRWFedCure FOIA ION LitigationFORM.doc
  17. Devens-R.pdf
  18. Dublin.pdf
  19. El Reno-R.pdf
  20. Englewood-R.pdf
  21. Fort Worth-R.pdf
  22. Ion Program procedures.wpd
  23. Ion Track Request.wpd
  24. ION.shw
  25. IT3 TM001017r3 IT3 Maintenance .ppt
  26. IT3 TM001018r3 IT3 Administration.ppt
  27. La Tuna-R.pdf
  28. Lewisburg.wpd
  29. Lompoc Low-R.pdf
  30. Lompoc Med-R.pdf
  31. Los Angeles-R.pdf
  32. Marianna.pdf
  33. McCreary-A.xls
  34. McCreary-B.doc
  35. McCreary-C.wpd
  36. Miami-R.pdf
  37. Milan-R.pdf
  38. National Ion Docs Gilmer Set 1-R.pdf
  39. National Ion Docs Gilmer Set 2.pdf
  40. National Ion Docs Lee-R.pdf
  41. NCRO-R.pdf
  42. NERO.pdf
  43. New York-R.pdf
  44. Oakdale FCI-FDC-R.pdf
  45. Otisville-R.pdf

    
                                                                                                                                         

Second FOIA Production 26 March 2010:

         (PDF format)

  1. 04-10-08-IonSpectrometry
  2. 04-24-08-GE-states-corrected-false-positive-is
  3. 08-23-06 BP-100(AF1)Itemizer2fromBMM-to-BMP
  4. FCC-Beaumont(L)(C)-ALCOHOL-ION---01-2004-04-2007
  5. FCC-Beaumont-ION-purchase
  6. FCI-Beaumont-Reports-R
  7. Phoenix-02-R
  8. Phoenix-03-R
  9. Phoenix-04-R
  10. Phoenix-05-R
  11. Pollock-R
  12. Safford
  13. San Diego-R
  14. Schuylkill-R
  15. SEA-05-03326-ION-Records-1-R
  16. SEA-05-03326-ION-Records-2 Manual
  17. SeaTac
  18. Terminal Island-R
  19. Terre Haute-R
  20. Texarkana-R
  21. Three Rivers-R
  22. Tucson-R
  23. USP-Atwater-Jan-2004-R
  24. USP-Atwater-Feb-2004-R
  25. USP-Atwater-March-2004-R
  26. USP-Atwater-April-May2004-R
  27. USP-Atwater-June-2004-R
  28. USP-Atwater-August-2004-R
  29. USP-Atwater-September-2004-R
  30. USP-Atwater-Oct-2004-R
  31. USP-Atwater-Nov-2004-R
  32. USP-Atwater-Dec-2004-R
  33. USP-Beaumont-DOC
  34. USP-Beaumont-DOC(2)-R
  35. USP-Beaumont-DOC(3)-R
  36. USP-Beaumont-DOC(4)-R
  37. USP-Beaumont-DOC(5)-R
  38. USP-Beaumont-DOC000-R
  39. USP-Beaumont-ION-machine-Info-R
  40. Victorville

      (Power Point Presentation)

  1. Slides-I3-Maintenance
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E-mail your comments to FedCURE:  FedCURE


FedCURE's Federal Criminal Justice Reform's
 
Let us give you a clear picture as to how we see the current landscape of Federal Criminal Justice Reform (CJR) and what we propose by way of reforms.  FedCURE handled the promotion and the five hour filming of the CBC Symposium, Rethinking Federal Sentencing Policy: Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act"  Sponsored by:  Harvard and Yale Law Schools, this past 24 June, in Washington, DC and FedCURE News is producing a series of videos of the symposium to stream here on  FedCURE websites and to air on PBS.  The CBC was in overwhelming agreement on reforms as set out in each of the panel discussions.   See:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/CBC-Symposium-240609-FedCURE_Panel-4.shtml.   
 
While promoting FedCURE's initiatives, i.e., to establish a hybrid system of parole and good time allowances; and provide reentry opportunities for federal offenders, FedCURE is focusing on increasing Residential Reentry Center (RRC) capacity. An RRC is formerly known as half-way-house or HWH.  Over 60,000 people were released from federal prison last year, of which 20,000 were deported.  Currently, there is no place to put anyone, if parole and good time measures were adopted, as evidenced by the choked implementation of the Second Chance Act regarding CCC placement. Of the 37,635 people in prison who qualified for RRC placement in the last year ending this March, 20% did not go to RRC. 
 
The Second Chance Act (Public Law 110-199)
 
We have always known that there would be problems with the implementation of the Second Chance Act because there is not enough RRC capacity, however, we felt and still do, that it was more important to have the legislation in place as a first measure, then work on increasing RRC capacity.  The bottleneck, so to speak, is that there is not enough RRC capacity to implement the SCA as written, not to mention reducing federal prison sentences by parole or increased good time allowances.  FedCURE has been working behind the scenes, with top policy makers, making proposals to increase RRC capacity.  Our  proposal seeks to engage the nations some 8,600 faith-based and neighborhood partnership organizations (as defined by the White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, see: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog_post/working_with_faith/) to take on reentry at the point of CCC placement to increase capacity by 40-50 thousand people.   If the communities do not take it on, do not take their people back, then what are we doing?
 
The Fair Sentencing Act of 2009 (Crack Cocaine)
 
Durbin Introduces Bill to Eliminate Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

Thursday, October 15, 2009

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Crime and Drugs Subcommittee Chairman Arlen Specter (D-PA), and seven other Senators, introduced legislation today to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. His bill, the Fair Sentencing Act, would refocus scarce federal resources toward large scale, violent traffickers and increase penalties for the worst drug offenders. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, restoring sentencing parity would do more than any other policy change to close the gap in incarceration rates between African Americans and whites. The Obama Administration endorsed eliminating the sentencing disparity at a hearing chaired by Durbin in April. 

Press Release:  http://durbin.senate.gov/showRelease.cfm?releaseId=318978

FedCURE Action Alert: 
 
Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced The Fair Sentencing Act - a bill to get rid of the notorious "100-to-1" ratio between crack and powder cocaine penalties (below).  Do your part.  Contact your Congressperson(s) and urge them to support this bill.  Go to:  FedCURE's Contact Congress Page at: http://www.fedcure.org/ContactCongressREP-SEN.shtml


FedCURE's free Listserve and Discussion Group:
 
To learn more and to get involved join FedCURE's free Listserve and Discussion Group, where you can interact with FedCURE staffers and over 2,750 FedCURE subscribers.
 
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Please read FedCURE's FAQ at:   http://www.fedcure.org/FAQ.shtml.
 

Tuesday 08 September 2009: Second Session

Friday,  07 August: Senate Breaks for Summer Recess


July 2009 - Schedule of Events:

  • FedCURE and CUREnational are on the hill working on amendments to the Health Care Reform Bill currently being debated in Congress, to cover people in prisons and jails and reentry.  Stay tuned for a FedCURE Report.
  • Wednesday,  22 July
11:00               National Criminal Justice Commission Coalition Meeting (Webb bill)
                        Open Society Policy Center
                        1120 19th Street, NW Suite 800
 
12:00               Reentry Working Group Meeting
                        Open Society Policy Center
 
3:00                 House Crime Subcommittee Hearing
                        "Over-Criminalization of Conduct/Over-Federalization of Criminal Law"
                        2237 Rayburn House Office Building
                        See attachment for witnesses
 
3:15                 House Crime Subcommittee Markup  (hearing will be interrupted for markup)
                        HR 3245 Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 (Scott bill)
                        2237 Rayburn House Office Building
                        Attached please find ABA and ACLU letters in support of HR 3245
                        "Crack the Disparity buttons will be available outside of hearing room.

00:00               House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security unanimously passed H.R. 3245, the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009, on July 22

.

  • Friday,  31 July: House Breaks for Summer Recess.


 

 
June 2009 - Schedule of Held Events:
 
  • Tuesday, June 9 - 12:30 till 2:00 pm - Goodwill Industries briefing on The Road to Reintegration: Goodwill Industries' Call to Action to Ensure Successful Reentry for People Who are Former Offenders. B-340 Rayburn
  • Tuesday, June 9 - 4:30 till 6:30 pm - Briefing by Congressman Davis on the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act. Speakers include Joshua Dubois, White House Director of Religious Affairs and Rep. Barbara Lee, Chair of the CBC. Room B-369 Rayburn. RSVP to Helen.Mitchell@mail.house.gov 
  • Wednesday, June 10 - 3:30 pm till 5:15 pm - Showing of new documentary THE FARM: 10 DOWN (flyer forthcoming), about the Angola Prison at Open Society, 1120 19th Street, NW, Washington.
  • Thursday, June 11 - 11:00 am - Meeting at Open Society office, 1120 19th Street, NW, Washington on the Democracy Restoration Act to restore voting rights in federal elections. Please RSVP to Garima Malhotra, garima.malhotra@nyu.edu  or  (212...
  • Thursday, June 11 - 2:30 pm - Senate Judiciary Crime Subcommittee hearing on Senator Webb's legislation to create a national commission to make recommendations for criminal justice reform. FedCURE, Mark A. Varca, J.D., Acting Chairman, Subcommittee Testimony:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/FedCURE-Test-M.A.Varca,ActChr-SCJ-SCD-NCJCA-Hrn.g110609w.pdf
  • Monday, June 15  - Noon till 2:00 - public lobby session on DC anti-gang legislation 
  • Tuesday, June 16 - Noon - Meeting focusing on reentry issues in the District of Columbia. Sandwiches will be served. Please rsvp to Gretchen Rohr at grohr@uls-dc.org 
  • Tuesday, June 16 - 8:30 am - Joseph L. Rauh Lecture at the UDC David E. Clarke School of Law 
  • Thursday, June 18 - Noon - Cato Book Forum: Dred Scott's Revenge, A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America.
  • Wednesday, June 24, 2009,  4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice Harvard Law School, Congressional Black Caucus Symposium:  Rethinking Federal Sentencing Policy - 25th Anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act.  U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Orientation Theater South, Washington, DC. (FedCURE on Panel 4 ~ Second Look: A Hybrid System of Federal Parole and Good Time Allowances). Details:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/CBC-Symposium-240609-FedCURE_Panel-4.shtml
  • Friday, June 26 - All day - Time Banks USA conference in Madison, WI.
  • Saturday, June 27 - Palm Harbor, FL. - A celebration of Dr. Kenny Linn's Life, FedCURE's former Chairman:   A Memorial.  http://www.fedcure.org/bios/linn.shtml.

 
NEW!
 
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Please go to our Donate & Join page at: http://www.fedcure.org/join.shtml   Select the "SUBSCRIBE" button (FedCURE Reoccurring Payment Subscription).  You will be taken to our secure PayPal page.  Enter your payment information and your done. 

Thank you for supporting FedCURE and its work.  You can feel good about it.


 
FedCURE Action Alert:
  • FedCURE Contact Congress Campaign:

    H.R. 1475 - `Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2009' - 'A bill To amend title 18, United States Code, to restore the former system of good time allowances toward service of Federal prison terms, and for other purposes.  Status:  Submitted  by Rep. Danny K. Davis (D. ILL) on 12 March 2009. 

    Action Alert:  Do your part.  Contact your Congressperson(s) and urge them to support this bill.  Go to:  FedCURE's Contact Congress Page at: http://www.fedcure.org/ContactCongressREP-SEN.shtml

 

Pass it ON!  Pass it ON!

 
Removed Action Alert & Update:  FedCURE's 100,000 Letter Writing Campaign
 
Up Date:  
  • FedCURE's "100,000 Letter Writing Campaign" produced almost 24,000 letters to the United States Sentencing Commission.  Albeit, not 100k, we were heard loud and clear.  Your letters worked.  FedCURE was on the docket for the United States Sentencing Commission's public hearing, held in Washington, DC, on 17 March 2009 at 4:30pm.   FedCURE strongly urged the Commission to adopt FedCURE's public comment to amend the Sentencing Guidelines to  incorporate a hybrid system of parole and good time allowances. 
     
    Sadly, on 01 May 2009, the United States Sentencing Commission released its proposed amendments to the guidelines manual, effective 01 November 2009.  See:  http://www.ussc.gov/2009guid/20090501_Reader_Friendly_Amendments.pdf.  You should be mortified to learn that there is not one word about "parole" or "good time allowances"  throughout the 57 pages of amendments; and that there are no reductions in sentences, whatsoever, only increases. 

    Federal Parole and Good Time Allowances Legislation:

    There are now two separate bills:

    1.  A Hybrid System of Parole:  FedCURE draft legislation is pending in Rep. Danny K. Davis' office.  FedCURE is also seeking Republican support. Stay tuned. We will post more information as it becomes available.  Please do not clog up the FedCURE discussion group, blogs and or e-mails with redundant questions on the timing of introduction of this bill.

    2.  Good Time Allowances:   H.R.1475 - `Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2009' 

    H.R. 1475 - `Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2009' - 'A bill To amend title 18, United States Code, to restore the former system of good time allowances toward service of Federal prison terms, and for other purposes.   Status:  Submitted  by Rep. Danny K. Davis (D. ILL) on 12 March 2009. 

    Action Alert:  Do your part.  Contact your Congressperson(s) and urge them to support this bill:


    T U.S. Senators Directory

    T Senate Judiciary Committee

    T U.S. House Judiciary Committee

    T House of Representatives Mail Labels (word.doc)

    T FedCURE's Contact Congress Page


    Bookmark:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml

    Former bill, H.R. 7089 (same text):

    Full text and status:  http://www.fedcure.org/information/HR7089.shtml. 
    Full text in PDF:  H.R. 7089 in PDF.

    Background: On 11 September 2008, FedCURE attended a meeting in the office of Rep. Danny Davis, which lasted about two hours. In attendance were Rep. Davis' point person for two bills being considered, two ex-Wardens, another Congressperson, the Chief of Staff and Chief Counsel of the U. S. Parole Commission and members and lobbyists for a number of advocacy organizations. All together there were probably twenty or so people in the room. The good time bill will get a minor language tweak and should be ready for submission late next week or early the following week. Basically it restores the old law good time statutes that were repealed (Title 18 USC Sec. 4161-4166). If passed, it would shorten prison sentences measurably for everyone but lifers. We spoke with Rep. Davis one-on-one after the meeting to convince him to introduce the parole bill now as well to keep the momentum going. He has no objection to doing this, but will not introduce it at the same time with the good time bill. Time is short because the House is supposed to adjourn at the end of September. FedCURE will be pushing to get him and his staff member to finalize the parole bill and get it introduced, but there is no guarantee this will happen. We are moving along a lot slower than we would like, but that is the way Washington works and there is little we can do about it. All in all, we are pleased that these issues are front and center on Rep. Davis' agenda and we think we can see major support develop early next year. On 06 May 2008, FedCURE had extensive meetings with Rep. Danny K Davis (D IL) and his key staffers.  The Criminal Justice Tax Relief Act of 2008 (CJTRA) authored by FedCURE has been changed in a couple of significant ways and will probably have a new name.   For now it is titled The Federal Release Revision Act of 2008.  Without going into detail (the devil is always in the details), suffice it to say that increased good time and parole review by the United States Parole Commission for those given over a certain length of sentence are the two focuses of this bill.  FedCURE is very happy at the outcome.   The proposed bill will still affect each and every inmate in some positive way.  Rep. Davis has formed an advisory panel of a number of federal judges, a former Deputy Attorney General, a couple of post-conviction defense counsel, key Judiciary Committee staffers and representatives of the BOP, Parole Commission, Probation Services and other government agencies,  FedCURE is finishing up the rewrite and will be forwarding a copy back to Rep. Davis' staff for distribution of a highlighted talking points bulletin to the Advisory Panel.  The Panel is being asked for a twenty day turnaround for comments at which point another rewrite will doubtlessly take place before it is presented to House Counsel for their dissection  of the details to make sure they conform to whatever statutory changes would have to take place in the event that the bill passes.  All of this takes time and we are aware that time is of consequence.  Rest assured we are pushing as hard as we can to get this bill introduced as soon as possible. On 20 April 2007 FedCURE met with the point person for Rep. Danny K. Davis of Illinois the main sponsor of last year's federal parole bill - H.R. 3072.   FedCURE also spent about one half hour with Rep. Davis.   Subsequently, FedCURE drafted a new bill titled: The Criminal Justice Tax Relief Act of 2008 (CJTRA), which will take a different focus. The CJTRA would establish a hybrid system of parole for all federal offenders. The bill is estimated to save the U.S. taxpayers $4 to $7 billion dollars annualy.   The CJTRA, would, inter alia:
    • Reinstate the old parole statutes and make amendments thereto.
      Make all offenders eligible for parole.
      Increase good time allowances.
      Give jurisdiction to the United States Parole Commission to set release dates in accordance with applicable parole guidelines or the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, whichever is lowest. 
      Provide for reduction in term of imprisonment of elderly offenders.
      Clarify parole procedures. 
      Provide post incarceration supervision.  
      Apply prospectively and retroactively. 
      Extend the life of the United States Parole Commission for twenty years.


      FedCURE Reports:

      Congressional and USSC hearings

            

      • House Committtee on the Judiciary - Hearing on: H.R. 6509, the Reauthorization of the U.S. Parole Commission.
       
      Hearing 16 July 2008: FedCURE, Dr. Kenny Linn, J.D., LL.M., Chairman, Testimony on H.R. 6509: 
       
      • U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies: 
       
      • United States Sentencing Commission.

      USSC Hearing 17 March 2009:FedCURE, Dr. Kenny Linn, J.D., LL.M., Chairman, Testimony USSC:

      http://www.fedcure.org/documents/USSC-KHLFC-260309.pdf

       
      • Senate Judiciary Crime Subcommittee hearing on S.714 - National Criminal Justice Commission Act 2009:
       
      Hearing 11 June 2009: FedCURE, Mark A. Varca, J.D., Acting Chairman, Subcommittee Testimony:  



       
      The Second Chance Act of 2007
      Public Law 110-199
       
      The Second Chance Act of 2007 - was signed into law by President Bush on 09 April 2008. Public Law 110-199.
      The bill was introduced in the 110th Congress on 20 March 2007 as H.R. 1593.   Just a week after the re-introduction of the bill, 28 March 2007, members of the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 1593 out of committee.  During the mark-up of the bill, members voted down several amendments that would have jeopardized the bipartisan support for the bill.  Sen. Bidden introduced S. 1060, an identical bill, in the Senate on 29 March 2007.   On 02 August 2007 the Senate Judiciary Committee passed out the Second Chance Act.  Unanimously. The Second Chance Act passed in the Senate, late Tuesday night (11 March 2008) and awaits the signature of President Bush before it can become law. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 347 to 62 to pass the Second Chance Act on 13 November 2007. The bipartisan bill was passed by voice vote, last night, after the Senate adopted a concurrent resolution (H Con Res 270) that made minor changes to the Second Chance Act, including limiting the federal share of project costs for some reentry programs.
      FedCURE called on President George Bush to sign the Second Chance Act in to law at his earliest convenience. During his State of the Union address in 2004, the president coined "America is the land of second chance, and when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life." He announced a proposal that would make $300 million in grant money available over four years for prisoner reentry initiatives, including those involving faith-based groups. The President is to be thanked for getting the ball rolling.
      The President signed the Second Chance Act on 09 April 2008 at the White House. Public Law 110-199.
      For updates send an e-mail to:
      FedCURE-org-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
      Gene Guerrero, Director of The Open Society Institute/Open Society Policy Center (SOROS) is the lead lobbying effort behind this legislation.
      Congratulations to Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill., the lead sponsor of The Second Chance Act (H.R. 1593) and Joseph R. Biden, Jr., D-Del., the lead sponsor of a companion Senate measure S.1060.
       

       

      Click Here: FedCURE News and Legislative Updates - Archives 2oo7 to 2oo3


       

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    and to Restore PELL Grants, for all federal offenders.

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