Cornyn-backed prison-reform bill clears
Posted on March 7, 2014 | By William T.
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.
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
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.
would be excluded from this program are: all sex offenders, terrorism offenders,
violent offenders, repeat offenders, major organized crime offenders, and major
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
"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.
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
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.
Hearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
"Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for
AMENDMENT IS CURE ~ Dangerously Over Crowded Federal Prison System
Incarceration dollars shift to $1.2 billion Re-Entry
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
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
~ HEARING ON THE OVERSIGHT
OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS ~
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 -
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.
REPORT, Bookmark and disseminated compliments of
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
Moderated discussion here (free subscription required) -
VIDEO: FedCURE LIVE! "Who's The Pusher Now ? | Vote for the BARBER AMENDMENT ~ Federal Good Time Bill. In this video: FedCURE's Chairman, Mark A. Varca, J.D., his father, FedCURE's Senior Advisor, Anthony J. Varca and FedCURE's Media Arts Director, Andrew Colangelo Recupero, as guests of host, singer-songwriter, Ellen Bukstel, singing: Who's The Pusher Now?
End the "War on Drugs" 42 years | $2.5 Trillion | 45 million
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
Recommends Increasing Good Time Credits and
Reinstating Parole for Federal Offenders.
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
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.
* 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, email@example.com, for this
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,
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
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
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
'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
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
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
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
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 inmates 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 populationsand 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
For more information, contact David C. Maurer at (202) 512-9627 or
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.
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
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
(Excerpt from House Report, as it relates to
the Federal Prison System)
COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE,
AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2013
HOUSE REPORT 112 -
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
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.
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
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.
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
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:
Increased good time "at the rate of 54 days per
year of sentence imposed;" and
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
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
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
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."
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."
~ 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
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
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.
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.
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
Full text at: http://www.fedcure.org/documents/USSC_LegislativePublicAffairsPublicHearingsMeetings20110317TestimonyBOP-Lappin.pdf
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 expecta cost avoidance of up to $41 million.
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.
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
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
Note: The Sentencing Reform Act of 2011 has not
been introduced. FedCURE is seeking bipartisan support for the bill in
the 113th Congress.
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
FedCURE's Federal Good Time Bill Campaign: "Top 10 Ideas for Change in America"
~ 113th Congress ~
Call - to - Action ~ BARBER Amendment ~ Federal Good Time Bill
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.
Dear Members of the 113th Congress of the United
Subject: The Barber Amendment - Increased Good Time
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
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
* 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
* 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
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
Keep calling until your Congressperson(s) agree to
sponsor the BARBER Amendment, make an appointment to see them, if necessary
to get their support.
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.
NEWS: U.S. Sentencing Commission: Crack Cocaine | Effective Date of
Retroactivity Set for November 1, 2011 [FCN-300611-INST]
SENTENCING COMMISSION VOTES UNANIMOUSLY TO APPLY FAIR SENTENCING ACT OF 2010
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.].
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 Â§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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
Hon. Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice, U.S.
Eric Holder, Jr., Attorney General,
Department of Justice
Panel 4: Good Time Allowances,
Community Corrections and Re-Entry
Federal Criminal Justice Policy
of Justice Stephen Breyer by
Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Executive
Stephen Gerald Breyer Supreme Court of
the United States
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Friday, 07 August: Senate Breaks for Summer Recess
July 2009 - Schedule of Events:
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.
Criminal Justice Commission Coalition Meeting (Webb
Open Society Policy
1120 19th Street, NW Suite
Open Society Policy
"Over-Criminalization of Conduct/Over-Federalization of Criminal
2237 Rayburn House Office
See attachment for
Crime Subcommittee Markup (hearing will be interrupted for
HR 3245 Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009 (Scott
2237 Rayburn House Office
Attached please find ABA and ACLU letters in support of HR
"Crack the Disparity buttons will be available outside of hearing
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
July: House Breaks for Summer Recess.
June 2009 - Schedule of Held
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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).
Friday, June 26 - All day - Time Banks USA
conference in Madison, WI.
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FedCURE Contact Congress
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.
Removed Action Alert &
Update: FedCURE's 100,000 Letter Writing
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.
01 May 2009, the United States Sentencing Commission released its proposed
amendments to the guidelines manual, effective 01 November 2009.
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
There are now two separate
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
the old parole statutes and make amendments thereto.
all offenders eligible for parole.
good time allowances.
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.
for reduction in term of imprisonment of elderly offenders.
post incarceration supervision.
prospectively and retroactively.
the life of the United States Parole Commission for twenty
Congressional and USSC
Committtee on the Judiciary - Hearing on: H.R. 6509, the Reauthorization of
the U.S. Parole Commission.
July 2008: FedCURE, Dr.
Kenny Linn, J.D., LL.M., Chairman, Testimony on H.R. 6509:
Second Chance Act of 2007 - was signed into law by President Bush
on 09 April 2008. Public Law 110-199.
bill was introduced in the 110th Congress on 20 March 2007 as H.R.
a week after the re-introduction of the bill, 28 March 2007,
members of the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R.
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.
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
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.
President signed the Second Chance Act on 09 April 2008 at the
White House. Public Law 110-199.