Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Earned Good Time Bill Introduced in Congress

On July 11, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) introduced H.R. 2656, the Public Safety Enhancement Act of 2013 (PSEA). The bill could allow some federal prisoners to earn credit if they complete certain programs. The credits could enable some prisoners who are considered by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to be at low risk of recidivism to be released from prison and to serve the remainder of their sentences in a halfway house or in home confinement. The credits would be different than and in addition to any good time credit federal prisoners already can receive.

The bill is not a law. We do not know if or when H.R. 2656 will become a law. Before it can become a law, the bill must undergo hearings, editing (a “mark-up”), and passage by the House Judiciary Committee, then must be passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President. This could take a long time, or may never happen. Keep checking our website,, for updates on the bill’s progress. The bill only applies to people convicted in federal courts, not state courts.

In coming days, we’ll have additional information and a more detailed analysis of the bill for you. For now, here are some resources on the bill:

Click here to read the bill

Click here to read a statement and bill summary from Rep. Chaffetz

Click here to read a statement from Rep. Scott