Justice Department Announces New Rule Implementing Federal Time Credits Program Established by the First Step Act
On January 13, 2022, the Department of Justice announced that a new rule has been submitted to the Federal Register implementing the Time Credits program required by the First Step Act for persons incarcerated in federal facilities who committed nonviolent offenses. As part of the implementation process, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has begun transferring eligible inmates out of BOP facilities and into either a supervised release program or into Residential Reentry Centers (RRCs) or home confinement (HC).
“The First Step Act, a critical piece of bipartisan legislation, promised a path to an early return home for eligible incarcerated people who invest their time and energy in programs that reduce recidivism,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Today, the Department of Justice is doing its part to honor this promise, and is pleased to implement this important program.”
The First Step Act of 2018 provides eligible inmates the opportunity to earn 10 to 15 days of time credits for every 30 days of successful participation in Evidence Based Recidivism Reduction Programs and Productive Activities. The earned credits can be applied toward earlier placement in pre-release custody, such as RRCs and HC. In addition, at the BOP Director’s discretion, up to 12 months of credit can be applied toward Supervised Release. Inmates are eligible to earn Time Credits retroactively back to Dec. 21, 2018, the date the First Step Act was enacted, subject to BOP’s determination of eligibility.
Implementation will occur on a rolling basis, beginning with immediate releases for inmates whose Time Credits earned exceed their days remaining to serve, are less than 12 months from release, and have a Supervised Release term. Some of these transfers have already begun, and many more will take place in the weeks and months ahead as BOP calculates and applies time credits for eligible incarcerated individuals.
The final rule will be published by the Federal Register in the coming weeks and will take immediate effect. The rule, as it was submitted to the Federal Register, can be viewed here: https://www.bop.gov/inmates/fsa/docs/bop_fsa_rule.pdf
Please note: This is the text of the First Step Act Time Credits final rule as signed by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, but the official version of the final rule will be as it is published in the Federal Register.