The First Step Act is for eligible federal inmates, state inmates are not including in this new law. There are a number of offenders are excluded from receiving earned time credits. These include (but are not limited to) fentanyl traffickers, heroin or methamphetamine traffickers who played a leadership role in the crime, sex offenders, some immigration offenders, all 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) offenders (any crime where a firearm was involved), and people convicted of other violent offenses.
This a new system that allows some federally incarcerated individuals to earn time credits by completing rehabilitative programming. The individuals considered by the BOP to have a low or minimum risk of reoffending can earn 15 days of credits for every 30 days of programming completed; medium- and high-risk individuals can earn 10 days of credits for every 30 days of programming completed. Some inmates can redeem their earned time credits for additional time in a halfway house, home confinement, or supervised release at the end of their sentences.
The current limits on time in a halfway house (up to 12 months) and home confinement (six months or 10 percent of the sentence, whichever is less) in federal law do not apply to earned time credits. In other words, a person can be released to the halfway house and/or home confinement earlier (for example, so that they spend more than 12 months in halfway house) due to accumulating earned time credits.
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