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Thousands of Inmates to be Released from Federal Prisons Under 2018 Law

The Justice Department will be proceeding with the transferring of thousands of inmates out of prisons under the federal government, this week as part of a criminal justice system reform signed by former President Donald Trump over three years ago.
The Justice Department published a new rule on Thursday, explaining the working of “time credit” for inmates in federal prisons. The new law will encourage inmates to more actively participate in programs aimed at reducing recidivism, which in turn can help them get out of prison earlier. The new law also eases mandatory minimum sentences and provides judges more discretion in sentencing.
The proceedings of transfers are most likely to begin this week however, it isn’t clear how many inmates will be released. The department has only informed that thousands of inmates would be getting affected
The announcement of a rule being published comes two months after the Justice Department’s inspector general raised concerns that the Bureau of Prisons did not apply the earned time credits to about 60,000 inmates who had completed the programs. The Director of the prison agency also announced his resignation from his post following criticism over his leadership.
The new administration under the leadership of Joe Biden has faced pressure from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to do more to put in place additional aspects of the First Step Act.


For the past many years the Prison Bureau has had problems with the staffing shortage, which has caused other employees to provide the services of the guards for the inmates. Employees have argued for a long time that this process slows action on the First Step Act because they have less time to do their original jobs.
The Justice Department informs the number of programs has been increased and in case inmates are not able to participate for reasons beyond their control they won’t be punished. The department has also been working to try to increase bureau staffing.
The inmates that will be released will be joining a supervised release program, released to home confinement, or transferred into the bureau’s residential reentry centers, also known as halfway houses. The new law also provides the inmates to earn time credits back to 2018 when the First Step Act was enacted.
The Justice Department informed that the implementation of the new rule will begin from this week with those inmates whose time credits exceed the days remaining on their sentence, is less than a year from the time of release, and also have a term of supervised release. Transfers for many inmates are currently happening and more transfers are expected in the following weeks as officials will be applying the time credits to inmate records.

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