House Passes Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Bill Allowing Older Prisoners to be Released Early

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill Tuesday that would enable prisoners age 60 and older to be released to home confinement if they meet certain qualifications.

In a voice vote, the House unanimously passed H.R. 4018, which would amend the bipartisan First Step Act signed into law by President Trump last year. The bill would clarify how much time a federal prisoner must serve before being eligible for placement in home detention.

H.R. 4018 would give the Bureau of Prisons authority to transfer eligible, elderly offenders from a BOP facility into home confinement when they reach age 60, as long as they have served two-thirds of their sentence.

The legislation clarifies that the two-thirds of a sentence that an eligible inmate must serve is to be reduced “by the number of good time credits earned by the prisoner, and for other purposes.”

Reform advocates took issue with the fact that the First Step Act was interpreted by the BOP to mean two-thirds of an offender’s original sentence, not two-thirds of an offender’s sentence with good time credit.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., in July and co-sponsored by 12 other members of the House, including five Republicans.

“When the FIRST STEP Act was signed into law last year, it represented monumental bipartisan reform to our prison system. Today’s bill builds upon that momentum because it promotes fairness in the implementation of Good Conduct Time,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., said in a statement.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith