When doing time in federal prison, talk of an “amazing new law” or “everyone is getting more time off because of XYZ legislation that just passed” is fairly common. In my experience, it’s seen more at the lower security facilities, than say at a medium.
Camps are horrid with rumors, that typically are total nonsense, because some ignorant moron misunderstood something he watched on CNN that day, or because they were told by someone else who was told that someone said, that.
Yea, It’s bad. If you just trying to get through your bid, this kind of stuff can really slow downtime. It’s like a false hope vending machine that spits out some nonsensical story every week, or three. It did not take me long to stop listening to this aptly named “inmate.com” or rumors inside of prison.
The purpose of this article is to dispel the current beliefs that hold no weight, that your LO who is doing time may ask or tell you about.
Current rumors of people doing fed time
For some reason or another, many rumors have been prevalent about a few things like (NONE OF THE FOLLOWING is TRUE, JUST THE NONSENSE THAT IS OUT CURRENTLY IN THE FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM) :
- People that are 65 are all going home
- 2. Everyone is getting an extra 54 days of good time
- Some institutions they are giving 10 months of your sentence due to covid-19 lockdowns
- All inmates are getting a year off their sentence due to the covid pandemic
- The Equal Act gives more good time and is going to be voted on
Forget about additional good time rumors
President Biden is more likely to appear at a press conference in a leprechaun suit than the government is to grant additional good time for COVID, according to predictions. First and foremost, neither the Department of Justice nor the Federal Bureau of Prisons has the authority to grant additional time for good behavior. The 54 days a year is set by Congress in 18 USC § 3624(b)(1). The speculation that either agency will do so is completely erroneous.
Secondly, none of the bills currently under consideration by House or Senate committees propose increased generalized good time because of COVID or for any other reason whatsoever.
Congress votes on a variety of issues on a regular basis. It had only passed a spending bill worth $1.5 trillion the week before. However, in its 14 months of existence, the entire Congress has failed to pass a single piece of legislation on criminal justice reform.
The EQUAL Act, which would reduce the punishments for crack cocaine to the same level as those for powder cocaine, was passed by the House, but it has been stalled in the Senate since then. At this time, no legislation relating to criminal justice reform is scheduled for floor consideration in either the House or the Senate (although this does not rule out legislation being considered in the future).
Time magazine published an article last week that was largely positive about Biden’s achievements in the criminal justice system. But even it admitted that his efforts have fallen short:
“The President said that he would revamp clemency power and use it for non-violent offenders and those incarcerated on drug crimes; Biden has not commuted or pardoned anyone so far. The US Sentencing Commission, which helps govern and address disparities in federal cases, currently has six open seats; Biden has not nominated anyone for the commission. Reducing the prison population was supposed to be another priority in Biden’s administration; there has not been much follow-through on that: The prison population is at around 1.8 million and while there was a period of decarceration at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has since stalled.”
The article mentioned Biden’s failure to get the George Floyd Policing Act passed through the Senate but failed to mention the stalled EQUAL Act, MORE Act, or First Step Implementation Act – all of which are among the most high-profile reform bills currently pending in the House of Representatives.
With the midterm elections coming up this fall – where all of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate is up for re-election – crime is going to be a major issue, and the Democrats are nervous. Because incumbents are reluctant to take a position that they might have to defend on the campaign trail, issues that are important to federal prisoners, such as retroactivity, the EQUAL Act, marijuana reform, and fixing First Step, are unlikely to be brought to a vote.
Washington Post, In San Francisco and elsewhere, Democrats fight Democrats over where they stand (February 17, 2022)