This is good because now if the case manager gives the typically BOP response of “I don’t know”, because they are too lazy actually to explain it, or because they actually don’t know, inmates and families can look it up and see for themselves, the BOP’s official policy on it. As such, if a case manager is not following the policy outlined in the program statement, the inmates (or families) have the ability to ‘write them up.
Many case managers do nothing. I have had a few. On paper, as it is with all of the BOP, they make it look like they do something, but there are plenty who will yell at you to get the hell out of their office when you come to ask them a question. Alternatively, they will lock their door or not show up.
The good news is that now that it is BOP policy, you have some form of recourse if they do not do their job. This is by filing Administrative Remedies. Filing Administrative Remedies is the first step to forcing a negligent case manager into doing their job. It’s also the first step that you must take to bring the ultimate decision-making power to someone outside of the employ of the BOP, the U.S. Court system.
The short 5-page document outlines some generalized policies regarding the Earned Time Credits. It’s about time, considering Congress passed the FSA (First Step Act) years ago.
The entire document can be downloaded or viewed here.
Okay, that said, the BOP will do what it always does. Try to do nothing for the people in their care and custody. They will most likely continue their policy of only giving people credit for the classes they tell them to do at the team. This matter is because, at the end of the day, inmates will only get credit for the classes that the BOP actually tells them to take. This means that you can take all the classes you want and get all the earned Time credits that you want, but at the end of the day, if the BOP didn’t tell you to take it, you don’t actually get credit for it.
Keep in mind for inmates who have short sentences, see team anywhere from every three months to every six months. I found that this varies by facility. People who are doing longer sentences will have much less opportunity to earn credits because their team meetings are very far apart. Typically every year and 1/2 or so. One thing can be certain if the BOP can find a way to give people the minimal credits they actually deserve, they will. We’ve already seen this by them procrastinating on giving people their in-time credits even though the first step act was passed years ago.