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First Step Act & BOP Early Release Earned Time Credit Disparities: ... Delays, 2019-2022

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

FULL TITLE: 'FIRST STEP ACT & BOP EARLY RELEASE EARNED TIME CREDIT DISPARITIES: Identification of Implementation Delays And Earned Time Credit Application Disparities for Recidivism Reduction Programs and Productive Activities, 2019-2022' found HERE.

by Federal Sentencing Alliance and Attorney Ralph S. Behr

This publication examines all aspects of the First Step Act early pre-release incentive programming by the Bureau of Prisons, related to recidivism reductions programs and productive activity milestone events during the period 2019-2022.

Various time credit award discrepancies and time credit application failures are examined in detail, together with First Step

Act references and U.S.Code citations.

The Authors examine Congressional authorities, implementation delays, time credit award disputes, time period disputes, Bureau of Prisons policies, and failures to apply time credits already earned in a timely manner, habeas corpus petitions made by inmates thus far.

The Authors believe this publication to contain the most comprehensive analysis of First Step Act early release earned time credit incentive programming in print today. This book covers the entire period December 21, 2018 through January 20, 2022, based upon verifiable projections made.

The First Edition of this publication, February 10, 2020, is found HERE. Federal Sentencing Alliance sent 10 copies of the First Edition to Congress in 2020, in an effort to help identify time credit implementation disparities early on. Now those implementation disparities have fully blossomed into application disparities identified in the updated Second Edition HERE.

If you are an attorney or an educator this publication is instructive, regarding the content provided. It can certainly be used as a guide or reference tool on the topics presented.

In 2019 Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) publicly accused the Bureau of Prisons, by and through Attorney General William Barr 2019-2020, of intentionally undermining the First Step Act. Senator Durbin is valiantly moving to fix, amend and supplement numerous First Step Act provisions in the 2021-2022 117th Congressional Session.

With that back drop, the Authors examine various claimed shortfalls, disparities, discrepancies, delays, and failures related to pre-release time credit incentive programming, and previously existing programs and activities, administered by the Bureau of Prisons from December 21, 2018 to the present date. Various disparities were noted effecting time credit awards (shortened date spans), the amount of rewards (hours not days), the timing of awards (arbitrary reductions), the timely application of earned time credits (discretionary at this time by the BOP, through January 20, 2022), and what appears to be arbitrary policies and Rules in place that inhibit meaningful benefit from incentive programming for time credits.

All major current problems associated with time credit awards and time credits (not) applied are examined at length. The Authors opine that the First Sep Act early release time credit incentive programming System is broken and explains in detail why it is broken. These disparities were brought to the attention of Senator Dick Durbin by Federal Sentencing Alliance and Ralph S. Behr.


Federal Sentencing Alliance and Attorney Ralph S. Behr have authored various other First Step Act publications available on Amazon. For further information regarding this publication, or any other Federal Sentencing Alliance publication, please contact the authors directly.

© 2021 Federal Sentencing Alliance

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