DARREN BOTTINELLI; PAMELA MARIE MCGOWAN; TIMOTHY LASHAWN ALLEN; RICARDO CESAR RAMIREZ; JUAN JESUS BORREGO; MICHAEL EUGENE DAVIS; MARK NUTTER; ALEX DURAND WILLIAMS-DAVIS, Petitioners-Appellants,
JOSIAS SALAZAR; WILLIAM BROWN, Respondents-Appellees.
and Submitted July 8, 2019
from the United States District Court for the District of
Oregon No. 3:19-cv-00256-MO Michael W. Mosman, District
Before: Ferdinand F. Fernandez, Susan P. Graber, and John B.
Owens, Circuit Judges.
Bottinelli and seven other federal prisoners
("Petitioners") appeal from the district
court's denial of their joint petition for a writ of
habeas corpus. They argue that the recently enacted First
Step Act's amendment to the good time credit provision
requires the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") to
re-calculate their sentences immediately, which would
accelerate their dates for release or transfer to prerelease
custody. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291,
and we affirm.
federal prisoner who is serving more than a one-year term of
imprisonment may earn good time credit toward his or her
sentence so long as the prisoner "display[s] exemplary
compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations."
18 U.S.C. § 3624(b)(1). Section 3624(b) controls how the
BOP calculates good time credit. Until recently, although the
statute provided that prisoners could earn "up to 54
days" each year for exemplary compliance, the BOP used a
calculation that allowed a maximum of only 47 days. See
Barber v. Thomas, 560 U.S. 474, 476-79 (2010)
(discussing § 3624(b)(1)). Courts, including ours,
upheld this 47-day calculation. See id. at 492;
Pacheco-Camacho v. Hood, 272 F.3d 1266, 1271 (9th
December 21, 2018, the First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No.
115-391, 132 Stat. 5194, was enacted. The Act implemented a
number of prison and sentencing reforms. We limit our focus
to subsection 102(b), which made two amendments relevant to
paragraph 102(b)(1) amends § 3624(b) - the good time
credit provision - to require the BOP to permit up to 54 days
per year. § 102(b), 132 Stat. at 5210. Second, paragraph
102(b)(1) amends § 3624 by adding subsection (g), which
is relevant to the Act's creation of an earned time
credit system. Id. at 5210-13. The Act requires
that, within 210 days of its enactment, the Attorney General
establish a "risk and needs assessment system" to,
broadly speaking, review each prisoner's recidivism risk
level, award earned time credit as an incentive for
participation in recidivism reduction programming, and
"determine when a prisoner is ready to transfer into
prerelease custody or supervised release in accordance with
section 3624." § 101(a), 132 Stat. at 5196-97.
Section 3624(g) details the criteria for when a prisoner
becomes eligible, considering earned time credit, for
transfer to prerelease custody or supervised release. §
102(b), 132 Stat. at 5210-13.
102(b) also includes an effective-date provision in paragraph
102(b)(2), and a retroactivity provision in paragraph
SEC. 102. IMPLEMENTATION OF SYSTEM AND
RECOMMENDATIONS BY BUREAU OF PRISONS.
(b) PRERELEASE CUSTODY.- . . .
(2)EFFECTIVE DATE.-The amendments made by this subsection
shall take effect beginning on the date that the Attorney
General completes and releases the risk and needs assessment
system under subchapter D of chapter 229 of title 18, United
States Code, as added by section 101(a) of this Act.
(3)APPLICABILITY.-The amendments made by this subsection
shall apply with respect to offenses committed before, on, or
after the date of enactment of this Act, except that such
amendments shall not apply with ...