United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
ALLISON CLAIRE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a federal prisoner proceeding through counsel, seeks relief
under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. ECF No. 64. Petitioner seeks
recalculation of good time credits pursuant to the First Step
Act, and immediate transfer to community confinement. The
United States has opposed the motion. ECF No. 72.
2001, Mr. Pratt pled guilty to five counts of bank robbery
and was sentenced to a total of 235 months
imprisonment. He is currently serving that sentence at
USP Atwater, within the Eastern District of California.
Petitioner represents that he is scheduled to be transferred
to a Residential Reentry Center on July 23, 2019, and to be
released from BOP custody on January 16, 2020. ECF No. 64 at
2. The Federal Bureau of Prisons represents that the current
projected release date is February 10, 2020. ECF NO. 72-1 at
1. Mr. Pratt contends that he is entitled to immediate
recalculation of good time credits under the provisions of
the First Step Act, which would advance his release date to
October 5, 2019. ECF No. 64 at 2.
The First Step Act
federal inmate can hasten his release from prison by
obtaining good time through “exemplary compliance with
institutional disciplinary regulations.” See
18 U.S.C. § 3624(a)-(b). As enacted as part of the
Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, the statute provides for
“credit toward the service of the prisoner's
sentence, beyond the time served, of up to 54 days at the end
of each year of the prisoner's term of
imprisonment.” § 3624(b). The BOP's method of
calculating good time, which has been pegged to time actually
served rather than the sentence imposed, results in prisoners
actually receiving 47 days of credit for each year of the
term of imprisonment. This method of computation has been
upheld by the courts. See Barber v. Thomas, 560 U.S.
474 (2010); Pacheco-Camacho v. Hood, 272 F.3d 1266,
1268 (9th Cir. 2001).
First Step Act of 2018, Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat. 5194,
Congress enacted a package of federal prison and sentencing
reforms. Among other things, the Act changes the process by
which BOP calculates custody credits. The Ninth Circuit has
described the two amendments codified in subsection 102(b) of
the Act as follows:
First, 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.
Subsection 102(b) also includes an effective-date provision
in paragraph 102(b)(2), and a retroactivity provision in
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 ...