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Do you have information on the award of good time or earned time credits in prisons?

OLR Backgrounder: Inmate Sentence Reduction Methods

Katherine Dwyer, Carease Gadson, 2017

Good Time and Earned Time Policies for State Prison Inmates (As Established By Law)

National Conference of State Legislatures, 2016

This chart highlights sentence credit policies listed in state statutes that are applicable to inmates in state prisons. Earned time is defined as a credit against an inmate's sentence or period of incarceration that he or she earns for participation in or completion of productive activities. Earned time is distinguished from, and can be offered in addition to, “good time” credits which are given to offenders for following prison rules and required participation in activities.

Federal Justice Statistics, 2012--Statistical Tables

State lawmakers in at least 24 states adopted 41 criminal justice policies that in 2012 may contribute to downscaling prison populations and eliminating barriers to reentry while promoting effective approaches to public safety. This report provides an overview of recent policy reforms in the areas of sentencing, probation and parole, collateral consequences, and juvenile justice” (p. 1). Some of the sentencing changes involve relaxed mandatory minimums, the death penalty, sentence modifications, parole and probation revocation reforms, and juvenile life without parole.

Document ID: 026938

Justice Reinvestment Initiative State Assessment Report

La Vigne, Nancy G., Samuel Bieler, Lindsey Cramer, Helen Ho, Cybele Kotonias, Deborah Mayer, David McClure, Laura Pacifici, Erica Parks, Bryce Peterson, Julie Samuels. Urban Institute, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, 2014

"JRI policies improved the use of good time and earned credit and the operation of probation and parole."

Document ID: 027949

Clemency, Parole, Good-Time Credits, and Crowded Prisons: Reconsidering Early Release

Larkin Jr, Paul J. Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2013

For most of our history, clemency, parole, and good-time credits have offered prisoners an opportunity for early release. Over the last 40 years, however, clemency has fallen into disuse, and many jurisdictions have repealed their parole laws in favor of determinate sentencing. Given our increasingly crowded prisons and expanding correctional budgets, governments are beginning to rethink our approach to punishment. It is unlikely that clemency or parole will come back into fashion any time soon, however, or that severe sentencing laws will quickly disappear. But the federal and state governments have continued to use good-time credits as a means of rewarding inmates for positive, in-prison behavior, and legislators may believe that expanding the current good-time laws is the best solution. That approach is reasonable as a policy matter and sellable as a political matter because prisoners must earn good time credits. We therefore may see legislators seek to address prison overcrowding through an expanded good-time system.

Solving the Good Time Puzzle: Why Following the Rules Should Get You Out of Prison Early

O'Hear, Michael M., 2011

“Good-time programs have long been an important part of the American penal landscape. Although good time is traditionally justified by reference to its usefulness in deterring inmate misconduct—credits can be denied or withdrawn as a penalty for violations of prison rules—the article questioned how it could possibly be just to impose additional incarceration based on mere violations of administrative regulations."

Document ID: 027946

Example Policies: