Implications of the Federal Second Chance Act

The Federal Second Chance Act is one of four programs that the federal Bureau of Prisoners has. It provides the prisoner with an opportunity to serve at a fraction of their remaining sentence at a halfway house or under home confinement. President George Bush signed this federal law into effect in 2008.

What Provisions Are in the Act?

The act gives the Bureau of Prisons the mandate to place prisoners in halfway houses or home confinement for the reaming part of their prison sentence. The maximum amount allowable is 12 months. Earlier on, the act provided for a fraction of this sentence. The period of home detention or halfway placement was capped at 6 months, and 10% of the total prison sentence meted out, whichever was lower. Now, any prisoner can only enjoy up to a maximum of 12 months regardless of the duration of the prison sentence being served.

The law does not compel the Bureau of Prisons to provide placements for the prisoners. However, it does provide a framework of regulations and guidelines as to how the Federal Second Chance Act is to be implemented in federal halfway house placement. It requires that an inmate is considered for up to 12 months of the placement according to what is practicable. The Bureau of Prisons is also allowed the discretion to place the inmate under home detention as well.

Advantages of the Second Chance Act

There are two main advantages of the Second Chance Act, and they are beneficial to the prisoner. These include:

  • An early release from prison. The inmate gets to spend the remainder of their sentence in a halfway house or at home
  • The chance to reintegrate back into the society before the prison term is over. This gives the inmate a chance at making some major moves such as getting a job that will make it easier for them to move on with their lives without having to struggle a lot

How Is One Considered for the Second Chance Act?

An inmate has to make an application in order to be considered. It is advisable to use legal counsel for this. This is because legal counsel will do all the research needed and submit it to all the relevant legal parties including the inmate’s sentencing judge and the Bureau of Prisons. Since there are many applications coming in from different inmates, using legal counsel would increase your chances of the request being successful because all the relevant information will be included. There will be no reason to delay the process.

The Federal Second Chance Act has brought about major changes for the federal prison system. Inmates are now able to reintegrate into society as well as learn from their mistakes and look towards a hopeful future. Family, friends and relatives ought to be encouraged to provide a support system for inmates just before and even after their release from prison. This will boost the Act’s intention. It helps the inmates stay away from crime and other illegal activities. It also allows them to hope about a better future despite their past mistakes.

Click on early release for federal inmates to learn more about Larry Levine.