Thousands of federal inmates will be released this week in accordance with a law signed by former President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE in 2018.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday that a new rule has been submitted to the Federal Register to begin applying the Time Credits program that was put forth in the First Step Act, which Trump signed in 2018.
The law allows eligible inmates to earn between 10 and 15 days of time credits for every 30 days that they participate in Evidence Based Recidivism Reduction Programs and Productive Activities. Programs include anger management, drug treatment, education and classes focused on work and social skills, according to The Associated Press.
Up to 12 months of credit can be applied to supervised release at the discretion of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) director, according to the DOJ, and they can be used retroactively from Dec. 21, 2018, which was the day Trump signed the bill into law, subject to the BOP’s determination of eligibility.
Credits earned can then be used to receive an earlier placement in pre-release custody.
The program will be implemented on a rolling basis, according to the DOJ. Inmates who have time credits that exceed the remaining days in custody will be released first.
The DOJ said “thousands” of inmates will be affected by the new rule, according to the AP.
“The First Step Act, a critical piece of bipartisan legislation, promised a path to an early return home for eligible incarcerated people who invest their time and energy in programs that reduce recidivism,” Attorney General Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandNewsom vows crackdown: Rail car looting like 'third world country' Tlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer Oath Keeper charges renew attention on Trump orbit MORE said in a statement.
“Today, the Department of Justice is doing its part to honor this promise, and is pleased to implement this important program,” he added.
News of the new rule being submitted comes roughly two months after the DOJ inspector general found that the BOP did not award credit to about 60,000 inmates who had finished programs to reduce recidivism because procedures were not finalized and policy negotiations with the union were not complete, according to the AP.
It also comes just one week after the DOJ revealed that BOP Director Michael Carvajal would be resigning from his post. He had faced criticism during his time as chief of the bureau.