Prisoners are persons whom most of us would rather not think about. Banished from everyday sight, they exist in a shadow world that only dimly enters our awareness. They are members of a "total institution" that controls their daily existence in a way that few of us can imagine. "[P]rison is a complex of physical arrangements and of measures, all wholly governmental, all wholly performed by agents of government, which determine the total existence of certain human beings (except perhaps in the realm of the spirit, and inevitably there as well) from sundown to sundown, sleeping, walking, speaking, silent, working, playing, viewing, eating, voiding, reading, alone, with others. . . ." It is thus easy to think of prisoners as members of a separate netherworld, driven by its own demands, ordered by its own customs, ruled by those whose claim to power rests on raw necessity. -- Justice William Brennan, dissenting in O’Lone v. Estate of Shabazz, 482 U.S. 342, 354-55 (1987).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Jim Black Release Date Announced (Revised)

Jim Black's release date has been calculated by BOP - Feb 24, 2012. [Note: as reader notes below, the date was originally Feb 28, 2012 and revised downward the next day. I am sure Black's lawyers will doublecheck everything to make sure it's right and let them know... unless BOP wrongly calculated in Black's favor of course, in which case they will keep their mouths shut :) ]. Using this time and date calculator, he will serve about 1671 days or about 55 months (4 years, 6 months and 26 days) of his original 63 month (1916 days, calculated as 365 x 5 + 91) sentence. Note that this is not 85% but 87.2%. (1671/1916=87.2%), which is why I explained earlier that federal inmates do not really get 15% off their sentence for good time but closer to 12.8%. In effect, BOP is cheating him out of about 1.5 months based on their calculations. He is getting 245 days good time when it should be more like 287 days (1916 x 15%) so he is losing 42 days based on BOP strange calculation method.

Of this 55 months, he will be allowed to serve the final 10%, or 5.5 months, in a halfway house, presumably in Charlotte. That means he will actually spend about 49.5 months (4 years and 1.5 months) in "real" prison before release to the halfway house. In reality, most inmates do not spend all of their time in the halfway house, but are released after a much shorter period, depending on how overcrowded it is. He may spend 6-8 weeks in the halfway house I would guess.

It turns out I won my own contest to guess the release date. I guessed March 9, 2012 so I was off by 13 days.


Anonymous said...

I think they changed the date overnight to 2/24/2012. You are still safely the winner. :) Congrats Bill! I enjoy the blog.

jackson said...

Yup, what a strange way to calculate but it sure looks like BOP is cheating with their calculations. They are probably better off using a flat 15% good time which would probably equate to a whole lot more savings (tax dollars) by a little early release for each inmate.

Anonymous said...

"In reality, most inmates do not spend all of their time in the halfway house, but are released after a much shorter period, depending on how overcrowded it is."
Bill, I am looking down the road and I am very curious about getting more information on the halfway house portion of the sentence. For example, is the shorter release solely tied to the overcrowding situation or can you expect a shorter release even in the absence of such a condition? If you get a chance, can you point me to a site/authority that provides more information?
Again, many thanks for the excellent information you have provided and continue to provide on this site.

Bill Bailey said...

I have had a hard time finding documentation on halfway house policies, although you can read the
following BOP document on the subject.

The early release from halfway house is information I received from other inmates and one work supervisor who used to oversee a halfway house.

I don't mean to imply that if you are released from the halfway house early that your sentence is over. Typically, it is my understanding that you are transferred to home confinement with electronic monitoring for the remainder of your halfway house term. Certainly that is better than sleeping in a halfway house but you still will serve your full sentence (minus good time credit) under BOP custody in some form, whether it be prison, halfway house, or home confinement.

By the way, when you are in a halfway house, you are supposed to pay 25% of your gross wages (with a cap of $400/mo I believe) for rent. Even if you are released to home confinement, you pay rent to the halfway house until your sentence is over. This policy means that you could have 50 people actually living in a halfway house but 200 people actually paying rent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed response, Bill. It's very much appreciated.