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CCE and GW Law Prisoner & Reentry Clinic Publish Proposal to Reduce Incarceration Amid COVID-19

Fair Practices After Sentencing: A Proposal for Reforming Good Time, Earned Time, and Compassionate Release in the District of Columbia

Full Report

CCE sought support from the George Washington University Law School’s Prisoner & Reentry Clinic in 2019 to research and draft a proposal to update the District’s law on good time credits, earned time credits, and compassionate release for incarcerated residents. The report was prepared in consultation with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and with Covington & Burling LLP’s generous pro bono support. 

The proposal equalizes the treatment of similarly situated people sentenced under the D.C. Code and aligns District law with the bipartisan federal First Step Act so that the credits can be calculated more efficiently by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). In March 2020, CCE and its partners presented this proposal to the D.C. Council, which adopted good time and compassionate release provisions in the District’s second COVID-19 emergency response bill. The Mayor signed the emergency legislation on April 10, 2020, temporarily expanding the pool of people serving time in the BOP now eligible to apply for early release. CCE is very proud to have been able to contribute our policy and legislative drafting support in this difficult time. Already, these legislative provisions are having an impact, as eligible individuals are getting the appropriate credits and consideration for release.  All of this will ultimately help minimize the risk of D.C. residents’ exposure to COVID-19 in jails and prisons, and ensures equitable treatment for them in the long term.  

CCE is working with our partners to support attorneys seeking their clients’ release under the emergency law and will continue to advocate for passage of all three provisions, good time credits, earned time credits, and compassionate release, as permanent legislation.


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