18 U.S. Code § 3624. Release of a prisoner
prev | next
(a)Date of Release.—
A prisoner shall be released by the Bureau of Prisons on the date of the expiration of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, less any time credited toward the service of the prisoner’s sentence as provided in subsection (b). If the date for a prisoner’s release falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday at the place of confinement, the prisoner may be released by the Bureau on the last preceding weekday.
(b)Credit Toward Service of Sentence for Satisfactory Behavior.—
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year  other than a term of imprisonment for the duration of the prisoner’s life, may receive credit toward the service of the prisoner’s sentence of up to 54 days for each year of the prisoner’s sentence imposed by the court, subject to determination by the Bureau of Prisons that, during that year, the prisoner has displayed exemplary compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations. Subject to paragraph (2), if the Bureau determines that, during that year, the prisoner has not satisfactorily complied with such institutional regulations, the prisoner shall receive no such credit toward service of the prisoner’s sentence or shall receive such lesser credit as the Bureau determines to be appropriate. In awarding credit under this section, the Bureau shall consider whether the prisoner, during the relevant period, has earned, or is making satisfactory progress toward earning, a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. Credit that has not been earned may not later be granted. Subject to paragraph (2), credit for the last year of a term of imprisonment shall be credited on the first day of the last year of the term of imprisonment.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law, credit awarded under this subsection after the date of enactment of the Prison Litigation Reform Act shall vest on the date the prisoner is released from custody.
(3) The Attorney General shall ensure that the Bureau of Prisons has in effect an optional General Educational Development program for inmates who have not earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.
(4) Exemptions to the General Educational Development requirement may be made as deemed appropriate by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall, to the extent practicable, ensure that a prisoner serving a term of imprisonment spends a portion of the final months of that term (not to exceed 12 months), under conditions that will afford that prisoner a reasonable opportunity to adjust to and prepare for the reentry of that prisoner into the community. Such conditions may include a community correctional facility.
(2)Home confinement authority.—
The authority under this subsection may be used to place a prisoner in home confinement for the shorter of 10 percent of the term of imprisonment of that prisoner or 6 months. The Bureau of Prisons shall, to the extent practicable, place prisoners with lower risk levels and lower needs on home confinement for the maximum amount of time permitted under this paragraph.
The United States Probation System shall, to the extent practicable, offer assistance to a prisoner during prerelease custody under this subsection.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit or restrict the authority of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons under section 3621.
Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of the Second Chance Act of 2007 (and every year thereafter), the Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall transmit to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report describing the Bureau’s utilization of community corrections facilities. Each report under this paragraph shall set forth the number and percentage of Federal prisoners placed in community corrections facilities during the preceding year, the average length of such placements, trends in such utilization, the reasons some prisoners are not placed in community corrections facilities, and number of prisoners not being placed in community corrections facilities for each reason set forth, and any other information that may be useful to the committees in determining if the Bureau is utilizing community corrections facilities in an effective manner.
(6)Issuance of regulations.—The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall issue regulations pursuant to this subsection not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2018, which shall ensure that placement in a community correctional facility by the Bureau of Prisons is—
(A) conducted in a manner consistent with section 3621(b) of this title;
(B) determined on an individual basis; and
(C) of sufficient duration to provide the greatest likelihood of successful reintegration into the community.
(d)Allotment of Clothing, Funds, and Transportation.—Upon the release of a prisoner on the expiration of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, the Bureau of Prisons shall furnish the prisoner with—
(1) suitable clothing;
(2) an amount of money, not more than $500, determined by the Director to be consistent with the needs of the offender and the public interest, unless the Director determines that the financial position of the offender is such that no sum should be furnished; and
(3) transportation to the place of the prisoner’s conviction, to the prisoner’s bona fide residence within the United States, or to such other place within the United States as may be authorized by the Director.
(e)Supervision After Release.—
A prisoner whose sentence includes a term of supervised release after imprisonment shall be released by the Bureau of Prisons to the supervision of a probation officer who shall, during the term imposed, supervise the person released to the degree warranted by the conditions specified by the sentencing court. The term of supervised release commences on the day the person is released from imprisonment and runs concurrently with any Federal, State, or local term of probation or supervised release or parole for another offense to which the person is subject or becomes subject during the term of supervised release. A term of supervised release does not run during any period in which the person is imprisoned in connection with a conviction for a Federal, State, or local crime unless the imprisonment is for a period of less than 30 consecutive days. Upon the release of a prisoner by the Bureau of Prisons to supervised release, the Bureau of Prisons shall notify such prisoner, verbally and in writing, of the requirement that the prisoner adhere to an installment schedule, not to exceed 2 years except in special circumstances, to pay for any fine imposed for the offense committed by such prisoner, and of the consequences of failure to pay such fines under sections 3611 through 3614 of this title.
(f)Mandatory Functional Literacy Requirement.—
(1) The Attorney General shall direct the Bureau of Prisons to have in effect a mandatory functional literacy program for all mentally capable inmates who are not functionally literate in each Federal correctional institution within 6 months from the date of the enactment of this Act.
(2) Each mandatory functional literacy program shall include a requirement that each inmate participate in such program for a mandatory period sufficient to provide the inmate with an adequate opportunity to achieve functional literacy, and appropriate incentives which lead to successful completion of such programs shall be developed and implemented.
(3) As used in this section, the term “functional literacy” means—
(A) an eighth grade equivalence in reading and mathematics on a nationally recognized standardized test;
(B) functional competency or literacy on a nationally recognized criterion-referenced test; or
(C) a combination of subparagraphs (A) and (B).
(4) Non-English speaking inmates shall be required to participate in an English-As-A-Second-Language program until they function at the equivalence of the eighth grade on a nationally recognized educational achievement test.
(5) The Chief Executive Officer of each institution shall have authority to grant waivers for good cause as determined and documented on an individual basis.
(g)Prerelease Custody or Supervised Release for Risk and Needs Assessment Participants.—
(1)Eligible prisoners.—This subsection applies in the case of a prisoner (as such term is defined in section 3635) who—
(A) has earned time credits under the risk and needs assessment system developed under subchapter D (referred to in this subsection as the “System”) in an amount that is equal to the remainder of the prisoner’s imposed term of imprisonment;
(B) has shown through the periodic risk reassessments a demonstrated recidivism risk reduction or has maintained a minimum or low recidivism risk, during the prisoner’s term of imprisonment;
(C) has had the remainder of the prisoner’s imposed term of imprisonment computed under applicable law; and
(i) in the case of a prisoner being placed in prerelease custody, the prisoner—
(I) has been determined under the System to be a minimum or low risk to recidivate pursuant to the last 2 reassessments of the prisoner; or
(II) has had a petition to be transferred to prerelease custody or supervised release approved by the warden of the prison, after the warden’s determination that—
(aa) the prisoner would not be a danger to society if transferred to prerelease custody or supervised release;
(bb) the prisoner has made a good faith effort to lower their recidivism risk through participation in recidivism reduction programs or productive activities; and
(cc) the prisoner is unlikely to recidivate; or
(ii) in the case of a prisoner being placed in supervised release, the prisoner has been determined under the System to be a minimum or low risk to recidivate pursuant to the last reassessment of the prisoner.
(2)Types of prerelease custody.—A prisoner shall be placed in prerelease custody as follows:
(i)In general.—A prisoner placed in prerelease custody pursuant to this subsection who is placed in home confinement shall—
(I) be subject to 24-hour electronic monitoring that enables the prompt identification of the prisoner, location, and time, in the case of any violation of subclause (II);
(II) remain in the prisoner’s residence, except that the prisoner may leave the prisoner’s home in order to, subject to the approval of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons—
(aa) perform a job or job-related activities, including an apprenticeship, or participate in job-seeking activities;
(bb) participate in evidence-based recidivism reduction programming or productive activities assigned by the System, or similar activities;
(cc) perform community service;
(dd) participate in crime victim restoration activities;
(ee) receive medical treatment;
(ff) attend religious activities; or
(gg) participate in other family-related activities that facilitate the prisoner’s successful reentry such as a family funeral, a family wedding, or to visit a family member who is seriously ill; and
(III) comply with such other conditions as the Director determines appropriate.
(ii)Alternate means of monitoring.—
If the electronic monitoring of a prisoner described in clause (i)(I) is infeasible for technical or religious reasons, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons may use alternative means of monitoring a prisoner placed in home confinement that the Director determines are as effective or more effective than the electronic monitoring described in clause (i)(I).
The Director of the Bureau of Prisons may modify the conditions described in clause (i) if the Director determines that a compelling reason exists to do so, and that the prisoner has demonstrated exemplary compliance with such conditions.
Except as provided in paragraph (4), a prisoner who is placed in home confinement shall remain in home confinement until the prisoner has served not less than 85 percent of the prisoner’s imposed term of imprisonment.
(B)Residential reentry center.—
A prisoner placed in prerelease custody pursuant to this subsection who is placed at a residential reentry center shall be subject to such conditions as the Director of the Bureau of Prisons determines appropriate.
If the sentencing court included as a part of the prisoner’s sentence a requirement that the prisoner be placed on a term of supervised release after imprisonment pursuant to section 3583, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons may transfer the prisoner to begin any such term of supervised release at an earlier date, not to exceed 12 months, based on the application of time credits under section 3632.
(4)Determination of conditions.—
In determining appropriate conditions for prisoners placed in prerelease custody pursuant to this subsection, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall, to the extent practicable, provide that increasingly less restrictive conditions shall be imposed on prisoners who demonstrate continued compliance with the conditions of such prerelease custody, so as to most effectively prepare such prisoners for reentry.
(5)Violations of conditions.—
If a prisoner violates a condition of the prisoner’s prerelease custody, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons may impose such additional conditions on the prisoner’s prerelease custody as the Director of the Bureau of Prisons determines appropriate, or revoke the prisoner’s prerelease custody and require the prisoner to serve the remainder of the term of imprisonment to which the prisoner was sentenced, or any portion thereof, in prison. If the violation is nontechnical in nature, the Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall revoke the prisoner’s prerelease custody.
(6)Issuance of guidelines.—The Attorney General, in consultation with the Assistant Director for the Office of Probation and Pretrial Services, shall issue guidelines for use by the Bureau of Prisons in determining—
(A) the appropriate type of prerelease custody or supervised release and level of supervision for a prisoner placed on prerelease custody pursuant to this subsection; and
(B) consequences for a violation of a condition of such prerelease custody by such a prisoner, including a return to prison and a reassessment of evidence-based recidivism risk level under the System.
(7)Agreements with probation and pretrial services.—The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall, to the greatest extent practicable, enter into agreements with United States Probation and Pretrial Services to supervise prisoners placed in home confinement under this subsection. Such agreements shall—
(A) authorize United States Probation and Pretrial Services to exercise the authority granted to the Director pursuant to paragraphs (3) and (4); and
(B) take into account the resource requirements of United States Probation and Pretrial Services as a result of the transfer of Bureau of Prisons prisoners to prerelease custody or supervised release.
United States Probation and Pretrial Services shall, to the greatest extent practicable, offer assistance to any prisoner not under its supervision during prerelease custody under this subsection.
(9)Mentoring, reentry, and spiritual services.—
Any prerelease custody into which a prisoner is placed under this subsection may not include a condition prohibiting the prisoner from receiving mentoring, reentry, or spiritual services from a person who provided such services to the prisoner while the prisoner was incarcerated, except that the warden of the facility at which the prisoner was incarcerated may waive the requirement under this paragraph if the warden finds that the provision of such services would pose a significant security risk to the prisoner, persons who provide such services, or any other person. The warden shall provide written notice of any such waiver to the person providing such services and to the prisoner.
(10)Time limits inapplicable.—
The time limits under subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to prerelease custody under this subsection.
(11)Prerelease custody capacity.—
The Director of the Bureau of Prisons shall ensure there is sufficient prerelease custody capacity to accommodate all eligible prisoners.