House passes prison reform for elderly offenders

In Local Area News

The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 4018 to provide the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) the authority to transfer eligible, elderly offenders from a BOP facility into home confinement when these individuals have reached 60 years of age and served two-thirds of the terms of imprisonment they were sentenced to. Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee; Ted Deutch (D-Fla.); Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.); Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus; Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.); and Karen Bass (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 4018. 

“When the FIRST STEP Act was signed into law last year, it represented monumental bipartisan reform to our prison system. Today’s bill builds upon that momentum because it promotes fairness in the implementation of Good Conduct Time. My bipartisan bill will ensure our prisons do not become nursing homes, it will save taxpayer dollars and it will reward inmates who serve their time with good behavior. I look forward to seeing the Senate pass this bill and the president sign it into law,” said Collins. 

“I’m grateful for the support of Ranking Member Collins, Congressman Jeffries, Chairwoman Bass, and Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers on this bill. With its passage, we are making an important clarification to the pilot program that allows elderly prisoners to transition to home confinement for the remainder of their sentence. As elderly prisoners are among the most vulnerable populations in prisons, this fix to include good time credit will allow more of them to benefit from this program. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it will also reduce federal costs in our prison system,” said Deutch. 

“Today the House passed an important bill to ensure that elderly federal offenders who qualify for early, compassionate release receive credit for the ‘good conduct time’ they accrued while in custody. I am heartened by the bipartisan support for this bill in the House and urge the Senate to pass it as soon as possible,” said Nadler.

“As we continue looking for ways to reform our criminal justice system, my goal will always be to keep our communities safe and secure. Thoughtful changes to improve our prison system require accountability and fairness. This bipartisan legislation meets those goals by providing elderly offenders, who demonstrate good behavior, the opportunity to transition to home confinement to serve out their sentence,” said McMorris Rodgers. 

“We should approach criminal justice reform in the broadest possible fashion. This is a commonsense measure that allows a number of elderly and seriously ill individuals to return home in their final years when they have earned time off their sentence for good conduct. Reps. Deutch, Collins and all involved should be commended for their leadership in this regard,” said Jeffries. 

“The FIRST STEP Act was just that — a first step. Today, my colleagues and I are building on this work by taking yet another step towards a more just and fair criminal justice system. Allowing nonviolent elderly prisoners to serve the remainder of their sentence in a home detention program is the right thing to do and it will save money as well. I’m proud to support my colleagues on this important piece of legislation and look forward to continuing our work to reform the criminal justice system,” said Bass. 

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