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OP-ED

By Troy Lee Wooley

So, the Democrats and Republicans have joined teams to come up with this fabulous new bill, great….NOT!!

Corrections Oversight, Recidivism Reduction, and Eliminating Costs for Taxpayers in Our National System (CORRECTIONS) act…A lot of words that add up to spell BULL-PUCKY!

The bill says it EXCLUDES ALL sex offenders, terrorist offenders, repeat offenders, major organized crime offenders, major fraud offenders, anyone sentenced under the career offender guidelines, those that are in category 6 of the guidelines, or who have one or more prior convictions for a federal crime. These people are NOT eligible for participation and NOT eligible for earned credits.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO EARN THESE WONDERFUL CREDITS??

I am currently a detainee at the Federal Detention Center at Sheridan in Sheridan, Oregon. Being a “jail-house paralegal” and after talking to and with the majority of prisoners in my unit, I have come up with the following numbers. (I admit that my numbers are not exact but they are VERY close)

There are an average of 125 people in the unit.

53 are Hispanic with INS holds.

Of the 72 people left, approx. 15 are non-violent sex offenders, i.e., downloaders and possession of child porn.

Approximately 17 are charged with sex trafficking with or without a minor involved.

Of the 40 left, 20 are charged as “Armed career Criminals”.

The rest have an element of what is considered violence.

Of the 125 people on my unit, exactly ZERO will benefit.

The risk assessments are done “Post-Sentencing” by what must be the Bureau of Prisons since that is what the bill calls for.

If this bill is supposed to encourage participation in recidivism reduction programs and productive activities such as faith based self-help programs, WHO is it targeting?

The $6.9 billion dollars spent on housing the 210,000 inmates in 2013 is NOT going to be affected by a bill that helps 3 out of 100 people, so what is the point?

You want to make a good change? Revise the bill to include all the excluded people except those who have actually put hands on victims, and act like the states do when they call it “EARNED TIME CREDIT.” They give 10-15% for good behavior and 10-15% for those who are trying to better themselves (programming).

But don’t act like this is some great act of congress because ITS NOT!!!

This bill will not help and those who think it will are delusional.

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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