First Step Act Programming

Hi to all. I hope everyone is doing well. It is about 10:45PM on Sunday evening August 7, 2022. I watched the end of the Dodger/Padres game and the beginning of Sportscenter from around 8:30PM to 9:30PM.

I wanted to update everyone on some “programming” I have started doing through the Bureau of Prisons under the First Step Act in an effort to decrease the length of my sentence. The First Step Act is a federal criminal justice reform bill which was passed by Congress in 2018 and signed by President Trump. The Bureau of Prisons has been extremely slow implementing the law but finally has had their hand forced by Congress and the law was finally largely been implemented at the beginning of this year.

Under the First Step Act, eligible inmates can participate in programming provided by their particular prison. The programming consists of classes inmates participate in taught by instructors who are employees of the prison. For every 30 day period an inmate participates in programming they can earn up to 15 days of Earned Time Credits. Those earned time credits are calendar days which are deducted from your sentence thus pushing your release date closer. The maximum amount of Earned Time Credits an inmate may earn to reduce their sentence is capped at 365 days, however any Earned Time Credits over 365 days can be put toward additional halfway house and home confinement time.

I just recently started enrolled and began my first First Step Act class. The title of the class is “Getting to Know Your Healthy Aging Body”. The class consists off approximately 30-40 participants (inmates) instructed by the recreation officer. The class meets for one hour sessions and is set to meet twelve times with our scheduled meeting times twice a week on Mondays and Saturdays. We did not have class this past Saturday because our instructor was out so we are meeting Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday this week to make up for this past Saturday.

In addition I have recently signed up for a program through the Chapel called Threshold. Signups are being held all this month and classes begin in September.

Finally I have applied for admission to Adams State University MBA (Masters in Business Administration) program and I have enrolled in one class for the Fall 2022 semester to get my feet wet. The class is done through written correspondence and should begin around the 22nd of this month.

I am trying to stay busy while in here but I am not going to sugar coat, it is hard. It is easy to be lazy and waste the days away. Being active and staying involved in programming definitely helps stay mentally fit.


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