Do you have a loved one in federal prison who would like to seek an early release? Our expert federal prison consultants team regularly assists inmates seeking early release from prison and federal prison camps. Contact us if you would like to learn more about inmate early release programs or if you are seeking an early release from federal prison for good behavior.
Clients hire the Zoukis Consulting Group for various reasons. Sometimes these concern preparing for prison, while other times, our work regards resolving in-prison matters. Perhaps the most meaningful work is securing an early release from federal prison. This can include prison early release for good behavior and other inmate programs.
While it is not always possible to secure an early release, this page discusses our process. Here, you will learn about various early release programs for inmates, including:
- CARES Act Home Confinement
- Compassionate Release
- First Step Act Time Credits
- Regular Halfway House
- Regular Home Confinement
Please contact us if you need help preparing for time in federal prison, resolving in-prison matters, or are interested in obtaining a review of your case to determine if you can seek an early release from federal prison. Book a free initial consultation to speak with one of our experienced federal prison consultants today.
Table of contents
- Securing an Early Release from Federal Prison
- Our Early Release from Federal Prison Process
- Prequalifying Clients and Preparing the Sentence Reduction Roadmap
- First Step Act Time Credits
- CARES Act Home Confinement
- Compassionate Release
- Regular Halfway House and Home Confinement
- Your Federal Prison Early Release Experts
Securing an Early Release from Federal Prison
It can often feel like life is falling apart when federal prisoners start serving a prison sentence. This is usually a fearful and anxiety-producing time. There’s no way around it. But there is hope. The Zoukis Consulting Group regularly assists clients in preparing for a term of federal imprisonment and developing in-prison success plans. We also help clients secure an early release from prison. If you or a loved one are incarcerated, there are several ways to secure an early release from custody.
While most federal inmates don’t qualify for all types of early release from prison, many qualify for early release to differing degrees. For example, many inmates can earn additional time credits through the First Step Act. Likewise, many minimum- and low-security inmates can qualify for CARES Act home confinement. Through these vehicles, federal inmates have the opportunity to reduce their time in prison.
The Zoukis Consulting Group helps federal inmates find ways to reduce the amount of time they must serve. This is often fulfilled through the strategic application of federal regulations, governing Bureau policy, and black-letter federal law. Our team of experienced federal prison consultants and partner federal criminal defense attorneys have experienced great success in helping clients across the country secure an early release.
Below we profile three options available for federal inmates seeking early release from prison federal prison camps. While the type of early release sought depends on eligibility criteria, our team can review your case to provide you with a roadmap for getting out of prison as soon as possible.
Our Early Release from Federal Prison Process
The Zoukis Consulting Group has developed a process over the past two decades for securing clients an early release from federal prison. These approaches apply to inmates incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
While there are many moving parts to our approach (detailed discussions can be found below), we find it helpful to provide a quick summary. After all, you are hiring our firm to apply this practice for you.
Our early release from prison process consists of four primary criminal justice elements:
- Secure Additional First Step Act Time Credits
- Apply for CARES Act Home Confinement
- Pursue Compassionate Release if Client Not Eligible for CARES Act Home Confinement
- Maximize Regular Halfway House and Direct-to-Home Confinement
Prequalifying Clients and Preparing the Sentence Reduction Roadmap
The key to reducing a federal prison sentence is to put in place an eligibility timeline. This process requires prequalifying clients for each potential early release option, outlining the proper time and approach for pursuing each option, and applying this timeline to each client’s unique case and circumstances.
First Step Act Time Credits
We generally start by helping clients maximize their potential First Step Act time credits. This reduces the global federal prison sentence and accelerates eligibility for the remaining options. This is a great way to secure an early release from federal prison for good behavior.
This tends to be a time-intensive project. It requires our team to identify First Step Act eligible programs, help clients enroll in these programs, and line up subsequent qualifying programs. This way, clients can maximize program placement and duration and receive maximum time-reduction benefits.
In a nutshell, federal prisoners can earn credits for participating in qualifying recidivism reduction programming. For every 30 days of programming time, they first earn ten days, then 15 days off their sentence. These earned time credits are in addition to the annual 54 days of good conduct time. While these help prisoners reduce their sentences, they also benefit society by reducing recidivism.
CARES Act Home Confinement
CARES Act home confinement allows eligible inmates to seek placement in home confinement during the federal COVID-19 pandemic. While not necessarily a complete sentence reduction solution, we find this an excellent option for lower-risk, lower-security clients. In effect, it allows clients to serve their sentences at home.
While any inmate can request CARES Act home confinement, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons claims they consider inmates on their own initiative, this is often not the best approach. Our process paints a more complete picture of the client, highlights how they fulfill the governing guidelines for this placement, and speeds up the process.
In a nutshell, inmates who fulfill the en-force guidelines may seek CARES Act home confinement based on the amount of time served. There are two timing conditions to keep in mind:
- Inmates with more than 18 months remaining on their sentence must serve 50 percent of their sentence before seeking CARES Act home confinement.
- Inmates with less than 18 months remaining on their prison sentence have to serve 25 percent of their sentence before seeking placement.
The Bureau does allow non-guideline CARES Act home confinement placement, but this is exceedingly rare. While we are always happy to help clients seek non-guidelines placements, we want to offer a healthy dose of caution here. These types of requests are rarely granted.
At the Zoukis Consulting Group, one of our core tenants is not to engage in projects that we believe will be unsuccessful. We will never suggest a course of action — or accept payment for a project — that we believe will be unsuccessful. This is one of the reasons we have such a strong record of securing clients an early release from federal prison camps.
Compassionate release allows inmates to seek placement on supervised release because of an underlying condition. Traditionally, compassionate release was used as a vehicle for terminally ill or debilitated inmates to seek placement on supervised release.
Compassionate release needs to be viewed historically to understand it best. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, compassionate release was a tool for terminally ill inmates to seek release for their remaining time. While a few other categories were (and still are) available, the terminal illness category was primarily employed.
But things changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, sharp attorneys use federal compassionate release for clients who:
- Have an underlying health condition that places them at increased risk for COVID-19 contraction.
- When the underlying health condition presents an increased risk of severe COVID-19 response.
At the Zoukis Consulting Group, we regularly assist clients seeking compassionate release. But unlike traditional attorneys, we try to leave this option as a last resort. At least in our mind, attorneys love compassionate release petitions because they can charge a lot of money to complete them. This is regardless of their success ratios.
We prefer to seek other options before contemplating compassionate release petitions. The alternatives tend to be easier, faster, and less expensive to pursue. For example, clients qualifying for CARES Act home confinement will secure their federal prison early release for good behavior faster and less expensively than compassionate release.
As you consider federal early release from prison options, we strongly recommend you use compassionate release as a tool of last resort. For example, if you don’t qualify for CARES Act home confinement or First Step Act time credits, then contemplate compassionate release, but not before.
Regular Halfway House and Home Confinement
Regular halfway house and home confinement have remained staples of our early release from federal prison and prison camp process. Briefly, every eligible inmate may receive up to 12 months in a halfway house and six months of home confinement at the end of their sentence.
When contemplating these federal inmate early release programs, keep two placement periods concepts in mind:
- These periods run together, not in addition to one another. If an inmate receives 12 months of halfway house, the potential six months of home confinement is within this period, not in addition to it.
- Halfway house and home confinement placement periods are based on numerous factors. Few inmates receive the full 12 months of halfway house placement.
Our process here depends on client objectives. For example, some clients want to seek maximum halfway house and home confinement placements to get out as soon as possible. Others prefer to avoid the halfway house experience altogether, choosing placement directly in home confinement.
The policy argument is contrary to popular belief. When seeking maximum halfway house placement, the key is to show how the placement is necessary. For example, the client doesn’t have a home or job lined up.
On the other hand, direct-to-home-confinement placement requires a showing that the client is low risk, has sufficient resources, and doesn’t need halfway house services. In other words, this equates to federal prison early release for good behavior.
Your Federal Prison Early Release Experts
Please contact us at the Zoukis Consulting Group as you contemplate how to secure an early release from federal prison or federal prison camp.
These early release programs for inmates are highly technical and require deep federal regulation and Bureau policy understanding. While interwoven, this is a complicated arena where experience matters.
Book a free initial consultation today to discuss your early release from federal prison options!
Published Mar 7, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Aug 1, 2022 at 6:48 am