HB544 (2018) Detail

Relative to earned time credits for prisoners participating in rehabilitative or educational programming.


HB 544-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0761

04/03

 

HOUSE BILL 544-FN

 

AN ACT relative to earned time credits for prisoners participating in rehabilitative or educational programming.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. P. Schmidt, Straf. 19; Rep. Ulery, Hills. 37; Rep. Patten, Merr. 17; Rep. Bartlett, Merr. 19; Sen. Lasky, Dist 13

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill makes various changes to the statute governing earned time credits for prisoners.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0761

04/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to earned time credits for prisoners participating in rehabilitative or educational programming.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Parole of Prisoners; Earned Time Credits.  Amend RSA 651-A:22-a, I(a)(2) to read as follows:

(2)(A)  High School Diploma 120 day reduction in the prisoner's minimum sentence and 120 day reduction in the prisoner's maximum sentence.  

(B)  A prisoner shall be entitled to a reduction of 3 days in his or her maximum sentence for each course that is successfully completed towards a high school diploma.  If a prisoner earns a high school diploma while incarcerated, the prisoner shall be eligible for the difference between credits awarded under this subparagraph and the credits awarded under subparagraph (2)(A).  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.  

2  Parole of Prisoners; Earned Time Credits.  Amend RSA 651-A:22-a, I(b) to read as follows:

(b)  Vocational Programming.  A prisoner who successfully completes a vocational program that is authorized and approved by the department or who successfully completes a vocational program that the commissioner deems to be valuable to the prisoner's rehabilitation, shall be entitled to a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her minimum sentence and a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her maximum sentence for each program completed.  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.

3  Parole of Prisoners; Earned Time Credits.  Amend RSA 651-A:22-a, I(d) to read as follows:

(d)  Participation in Family Connections Center Programming.  A prisoner who [is a parent and who] meaningfully participates in the programming offered by the Family Connections Center that the commissioner deems to be valuable to the prisoner's rehabilitation, shall be entitled to a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her minimum sentence and a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her maximum sentence.  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.

4  New Subparagraphs; Parole of Prisoners; Earned Time Credits.  Amend RSA 651-A:22-a, I by inserting after subparagraph (d) the following new subparagraphs:

(e)  Correctional Industries On-the-Job Training.  A prisoner who is awarded a master's certificate in a correctional industries job that is authorized and approved by the department shall be entitled to a reduction of 60 days in his or her minimum sentence and a reduction of 60 days in his or her maximum sentence for each master's certificate earned.  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.

(f)  Other Programs.  A prisoner who meaningfully participates in recommended or mandated treatment that is authorized and approved by the department or is determined by the commissioner to be valuable to the prisoner's rehabilitation and which are not covered under subparagraphs (a) through (e) shall be entitled to a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her minimum sentence and a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her maximum sentence.  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.

5  Parole of Prisoners; Earned Time Credits.  Amend RSA 651-A:22-a, II to read as follows:

II.  The earned time reductions authorized in paragraph I of this section shall be available to prisoners who were incarcerated on or after the effective date of this section and who have been granted this option by the presiding justice at the time of sentencing.  The earned time reductions authorized in paragraph I of this section shall be available to prisoners who were incarcerated or who were awarded earned time credits prior to the effective date of this section upon recommendation of the commissioner and upon approval of the sentencing court in response to a petition which is timely brought by the prisoner.

6  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

17-0761

1/12/17

 

HB 544-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to earned time credits for prisoners participating in rehabilitative or educational programming.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill would makes changes to procedures for awarding earned time credits to prisoners.  Changes would include sentence reductions for each course successfully completed towards a high school diploma, for each vocational training program completed, for earning a master's certificate in correctional industries and for participation in other programs valuable to a prisoner's rehabilitation.  Prisoners who are not parents would be allowed to participate in and receive credit for successfully completing programming offered by the Family Connections Center.  Earned time credits for programs authorized and completed prior to the effective date of the bill would be available upon recommendation of the Commissioner and approval of the court in response to timely petition brought by the prisoner.

 

The Department of Corrections is not able to determine the fiscal impact since it cannot predict how many inmates would successfully participate in the newly eligible programs and have their sentences reduced.  Additional crimes or disciplinary infractions committed by the prisoner would negate earned time credits.  The Department notes the sentence reductions would only reduce operating costs if sentences decreased at a rate greater than the rate of new admittances.  The Department has identified the following potential costs for which it would need additional appropriations:

  • The Correctional Information Management System (CORIS) would need to be programmed to incorporate the procedural changes at an estimated cost of $53,400.

 

  • Two additional teachers and three technical instructors would be needed to provide the additional courses in a gender and location equitable manner.  

 

  • To accommodate additional inmates who are not parents in the programming offered by the Family Connections Center, two additional case management staff would be needed.

 

  • As additional inmates take advantage of earned time credits, three additional case management staff would need to be provide case management and reentry preparation services.  

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Corrections

 

 

Links

HB544 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 25, 2017 House Hearing
Jan. 25, 2017 House Exec Session
Nov. 14, 2017 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB544 Revision: 2489 Date: Jan. 26, 2017, 8:07 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 5, 2017 Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 3 P. 17
Jan. 25, 2017 Public Hearing: 01/25/2017 01:45 PM LOB 204
Jan. 25, 2017 Executive Session: 01/25/2017 LOB 204
Retained in Committee
Oct. 25, 2017 Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session: 10/25/2017 10:30 AM LOB 204
May 23, 2017 Retained Bill Full Committee Work Session: 05/23/2017 11:30 AM LOB 204
Oct. 31, 2017 Retained Bill Subcommittee Work Session: 10/31/2017 10:30 AM LOB 204
Nov. 14, 2017 Executive Session: 11/14/2017 10:00 AM LOB 204
Jan. 3, 2018 Committee Report: Refer for Interim Study for 01/03/2018 (Vote 20-0; CC)
Jan. 3, 2018 Refer for Interim Study: MA VV 01/03/2018 HJ 1 P. 32