Dear Representative Deutch,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for H.R. 929, which provides a technical fix to the Elderly Home Detention Pilot (EHDP) program established by the First Step Act.
Non-violent offenders who reach the age of 60 and who have served two-thirds of their sentence are eligible for this program, which would transfer them from a Federal prison to home confinement. However, due to what appears to be a drafting error, these offenders—unlike other offenders in the Federal system—cannot apply their good time credits toward their time served. This is both a matter of fairness to these offenders who should not be denied the good time they earned and also a matter of fiscal responsibility. Recent studies indicate that nearly 20% of the budget of the Bureau of Prisons goes to the incarceration of these aging inmates.
Your legislation would solve this technical problem by allowing an elderly offender’s prison term to be reduced by the amount of good time credits they earned. The FOP supports this measure, as we did the First Step Act, and we consider the EHDP program part of our nation’s new approach to criminal justice. We would urge our fellow law enforcement organizations—those that supported the First Step Act and those that did not—to support this technical amendment to this pilot program.
On behalf of the more than 356,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. If I can be of any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.