The Second Chance Act went into effect yesterday. This law gives the crack dealers sentencing par with cocaine dealers and is retroactive. There will be a lot of crack dealers going back on the streets this month. We are losing a lot from here. I think it is a good thing overall. Most of these guys have served long sentences already, so, in all fairness, they are due for early release.
Everyone knew these law changes were coming. The crack dealers, who were eligible, could petition the court months ago. If some jurisdictions, the courts assigned a staff to evaluate their case history to determine eligibility of drug dealers sentenced in their courts.
There are guys being called by staff to pack up their stuff and move out today. Other guys are getting notice that their release date has been moved up, some substantially. The guy who was in the cell that I wanted “packed out” today. He was in the FMC after a back operation and then had a heart attack, so he never came back to the camp. He was scheduled for release in January. I am assuming he is heading home. I am expecting to get that bed. Maybe I can get some sleep!
BOP certainly spends very little time, if any, to adequately prepare inmates for productive jobs on the outside. They would be better off if they separated the violent guys from the non-violent to seek non-incarceration alternatives to the non-violent. These could include fines, home confinement and community service but they should absolutely include mandatory job training skills and drug tests.
I cleared the air with Roland today. I think everything will be ok. He is expecting to go home in three weeks as part of the early releases. He is one guy that I can’t wait to leave!