Second Look: The Federal Bureau of Prisons is operating at 149% over capacity. A 10% reduction in the federal prison population would save taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars per year. Put that against the President's pay freeze for Federal employees that will save $28 billion over the next five years--the measure is a continuation of the administration's Accountable Government Initiative, designed to cut cost and save taxpayer dollars.
Bipartisan Support: Republican's (www.RightOnCrime.com) and Democrat's (http://www.besmartoncrime.org/)
and members of Congress agree that the current prison system is way so
ineffective and that we have been wrong on crime for the past 28 years.
It has been a escalating burden on taxpayers who are footing the bill
for more prisons. The penal model enacted by Public Law 98-473
(Sentencing Reform Act of 1984) of "incapacitation" in lieu of
"rehabilitation and reentry" has failed miserably. We can and must do
Our economic crisis is due in part to the state of our
judicial system where so many first time non violent offenders are given
Draconian sentences and no means to redeem themselves. Once in the
prison system, they have no reason to desire rehabilitation or work
towards early release.
Americans want to see results, not
stiffer sentences. We can change they way the judicial system enforces
punishment and how inmates serve their time in a way that would benefit
both the inmate and society. The Barber Amendment would benefit the
* The Barber Amendment allows the Federal Bureau of
Prisons to maintain correctional worker staffing and help relieve
overcrowding of prisons.
* The Federal Bureau of Prisons has a
budget that exceeds $6.8 billion dollars a year. After the FBI, the BOP
has the largest budget of any unit in the Department of Justice.
* The Barber Amendment saves taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars per year.
* Releasing 10% of the federal prison population pursuant to existing
Federal Bureau of Prisons policy and procedures poses no risk to public
* The Barber Amendment - Good Time Allowances rewards those inmates who have shown positive behavior.
* Although early release would not be guaranteed, it would allow a Second Chance to those who prove they are deserving of it.
* The cost to house an inmate for 12 months is almost $30,000.00. Costs
rise significantly for all inmates over age 60 and nearly double or
quadruple for inmates with medical issues.
* People in prison
do not receive the same health care as free people and lengthy
non-parolable sentences cause medical emergencies for those in
facilities; and huge indigent health care costs upon release.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) is the largest police force in the
United States. The AFGE.org, the FBOP's labor union, is battling on the
Hill to add 15,000 correctional officers because of safety concerns due
to overcrowding and budget cuts. Both Republicans and Democrats agree
that building additional bed space in prisons will not resolve the
systemic issues of the prison system. We can not build our way out of
* The BOP has been triple bunking because of lack of bed
space, which heightens tensions and makes it more dangerous for both
staff and inmates.
Federal Sentencing data collected, post
Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (over 25 years) provides the gold standard
of evidence on what works and what does not; and when is the proper
time to release an offender from a sentence while posing no risk to
public safety. I would also direct you to these facts:
The government's experts on these issues all support reforms, as
evidenced by the FedCURE NEWS Presentation on Second Look. Take the time
to watch U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (Video #1), U.S.
Attorney General, Eric Holder (Video #2) and most of all, Patricia
Cushwa, Commissioner of the United States Parole Commission (Video #11)
and Harley G. Lappin, Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (Video
#8). I would be remiss, however, if I did not strongly urge you to view
all of the video's on "Panel Four: Good Time, Community Corrections and
Re-Entry." See the exclusive videos here: http://www.fedcure.org/SecondLook.shtml
Since inmates "earned" the right to be in prison, why can't they also "earn" the right to be out?
The Barber Amendment of 2011 would greatly contribute to the healing of
our economy and the healing of our nation. There are almost 211,000
people incarcerated in federal prison today and the majority of these
are first time non violent offenders, whom under current Federal Bureau
of Prisons and U.S. Probation Office procedures, can be safely released
via increased good time allowances, with no threat to public safety.