FIRST STEP ACT DEFENSE

Your Post Conviction and Federal Incarceration Counsel


About Us

In December of 2018, through bi-partisan support, the first Step Act became law which has created enormous opportunities for thousands of non-violent offenders, elderly inmates and terminally ill inmates.

Now more than ever before, it is vital to have an attorney in place to hold your loved one’s hand during the uncertain time of incarceration. The credits that inmates are eligible for through various programs offered by the bureau of Prisons are not automatic and, in most cases, skilled counsel must fight for proper credited time and/or home detention. Gerstman Schwartz is ready, willing and able to fight to get you out of prison as quickly as possible and we have various legal strategies in place to make your period of incarceration as short as possible.

The problem is that the BOP has not moved quickly enough in implementing programs that are related to recidivism. There are hundreds of thousands of prisoners who are in legal limbo, not knowing whether certain programs or jobs will give them credit towards an earlier release. There is confusion in Bureau of Prisons and that confusion may take years to straighten out. There is no reason why your loved one should have to sit in prison for one day longer than they have to because the administrators have failed to determine which programs will be credited towards early release. We have a legal strategy to get your loved ones the counsel that they need while in prison.

Our services will include:

  • We will assess the inmates entire file and reassess and calculate what the actual release date should be.
  • We will meet with and advise the inmate on what programs and jobs to get involved in, in order to maximize credits for early release.
  • Once we have all our arguments in place, we will engage the Bureau of Prisons and advocate on the inmate’s behalf.
  • If the agency advocacy is not successful, we will go straight back to the sentencing judge, which the Act contemplates and we will make a motion to the court in order for the inmate to get the proper credit for early release.
  • We believe once we show that that we are fighting on the inmate’s behalf and have the winning arguments in place, the BOP may settle the case without judicial intervention or that the sentencing judge will consider the motion.
  • Every Federal inmate should take advantage of Gerstman Schwartz and our First Step Act strategy for success.
  • We will fight to have programs and jobs that the inmate is performing to count as credits towards approved recidivism programs. We cannot wait for BOP to make these decisions.
  • We will fight to have the inmate placed on home confinement at the earliest possible moment.

Key Facts You Need to Know About the First Step Act

1
An elderly offender is someone who is at least 60 years of age and if they served 66.67% of their sentence, they can be placed on home confinement.

2
Terminally ill patients are automatically eligible for home confinement regardless of age or how long their sentence is.

3
Each inmate should be assigned to a particularized recidivism reduction program which is not happening in most cases.

4
Inmates who successfully complete recidivism reduction programs are eligible to earn up to 10 days of time credits for every 30 days of program participation.
5
Minimum and low-risk prisoners who successfully completed recidivism reduction or productive activities and whose assessed risk of recidivism has not increased over two consecutive assessments are eligible to earn an extra Five days of time credits for every 30 days of successful participation.

6
Definition: you can receive 15 days credit for every 30 days of successful program participation.

7
The amount of good time credit has been raised to 54 days for every year served.

8
We will fight to have the inmate placed on home confinement at the earliest possible moment.
Now, more than ever before, it is imperative to hire counsel during the period of incarceration in order to unravel all the possibilities for early release. We will work tirelessly in order to get your loved one out of prison as quickly as possible. The new rules under the First Step Act are not absolute and decisions are left to the Bureau of Prisons, which is where counsel comes in to fight for every day. We also will go straight to court in order to get a Federal Judge to rule the eligibility of particular programs and to rule on getting the amount of credit time that your loved one deserves. To sit back passively and allow the BOP to make absolute determinations and to not challenge those determinations would result in your loved one serving extra time in prison. the first Step Act is revolutionary and we need to fight for its proper implementation. We are ready, willing and able to step in as your loved ones advocate and make sure they get the credit they deserve.
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