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How Earned Time Programs for Inmates Are Helping Pennsylvania

Earned time is a concept taking shape in many states across the country to achieve important goals within state correctional systems, including:

  • Reducing recidivism
  • Managing growth in prison populations
  • Improving living and working conditions in state prisons
  • Controlling costs of incarceration
  • Maintaining public safety

In 2008, Pennsylvania enacted legislation allowing some inmates to shave as much as a quarter of the time off their mandatory minimum sentences by completing approved programs. These new programs aid prison management by providing incentives for good behavior and tangible achievements that improve morale.

How Pennsylvania implements earned time

The Pennsylvania earned time initiative is called the Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (RRRI) and is open to offenders who have not committed a violent crime, a sex crime, a crime with a firearm or crimes associated with drug kingpins. The program offers an opportunity for offenders sentenced to a minimum of three years to receive a 25 percent reduction and for offenders with a greater mandatory minimum sentence to earn a 15 percent reduction. Offenders earn the shorter RRRI term by completing the necessary programs, maintaining good conduct and establishing a favorable work record.

Which offenders are eligible for earned time programs?

The commonwealth assesses the risks and potential rewards for each offender who applies to RRRI by considering:

  • Background
  • Education level
  • Work history
  • Drug and alcohol dependency
  • Hostility
  • Anger management
  • Mental health issues

Offenders hoping to enter RRRI benefit greatly from experienced legal representation. A skilled criminal defense attorney in Reading can help you make a persuasive case for eligibility that can pay off with a greatly reduced sentence.

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