CHAPTER 172

HB 1426-FN - FINAL VERSION

9Mar2016... 0681h

04/21/2016   1377s

2016 SESSION

16-2003

04/03

 

HOUSE BILL 1426-FN

 

AN ACT relative to earned time credits for prisoners participating in educational programming.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Welch, Rock. 13; Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Pantelakos, Rock. 25; Sen. D'Allesandro, Dist 20

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill makes changes to the procedures for awarding earned time credits to prisoners.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

9Mar2016... 0681h 16-2003

04/21/2016   1377s 04/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Sixteen

 

AN ACT relative to earned time credits for prisoners participating in educational programming.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

172:1  Parole of Prisoners; Earned Time Credits  Amend RSA 651-A:22-a to read as follows:

651-A:22-a  Earned Time Credits.

I.  The commissioner, after reviewing a prisoner's record, shall award to a prisoner or recommend that the prisoner receive a one-time reduction in his or her minimum and maximum sentences for successful completion of each of the following programs while incarcerated:

(a)  Education Programs:

(1)  [GED] High School Equivalency Certificate 90 day reduction in the prisoner's minimum sentence and 90  day reduction in the prisoner's maximum sentence.

(2)  High School Diploma 120 day reduction in the prisoner's minimum sentence and 120 day reduction in the prisoner's maximum sentence.

(3)  Associate's Degree 180 day reduction in the prisoner's minimum sentence and 180 day reduction in the prisoner's maximum sentence.

(4)  Bachelor's Degree 180 day reduction in the prisoner's minimum sentence and 180 day reduction in the prisoner's maximum sentence.

(5)  Master's Degree 180 day reduction in the prisoner's minimum sentence and 180 day reduction in the prisoner's maximum sentence.

(6)  Doctorate Degree 180 day reduction in the prisoner's minimum sentence and 180 day reduction in the prisoner's maximum sentence.

(b)  Vocational Programming.  A prisoner who successfully completes a vocational program that is authorized and approved by the department or who successfully completes a vocational program that the commissioner deems to be valuable to the prisoner's rehabilitation, shall be entitled to a one-time reduction of [up to] 60 days in his or her minimum sentence and a one-time reduction of [up to] 60 days in his or her maximum sentence.  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.

(c)  Mental Health Programming.  A prisoner who meaningfully participates in recommended or mandated mental health and/or substance use treatment that is authorized and approved by the department or that the commissioner deems to be valuable to the prisoner's rehabilitation, shall be entitled to a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her minimum sentence and a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her maximum sentence.  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.

(d)  Participation in Family Connections Center Programming.  A prisoner who is a parent and who meaningfully participates in the programming offered by the Family Connections Center that the commissioner deems to be valuable to the prisoner's rehabilitation, shall be entitled to a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her minimum sentence and a one-time reduction of 60 days in his or her maximum sentence.  The commissioner shall establish procedures, which shall be exempt from RSA 541-A, for awarding such reductions.

II.  The earned time reductions authorized in paragraph I of this section shall be available to prisoners who were incarcerated on or after the effective date of this section and who have been granted this option by the presiding justice at the time of sentencing.  The earned time reductions authorized in paragraph I of this section shall be available to prisoners who were incarcerated prior to the effective date of this section upon recommendation of the commissioner and upon approval of the sentencing court in response to a petition which is timely brought by the prisoner.

III.  The earned time reductions authorized in paragraph I of this section shall only be earned and available to prisoners while in the least restrictive security classifications of general population and minimum security.  The earned time may be forfeited for involvement or membership in a security threat group, attempted escape, escape, or commission of any category A offense listed in the department of corrections policy and procedure directives.

IV.  The earned time reductions granted under this section shall not exceed [13] 21 months off the prisoner's minimum sentence and [13] 21 months off the prisoner's maximum sentence.

172:2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

Approved: June 3, 2016

Effective Date: August 2, 2016