U.S. Code, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure

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Author: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel"

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§ 3624. Release of a Prisoner

     (a) Date of Release.—A prisoner shall be released by the Bureau of Prisons on the date of the expiration of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, less any time credited toward the service of the prisoner’s sentence as provided in subsection (b). If the date for a prisoner’s release falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday at the place of confinement, the prisoner may be released by the Bureau on the last preceding weekday.

     (b) Credit Toward Service of Sentence for Satisfactory Behavior.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), a prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year 1 other than a term of imprisonment for the duration of the prisoner’s life, may receive credit toward the service of the prisoner’s sentence, beyond the time served, of up to 54 days at the end of each year of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, beginning at the end of the first year of the term, subject to determination by the Bureau of Prisons that, during that year, the prisoner has displayed exemplary compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations. Subject to paragraph (2), if the Bureau determines that, during that year, the prisoner has not satisfactorily complied with such institutional regulations, the prisoner shall receive no such credit toward service of the prisoner’s sentence or shall receive such lesser credit as the Bureau determines to be appropriate. In awarding credit under this section, the Bureau shall consider whether the prisoner, during the relevant period, has earned, or is making satisfactory progress toward earning, a high school diploma or an equivalent degree. Credit that has not been earned may not later be granted. Subject to paragraph (2), credit for the last year or portion of a year of the term of imprisonment shall be prorated and credited within the last six weeks of the sentence.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.

     (2) Notwithstanding any other law, credit awarded under this subsection after the date of enactment of the Prison Litigation Reform Act shall vest on the date the prisoner is released from custody.

     (3) The Attorney General shall ensure that the Bureau of Prisons has in effect an optional General Educational Development program for inmates who have not earned a high school diploma or its equivalent.

     (4) Exemptions to the General Educational Development requirement may be made as deemed appropriate by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

     (c) Pre-Release Custody.—The Bureau of Prisons shall, to the extent practicable, assure that a prisoner serving a term of imprisonment spends a reasonable part, not to exceed six months, of the last 10 per centum of the term to be served under conditions that will afford the prisoner a reasonable opportunity to adjust to and prepare for the prisoner’s re-entry into the community. The authority provided by this subsection may be used to place a prisoner in home confinement. The United States Probation System shall, to the extent practicable, offer assistance to a prisoner during such pre-release custody.

     (d) Allotment of Clothing, Funds, and Transportation.—Upon the release of a prisoner on the expiration of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, the Bureau of Prisons shall furnish the prisoner with—

     (1) suitable clothing;

     (2) an amount of money, not more than $500, determined by the Director to be consistent with the needs of the offender and the public interest, unless the Director determines that the financial position of the offender is such that no sum should be furnished; and

     (3) transportation to the place of the prisoner’s conviction, to the prisoner’s bona fide residence within the United States, or to such other place within the United States as may be authorized by the Director.

     (e) Supervision After Release.—A prisoner whose sentence includes a term of supervised release after imprisonment shall be released by the Bureau of Prisons to the supervision of a probation officer who shall, during the term imposed, supervise the person released to the degree warranted by the conditions specified by the sentencing court. The term of supervised release commences on the day the person is released from imprisonment and runs concurrently with any Federal, State, or local term of probation or supervised release or parole for another offense to which the person is subject or becomes subject during the term of supervised release. A term of supervised release does not run during any period in which the person is imprisoned in connection with a conviction for a Federal, State, or local crime unless the imprisonment is for a period of less than 30 consecutive days. No prisoner shall be released on supervision unless such prisoner agrees to adhere to an installment schedule, not to exceed two years except in special circumstances, to pay for any fine imposed for the offense committed by such prisoner.

     (f) Mandatory Functional Literacy Requirement.—

     (1) The Attorney General shall direct the Bureau of Prisons to have in effect a mandatory functional literacy program for all mentally capable inmates who are not functionally literate in each Federal correctional institution within 6 months from the date of the enactment of this Act.

     (2) Each mandatory functional literacy program shall include a requirement that each inmate participate in such program for a mandatory period sufficient to provide the inmate with an adequate opportunity to achieve functional literacy, and appropriate incentives which lead to successful completion of such programs shall be developed and implemented.

     (3) As used in this section, the term "functional literacy" means—

     (A) an eighth grade equivalence in reading and mathematics on a nationally recognized standardized test;

     (B) functional competency or literacy on a nationally recognized criterion-referenced test; or

     (C) a combination of subparagraphs (A) and (B).

     (4) Non-English speaking inmates shall be required to participate in an English-As-A-Second-Language program until they function at the equivalence of the eighth grade on a nationally recognized educational achievement test.

     (5) The Chief Executive Officer of each institution shall have authority to grant waivers for good cause as determined and documented on an individual basis.

(Added Pub. L. 98–473, title II, § 212(a)(2), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2008; amended Pub. L. 99–646, §§ 16(a), 17(a), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3595; Pub. L. 101–647, title XXIX, §§ 2902(a), 2904, Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 4913; Pub. L. 103–322, title II, §§ 20405, 20412, Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1825, 1828; Pub. L. 104–66, title I, § 1091(c), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 722; Pub. L. 104–134, title I, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 809(c)], Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321, 1321–76; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 104–140, § 1(a), May 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 1327.)

References in Text

     The date of enactment of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), probably means the date of enactment of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, section 101[(a)] [title VIII] of Pub. L. 104–134, which was approved Apr. 26, 1996.

     The date of the enactment of this Act, referred to in subsec. (f)(1), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 101–647, which enacted subsec. (f) and was approved Nov. 29, 1990.

Prior Provisions

     For a prior section 3624, applicable to offenses committed prior to Nov. 1, 1987, see note set out preceding section 3601 of this title.

Amendments

     1996—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 809(c)(1)(A)], struck out at beginning "A prisoner (other than a prisoner serving a sentence for a crime of violence) who is serving a term of imprisonment of more than one year, other than a term of imprisonment for the duration of the prisoner’s life, shall receive credit toward the service of the prisoner’s sentence, beyond the time served, of fifty-four days at the end of each year of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, beginning at the end of the first year of the term, unless the Bureau of Prisons determines that, during that year, the prisoner has not satisfactorily complied with such institutional disciplinary regulations as have been approved by the Attorney General and issued to the prisoner."

     Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 809(c)(1)(B)], in second sentence substituted "Subject to paragraph (2), a prisoner" for "A prisoner", struck out "for a crime of violence," after "1 year", and struck out "such" after "compliance with".

     Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 809(c)(1)(C)], in third sentence substituted "Subject to paragraph (2), if the Bureau" for "If the Bureau".

     Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 809(c)(1)(D)], in fourth sentence substituted "In awarding credit under this section, the Bureau shall consider whether the prisoner, during the relevant period, has earned, or is making satisfactory progress toward earning, a high school diploma or an equivalent degree." for "The Bureau’s determination shall be made within fifteen days after the end of each year of the sentence."

     Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 809(c)(1)(E)], in sixth sentence substituted "Subject to paragraph (2), credit for the last" for "Credit for the last".

     Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 104–134, § 101[(a)] [title VIII, § 809(c)(2)], amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "Credit toward a prisoner’s service of sentence shall not be vested unless the prisoner has earned or is making satisfactory progress toward a high school diploma or an equivalent degree."

     1995—Subsec. (f)(6). Pub. L. 104–66 struck out par. (6) which read as follows: "A report shall be provided to Congress on an annual basis summarizing the results of this program, including the number of inmate participants, the number successfully completing the program, the number who do not successfully complete the program, and the reasons for failure to successfully complete the program."

     1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–322, § 20405(2), substituted "the prisoner’s" for "his" after "the expiration of" and "toward the service of".

     Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–322, § 20412(1), (2), designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted "Credit that has not been earned may not later be granted." for "Such credit toward service of sentence vests at the time that it is received. Credit that has vested may not later be withdrawn, and credit that has not been earned may not later be granted.", and added pars. (2) to (4).

     Pub. L. 103–322, § 20405, inserted "(other than a prisoner serving a sentence for a crime of violence)" after "A prisoner" in first sentence, substituted "the prisoner" for "he" before "has not satisfactorily complied with" in first sentence and before "shall receive no such credit toward" in third sentence and "the prisoner’s" for "his" wherever appearing in first and third sentences, and inserted after first sentence "A prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment of more than 1 year for a crime of violence, other than a term of imprisonment for the duration of the prisoner’s life, may receive credit toward the service of the prisoner’s sentence, beyond the time served, of up to 54 days at the end of each year of the prisoner’s term of imprisonment, beginning at the end of the first year of the term, subject to determination by the Bureau of Prisons that, during that year, the prisoner has displayed exemplary compliance with such institutional disciplinary regulations."

     Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–322, § 20405(2), substituted "the prisoner’s re-entry" for "his re-entry".

     Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103–322, § 20405(2), (3), substituted "the prisoner" for "him" in introductory provisions and "the prisoner’s" for "his" wherever appearing in introductory provisions and par. (3).

     1990—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–647, § 2902(a), inserted after first sentence "The authority provided by this subsection may be used to place a prisoner in home confinement."

     Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 101–647, § 2904, added subsec. (f).

     1986—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–646, § 16(a), substituted "beginning at the end of" for "beginning after".

     Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–646, § 17(a), substituted "imprisonment and runs concurrently" for "imprisonment. The term runs concurrently" and "supervised released. A term of supervised release does not run" for "supervised release, except that it does not run", struck out ", other than during limited intervals as a condition of probation or supervised release," after "person is imprisoned", and inserted "unless the imprisonment is for a period of less than 30 consecutive days" before the period at end of third sentence.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

     Section 2902(b) of Pub. L. 101–647 provided that: "Section 3624(c) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this section, shall apply with respect to all inmates, regardless of the date of their offense."

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

     Section 16(b) of Pub. L. 99–646 provided that: "The amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of such section 3624 [Nov. 1, 1987]."

     Section 17(b) of Pub. L. 99–646 provided that: "The amendment made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the taking effect of such section 3624 [Nov. 1, 1987]."

Effective Date

     Section effective Nov. 1, 1987, and applicable only to offenses committed after the taking effect of this section, see section 235(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–473, set out as a note under section 3551 of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

     This section is referred to in sections 3603, 3621, 4105, 5037 of this title; title 28 sections 994, 1932.

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Chicago: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", "§ 3624. Release of a Prisoner," U.S. Code, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure in U.S. Code, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2002), Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L7Y453X312RHVVB.

MLA: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel". "§ 3624. Release of a Prisoner." U.S. Code, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, in U.S. Code, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 2002, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L7Y453X312RHVVB.

Harvard: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", '§ 3624. Release of a Prisoner' in U.S. Code, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure. cited in 2002, U.S. Code, Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L7Y453X312RHVVB.