Some good news I recently received was my sentence compensation sheet with an adjustment for an additional seven days good time, from the First Step Act, signed last year by President Trump.
One thing I constantly heard when I was on pre-trial and when I first got locked up was that, something will change and I won’t do my whole sentence. Then, on the other hand, I had a handful of people who had a lot of time under their belt give me very good advice, “don’t get your hopes up or spend too much time looking into prison reform, because they have been talking about it for decades.”
There are a large group of inmates who spend most of their time trying to figure out what is going to get them home early, news comes through FAM or Jermey Gordon, two services that report on prison reform or news that involves prisons around the country, and they let their lives and their moods revolve around this hope of getting out.
Then every time something doesn’t happen or it doesn’t affect them, they are crushed.
So, I’ve been choosing to not buy into anything too much, if it happens, it happens, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
I am not going to lie when the 2 point reduction happened, I thought for a minute I might get some love, and even though I told my family not to get their hopes up I only had a mask on my emotions, because deep down I thought just maybe it will help me too, regardless of what the guidelines say.
But, the time came and I finally got my letter and I felt like I was back in high school waiting for my acceptance letter from the Univeristy of Minnesota, except this time it was bad news. I didn’t get the 2 point reduction, because of my mandatory minimum sentence. I didn’t show it but I was crushed, and after that, I decided not to even read another letter and just wait for that compensation sheet during mail call.
For decades inmates had been complaining about seven days that had been missing every year from out good time, we had been receiving 47 days of good time every year when it should have been 54 good days, based off of 15%.
So, in the First Step Act, one of the clauses was giving every inmate across the board their seven days good time that had been missing, so for someone like me who is serving 10 years, I received an additional 70 days of good time.
This moved my outdate from May 17th, 2021 to March 9th, 2021, and even though it’s probably something we should have had from the start, it was still a great feeling to know I will be going home 70 days sooner.
I can only imagine how the people felt who got years knocked off their sentence from President Obama when he passed the 2 point reduction. Or the thousands he granted clemency to because they had spent a decade or more behind bars, or were unfairly sentenced under the crack law.
It must have been one hell of a feeling! As I am getting closer and closer to the door, I am sure I will know that feeling soon enough when I am released.
I am still counting in months but before long I will count in weeks, then days, and finally hours.
See you soon and thanks for listening!