ALABAMA (WDHN) — A bill that would decrease the amount of time a prisoner can get reduced off their sentence, and would make it harder for a prisoner to accrue reduced time, is making its way through the Alabama legistalture.

Under current state law, prisoners who have been convicted of an offense and are in custody may earn incentive or credit time, which is a deduction from the prisoner’s sentence.

In the newly proposed House Bill 9, the incentive time that a prisoner may earn would be reduced and more circumstances would be created where a prisoner could lose or forfeit those credits earned.

This bill would also deny credit time for any prisoners who were convicted of a Class A felony, who was the cause of another prisoner’s death, or received a sentence of more than 15 years.

Existing law states that prisoners are assigned to a specific classification to accrue credit and must remain in each classification for a period of time before advancing.

The bill would not only decrease the amount of good time earned by each prisoner, but also increase the time prisoners must spend in each classification before moving up:

  • Class I prisoner:
    • Prisoners are considered trustworthy in every respect. Inmates can work without constant supervision.
    • Decrease credit time from seventy-five days to thirty days
  • Class II prisoners:
    • Prisoners who are under constant supervision while working. Must remain in class II for a minimum of 12 months before being eligible for class I.
    • Decrease credit time from forty days to fifteen days
  • Class III prisoners:
    • Special assignment prisoners may not receive any of the benefits of Class I or II prisoners. A prisoner must remain in Class III for a period of 12 months before being eligible for class II.
    • Decrease credit time from twenty days to five days
  • Class IV prisoner:
    • This class includes new prisoners, prisoners who commit disciplinary infractions that do not warrant a higher classification, and prisoners who do not abide by the rules of the institution. Must remain in Class IV for a period of three months before being eligible for class III.
    • No correctional incentive time allowed

According to Al.com, the current law recently came under scrutiny after men charged with the deaths of two Alabama law enforcement officers were granted good time credit.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Russell Bedsole, was approved by the House Public Safety Committee and could be up for consideration or a vote in the full House as early as Thursday, March 23.