Inmate Legal Matters
The information on this page may assist members of the legal community and friends and family of inmates
in BOP custody gain insight from a legal perspective as to the federal prison system, services, and programs.
Various statutes, regulations, program statements, and case law address issues in the area of corrections, and specifically speak to BOP operations. Below you will find some notable aspects of the federal prison system; however, we suggest that you conduct independent research and confirm legal references when exploring Bureau matters:
No paroleBy virtue of the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA), federal offenders sentenced after November 1, 1987 are not eligible for parole. The U.S. Parole Commission remains active, however, to process the cases of offenders sentenced prior to the SRA.
DC OffendersThe National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 transferred responsibility of District of Columbia Code felony offenders to the BOP. (D.C. Code misdemeanants are housed at the D.C jail.)
Sentence CreditInmates may earn up to 54 days of credit a year for "good conduct" (18 USC 3624). Inmates may also have their sentences reduced if they have eligible jail credit (28 C.F.R. 2.10). The BOP may also reduce the custody of eligible inmates who successfully complete the BOP's residential substance abuse program (18 USC 3621).
No conjugal visitsConjugal visitation is not permitted within any BOP facility.
JuvenilesAlthough federal law does provide for the prosecution and housing of juveniles, (see Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 5031-5042), the federally-sentenced juvenile population is too small to make it cost-effective to operate a separate BOP facility for just these offenders. Accordingly, the BOP contracts for placement of these offenders in state and local facilities, some of which are operated by private firms.