Incarceration is the most frightening prospect of potential criminal punishments. Its greatest power lies in the fear of the unknown, for both the defendant and the family members he or she leaves behind. This is part two of our blog shedding some light on the subject.
Offenders must understand that their sentence begins under the maximum sentence. Inmates must work toward the minimum sentence. Inmates may receive earned time credit towards the sentence reduction by working specific prison jobs and participation in different programs. There are three levels of earned credit jobs, where an inmate can earn 2, 4 or 6 days per month off the maximum sentence. Merit time awards can also reduce the inmate’s maximum sentence. These merit awards are given for working overtime, in bad conditions, or for educational achievements. However, the awards are discretionary. No time off may be earned for split sentences, and inmates sentenced on misdemeanors may only earn 4 days maximum per month regardless of their actions. Conversely, an inmate may also lose reduction days if convicted of a disciplinary infraction.
When sentenced to a period of active incarceration, offenders are taken to one of nine receiving centers, or diagnostic centers. An inmate may expect to remain there for two to four weeks. At the centers, they are evaluated mentally and physically. The inmates are then classified based on the nature of their crime, willingness to follow rules, potential for escape, and an assessment of potential job or program placements.
If you face jail or prison, contact the attorneys at Garrett, Walker and Aycoth. We can assist you in avoiding this draconian punishment.