You’ve heard the term, but what does “time off for good behavior” mean if you’re facing time behind bars?
If you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to 20 years in jail, you won’t necessarily spend all 20 years in custody. There is credit for good behavior, and it can actually get out of jail early.
Here’s How ‘Time Off for Good Behavior’ Works
The criminal system has laws to reward inmates for good behavior. But there are limitations. For example, those serving life sentences or the death penalty for heinous crimes are not eligible for time shaved off their sentences.
To learn more about reduced jail and prison sentences, it’s best to consult a local criminal defense lawyers about your specific circumstances.
Here is how getting released early for good behavior generally works in Ohio:
Jail vs. Prison
Jail and prison are often used interchangeably, but they are two different facilities. Jails are run by local governments and designed for those serving short sentences for misdemeanors. Most people spend a few weeks to a few months in jail.
Prisons are run by state or federal governments. They are reserved for those serving time for felonies and federal crimes. Prisons are typically well-developed, since people often spend many years there.
They do have one thing in common. They both allow you to be released early based on good behavior.
Good Time Credit in Ohio
Prison inmates who display “exemplary compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations” – meaning they have not committed any crimes or caused any discipline issues while incarcerated – are rewarded with a sentence reduction.
Those serving longer than one year will receive 54 days off their sentences every year.
However, a person serving a 13-month sentence will not be able to be released 54 days early because the release date would be in the 11th month – and inmates need to serve a minimum of 12 months before being eligible for the sentence reduction.
Therefore, the earliest they could be released would be on their one-year anniversary.
In addition, the good time credit limit is 30% of the sentence. According to Ohio Code §5120-2-05(A):
Except as provided elsewhere in this rule, an offender serving a felony sentence in a correctional facility operated by the department of rehabilitation and correction may, by faithfully observing the rules of the institution, earn a deduction of up to thirty percent of his minimum or definite sentence. The total amount of time that may be deducted from the offender’s sentence shall be prorated and shall be awarded monthly for obeying the rules of the institution for that month.
Your Good Conduct Allowance
Those in jail also receive a good conduct allowance. When sentenced to 10 days or more, the sentence can be reduced by one day for every two served. So, while a person sentenced to nine days in jail will have to serve nine days, a person sentenced to 12 days can actually get out in eight.
Your actual jail term will depend on the county since the laws differ.
Get Out as ASAP
Nobody wants to be incarcerated. We all enjoy our freedom and daily routines. Whether you’re sentenced to six months in jail or 30 years in prison, there are ways to get out sooner and move forward with your life.
Although it’s a good idea to be on your best behavior, you may be able to request an early release, negotiate a plea, or avoid incarceration by getting charges dismissed or proving your innocence.
LHA Can Help
The Columbus criminal defense lawyers from Luftman, Heck & Associates can help you. Give us a call at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential case consult.