Post-Conviction Advocacy

85% LAW
OFFENDERS WHO COMMITTED CRIMES ON OR AFTER JULY 1995

All offenders convicted of crimes after June 30, 1995 come under the 85% law, even those offenders who are eligible for parole after serving 25% of their sentence.

Any offender convicted of a crime committed after June 20, 1995 may receive an earned time allowance of four and one-half days (4 ?) for each 30 days served and the earned time allowance shall not exceed 15% of the inmate's term sentence.

An offender released on Earned Release Supervision (ERS) is still considered to be a state inmate and if his ERS is revoked the time he was out on ERS will be added back to his sentence and he must serve the remainder of his sentence without further reduction.

Exceptions: An inmate shall not be eligible for the 15% earned time allowance if:

  1. The inmate was sentenced to life in prison;
  2. The inmate was convicted as a habitual offender;
  3. The inmate was convicted of a sex crime; or
  4. The inmate was convicted of sale, possession or use of a controlled substance within a correctional facility.

By policy, MDOC no longer releases inmates to ERS on the following offenses:

  1. Murder, including attempted and accessory before the fact;
  2. Voyeurism;
  3. Invasion of privacy-photographing or filming;
  4. Escape;
  5. Armed car jacking;
  6. Drive-by shooting;
  7. Failure to register as a sex offender (effective March 1, 2006);
  8. Offenders serving Court-ordered house arrest (ISP.)

How is a date Calculated?

You take the total term of sentence and subtract pre-sentence jail time and then multiply the remainder by .15 to determine the earned time allowance. This earned time allowance is then subtracted from the maximum release date to determine the ERS date.

Note: Meritorious earned time and trusty earned time is also subtracted from an offender's ERS date.

OFFENDERS SENTENCED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2000

First time offenders convicted on non-violent crimes after January 1, 2000, may be eligible for parole after serving 25% of their sentences.

NOTES ON ALL 85% LAW

These offenders only become eligible for parole after serving 25% of their sentences; they do not automatically get released at that time. If not released on parole, all rules for the "85% law" still applies.

If the sentence is two years or less he must serve at least 9 months. If the sentence is two to five years he must serve at least 10 months. If the sentence is more than five years but less than thirty years he must at least one year. If the sentence is thirty years or more he must serve at least ten years.

Meritorious earned time of up to 180 days may reduce the time required to be eligible for parole.

10/30 trust earned time is subtracted from the parole eligibility date.

30/30 trusty earned time is not subtracted from the parole eligibility date.

If the offender has multiple non-violent convictions, all with the same sentencing date, he will be eligible for parole.

If an offender is sentenced on Monday in one county and Tuesday in a different county, he is not eligible for parole.

If an offender was on probation and that probation is revoked on the same day he is sentenced to a new non-violent crime, he is not eligible for parole.

If an offender has a non-adjudicated probation for a non-violent crime and is revoked on the same day he is sentenced to a new non-violent crime, he is eligible for parole.

What Crimes are not parole eligible under this law?

  1. Homicide;
  2. Robbery;
  3. Manslaughter;
  4. Sex Crimes;
  5. Arson;
  6. Burglary of an occupied dwelling (This includes all residential burglaries whether or not anyone was at home at the time of the crime.);
  7. Aggravated Assault (Includes aggravated domestic violence.);
  8. Kidnapping;
  9. Felonious abuse of vulnerable adult;
  10. Felonies with enhanced penalties;
  11. Sale or manufacture of a controlled substance;
  12. Felony Child Abuse;
  13. Felony child endangerment;
  14. Felony DUI resulting in death, or serious bodily injury resulting in the loss of a limb or dismemberment, loss of eyesight, a coma, permanent dysfunction of vital organ, paralysis or resulting in an individual's permanent bedridden state;
  15. Sale, possession or use of a controlled substance within a correctional facility;

Note: Accessory before the fact or attempt to commit any of the above crimes also makes the offender ineligible for parole.

In general, most offenders sentenced under this law are eligible for parole after serving 25% of their sentence and flat time their sentence after serving 50%.

An offender must be sentenced to one year or more to be eligible for parole. If the sentence is two years or less he must serve at least nine months.

If the sentence is two years to five years, he must serve at least ten months. If the sentence is more than five years but less than thirty years, he must serve at least one year. If the sentence is thirty years or more he must serve at least ten years.

Exceptions:

  1. Habitual offenders must serve his sentence day for day;
  2. Sex offenders who committed his crime must serve his sentence day for day, except a person under the age of 19;
  3. Persons convicted of armed robbery or attempted armed robbery committed between January 1, 1977 and October 1 1994 are not eligible for parole or earned time until he has served ten years of his sentence. As of October 1, 1994, armed robbery and attempted armed robbery sentences become mandatory in their entirety.
  4. Persons convicted of armed car jacking or drive-by shooting are not eligible for parole.

SOME BASIC CONCEPTS

Q. What is the 85% law?
A. For any sentence imposed after June 30, 1995, an inmate may receive an earned time allowance of four & one-half (4 ?) days for every thirty days served in the department determines that the inmate has complied with the good conduct and performance requirements of the earned time allowance program. The earned time allowance under this subsection shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of inmate's term of sentence.

Q. What is earned release supervision (ERS)?
A. Any inmate convicted after June 30, 1995, who is released before the expiration of his term of sentence due to receiving an earned time allowance shall be placed under earned-release supervision until the expiration of his term of sentence. The inmate shall retain inmate status and remain under the jurisdiction of the department. The period of earned-release supervision shall be conducted in the same manner as a period of supervised parole.

Q. Who is ineligible for the earned time allowance under the 85% law?
A. An inmate shall not be eligible of the earned time allowance if:

  1. The inmate is sentenced to life imprisonment;
  2. The inmate was convicted as a habitual offender;
  3. The inmate has forfeited his earned time allowance by order of the commissioner;
  4. The inmate was convicted of a sex crime;
  5. The inmate was not served the mandatory time required for parole eligibility for a conviction or robbery or attempted robbery with a deadly weapon;
  6. The inmate was convicted of sale, possession or use of a controlled substance within a correctional facility.

By policy, MDOC no longer releases inmates to ERS on the following offenses:

  1. Murder, including attempted and accessory before the fact;
  2. Voyeurism;
  3. Invasion of privacy-photographing or filming;
  4. Escape;
  5. Armed car jacking;
  6. Drive-by shooting;
  7. Failure to register as a sex offender;
  8. Offenders serving court-ordered House Arrest (ISP)

Q. What is the 25% law?
A. First time offenders convicted of a non-violent crime after January 1, 2000, who has served no less than one-fourth (1/4) of the total of such term or terms from which such prisoner was sentenced, or if sentenced to serve a term or terms of thirty years or more, has served no less than 10 years may be released on parole. Except that no one shall be eligible for parole until he shall have served one year of his sentence, unless such person has accrued any meritorious earned time allowances, in which case he shall be eligible for parole if he has served nine months of his sentence, when his sentence is two years or less.

Ten months of his sentence or sentences when his sentence or sentences is more than two years but not more than five years; and one year of his sentence or sentences when his sentence or sentences is more than five years.

Q. Who is a first time offender:
A. For parole eligibility purposes, "a first time offender" means a person who at the time of sentencing has not been convicted of a felony on a previous occasion in any court or courts of the United States or in any state or territory thereof.

Q. What is considered a non-violent crime?
A. For parole eligibility purposes, "non-violent crimes" means a felony other than homicide, robbery, manslaughter, sex crimes, arson, burglary of an occupied dwelling, aggravated assault, kidnaping, felonious abuse of vulnerable adults, felonies with enhance penalties, the sale or manufacturing of a controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substance Laws, felony child abuse and felony DUI resulting in death, or serious bodily injury resulting in loss of a limb or dismemberment, loss of eyesight, coma, permanent dysfunction of any vital organ, paralysis, or resulting in an individual's permanent bedridden state.

Q. What crimes are considered to be sex crimes?
A. For the following crimes are registrable sex offenses:

  1. Kidnapping;
  2. Statutory rape;
  3. Rape and assault with intent to ravish;
  4. Sexual battery;
  5. Enticing a child for concealment, prostitution or marriage;
  6. Touching a child, mentally defective, or incapacitated person or physically helpless person for lustful purposes;
  7. Dissemination of sexually oriented material to children;
  8. Exploitation of children;
  9. Carnal knowledge of a stepchild, adopted child, or a child of a cohabiting partner;
  10. Unnatural intercourse;
  11. Attempt to commit any of the above-referenced offenses;
  12. Adultery or fornication between teacher and pupil;
  13. Sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult;
  14. Procuring sexual servitude of a minor;
  15. Relating to filming of another without permission where there is an expectation of privacy - photographing or filming;
  16. Any other offense resulting in a conviction in another jurisdiction, whether state, federal, military, which if committed in this state, would be deemed to be such a crime without regard to its designation elsewhere.
  17. Any offense resulting in a conviction in another jurisdiction, whether state, federal or military, for which registration is required in the jurisdiction where the conviction was had; and
  18. Any conviction of conspiracy to commit, accessory to commission, or attempt to commit any offense listed in this section.

Q. What is trusty earned time?
A. Trusty earned time is a reduction in sentence to an offender in trusty status as defined by the classification board of MDOC.

Q. How much is the trusty earned time allowance?
A. A trusty earned time allowance of thirty days reduction of sentence may be granted for each thirty days of participation in an approved program while in trusty status.

Q. When is trusty earned time allowance deducted from an offender's sentence?
A. A 30 day reduction in sentence is posted once every 30 days, as earned.

Q. Who is ineligible for the 30/30 trusty earned time allowance?
A. An offender shall be eligible for a reduction in sentence under this section if:

  1. The offender is sentenced to life imprisonment;
  2. The offender convicted was a habitual offender;
  3. The offender was convicted of a sex crime;
  4. The offender has not served the mandatory time required for parole eligibility for a conviction of robbery or attempted robbery through the display of a deadly weapon or a drive-by shooting;
  5. The offender was convicted of certain drug crimes to include sale, barter, transfer, produce, manufacture, distribute, dispense, possession with intent or trafficking. Does not include simple possession, paraphernalia or precursor offenses;
  6. The offender was convicted of trafficking in controlled substances.

Q. What is the intensive supervision program (ISP?)
A. Also known as house arrest, ISP is a program where inmates are allowed to live at home while being electronically monitored by MDOC.

Q. Who is ineligible for ISP?

  1. An offender convicted of a sex crime.
  2. An offender convicted of sale, barter, transfer, manufacture, distribute, produce, dispense, possession with intent, delivery, and trafficking. (This does not include possession, paraphernalia or precursor offenses.)
  3. An offender convict of a crime where death or life imprisonment is the maximum penalty which may be imposed.
  4. An offender convicted of a felony involving the use of a deadly weapon.
  5. An offender who has been confined for the conviction of a felony on a previous occasion in any other court or court of the United States or any states or territory thereof.
  6. An offender, as selected by the court or department, who is not low risk and nonviolent.

Q. Who can place an offender on ISP?
A. The sentencing court or MDOC.

Q. When does MDOC consider an offender for placement on ISP?
A. Pursuant to MDOC policy, an offender who is within 15 months of his earliest release date may be reviewed for placement on ISP.

Q. Who has jurisdiction to revoke probation?
A. The sentencing court.

Q. Who has jurisdiction to revoke post release supervision?
A. The sentencing court.

Q. Who has jurisdiction to remove an offender from the ISP program?
A. MDOC.

Q. Who has jurisdiction to revoke the offender on ERS?
A. MDOC.

Q. Who has jurisdiction to revoke parole?
A. The Mississippi Parole Board.