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Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer on early prison releases

Working on an early release from prison is a difficult process that involves more than just “good behavior,” though it is possible. Some people get lucky and, because of the nature of their crimes and/or overcrowding, they are released on probation. Others are able to work closely with their criminal defense attorney to reevaluate their case and possibly provide new evidence that can provide beneficial proof that an early release is warranted. Among the 6000 federal prisoners are being released at the end of month as part of a change in sentencing guidelines. Thirty people will be released in the Western District of Pennsylvania, according to a federal official. The Western District covers twenty-five counties and is divided into three offices. Of the thirty prisoners, twenty-seven are scheduled to be released through the Pittsburgh office, two are scheduled to be released through the Johnstown office, and one is scheduled to be released through the Erie office. Many of them will spend time in a halfway house while they acclimate to being a citizen. Pittsburgh’s Renewal Incorporated, a company that provides halfway house services for federal prisoners in our region, is now anticipating the increase, according to its president and CEO. The man told reporters that Renewal has been “…been preparing for this knowing that the new guidelines were coming down,” adding that the company will be able to accommodate the new former inmates. Renewal has been expanding its capacity because of the new trend in state and federal imprisonment in which it is more cost-effective and humane to provide inmates with half-way housing. In 2014, the United States Sentencing Commission reduced the sentencing guidelines for nonviolent drug offenders, shaving the sentences by an average of two years. That cleared the way for prisoners to file motions to seek reductions in their sentences. About a third of the prisoners being released at the end of the month will be deported because they’re not United States citizens. Not every prisoner who qualifies for a reduction will be immediately released. The 6000 early releases are prisoners who, after having already-reduced sentences, are near the end of their prison terms. 1 November is the earliest this will take effect. If you have questions about early release, call or email Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson today at 412-219-6875. Source: TribLive.com, “30 federal prisoners in W.pa. on list for early release; 27 in Pittsburgh” 7 October 2015

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