Earned Sentence Credit -VSA Budget Amendment Update

On June 17, 2022, the General Assembly voted on budget amendments offered by the Governor covering a variety of topics.  One amendment from the Governor approved by the General Assembly relates to good time credit.

Summary

The Earned Sentence Credit statute that goes into effect July 1, 2022 is now changed.  The new statute previously required that anyone serving a sentence for a combination of offenses listed in Section A (primarily violent offenses) and offenses not listed in Section A should have the earned sentence credits applied separately for the Section A offense [4.5 credits per 30 days] and non-Section A offenses [up to 15 credits per 30 days].  E.g., a person serving a consecutive sentence for one year on grand larceny and 20 years on murder should be granted 15 credits per 30 days on the one year for the grand larceny and 4.5 credits per 30 days for the 20-year sentence for murder.

The Governor’s amendment, passed by the General Assembly, now requires that a person serving a sentence, either consecutive or concurrent, that includes at least one charge listed in Section A shall have the entire sentence calculated with credits of 4.5 per 30 days.  E.g., a person serving 5 years for a robbery and twenty years for grand larceny shall have the entire 25 year sentence eligible only for 4.5 credits per 30 days.

The new Va Code §53.1-202.3 effective July 1, 2022, along with the Governor’s amendment, is retroactive to the entire sentence only of a person who is confined in a state correctional facility and participating in the earned sentence credit system on July 1, 2022.  For individuals not confined in a state correctional facility, the new Va Code §53.1-202.3 with the Governor’s amendment applies to sentence credits earned beginning July 1, 2022.

Governor’s Amendment

Amendment 19: Amend Earned-Sentence-Credit (language only)

Item 404

Public Safety and Homeland Security
Department of Corrections Language

Language:

Page 460, line 51, after “R.” insert “1.”

Page 460, after line 54, insert:

“2. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 53.1-202.3, Code of Virginia, a maximum of 4.5 sentence credits may be earned for each 30 days served on a sentence that is concurrent with or consecutive to a sentence for a conviction of an offense enumerated in subsection A of § 53.1-202.3, Code of Virginia.”

Explanation:

(This amendment makes changes to the offense classifications that are eligible for the earned-sentence-credit structure set forth in House Bill 5148 and Senate Bill 5034 of the 2020 Special Session I.)

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