Only 19 percent of federal inmates in the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program can finish treatment in time to earn a the maximum possible sentence reduction of a year, says the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The review said inmates over a three year period who completed the program earned an average sentence reduction of 8 months.
GAO looked at the federal prison bureau’s limited ability to reduce terms. Federal prison population has risen from about 145,000 in 2000 to about 217,000 in 2011 and facilities overall are 38 percent over capacity. GAO found that almost 29,000 inmates finished sentences through community corrections in fiscal year 2010, after an average placement of about 4 months.