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Conditional Release and Good Time

NCJ Number
Columbia Human Rights Law Review Volume: 9 Issue: 2, and V 10, N 1, double issue Dated: (Fall-Winter 1977-78, Spring-Summer 1978) Pages: 423-431
B S Brown
Date Published
9 pages
This article for New York State prison inmates defines conditional release and good time credits and discusses how they are granted or lost and how applied to definite and indeterminate sentences.
Conditional release, granted on the basis of good time allowances earned in prison is much like parole in the rights and responsibilities it confers. It must be granted to those eligible even if parole is denied. In New York, credit toward conditional release is earned for progress in treatment programs, performance of duties, or other good prison behavior. Good time credits can reduce the maximum of an indeterminate sentence by up to one-third unless the sentence is life. Although New York courts have refused to interfere with Department of Corrections discretion in granting good time credits, inmates may file a request for review of a decision with the commissioner if they disagree. Prison authorities can refuse to grant good time or remove good time already granted through a superintendent's hearing. Conditional release for an indeterminate sentence is granted if it is earned and requested through the proper channels by the inmate; parole board approval is not needed. Prisoners may be released when their total earned credit equals the amount remaining on the maximum of the sentence. However, good time credits cannot be accumulated for conditional release from a definite sentence (1 year or less), although they must be applied to unconditional, early release. Other topics include revocation of conditional release and the effect of this on good time credits, the conditional release agreement, and shortcomings of this kind of release. Footnotes are included.