United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SENTENCE REDUCTION UNDER THE
FIRST STEP ACT
KEITH WATKINS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Defendant Ger Derrick Moncrief's pro
se motion for a reduction of sentence under the First
Step Act of 2018. See Pub. L. No. 115-391, 132 Stat.
5194 (2018); (Doc. # 872.) Defendant contends that, under the
First Step Act, he is entitled to an additional seventy days
of good-time credit. He moves the court to award him this
good-time credit “so that [he] may transition from the
halfway house to living [at] home to reside with [his] family
and children . . . .” (Doc. # 872, at 1.) The
Government filed a response in opposition to the motion.
(Doc. # 873.) For the reasons that follow, the motion is due
to be denied.
2013, Defendant pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking offenses
involving his participation in a conspiracy to distribute
cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride. He was sentenced to
108 months' imprisonment and 5 years' supervised
release. (Doc. # 663.) His sentence later was reduced to 87
months. (Doc. # 830.) Defendant is serving the remainder of
his sentence in a residential reentry center in Montgomery,
Alabama. His projected release date is October 7, 2019.
See www.bop.gov/inmateloc (last visited
Oct. 2, 2019).
First Step Act became law on December 21, 2018. Section
102(b)(1) of the First Step Act amended 18 U.S.C. §
3624(b), which governs the calculation of a federal
inmate's good-time credit. Section 102(b)(1)'s
revision permits a federal inmate to earn up to 54 days in
good time annually for each year of his or her
sentence. As explained by another district court,
Prior to the First Step Act, calculation of good time credit
by the BOP was based on the sentence an inmate actually
serves, making 47 days per year the maximum amount of good
time credit a prisoner could earn. Pursuant to the First Step
Act, good time credit will be calculated based on the
sentence imposed, not on the sentence an inmate actually
serves, making 54 days per year the maximum amount of good
time credit a prisoner could earn.
United States v. Daniels, No. 3:11CR1 (JBA), 2019 WL
2354388, at *1 (D. Conn. June 4, 2019) (internal citations
the responsibility of the Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”), though, not the court's, to
calculate Defendant's good-time credit. See United
States v. Wilson, 503 U.S. 329, 335 (1992) (“After
a district court sentences a federal offender, the Attorney
General, through the BOP, has the responsibility for
administering the sentence.”); Gonzalez v. United
States, 959 F.2d 211, 212 (11th Cir. 1992)
(“Courts have original jurisdiction over imposition of
a sentence. The Bureau of Prisons is, however, responsible
for computing that sentence and applying appropriate good
time credit.”). The First Step Act did not shift that
responsibility from the BOP to the court. Hence, this court
lacks authority to grant Defendant the relief he seeks.
even where an inmate contends that the BOP failed to
correctly calculate good-time credits, he or she must seek
judicial relief through a writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2241. See United States v. Addonizio,
442 U.S. 178, 185-88 (1979) (“Section 2241 is the only
statute that confers habeas jurisdiction to hear the petition
of a federal prisoner who is challenging not the validity but
the execution of his sentence.”); McCarthan v. Dir.
of Goodwill Indus.-Suncoast, Inc., 851 F.3d 1076,
1088-89 (11th Cir.) (en banc) (explaining that a § 2241
petition “cover[s] challenges to the execution of a
sentence”), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 502
(2017). And he or she must first exhaust administrative
remedies through the BOP. See Davis v. Warden, FCC
Coleman-USP, 661 Fed.Appx. 561, 562 (11th Cir. 2016)
(holding that a federal prisoner who seeks habeas corpus
relief under § 2241 “must exhaust available
administrative remedies before he can obtain relief”)
(citing Santiago-Lugo v. Warden, 785 F.3d 467,
474-75 (11th Cir. 2015)); Jones v. Woods, No.
2:19-CV-61-WHA, 2019 WL 2754731, at *2 (M.D. Ala. June 4,
2019) (finding that § 2241 was “the proper
vehicle” for an inmate to challenge the BOP's
calculation of good-time credit but denying as premature the
defendant's motion under the First Step Act for an
immediate award of good-time credits), report and
recommendation adopted, No. 2:19-CV-61-WHA, 2019 WL
2754488 (M.D. Ala. July 1, 2019). Here, Defendant has not
filed a § 2241 petition or shown that he has exhausted
his administrative remedies available within the BOP. In
fact, when Defendant filed his motion, the motion was
premature because § 102(b)(1) of the First Step Act was
not yet in effect, see supra note 1, and the BOP had
not recalculated his good-time credit.
for these reasons, it is ORDERED that Defendant Ger Derrick
Moncrief's pro se motion for a reduction of
sentence under the First Step Act (Doc. # 872) is DENIED.
 The amendment was not yet operative
when Defendant filed his motion in April 2019. The effective
date of this amendment was delayed pending the Attorney
General's completion of the “risk and needs
assessment system” mandated under § 101(a) of the
First Step Act. See Wykoff v. Woods, No.
2:19-CV-72-WHA, 2019 WL 2375257, at *2 (M.D. Ala. May 14,
2019) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted) (noting
that, if the Attorney General completes the assessment at the
end of the 210 days allotted, “section 102(b)(1) will
not take effect until approximately mid-July 2019”),
report and recommendation adopted, No.
2:19-CV-72-WHA, 2019 WL 2375176 (M.D. Ala. June 4, 2019);
see also ...