Serving a Sentence for a Federal Case 

Depending on your particular circumstances, there is a chance that you will not have to serve your whole sentence from a federal case. Federal prisons often reduce a prisoner’s sentence for “good behavior.” Prisoners who exhibit, “exemplary compliance with institutional disciplinary regulations,” can get up to 54 days per year off of their sentence. This means that you may be eligible to serve just a little bit more than 15% of your prison sentence.

Typically, this reduction in sentence is only available to prisoners who are serving a prison term of one year or more. Those who are serving life sentences are never eligible for this.

Good Behavior

In simple terms, a prisoner displays good behavior that can reduce their sentence by following all the prison’s rules, being polite to the guards, and not fighting, etc. As well, doing things like working towards a high school diploma or the equivalent, or working towards an advanced degree or certification, are other ways to show good behavior that may result in the reduction of a federal prisoner’s sentence.


There are two kinds of parole. One is when a prisoner is temporarily released from prison for a special purpose such as visiting an immediate family member about to go through a critical operation, or a family member with a critical illness or condition that indicates their death is eminently near. The second kind of parole is when a prisoner is released from prison, typically for good behavior, before they have fully served their sentence. A prisoner must promise to serve the orders of their parole before a judge will grant it to them.

If a prisoner breaks either kind of parole, it is likely they will be given additional time to their original sentence which they will have to serve without any opportunity for parole, until their entire sentence has been served.

Federal prisons no longer offer or grant inmates parole. Federal inmates may be able to get their sentences reduced for good behavior but the amount of time they may be eligible is not flexible and having a reduced federal sentence is not the same as being paroled.

Criminal Trials

Criminal trials tend to progress more quickly than civil trials and other kinds of court proceedings. People facing criminal charges are protected under the Speedy Trial Act which requires that an indictment must be sought within thirty days of a person’s arrest. Although there are exceptions to this rule, the Speedy Trial Act requires that a case be tried seventy days from when an indictment is returned against a person charged with a crime or from when a person is arrested, whichever one is the later date.

Federal Sentencing

Federal sentencing guidelines can be very complex and hard to negotiate with. It is recommended that people facing federal charges and sentencing have the help of a good federal criminal defense lawyer on their side as soon as possible.

Learn more about criminal law information with the Best Federal Criminal Attorney.