United States District Court, D. New Jersey
June 3, 2005.
BASIL I. HUDAIR, Petitioner,
WARDEN JONATHAN C. MINER, Respondent.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARY COOPER, District Judge
Petitioner Basil I. Hudair, a prisoner currently confined at
the Federal Correctional Institution at Fairton, New Jersey, has
submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2241 and application to proceed in forma
pauperis.*fn1 For the reasons stated herein, the Petition will be dismissed.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2243 ("A court . . . entertaining an
application for a writ of habeas corpus shall forthwith award the
writ or issue an order directing the respondent to show cause why
the writ should not be granted, unless it appears from the
application that the applicant or person detained is not entitled
Petitioner currently is serving a 204 month sentence imposed by
this District Court for armed bank robbery. Liberally construing
the instant petition, based upon the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP")
policy interpreting 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b) relating to good time
credits, Petitioner contends that he will be deprived of good
time credits because the warden is calculating his time based on
the total term of imprisonment imposed, rather than on an
annual incremental basis for time served.
Petitioner was convicted and sentenced in 1997. For offenses
committed before April 26, 1996, former 18 U.S.C. § 3624(b)
A prisoner who is serving a term of imprisonment of
more than one year, other than a term of imprisonment
for the duration of his life, shall receive credit
toward the service of his sentence, beyond the time
served, of fifty-four days at the end of each year of
his term of imprisonment, beginning at the end of the
first year of the term, unless the Bureau of Prisons determines that, during that year, he has not
satisfactorily complied with such institutional
disciplinary regulations as have been approved by the
Attorney General and issued to the prisoner. If the
Bureau determines that, during that year, the
prisoner has not satisfactorily complied with such
institutional regulations, he shall receive no such
credit toward service of his sentence or shall
receive such lesser credit as the Bureau determines
to be appropriate. The Bureau's determination shall
be made within fifteen days after the end of each
year of the sentence. Such credit toward service of
sentence vests at the time that it is received.
Credit that has vested may not later be withdrawn,
and credit that has not been earned may not later be
granted. Credit for the last year or portion of a
year of the term of imprisonment shall be prorated
and credited within the last six weeks of the
18 U.S.C. § 3624(b).*fn2
The Bureau of Prisons has codified its interpretation of former
and current § 3624(b) at 28 C.F.R. § 523.20. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3624(b), as in effect for
offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987 but
before April 26, 1996, an inmate earns 54 days credit
toward service of sentence (good conduct time credit)
for each year served. This amount is prorated when
the time served by the inmate for the sentence during
the year is less than a full year. The amount to be
awarded is also subject to disciplinary
disallowance. . . . Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3624(b), as
in effect for offenses committed on or after April
26, 1996, the Bureau shall consider whether the
inmate has earned, or is making satisfactory progress
(see § 544.73(b) of this chapter) toward earning a
General Educational Development (GED) credential
before awarding good conduct time credit.
(a) When considering good conduct time for an inmate
serving a sentence for an offense committed on or
after April 26, 1996, the Bureau shall award:
(1) 54 days credit for each year served (prorated
when the time served by the inmate for the sentence
during the year is less than a full year) if the
inmate has earned or is making satisfactory progress
toward earning a GED credential or high school
This interpretation is implemented through BOP Program Statement
("P.S.") 5880.28 (emphasis added). See also P.S. 5884.01, Good
Conduct Time Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The Bureau
of Prisons has determined that "54 days of GCT [("good conduct
time")] may be earned for each full year served on a sentence
in excess of one year," P.S. 5880.28(g) (emphasis added), and has
derived a formula to calculate the amount of GCT that may be
earned for any fractional year served on a sentence in excess of
one year. For release purposes, subsection 3624(b) is the most
important provision in the computation process since
the proper application of that subsection determines
the actual statutory date of release for the
prisoner. The release date is determined, of course,
by subtracting the total amount of GCT awarded
during the term of the sentence from the full time
date of the sentence. The total amount of GCT awarded
during the term of a sentence is found by adding the
amount of GCT awarded at the end of each year to the
amount of GCT awarded for the last portion of a year.
As noted in (1) above, 54 days of GCT may be awarded
for each full year served on a sentence in excess
of one year. Since 54 days of GCT per year cannot be
divided evenly into one year, or 12 months, or 52
weeks, or 365 days, determining the amount of GCT
that may be awarded for the last portion of a year on
the sentence becomes arithmetically complicated. The
BOP has developed a formula (hereinafter called the
"GCT formula") that best conforms to the statute when
calculating the maximum number of days that may be
awarded for the time served during the last portion
of a year on the sentence.
The GCT formula is based on dividing 54 days (the
maximum number of days that can be awarded for one
year in service of a sentence) into one day which
results in the portion of one day of GCT that may be
awarded for one day served on a sentence. 365 days
divided into 54 days equals . 148. Since .148 is
less than one full day, no GCT can be awarded for one
day served on the sentence. Two days of service on a
sentence equals.296 (2 x .148) or zero days GCT; . . .
seven days equals 1.036 (7 x .148) or 1 day GCT.
The fraction is always dropped.
. . .
It is essential to learn that GCT is not awarded on
the basis of the length of the sentence imposed, but
rather on the number of days actually served. In
other words, when the GCT awarded plus the number of
days actually served equals the days remaining on the
sentence, then the prisoner shall be released on the
date arrived at in the computation process. (days remaining on
sentence (GCT days served) = release date).
P.S. 5880.28(g), Sentence Computation Manual CCCA, at 1-40
through 1-45 (emphasis added).
The Bureau of Prisons' interpretation is reasonable and
entitled to deference under the rule of Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v.
Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837, 842-43
(1984), even though Section 3624(b) is ambiguous. See O'Donald
v. Johns, 402 F.3d 172 (3d Cir. 2005). Accordingly, Petitioner
is not entitled to relief.
For the reasons set forth above, the Petition must be
dismissed. An appropriate order follows.