The act requires the department of corrections (department) to, for an inmate who was sentenced for a nonviolent felony offense, deduct earned time from the inmate's sentence for each accredited degree or other credential awarded by an institution of higher education to the inmate while the inmate is incarcerated or on parole, in the following amounts:
- 18 months of earned time for a master's degree and 2 years of earned time for a doctoral degree;
- One year of earned time for receiving an associate or baccalaureate degree; and
- 6 months of earned time for receiving a certificate or other credential that requires completion of at least 30 credit hours.
The act requires the department to designate up to six regionally accredited institutions of higher education that may award a degree or credential to an inmate for which earned time must be deducted.
The act requires the general assembly to annually appropriate to the department of higher education the savings incurred during the prior state fiscal year as a result of the release of inmates from correctional facilities because of earned time granted for completion of a higher education degree or credential. The appropriation to the department of higher education is for allocation to institutions of higher education that offer accredited programs in correctional facilities.
APPROVED by Governor April 12, 2023
EFFECTIVE August 7, 2023
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause and takes effect 90 days after sine die.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)