From The Third Branch (newsletter of the Wisconsin Court System):
The new state budget, 2009 Act 28, includes changes in sentencing practices that go well beyond the early release provisions that received most of the media attention during the five months the budget was under consideration. Most of the provisions will become effective on October 1….
Proposed as an effort to give inmates more incentives for good behavior and to reduce costs for the state Department of Corrections (DOC), the changes give greater authority to the DOC to manage the inmate population and affect inmate release dates….
Under the new budget, the Earned Release Review Commission (ERRC) replaces the Parole Commission and is given enhanced duties and responsibilities. The ERRC will have the authority that now resides with the sentencing court to adjust a sentence of an inmate who has served 75 percent of a term of confinement for Class F to I felonies, or 85 percent of the term for Class C to E felonies.
The budget introduces a new concept called Positive Adjustment Time that allows DOC to give credit for days served without rule violations and in compliance with the inmate’s programming. DOC is required to perform an objective risk assessment to determine the inmate’s risk of reoffending, and then allocate resources to match the risk each inmate poses with appropriate and effective programming.