RRRI — Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive

The RRRI Program, enacted in 2008, enables persons serving state sentences to have these sentences reduced. The reduction is based on a percentage taken off the minimum sentence that is imposed by the sentencing judge. The program is designed to favorable adjust sentences for inmates (i.e., reward them) in situations where the inmate has never been convicted of a violent crime and has positively adjusted to life in prison.

The Rationale Behind RRRI Sentences

Proponents of RRRI sentences have long argued that many people who receive jail sentences are good citizens who made a mistake and will be able to bounce back from their sentence to live productive and law-abiding lives. Many of these people committed crimes because of addiction issues and not because they are somehow anti-social or “bad” people. With proper treatment, such people do not need to be in prison as long as other people who may be more at risk to re-offend.

Studies show that people convicted of non-violent crimes are far less likely to commit additional crimes after they have been released from prison. This is why the policy-makers who implemented RRRI sentence reductions only did so for certain, non-violent crimes.

If you or a loved one are charged with a crime and may face a prison sentence, you should feel free to contact our criminal defense law firm. We have the experience and resources to properly defend your case and will ensure that you get the best possible result including, potentially, a reduced RRRI sentence.

How does RRRI Work?

RRRI eligibility must be determined at the time of sentencing. The sentencing judge will make a determination whether the person should have a RRRI sentence imposed. The factors the judge considers include

  • Whether the person has been convicted of a disqualifying offense
  • Whether the prosecutor objects to the RRRI sentence
  • Whether any victim of the alleged crime objects to the RRRI sentence

If the judge determines that the person should be RRRI eligible, the judge will imposed a sentence which includes both the original minimum and the RRRI minimum (which, of course, will be less).

RRRI sentence reductions are based on a percentage basis. For people receiving a sentence of 3 to 6 years or less, the RRRI minimum is 3/4 of the minimum (for example, the RRRI minimum for a 2 to 4 year sentence would be 18 months). If the sentence is greater than 3 to 6 years, the RRRI minimum is 5/6 of the original minimum (for example, the RRRI minimum for a 5 to 10 year sentence would be 50 months as opposed to 60).

While serving the sentence, the person must complete any RRRI program or treatment regimen in the Program Plan required by the Department of Corrections and must maintain good conduct while serving the sentence.

RRRI Sentences are Not Automatic

Significantly, RRRI sentences are not automatic and will only be imposed if the sentencing judge specifically notes that a defendant is “RRRI eligible”. In Pennsylvania, a lawyer must negotiate with prosecutors to convince them to agree that an RRRI sentence should be imposed. Every year many people receive non-RRRI sentences simply because their attorney didn’t know about RRRI or failed to successfully negotiate such a sentence.

You should hire our criminal defense lawyers who understand RRRI (and all alternative sentencing options such as the ARD Program, Section 17 Probation, House Arrest and Work Release) to ensure that you receive the best possible sentence.

Crimes for which RRRI Sentences are Not Available

There are a number of crimes for which RRRI is not available. These crimes, which are primarily sex offenses, include the following:

  • Certain Offenses involving the use or possession of a deadly weapon
  • Crimes involving injuries to other persons (such as certain assault and sex-offense crimes)
  • Incest
  • Open Lewdness
  • Sexual Abuse of Children
  • Unlawful Contact with Minor
  • Sexual Exploitation of Children
  • Internet Child Pornography
  • Certain offenses under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (the “Drug Act”) involving drug trafficking and possession of aa firearm
  • Kidnapping
  • Luring Child into Motor Vehicle
  • Institutional Sexual Assault
  • Indecent Assault
  • Promoting Prostitution

Additionally, to be eligible for RRRI a person may not have a pending charge for which a RRRI sentence would not be possible. And, the Department of Corrections must find that the person does not have a history of violent behavior.

Contact Our Reading Criminal Defense Lawyers

Please call our team of criminal defense lawyers at (610) 685-8000 for help on your case. You may also contact us online by submitting a contact form.