S. 2123 would amend federal law to change the prison sentences associated with certain offenses and would authorize the appropriation of funds for programs intended to reduce recidivism. Based on information provided by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC), CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would reduce the cost of incarcerating offenders leading to a reduction in discretionary costs to DOJ of $318 million over the 2017-2021 period and $722 million over the 2017-2026 period, assuming future appropriation actions consistent with the projected reduction in prison population.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 2123 would result in the release of thousands of prisoners from federal prisons earlier than would occur under current law. CBO expects that upon release many of those individuals would receive federal benefits from a variety of federal programs including Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance marketplaces; Social Security; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As a result, CBO and staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting the legislation would increase direct spending by $251 million and reduce revenues by $8 million over the 2017-2026 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply to this legislation because it would affect direct spending and revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 2123 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
S. 2123 would impose an intergovernmental mandate, as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA), by requiring state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies and other public entities that hold records about juveniles to seal or expunge those records when ordered to do so by a federal court. Given the limited number of juveniles in the federal court and correction systems and the even smaller number of cases expected to involve records held by state, local, and tribal agencies, CBO estimates that the cost of the mandate would fall well below the threshold established for intergovernmental mandates in UMRA ($77 million in 2015, adjusted annually for inflation). S. 2123 contains no private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.