S. 1917 would amend federal law to shorten some prison sentences associated with certain offenses and would require the establishment of several new programs intended to reduce recidivism. Using information from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Bureau of Prisons (BOP), Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC), CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would reduce the cost of incarcerating offenders and lead to a net reduction in discretionary costs of $387 million over the 2019-2028 period, assuming future appropriation actions consistent with the projected reduction in the prison population.
In addition, CBO estimates that enacting S. 1917 would result in the release of thousands of people from federal prisons earlier than would occur under current law. CBO expects that upon release many of them would receive benefits from such federal programs as Medicare, Medicaid, and the health insurance marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA); Social Security; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As a result, CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting the legislation would increase direct spending by $242 million and reduce revenues by $4 million over the 2019-2028 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the bill would affect direct spending and revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting S. 1917 would not increase net direct spending by more than $2.5 billion or on-budget deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
S. 1917 would impose intergovernmental and private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). The bill would require public and private entities to seal or expunge records of juvenile offenders if ordered to do so by a federal court and to certify their compliance with such an order. CBO estimates that the associated costs of that provision would fall well below the annual thresholds established in UMRA for intergovernmental and private-sector mandates ($80 million and $160 million in fiscal year 2018, respectively, adjusted annually for inflation).