, Diligent Participation Credit

Diligent Participation Credit

What is Diligent Participation Credit for a State Jail Felony?

Diligent Participation Credit is credit counted towards a sentence for a state jail felon. According to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 42A.559, a “diligent participation credit” is awarded for:

(1) successful completion of an educational, vocational, or treatment program;

(2) progress toward successful completion of an educational, vocational, or treatment program that was interrupted by illness, injury, or another circumstance outside the control of the defendant;  and

(3) active involvement in a work program.

Offenders do not earn good conduct time for time served in the state jail, but for participating and completing these programs. The offender can earn “good time” so long as they don’t:

(1) refuse to work;

(2) refuse to attend school or complete school assignments; or

(3) refuse to attend or participate in a required treatment program.

Receiving diligent participation credit may reduce a sentence by up to 20% and is explained below in the 80/20 Rule.

Can I get “good time” credit on a State Jail Felony?

No, “good time” credit is awarded by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on felonies other than State Jail Felonies. For First-, Second-, and Third-Degree felonies, TDCJ may give someone “good time” credit on their prison sentence.

Can I get 2 for 1 credit on a State Jail Felony?

Yes, you can get 2 for 1 credit on a State Jail Felony if it was punished under Section 12.44 of the Texas Penal Code. “Getting a 12.44” means the State or judge has agreed to punish a State Jail Felony as a misdemeanor.

Under Penal Code Chapter 12.44a

A court may punish a defendant who is convicted of a state jail felony by imposing the confinement permissible as punishment for a Class A misdemeanor if, after considering the gravity and circumstances of the felony committed and the history, character, and rehabilitative needs of the defendant, the court finds that such punishment would best serve the ends of justice.

Under Penal Code Chapter 12.44b

At the request of the prosecuting attorney, the court may authorize the prosecuting attorney to prosecute a state jail felony as a Class A misdemeanor.

If you are sentenced to a term of county jail time (not prison nor State Jail), then the decision about whether you get 3-for-1, 2-for-1, or day-for-day.

Can I get trustee time on a State Jail Felony?

Yes, you can get trustee time credit on a State Jail if you are sentenced pursuant to Section 12.44 of the Texas Penal Code. You cannot get trustee time or credit if you are sentenced to imprisonment in State Jail.

Does a State Jail Felony have parole?

No, State Jail Felonies do not have parole. But you can get Diligent Participation Credit for a State Jail Sentence.

What is the 80/20 Rule for State Jail Felony credit?

The 80/20 Rule for State Jail Felonies is “Diligent Participation Credit.” Prior to 30 days before the 80% point of completion of a sentence, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is to provide a report to the sentencing court judge the number of days of additional time for each day the defendant diligently participated in the special programs mentioned above.

Do I have to serve day-for-day on a State Jail Felony?

Yes, you have to serve day-for-day on a State Jail Sentence unless you are punished under 12.44 of the Texas Penal Code or receive Diligent Participation Credit.

Can I get a 12.44 on a State Jail Felony?

Yes, you can get a 12.44a or 12.44b on a State Jail Felony, but you are not entitled to this.

Read more about getting a 12.44.

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