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    Good Time Jail Credit Not Available for Stayed Prison Sentence, Court Says

    Joe Forward

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    Sept. 1, 2015 – A judge stayed Chris Baade’s two-year prison sentence but imposed jail time as a condition of probation. Baade later violated his probation, triggering the prison sentence with nine months of jail time served. But Baade wanted more credit.

    Baade wanted 90 days of “good time” credit for good behavior, which allowed him to be released from jail early. The Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Division of Hearings and Appeals granted credit nine months served, without good time credit, meaning Baade would still serve a year and three months on the two-year sentence.

    A circuit court reversed course and granted the good time credit. The Division of Hearings and Appeals appealed, arguing that good time credit did not count.

    And in Baade v. Hayes, 2014AP2655 (Aug. 26, 2015), a three-judge appeals panel agreed, concluding that good time “earned while on probation of a stayed sentence of more than one year is not eligible for sentence credit in the event probation is revoked.”

    The panel explained that under Wisconsin truth-in-sentencing law, Wis. Stat. section 973.01(4), prison sentences must be served “without reduction for good behavior,” and rejected Baade’s argument that section 973.155(4) allowed him to receive the credit.

    Section 973.155(4) grants “earned good time” credit, but only for inmates “serving sentences of one year or less.” Baade was sentenced to two years in prison.

    “We conclude that § 973.155(4) is not applicable to Baade as Baade had a sentence of more than one year, and therefore, he is not entitled to the good time earned during his failed probationary period to be applied as sentence credit to his confinement time in prison,” wrote Judge Paul Reilly for the three-judge appeals court panel in District II.

    The panel noted that giving Baade good time credit would be “contrary to the very basis of this state’s truth-in-sentencing legislation,” which restricts early release from prison.