Feds to Early Release Drug Cases in Huge Historic Proportions  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

10/06/2015 -ATIN - In a major historic move, and one that proves that those from every end of the political spectrum have displayed a remarkable degree of unity and agreement on this particular issue, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is about to release 6,000 mostly low level, non-violent drug offenders much earlier than their original sentences would have required, the largest mass reduction in sentencing in the history of the federal judiciary. The move follows an unprecedented visit recently by President Obama to a federal prison facility in Utah, the first time a sitting president has ever visited a federal penitentiary, as the public becomes increasingly fed up with the enormous cost and failure of highly punitive approaches to dealing with the addiction problem, especially since most families are affected by addiction in one way or another and few except the very richest top twenty percent of the population are able to access high quality addiction treatment care with any degree of ease.

Caron CEO Meets with Federal Drug Czar

In a recent discussion with Treatment Magazine, Caron CEO Doug Tieman described a recent half hour or so meeting he had at the Washington offices of the federal Drug Czar Michael Botticelli, whose job has taken on an epidemic urgency due to a flood of cheap heroin the like of which has not been seen since  the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s that sparked the huge increase in punitive sentencing that is now being questioned, not least cause of its huge expense but also because many believe it to have been expensive and a failure at the same time. In his meeting with Botticelli, Caron CEO Tieman said he discussed ways that Caron could work with the office of the federal Drug Czar to increase access to treatment services, although that is somewhat ironic in that Caron is one of the few centers in the nation that does not accept insurance and is also one of the most expensive private pay centers in the country even though a non -profit. Said Tieman of his meeting with Botticelli: "We talked about ways that change could come about, positive change that could reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and that could advance and improve the efficacy of addiction treatment services." Botticelli was confirmed in his Drug Czar position early this year with a strong mandate from President Obama to work with the Justice Dept at finding ways to reform the War on Drugs. And Tieman has recently been working closely with the Caron Board of Directors to make major investments in attempting to advance our scientific clinical understanding of addiction treatment with the understanding of figuring out how that links up with the strong spiritual approach to treating addiction that has been a hallmark of addiction treatment at Caron since the venerable Pennsylvania non-profit's founding nearly 60 years ago.

Eventually 50,000 Federal Prisoners to be Freed Early

The U.S. Sentencing Commission, a body set up in the last several years to right the wrongs and injustices that progressively rigid and severe federal mandatory drug sentences have imposed over the past 50 years - as well as allowed prosecutors to essentially blackmail low level offenders into taking plea deals on weak cases rather than risk possible life in prison - will eventually recommend that almost 50,000 federal drug prisoners, about half the total federal drug prisoners and a quarter of all federal inmates, will be released early in the next year or two. And federal prosecutors are being instructed to impose light sentences on those would are not violent or connected to violent highly organized distribution gangs.

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Ted Jackson

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