On March 24, 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced new requirements for federally financed halfway houses – the most recent example of his push for reform across the criminal justice system. Last August, Holder advised prosecutors not to pursue mandatory minimum drug sentences against low-level drug offenders. He recently supported congressional legislation that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes. He has called on States to repeal laws that prevent felons from voting. This blog commented on these reforms here.
Now, Holder has stated that beginning in 2015, halfway houses must provide more rigorous and standardized cognitive-behavioral treatment for inmates with mental health or substance abuse issues, both of which are rampant in prison populations. Halfway houses are meant to ease the transition back into society by way of employment and housing assistance, drug treatment, and other programs that make it less likely an inmate will end up reoffending and returning to prison. Federal inmates are eligible to serve the last year of their sentence at a halfway house under the Second Chance Act. Holder’s proposal is designed to provide better services for helping inmates transition back into society and reduce recidivism. The New York Times reported on his proposal here.
If you have been charged with a crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Criminal convictions can affect employment applications and result in substance abuse treatment. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden at 907-771-9002 for a free case evaluation. You can learn more by visiting our Criminal Law page, Frequently Asked Questions page, or our Blog.