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Today marks the start of the first annual Reentry Week, a time to think constructively about how best to evolve our criminal justice system to meet the needs of communities and those returning to them with criminal records. We need to ensure that all people with conviction histories are eligible for and receive effective reentry services, not just those with offenses categorized as nonserious, nonsexual, and nonviolent.
Two emerging hot-button issues of the 2016 Presidential campaign are addressing the growing heroin and opioid epidemic and reforming our criminal justice system to make communities healthier, families stronger, and neighborhoods safer. We have also seen these issues take center-stage in Congress, where criminal justice and drug policy reform remain two areas where bipartisan progress appear possible. Given the trends in public opinion, it’s no surprise.
News and Highlights
The Legal Action Center applauds New York State for seeking approval from the federal government to become the first state in the nation to provide medical services with Medicaid coverage to individuals in the last 30 days of their incarceration.
The LAC submitted comments yesterday to the SAMHSA in response to its Proposed Rule to amend regulations governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records (42 C.F.R. Part 2). SAMHSA is seeking to modernize the regulations while also maintaining critical patient privacy protections.
LAC’s Groundbreaking Report Shares Effective Strategies for Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Courts
This groundbreaking report shares successful strategies for use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in drug courts. In-depth profiles of courts with effective MAT programs, along with sections such as “Nine Components of Successful MAT Programs” and ”Specific Issues for Rural Courts,” address concerns that often prevent courts from using this scientifically-proven opioid addiction treatment.
LAC applauds the U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development’s (HUD) guidance that declares it a violation of the Fair Housing Act for landlords to have blanket bans that exclude people with criminal records. HUD’s new Guidance extends its earlier efforts to increase opportunities for people with criminal histories to obtain safe and secure housing that is critical to successful reintegration and full societal participation.