Addicts Convicted On Drug Crimes Face Barriers After Release

Dec 2, 2014

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says he hopes legislation to boost funding to treat addiction will move forward this week. Whitehouse and colleagues from both sides of the aisle hosted addiction experts on Capitol Hill this morning to learn more about the challenges that remain for addicts even in recovery.

Addicts convicted for drug offenses may continue to pay for their crimes long after they’ve been released from prison. That’s the message Senator Sheldon Whitehouse delivered as he kicked off a hearing on addiction’s lingering consequences. It’s one in a series of hearings Whitehouse says he hopes will help Congress understand what’s needed to support addiction treatment and recovery.

A bill he introduced in September would break down barriers for people in recovery seeking jobs or college degrees. Whitehouse says he expects the House to introduce companion legislation this week. The bill would also give states resources to expand addiction treatment, including the funds needed to educate and treat people with addictions in prison.