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Carbondale clinical advisor speaks on First Step Act

The bill would enable some federal inmates to seek early release, while also granting federal...
The bill would enable some federal inmates to seek early release, while also granting federal judges greater freedoms when it comes to sentencing. (Source: Chris Drury, KFVS)((Source: Chris Drury, KFVS))
Updated: Dec. 19, 2018 at 7:13 PM CST
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - A new bi-partisan bill just passed by the senate in an 87-12 vote is being passed in hopes to ease the incarceration rate in the United States.

The bill being titled The First Step Act will now go in front of the House of Representatives. The bill would enable some federal inmates to seek early release, while also granting federal judges greater freedoms when it comes to sentencing.

The bill lowers the mandatory minimum sentences for prior drug felonies as well as provides incentives to prisoners to participate in programs designed to reduce the risk of recidivism, which would result in an earlier release- to either home confinement, or a halfway house to complete the sentence.

Tiffany Allen is the outpatient clinical supervisor at the Gateway Foundation in Carbondale which focuses on helping individuals dealing with substance abuse.

She tells why people may be repeat offenders and why rehabilitation programs like the ones they offer are so important to help decrease recidivism rates.

“The longer you can stay in treatment and be focused - the better chance that person has that their life is really going to change,” Allen said. “They have to change a lot of the things in their lifestyle. Changing some of that criminal behavior, not hanging out with the people that use drugs and the people that are committing those crimes to stop that criminal behavior - you have to treat the problem.”

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