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November 5, 2006

Might as well claim it, you're addicted to...

I could not resist a riff on Robert Palmer after reading this interesting article from the Houston Chronicle about white-collar offenders seeking counseling in prison to reduce their sentence.  Here are some snippets:

When former Enron executive Andrew Fastow was sentenced to six years in federal prison this fall, he asked for drug treatment, citing dependency on anti-anxiety medication that helped him cope with the implosion of his company, the imprisonment of his wife and his prosecution.  If the Bureau of Prisons grants his request, Fastow could reduce his time behind bars by up to one year....

Fastow and other Enron executives are joining a growing trend of white-collar criminals trying to reduce their sentences by entering prison-based drug or alcohol rehabilitation — an option not open to violent offenders who go through the same treatment.  Critics question whether Fastow and other white-collar criminals really need drug treatment or whether they are simply trying to game the system.  Critics also complain that corporate criminals are taking up precious slots in prison rehab that could be better used to treat convicts with severe addictions that played a major role in their crimes.

November 5, 2006 at 11:41 AM | Permalink


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Fabricant & Crumb provide a comical review of this approach in their recent book: "Busted! Drug War Surival Skills." My question is, though, why should this count towards a reduced sentence? If it's the notion that such "reformed" addicts will be less dangerous once released -- well I don't know that the data supports this. If it's the idea that they are taking responsibilty for their behaviors, then kudos to joining the party a bit late I suppose.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 5, 2006 3:23:38 PM

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