Read all the latest LAC News, Blogs, Events and Highlights here.

When Coming Home Means Being Shut Out: Expanding Reentry to All Types of Offenses

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.

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LAC Comments on Proposed Rule to Modernize 42 CFR Part 2

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.

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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.

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LAC Praises HUD Guidance Prohibiting Housing Discrimination Against People with Criminal Histories

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.

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LAC Applauds Gov Cuomo and NYS Legislature For Significant New Addiction & Criminal Justice Funding in 2016 Budget

LAC praised Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for their 2016 budget agreement, which contains several important measures to help people with substance use disorders and criminal histories.

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LAC Provides Template for Commenting to SAMHSA on Proposed Changes to 42 C.F.R. Part 2 Privacy Protections

LAC is in the process of drafting comments on the proposed rule to submit to SAMHSA. We encourage all stakeholders, including people in treatment and in recovery and their families and treatment providers, to take advantage of this important opportunity to provide feedback to SAMHSA by reviewing and commenting on the proposed rule. To assist with those efforts, LAC provides this template that stakeholders can draw from in drafting their comments to SAMHSA.

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Sign LAC’s Petition Calling on the Governor and Legislature to Include Language in the Budget to Improve Linkage to Healthcare for People Coming Home

Disruptions in medical care upon reentry, especially for those with behavioral health disorders and other chronic conditions, contributes to poor and costly health outcomes, including increased episodes of mental illness and drug use, as well as an increased risk of re-incarceration. There is also a 12-fold increase in the risk of death in the first two weeks after release.

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LAC Applauds Senate Passage of CARA

Legal Action Center applauds the United States Senate for passing CARA, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Senate passage of CARA marks a significant step forward in the fight against heroin and prescription opioid addictions and overdoses. The Center urges the House of Representatives to pass the bill, and Congressional appropriators to fund CARA now.

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Public opinion favors criminal justice and drug policy reform, making now the time to act

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.

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SAMHSA Strikes Balance in Modernizing Confidentiality Rules

LAC welcomes the efforts of SAMHSA & HHS to modernize federal rules governing the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records while maintaining needed privacy protections, including its release on February 9, 2016 of a proposed rule amending 42 C.F.R. Part 2.

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