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NCJ Number: 136562 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing the Reformed Addict: Departure Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the Problem of Drug Rehabilitation
Journal: Columbia Law Review  Volume:91  Issue:8  Dated:(December 1991)  Pages:2051-2073
Author(s): D I Shapiro
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 23
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A judge's authority to depart downward from Federal sentencing guidelines in the case of a drug addict who has undergone rehabilitation depends on the precedent of the Federal circuit in which the judge sits.
Abstract: To calculate sentences, the guidelines employ a grid that matches a defendant's adjusted offense level with his or her criminal history to determine a specific sentencing range. At issue is whether the guidelines preclude departure in the case of a drug abuser who has undergone substantial rehabilitation. This issue has produced a split in Federal courts of appeal, and the courts have not been able to agree on what the real question is. The unresolved issue is whether existing guideline provisions address the problem of drug rehabilitation adequately. The two provisions that courts have invoked to deal with drug rehabilitation are policy statement 5H1.4 governing drug dependence or abuse and guideline 3E1.1 governing acceptance of responsibility. The analysis of rehabilitation, retribution, incapacitation, and deterrence concludes that judges should feel free to depart from the guidelines in the case of a rehabilitated drug user. No guideline provision linguistically applies to the issue of drug rehabilitation, and the one provision that even mentions drug dependence is a nonbinding policy statement. Further, even if the language of policy statement 5H1.4 or guideline 3E1.1 are stretched to incorporate drug rehabilitation, it is clear they fail to give rehabilitation adequate consideration in the sentencing structure. 148 footnotes
Main Term(s): Drug dependence; Sentencing guidelines
Index Term(s): Drug abuse; Drug treatment; Rehabilitation
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