Tennessee lawmakers offer ‘carrot’ to inmates with addiction

Political News

Opioid addicts imprisoned on other charges are getting what’s called a “carrot” from Tennessee lawmakers.  

“We need to do something about the addiction problem or these people will continue to go back to jail,” said Knoxville Representative Bill Dunn who is one of the co-sponsors of the measure. 

It was the basis for a provision in one of the opioid bills that would allow an inmate a chance to reduce their sentence by 60 days if they get clean from opioid addiction. 

“I think the tax payers can be happy with that knowing that if a person gets clean, then there is less chance of them coming back to jail and costing the taxpayers a lot of money,” added Rep. Dunn. 

To get the sentence reduction, the bill requires the addicted inmate to complete an intensive nine month program while incarcerated. 

“I know our correction system is looking at what is the best evidence-based methodologies to help people get clean and stay clean,” said Rep. Dunn. 

The potential reduction for opioid addicts does not apply to convictions where offenders must serve 85 percent of a separate sentence. 

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