December 2018

Hope for working together for the greater good; Stump the Shrink and more Tiny Habits; That’s service. savvy I am excited and positive about what just happened in our political process. This can now genuinely be a season of hope and goodwill. Just in time for holiday celebrations and the start of a new year. TIP 1 Highlights of the FIRST STEP Act and Important Implications The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act or FIRST STEP Act is legislation to reform the federal prison system. After an initial version passed the House of Representatives (on a bipartisan 360-59 vote) on May 22, 2018, a new version was passed by the U.S. Senate (on a bipartisan 87-12 vote) on December 18, 2018. The House passed the act, the most far-reaching overhaul of the criminal justice system in a generation, on December 20, 2018 with a 358-36 vote. The bill was signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 21, 2018. It reflects a major pivot from a punitive, law-and-order stance of the 1980s to policies emphasizing rehabilitation with the aim to save money; a pivot from the tough-on-crime prison and sentencing laws which ballooned the federal prison population, creating a criminal justice system many conservatives and liberals view as costly and unfair. The bill affects only the federal system; it does not cover state jails and prisons. As of December 13, according to the Bureau of Prisons, there were about 181,000 federal inmates. This is a small but significant fraction of the total US jail and prison population of 2.1 million. The FIRST STEP Act takes modest steps to reform the criminal justice system and ease very punitive prison sentences at the federal level. A similar move has been afoot in many states as crime rates have dropped; officials have pursued cost-effective ways to cut the prison population. State-level reforms passed in recent years have taken more significant steps- from reduced prison sentences across the board to the defelonization of drug offenses to marijuana legalization. That’s one reason the bill is dubbed a “first step.” Still, it is a step – the kind Congress hasn’t taken in years, as it has debated criminal justice reform but failed to follow through. Here are the highlights and why they are important: Shortens sentences for some offenders. The bill revised several sentencing laws, such as reducing the “three strikes” penalty for drug felonies from life behind bars to 25 years. It retroactively limits the disparity in sentencing guidelines between crack and powder cocaine offenses. A drug is a drug is a drug. Whether cocaine was smoked as crack; or snorted as a powder, the sentence time should be the same. The bill made retroactive the reforms enacted by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine sentences at the federal level. This would affect about 2,600 current federal inmates. Poorer people of color caught with crack got more time than the wealthier …

November 2018

Tiny Habits to make behavior change; Getting started with behavior change; No more thoughts and prayers

October 2018

Finding the logic to come together; bridging the gap; hate/love, demonize/humanize, fear/hope.

September 2018

Medication in Addiction Treatment – myths, facts and guidelines; Addiction Survivor; Sharing Solutions about CRAFT; Empathy

August 2018

Helping families with addiction; CRAFT; TSA Precheck and humility

July 2018

How many seconds do you wait? – Improving medication adherence – How’s the water?

June 2018

Nonviolent drug offenses; justice transformation; honesty and addiction

May 2018

What to Say When….; What would you say if…?

April 2018

“Addictions” or “Addiction”? Willful choice?: A paradox

March 2018

 Loot boxes; prevention and reducing harm; AARP gambling tips

February 2018

Gambling and Opioids; Medication for Opioid Use Disorder plus counseling or not?; The making of a website

January 2018

India ASAM Criteria Training and Transcendental Meditation; 5 hearts.