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It’s not unusual for work to be part of the equation in addiction recovery — a job can provide access to health insurance, and some business owners want to help. But a company called the Cenikor Foundation is turning recovery into unpaid labor, often in unsafe conditions.

Driving the news: Reveal, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, pulled back the curtain on Cenikor's practices, which many experts say are likely illegal.

Details: Patients who enter Cenikor's program — sometimes via a court order — are put to work doing physical labor, often in warehouses or on oil platforms for companies like Exxon and Walmart.

  • For the first 18 months of the 2-year program, they don't get to keep any of the money they earn from that work. Cenikor keeps it, as the cost of its program.
  • The company also enrolls its participants in government assistance, including Medicaid and food stamps, rather than paying those costs itself.
  • Patients work up to 80 hours per week, and Cenikor staff routinely cancel treatment appointments to make time for more work, according to Reveal. Some patients go for long stretches with no counseling at all, and sources told Reveal that the company would falsify records to hide that fact.
  • Cenikor's workers often don't get the same safety equipment or other protections that non-Cenikor workers on the same site have.

What they're saying: "I can't fathom this being legitimate," John Meek, a former Labor Department investigator, told Reveal.

Go deeper: We're prescribing opioids less, but for longer

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.