Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

Congress' criminal justice reform bill has some implications for the opioid crisis.

Details: High-level fentanyl and heroin traffickers would not be eligible for credits to reduce their sentence. These credits are available to lower-level inmates — many of whom have a substance abuse disorder — and can be earned through participation in treatment programs. The bill also would require the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to submit a report on a pilot program for medication-assisted treatment.

What they're saying: "The bill comes far short of requiring BOP to provide treatment inside and to be linked to the treatment on the outside upon re-entry, [and] that's a huge missed opportunity," Northeastern University's Leo Beletsky says.

  • "Shortened sentences are obviously imperative but if people are being released, there needs to be very specific re-entry work done to make sure they don't overdose and die," Beletsky adds.
  • The bill is also limited to the federal system, while opioid users are often charged with simple possession or petty crimes that are generally prosecuted at the state and local level, Stanford University's Keith Humphreys tells Axios.

Go deeper: GOP senators battle McConnell for vote on criminal justice reform

Go deeper

America on edge as unrest rises

Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A less visible but still massive trauma caused by the coronavirus is becoming clear: our mental health is suffering with potentially long-lasting consequences.

Why it matters: Mental health disorders that range from schizophrenia to depression and anxiety exert a severe cost on personal health and the economy. Addressing that challenge may require out-of-the-box solutions.

2 hours ago - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews Bob Woodward

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," journalist Bob Woodward tells Axios National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan why he spoke out about President Trump being the "wrong man for the job."

  • "I did not want to join the ranks of the Senate Republicans who know that Trump is the wrong man for the job, but won't say it publicly," Woodward said.

Catch the full interview on Monday, Sept. 28 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.

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