First former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich lied about and ultimately admitted that he tried to sell off the vacated senate seat of President Barack Obama and now it looks like he may quite possibly be lying his way into a prison-based substance abuse program at the Denver prison where he is expected to spend the next 14 years.
The former governor’s legal team attempted to downplay the request in court on Tuesday, instead using the programs acronym as part of their request, later refusing to comment on the program.
Blago’s lawyers were likely attempting to avoid publicity since the request is often known in legal circuits as nothing more than a maneuver to shave time off a jail sentence after successful completion of the program.
Convicted former Illinois Governor George Ryan said on Wednesday that it didn’t take much to get into the Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program with some inmates consuming no more than five drinks a week before being incarcerated.
Scott Fawell,Ryan’s former chief of staff told the Chicago Tribune:
“Any defense lawyer in town that’s worth their salt all know about this and they all try to get their clients in,” while adding, “(A lot) of the people who go through the system now ask for it or attempt to get in. How many actually need it, I couldn’t tell you.”
If accepted Ryan could shave 8-months off his sentence. The move was approved by U.S. District Judge James Zagel but will need approval from the US. Bureau of Prisons.
In order to be approved Blagojevich must have proof of a substance-use disorder, the Littleton facility does not screen for admittance into the substance-abuse program until the prisoner is three to four years away from their release. Inmates must also have a substance abuse history within 12-months of being admitted to the facility.
With Blagojevich expected to serve under 12 years in prison at this time thanks to federal guidelines his sentence could be reduced to less than 11 years if successfully enrolled in the program. After release the former Illinois Governor would be required to spend his final six months in a selected halfway house.
As part of the program Rod Blagojevich would also be asked to participate in group therapy sessions during the morning hours, thus working only half a day while imprisoned.
Do you think the Bureau of Prisons should allow Blagojevich into the program or is this another sleazy attempt to game the system by one of Chicago’s biggest windbags?