SJC considering fairness of mandatory drug-free probation

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GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The state’s highest court will soon decide whether to mandate drug-free probation. Attorney General Maura Healey is asking the Supreme Judicial Court not to prevent judges from ordering people with addiction to remain drug-free as a condition of their probation.

Healey told the SJC this week that a drug-free probation can reduce incarceration rates, and help people recover from addiction. This comes after a recent case where a woman was sent to jail for testing positive for fentanyl while she was on probation.

Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan told 22News probation should stay sober.

“Being drug-free is very important, so I lean on the side of accountability and not take illegal drugs while they are on probation,” Sullivan said.

The woman in the case argues that it is unfair to punish people with addiction for something that they cannot control.

The SJC is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.

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