Drug treatment specialists support bill to reverse lifetime SNAP ban for drug offenders | News


Scientific supervisor Chris Francisco, Lighthouse Recovery Centre, and Valerie Reyes, director of The Salvation Army Lighthouse Recovery Center, go over Invoice 20-37, proposed by Sen. William Parkinson, that would reverse a life time ban from SNAP for those with drug felonies, all through an interview at their Tiyan, Barrigada facility on Feb. 9, 2023.



Sheila Stumpf, a 77-yr-outdated living on $600 a month from Social Protection, struggles each day to find the money for hire, bills, gas and most importantly meals.

Federal foods support would be a considerably-essential lifeline, but a legislation on Guam means her felony drug possession conviction from 16 a long time ago bans her from help.

Again then she was sentenced to 30 times behind bars, probation and — for the reason that of the legislation — a life time ban from federal foods guidance.

She has been clean and sober given that her conviction.

“I’m having difficulties ideal now with the cost of foods heading up, and I just can’t get foodstuff stamps,” she claimed.

Right after having to pay hire and utilities for her lower-money senior housing device in Summer season Town Estates in Dededo, she has only $250 still left a thirty day period for foodstuff.

To help citizens with a drug felony in their earlier manage food stuff, Sen. William Parkinson has launched a invoice looking for to reverse this ban for lifestyle, which drug cure experts say will aid persons work towards finding clean and lower recidivism.

Turning her daily life about

In 2007, Stumpf served 30 times in the Section of Corrections and was specified 5 a long time probation.

Right after she received her sentence, she took the very first actions toward turning her everyday living about by selecting to enter the Oasis Empowerment Heart cure application to cease her drug use.

Her probation finished just after two years when she proved she was cleanse. She has managed her sobriety to this day.

Even with getting to be sober and functioning at the heart for 7 many years, Stumpf can not enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program simply because of the federal Own Accountability and Operate Prospect Reconciliation Act of 1996.

The act places a lifetime ban on public support for these convicted of drug felonies. Individuals convicted of murder, rape and other violent felonies are not equally banned.

“I consider it has a ton to do with men and women relapsing, since they are unable to get enable with food items and when you are living working day to working day it can be effortless to give up,” mentioned Stumpf.

The legislation will allow states and territories to choose out of this ban, and 49 states have either eliminated the act entirely or adjusted it to make it possible for a person to get SNAP if they have accomplished a compound use recovery method or other situations.

‘It doesn’t help anybody’

South Carolina and Guam are the only two jurisdictions in the United States which have held the lifetime ban.

“Really it does not support any one, simply because if we deny them pathways to turn out to be effective associates of modern society, it just pushes them toward recidivism and committing the identical crime once again,” said Parkinson.

This influenced him to introduce Monthly bill 20-37 in January to attempt and reverse the life span ban.

“I’m hopeful, and would be defeat with joy if it could transpire, mainly because I desperately require help,” reported Stumpf.

Parkinson said the ban not only hurts offenders, but their family and kids as well.

Lifting the law is a way to aid the group that does not use any area money.

“For each individual individual that we get on SNAP, frankly that is more federal pounds coming to Guam,” he reported.

Athena Duenas, compound abuse application supervisor for New Beginnings application at the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Middle, said people can be devastated to learn that even immediately after finishing therapy and preserving sobriety, they are banned from SNAP for lifestyle.

Previous felons by now have problems receiving jobs and stable very affordable housing. Getting banned from SNAP can be a single more tension issue that sales opportunities them to slip back again into prescription drugs and crime.

“A large amount of folks coming out of restoration and procedure have a unique mentality, so they will need to be supplied each individual opportunity to realize success, and this is one particular of the approaches they can at minimum sustain themselves as they reenter the community,” explained Robert Dames, a Guam Behavioral Overall health and Wellness Centre chemical dependency procedure specialist II for the Household Material Abuse Procedure method at the Office of Corrections.

Valerie Reyes, director of the Salvation Military Lighthouse Recovery Heart said she supports the monthly bill and, if handed, would like to see the need that a drug treatment method system is accomplished to once more be suitable for SNAP.