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Student Files Bill To Assure Addicts Choice in Sentence

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A Harvard student has proposed a bill to the State Legislative which would empower judges to sentence addicts convicted of property crimes to rehabilitation instead of prison.

Joseph E. Sandler '75 wrote the bill which was filed by Representative Raymond Flynn (D-South Boston) at Sandler's request.

Sandler said yesterday that under the provisions of the bill, addicts charged with property crimes could request a medical examination and be turned over to the custody of the State Division of Drug Rhabilitation.

$3 Million

Addicts would either be put in a therapeutic community or in a methadone maintenance center Sandler said. This procedure could save the State over $3 million a year, he added.

Sandler said, "We want to call the attention of legislators and judges to this way of treating drug-related crimes."

Representative Michael Flaherty (D--South Boston) said yesterday that the bill might win sympathy, because new legislators are predisposed to treating an addict as a sick person, not a criminal."

Samuel Tyler, director of the Massachusetts Council on Crime and Correction called the bill "important," and said. It gives a judge the option to recognize an addict's crime as a symptom of an illness."

Tyler said that the bill might be incorporated with several similar measures by the Social Welfare Committee into a package proposal.

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