Monday, February 06, 2006

Good news

The long-standing law that bars those who have been convicted of drug offenses from recieving Federal Student Aid is to undergo some tweaking with the passage of the latest budget bill.
Students convicted while receiving federal aid will still lose their eligibility -- for one year for a first possession offense, two years for a second and indefinitely for a third, with harsher penalties for selling.
start quote[I]t held me back for five years...five years when I could have been out doing more to help people with substance abuse problems.end quote
-- Clarkson Reed, lost aid eligibility because of two drug convictions

But under the new rules, which President Bush is expected to sign into law, offenders who weren't enrolled in school and getting taxpayer support at the time when they were convicted can apply for aid. The change is expected to benefit mostly older students like Reed who had finished school before they were convicted and now wish to go back.
This law has always struck me as completely backwards - without a degree, selling drugs is one of the best ways to make money, after all. I suspect that it was intended as punishment rather than social engineering, but that just goes to show that punishment doesn't necessarily solve crime problems, it just makes people feel better.
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