New Jersey Governor Issues Pardon for Man Who Overcame Addiction

Christie Pardons Recovering Addict - Freedom From Addiction

Drug and alcohol abuse often leads to crime, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. There are five primary crimes committed while under the influence or by addicts who are desperate for a means of obtaining their substance of choice. Nearly all addicts have committed at least one of these crimes, particularly that of possession. The five primary crimes include:

  1. Drug possession or sale
  2. Theft and other crimes committed to obtain the substance
  3. Association with criminals or illicit markets
  4. Physical violence or abuse of others
  5. Driving while under the influence

Overcoming Addiction and Emerging from Crime

Even individuals within the prison system are capable of achieving freedom from addiction and regaining a clean, sober and productive lifestyle within society. Quite often, addicts with a normal moral compass in sobriety commit crimes under the influence or when they fall into addiction. In such cases, the individual may be a good candidate for treatment in lieu of incarceration. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has focused upon drug treatment as an alternative to jail time for first-time nonviolent offenders, just as much as he has focused upon rehabilitation of convicted addicts within the prison system. The governor emphasizes utilization of strong treatment and recovery programs within prisons, particularly for offenders gaining release and re-entering society. On the New Jersey state government website, a press release quotes Christie as saying that no life is disposable and offenders should be given an opportunity to redeem themselves, including by overcoming addiction.

A Governor's Pardon Sets an Example

Philadelphia Treatment Court Unit employs a Case Manager named John Berry who has been at this job for 17 years. John helps criminal offenders gain access to treatment programs so they may turn their lives around. To date, he has helped more than 1,000 offenders enter recovery. What few people outside of John's interactions may have realized is that the New Jersey resident was also once a convicted and incarcerated offender, guilty of robbery in support of his own habit in the 1970s. For the past 36 years, Berry has remained sober and uses his own experience to help others gain freedom from addiction and enjoy a life without crime. But John went farther than just living free of crime. He has performed so honorably for the city of Philadelphia that he has received a number of awards, including the Honorable Lucien E. Blackwell Guiding Lights in the Community Award. On November 25, Governor Christie granted John Berry a formal and public pardon to thank him for his advocacy. In his speech, the Governor showed appreciation to John for serving as a beacon to those who are at a crossroads in their lives, trying to decide between choosing productive sobriety over a life of crime and substance abuse.

Freedom From Addiction for a Fresh Start

As Governor Christie has said of John Berry and people like him, individuals suffering from substance abuse can overcome their habit, recover and become a productive member of society. Such recovery is started through access to a treatment program suited to that addict's particular needs. Whether you are the addict or a loved one suffers from ongoing drug or alcohol abuse, entering treatment before life spins more out of control will provide instant relief and a fresh start on the corrected path of sobriety. To help in that endeavor, Freedom From Addiction is there for you.

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