When ex-Enron executive Andrew Fastow was sentenced to six years in federal prison, he asked for drug treatment, citing dependency on anti-anxiety medication that helped him cope with his company’s failure, his wife’s imprisonment, and his prosecution, says the Houston Chronicle. If the request is granted, Fastow could reduce his time behind bars by up to one year. Add in “good-time” credits he could earn by behaving and Fastow – who once agreed to serve at least 10 years for cheating investors – could be home in about four.
Fastow and other Enron executives are joining other white-collar criminals trying to reduce their sentences by entering prison-based drug or alcohol rehabilitation – an option not open to violent offenders who go through the same treatment. Critics question whether Fastow and others really need drug treatment or whether they are simply trying to game the system. Critics also complain that corporate criminals are taking up precious slots in prison rehab that could be better used to treat convicts with severe addictions that played a major role in their crimes. Said Rod Jordan of the Severed Enron Employees Coalition: “I don’t think Fastow or Glisan are alcoholics or drug addicts. I don’t have personal knowledge of that, but they were working 16 to 18 hours a day every day of their lives while Enron was going strong. Alcoholics usually can’t do that. It’s just a way of getting a lighter sentence through the back door.”