The San Juan Daily Star
Senator and Department of Correction sign collaboration agreements to treat inmates
By The Star Staff
New Progressive Party Sen. Keren Riquelme, together with Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Ana I. Escobar, outlined parameters for creating collaborative agreements that enhance admission to drug rehabilitation programs.
The agreements between Corrections and other agencies seek the immediate admission of drug addicts to rehabilitation programs.
“Our goal is to care for the addicted person in a therapeutic environment, with direct access to rehabilitation programs. It is vital that these citizens with addiction problems are treated with the greatest possible services, including programs offered by other agencies, in addition to Corrections, as well as the third sector, which has always been helping with support platforms. and therapies to break the cycle of addiction,” commented Riquelme.
“These collaborative agreements that we are outlining will facilitate the entry of the inmate to therapeutic support programs in an expeditious manner. On the other hand, we have to evaluate the feasibility of creating therapeutic communities within the correctional institutions on the Island. With this platform, the inmate with addiction will be able to have much more assistance from health specialists and counseling to achieve a faster and more effective rehabilitation,” added the Senator.
The expressions of the at-large Senator occurred during a conversation with the Corrections Secretary and personnel from the Puerto Rico Police Bureau and the Parole Board, among others.
The event occurred last Friday in the Senate’s Antonio Faz Alzamora Amphitheater Room.
Another aspect discussed was the measures to deal with the emergence of fentanyl, particularly the security measures taken by Corrections and the organizations that provide services to addicts of this new drug.
“Fentanyl is the most popular illegal drug in Puerto Rico and the United States. At drug points, they are mixing it with cocaine and heroin to increase its effect to the detriment of those who use it. We have to stop this wave, and the correctional system is a line in this fight to address the crisis caused by the indiscriminate use of fentanyl,” Riquelme said.
Fentanyl, considered one of the most potent controlled substances right now, is a synthetic opioid that studies show is 50 times more potent than primary heroin.
The guests at the activity were directors of various rehab homes such as Nuevo Pacto, Nueva Vida, La Puerta, Divino Niño, Hogar Crea, Las Tinieblas a la Luz, Teen Challenge and ASPEN.