Lock Up, Rub Down

State lawmakers push dubious Mexican drug rehab program

Representative Weason acknowledges that she hasn't seen much support from mainstream medicine. But since other drug rehab programs have had such limited success, Weason is willing to give this one a shot.

She thinks costs can be cut from the original estimate that put treatment at $15,000 per inmate for the first year. The biggest up-front cost would be building the saunas, Weason says, but since it's so hot here in Arizona, she figures other accommodations could be made.

Weason's House colleague, Glendale Republican Roberta Voss, says that while she was also impressed with Second Chance, it has no chance here.

Mark Poutenis

"When you see it in person, it's overwhelming. It's the most fascinating thing I've ever seen," says Voss, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee and also toured the Ensenada facility recently.

But Voss believes what she witnessed -- the low number of medical personnel on site (just one, she was told) and the prisoners administering the program to one another -- wouldn't fly in Arizona.

"Would I support it? Yeah, I would," says Voss. "But I'm not sure how it would be implemented."

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