I e-mailed the following letter to Nevada assembly members about the Narconon / Second Chance programme currently being touted by Assemblywoman Sharron Angle:
I read in the Reno Gazette Journal of February 13 that the Nevada Department of Corrections was considering a prison rehabilitation program based on the Second Chance program, which is currently operating in the Ensenada State Prison in Baja California, Mexico. DoC Director Jackie Crawford has already been to see the Ensenada program and a number of your colleagues are due to visit in March.
I would encourage you to scrutinise this very carefully. The same program was submitted for consideration to the Arizona Department of Corrections in March 2001. In the words of the ADC's Director, Terry Stewart and George Weisz, Executive Assistant to Governor Hull, it was rejected because:
- "there is not one nationally recognized United States drug treatment organization that has evaluated the program or the methodologies used in their studies to indicate that it is efficacious to use that treatment modality";
- "the program will be challenged because people will claim the State is confusing church and state, because of L. Ron Hubbard's religious association with scientology";
- "the method of treatment in Second Chance involves the ingestion of vitamin liquids, which ADC would not be able to enforce, and can cause liver damage ... this would open the door for law suits by prisoners";
- the "impressive statistics of low recidivism" claimed for Second Chance are based on questionable evaluation processes and "could be a false reading on how effective the program is".
These comments were made in the Arizona State Senate's Judiciary Committee meeting of March 27, 2001, the minutes of which can be read on the Internet at http://www.azleg.state.az.us/legtext/45leg/1r/comm_min/senate/0327jud.doc.htm .
Second Chance is a modified version of a Church of Scientology program called Narconon, which I have documented at http://www.narconon-exposed.org . I have brought together in one place a wide selection of commentaries and analyses of L. Ron Hubbard's detoxification methods, including a number of reports by state authorities. The latter are all uniformly critical. In fact, I know of no published official report that has found the Hubbard program to be safe and effective.
In particular, I would like to alert you to three reports of particular relevance to this situation. The Michigan Department of Corrections found in 1980 that "graduates of the [Hubbard] program do not do as well as our [prison] population in general" and terminated funding for the program's operations in Ionia State Prison. The Oklahoma Board of Mental Health in 1991 found that the program was "unsafe" and "ineffective" and denied it certification. The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare found in 1996 that "there is no documentation to show that the Hubbard method of detoxification from drug abuse conforms to scientific standards and medical experience" and recommended that it "should not be used in Swedish medical care." These reports can be accessed from http://www.narconon-exposed.org/sources/critical.htm.
I hope that you find this letter useful in guiding your decision on whether or not to endorse Second Chance. If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I've since received replies from a number of Assembly members, including one who stated: "Don't worry - there's NO chance we'll be funding Second Chance in our prison system." I'd say this one's dead in the water...
| Chris Owen - ronthewarhero@OISPAMNOyahoo.co.uk | |---------------------------------------------------------------| | NARCONON EXPOSED: The full facts about the Narconon program | | http://www.narconon-exposed.org |