(July 21, 2008) ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - An Albuquerque rehabilitation program doesn't have nearly as good a success rate as organizers claim, a News 13 investigation finds.
The Second Chance program, developed by the founder of Scientology, uses saunas to sweat out toxins and other techniques to try to get people off drugs and alcohol.
Judges have sent more than 90 convicts to the facility near the Double Eagle II airport on Albuquerque's West Mesa since it opened in September 2006.
The federal government and the state have allocated $1.57 million to Second Chance.
Don Byers, who said he used methamphetamines for more than 20 years, was used as one of the program's success stories.
"I did some time in the federal system," he said. "I did a rehab or two through the federal system. They told me I was one of 2 percent in the criminal justice system that couldn't be rehabilitated."
When he finished the program, organizers hired him as an instructor.
But Byers was once again locked up accused of violating his probation stemming from charges of credit card fraud.
And he's not alone. News 13 has obtained documents showing that of 41 graduates of the program, 28 have gone back to their old habits, and 13 have not reverted.
While the program claims a 90 percent success rate, the figures show something closer to 32 percent.
Some of the failures include six other graduates hired by the program as instructors......"
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