SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Puerto Rico, in partnership with Federal Public Defender and the U.S. Probation Office, announced a joint initiative to establish a post-conviction reentry pilot program: RESCATE (Reentry Supervised Released Court Alternative). On April 30, 2021, Chief U.S. District Judge Gustavo A. Gelpí issued a Standing Order announcing the Court’s sponsorship of the program.
The program aims to eliminate re-arrest rates of qualifying participants, control danger to the community using intensive supervision, and provide qualifying participants with opportunities to improve their living conditions in order to reduce recidivism. The program will serve participants who were previously convicted and sentenced in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and who are or will be serving a term of supervised release. The first pilot group will begin with 8 participants, whose cases will be reassigned temporarily to the docket of the reentry judge overseeing the program, U.S. District Judge Silvia Carreño-Coll. The one-year program will be divided into three phases: early recovery, four months; continued care, five months; and relapse prevention, 3 months. The participants will attend monthly court hearings where their progress reports prepared by the U.S. Probation Office will be discussed and goals will be set. Upon successful completion of the one-year program, participants will receive reductions in their supervised release terms.
“The RESCATE program will offer participants the tools to succeed once they reenter the community, promote public safety and reduce the costs incurred in revocation proceedings,” stated U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow. “We commend the efforts of our colleagues at the Federal Public Defender and the U.S. Probation Office, who have joined us in the development and implementation of this initiative, along with the steadfast support from the U.S. District Court. It is our firm commitment to turn this pilot program into a permanent post-conviction program in the District of Puerto Rico.”
“We are excited to work with the Court, United States Probation and the United States Attorney’s Office to better the lives of our clients as they embark on re-entering society and becoming happier and more productive citizens,” said Eric Vos, the Chief Defender for the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the District of Puerto Rico.” “The Program demonstrates the government and court’s commitment to servicing our citizens and we are proud to join forces to better serve the Federal Defender’s clients.”
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