Guam – Department of Corrections Director Jose San Agustin says his agency will start refusing detainees who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances until they’ve been medically cleared by the Guam Memorial Hospital.
San Agustin sent a memorandum on July 16 to various agencies notifying them that DOC has established a new policy that rejects detainees who don’t have a medical clearance.
In his letter, San Agustin emphasizes that failure to get a medical clearance “may lead to preventable death of the person under the influence and subject the Government of Guam to further liability.”
In a phone interview with PNC, San Agustin says there have been no reported deaths at DOC as a result of substance abuse, however he said just this month a detainee had to be sent to GMH because of alcohol poisoning.
He says it’s rather common for this to happen, but this particular incident was significant because the man tried to hang himself as well. It’s not the most popular thing to do, he says, but it’s the right thing to do to avoid risking the lives of detainees.