Bernalillo Co. Metro Court starts program to treat, rehabilitate car thieves | KOB 4
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Bernalillo Co. Metro Court starts program to treat, rehabilitate car thieves

Casey Torres
October 24, 2018 05:44 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court is starting a new program to treat car thieves.

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The Substance Abuse and Treatment Options Program aims at tackling what law enforcement officials believe is the root of the auto theft problem— drug abuse.

“The program is designed to keep non-violent felons who are charged with this type of an offense, to give them an opportunity to keep these charges from going on the record but more importantly, to rehabilitate their lives and prevent them from harming the citizens from Bernalillo County in the future,” said Metro Court Judge Edward Benavidez.

Thirty participants will be in the program for a minimum of 15 months. They will be offered substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Judge Benavidez said Metro Court receives federal grants in blocks of about $3 million. The Drug Court program was able to renew its grant and had enough left to fund the STOP program.

Judge Benavidez said it costs about $16 a day for each participant to be in the program compared to $120 per day that would be spent for the person to be in jail.

“All of the drug core programs are ultimately very successful, so I do believe it’s going to have an impact overall on crime, specifically for those that are charged with auto theft in Bernalillo County,” said Benavidez.

In Albuquerque, more than 4,000 cars were stolen through the month of September. The police department said that's a decrease of 2,000 during the same time period in 2017.

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Casey Torres

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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