Bernalillo County champions five years of reentry center

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For five years, the Bernalillo County Resource Reentry Center has provided services to inmates recently released from the Metro Detention Center.

“It is really difficult to navigate the system, especially if you were just released from jail and you might have been in for a while. You don’t have the right clothes, you don’t have access to a phone. You don’t quite understand how the system works,” said Sarah Spain, the manager of transition planning services.

Before the center, Spain said the process was more difficult for people trying to get their life on track.

“Prior to the RRC, individuals were just dropped off at the corner of 4th and Roma without access to services. By implementing this program, we were able to offer case management services and phones. They can wait for a ride and a safe place to stay when they are released from jail,” Spain explained.

Before they’re released, every inmate must go to the center. That is unless a family member signs for them.

“Our case managers can help with behavioral health services, shelter, substance abuse treatment. How to get a public defender, when your next court days are. All of those things that you don’t think of that are so integral to success,” Spain said.

County officials came together to celebrate five years of service and don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“We know that individuals are releasing and rejoining the community and we want everybody to be successful in the community when that release happens,” she said.