Amity Foundation is pleased to announce its award of a Federal Grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to create an Offender Reentry Program (ORP) for Women returning to the community in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico. Through this award, Amity will support women in New Mexico as they transition from the criminal justice system to the community, number to name, degradation to dignity. Amity will collaborate with community based partners who are rooted in New Mexico’s rich and diverse culture to foster opportunities for women to maintain productive, fulfilling lives.
Amity’s ORP will address the growing need to create a continuum of care for ex-offenders by providing women with the comprehensive treatment and support services necessary to prepare for, and maintain, successful community reentry and reintegration. Community services will be primarily provided at the Amity ORP offices in downtown Albuquerque as well as on-site at the Isleta Pueblo, a Native American community.
New Mexico Corrections Department (2008) statistics reveal that 95% of all inmates incarcerated in the state will return to their respective communities. Prior to incarceration, most offenders were immersed in social environments plagued with poverty, unhealthy social networks, negative family dynamics, drug-infested neighborhoods, and low educational attainment as well as abuse, violence, and trauma. Returning to this environment upon release fuels the cycle of crime, probation or parole violations and return to custody --- 46.7% of ex-offenders in New Mexico will be re-incarcerated within three years of their release. There are several obstacles that lead to high rates of recidivism in New Mexico. Ex-offenders are often isolated, denied employment, legally excluded from many public and subsidized housing programs, prohibited from obtaining occupational licensure, and may be rendered ineligible for student loans and grants.
Amity’s ORP will provide high quality case management and will facilitate comprehensive behavioral health treatment for women paroling to Bernalillo County from Grant’s Prison and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC). Using the evidence-based Therapeutic Community (TC) Model, Amity’s ORP will provide intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment along with case management services. Extensions curriculum, which incorporates topics such as, criminal and addictive thinking, anger management, aggression and violence, domestic violence, relapse prevention, parenting, health education, and substance abuse education will be an integral part of the educational services provided to women enrolled in Amity’s ORP. The Extensions curriculum, http://www.extensionsllc.com/, used in all Amity communities, is proven effective in relapse prevention and recidivism reduction.
In addition to intensive outpatient services, Amity’s ORP will provide:
- 12-step meetings
- Seminars and workshops on women-specific topics
- Parenting and other childcare education services
- Family sessions
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
- Nutrition information, particularly for pregnant women
- Prenatal education and care
- Rapid HIV testing
- Housing assistance
- Food and clothing assistance
- Educational and vocational assessments and placements
- Adult basic education including GED prep classes
- Tutoring and testing
- Access to vocational training
- Referrals for primary medical care
- Referrals for mental health services
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