Lives Are Being Changed at the Otero County Prison Facility…See Why
Programming and education are key to success in prison; and so is the culture. Residents at the Otero County Prison Facility talk about their experiences in prison and what’s helping them change their lives.
How has the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) program prepared you for release?
“Just having the course available to us is phenomenal. It gives everybody in here, who can take it, an opportunity at a fresh new life, new start, new everything.”
“You know, the HVAC, I’ve already got a job offer for when I get out, so, that’s awesome. Most people have a real challenge getting work.”
“A lot of us don’t have family, don’t have friends, we don’t have anybody. So, something, structure or otherwise, to get out and have something to go to. And the HVAC class here teaches that…So, that gives you a great big step forward to go back to the community and being reintegrated and have a really, really great chance of never coming back to prison again.”
How have other programs helped you especially the sex offender treatment program or SOTP?
“It made me realize that I can be a better person. The way I grew up, I was always being put down. And I always had a really negative attitude. It made me realize that I can change…I don’t have to continue being who I was; that as long as I’m willing to do the work, I can always make a better me.”
“I’ve had the time and opportunity for college, HVAC, SOTP [sex offender treatment program], all the cognitive classes that are offered here—so it’s been good for me.”
“I’ve taken every opportunity to take mental health programs: MRT [moral reconation therapy], Charting a New Course, and now the SOTP [sex offender treatment] program.”
How is this facility different than others?
“Prison isn’t fun, but, you know, after hearing about every other inmate’s prison experience that have come here, I realize, it’s been fortunate [for me] to be here.”
“One of the things I like most about this facility is it gives us an opportunity to be better at who we need to be. It lets us be open with who we are.”
One resident sums up his experience in prison this way
“If I’m not preparing myself, because I will get out one day, if I’m not spending my time wisely and preparing myself to get out, then I’m wasting my time. And I don’t want my time in here to be wasted.”