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Success Stories

“A mentor told me that incarceration could be one of the greatest gifts I ever receive, but that it was up to me to use it as a gift. I found this to be true. Thankfully, I also encountered many helpful programs during my time in prison.

I did my best to participate in every class that I possibly could. I learned so much from classes like RDAP and Critical Thinking. I attended reentry classes and workshops. I began my lifelong dream of attending college and completing an associate degree. I was trained by Project ECHO to be a Peer Health Educator. I was permitted to start my own Yoga classes and even a writing club that included the club members’ family members. We had a banquet for our family and acknowledged how difficult it is to have someone you care about in prison.

Being eight years out now, I appreciate all the opportunities. But what I appreciate most are the people who filled these roles and made these programs possible. I will be forever grateful to the dedicated staff that I was fortunate to get to learn from and work with.”‘

Daniel Rowan

“The New Mexico Corrections Department has been instrumental in my recovery and success of my organization, “Women in Leadership “ (WIL). Through the organization, we help women who are impacted by the criminal justice system directly, or indirectly. We also organize job and resource fairs, which take place inside of the prisons. Without the work I do with the women and men inside the Corrections Department,  I don’t know where my life would be right now. I lost my son the first day I arrived in prison, and my Mom died just eight months later. I didn’t want to live anymore, but the other women and corrections staff rallied around me, and they helped me through some dark days. There were many nights when I would lay in bed and pray to God that if He gave me a chance to change my life, I would return to the prison system to help change lives for the better.

Working with the prison system is a part of my everyday recovery. I could not do this without the Corrections Department staff. This work has transformed my life and has given me a purpose and joy that I had lost when my child died.

I stand here today as a shining example of what can happen if you buy into the idea of rehabilitation. This gives me hope and belief that anyone can change their life, with the help of the community. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go back into an institution where I did time and pay it forward – to help others in the same place where I once was.”

Stacy Burleson