Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $873,297)
The Pueblo of Pojoaque is a federally recognized tribe located in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. With this funding, the Pojoaque Re-entry/Sober Living Project will: (1) enhance Pojoaque’s sober living program; (2) improve community supervision to follow best practices for alternatives to incarceration and reduced recidivism; and (3) provide re-entry resources for people coming out of jail or residential treatment. Intoxication from alcohol or illegal drugs was involved in 77% of the cases (100-129) filed for prosecution in the Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribal Court in 2021, most of these cases resulted in community supervision for the participant. Many adults who appear in tribal court for alcohol or drug-related crimes lack housing and pro-social support. They may be homeless, couch-surfing, or the only housing available is not supportive of their sobriety. Without a stable, sober place to live, and services to support stable sobriety, it is difficult for newly sober individuals to maintain their sobriety and reconnect positively with the community. Most people on probation are sincere about wanting to stay sober. But they end up in their old environment and using again, which leads to re-arrest for violating probation or new criminal offenses. This project provides drug- and alcohol-free housing for community members who are coming out of jail, residential treatment, participate in the Pueblo’s Healing to Wellness Court, or are on supervised probation and do not have stable, sober-supportive housing. We will use day reporting, as well as GPS and transdermal alcohol monitors as an alternative to incarceration. These devices allow offenders to engage in treatment, interact with their families, and even work while ensuring accountability. These funds will also be used to improve resources related to returning to substance misuse and recidivism: skills-building, treatment, parenting, trauma-supportive interactions, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Participants’ goals that are achieved through this project will include becoming lawfully employed, settling into independent housing, completing their GED or starting higher education, obtaining their driver’s license, etc. We will continue to work with Bureau of Justice Assistance designated training and technical advisors, such as the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, to learn current trends, best practices, and evidence-based community supervision. Our goal is to lower barriers for participation and increase engagement in services for people with substance use disorders.