San Miguel County – Health Impact Assessment

The New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work and the NMHU Foundation, Inc. received a grant and partnered with the San Miguel County Detention Center and its Citizen Advisory Committee, the Las Vegas Peace & Justice Center, the San Miguel County Family and Community Health Council, and numerous other community partners to conduct a Health Impact Assessment in the northeastern part of New Mexico. Communities here, which include San Miguel, Mora and Guadalupe Counties, struggle with higher than average rates of unemployment, substance abuse, DWIs, poverty, lack of access to health care and other basic services. These conditions lead to higher incarceration and recidivism rates. The health inequities among those who end up incarcerated are especially apparent. An Adult Reintegration Center has been proposed as a way to help address some of these health disparities. General goals of the Center would include: Reduce recidivism rates (currently at approximately 80%); improve overall health and safety of the community; promote mutual understanding and respect within the community; and enhance community-based partnerships. The HIA is currently underway to address the feasibility of a Reintegration Center for this region. The HIA Team is partnered with NMHU students who are conducting research to document the potential impacts a Reintegration Center would have on the communities in NE NM. (link to photos)