Congressman Ben Ray Lujan Visits RAC Detention Center

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan Speaks with DWI Director Louise Sanchez, County Assistant Manager David Trujillo and County Manager Tomas Campos at the Tierra Amarilla County Detention Center.  


On May 23, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan visited the Rio Arriba County Detention Center (DWI Unit) in Tierra Amarilla.  The visit proved to be a touching and beneficial experience, not only for him, but also for the inmates at the Center.  The Rio Arriba County’s DWI Program works closely with the Detention Center, integrating the DWI Unit, which is a component concentrated on inmate rehabilitation through counseling and case management. Congressman Lujan visited and spoke to the inmates taking part in the DWI Unit.

“I come to you today because I am sincere in my concerns for the programs our state has to rehabilitate inmates,” said Congressman Lujan. As the visit continued, DWI Unit participants went on to express their wants and needs when it came to rehabilitation. Several participants expressed their concerns when it came to finding and keeping employment after incarceration, unaffordable drug-treatment programs and prevention efforts for teens. The Congressman then went on to explain that congress will be meeting with out-of-state experts about developing new programs within New Mexico. During the congressman’s visit, he also got the chance to visit the female inmates to express his ideas and listen to their concerns about rehabilitation efforts.  

Feedback from the inmates concerning the current programs in place, displayed their appreciation for the DWI Unit Program in particular. Inmates reiterated that the program should continue as a vital option and personal testimony was attributed.  “These programs make a difference in the lives of these people,” said DWI Director Louise Sanchez. “We need to make sure that funding is available for programs like this so that those who participate in them have something available, which is designed to help them not only address issues that may have put them into incarceration, but to help them learn how to function society once they get out.”

For more information on the DWI Program, please visit

-Erika L. Martinez, May 2012