Highlands University to Host an Education/Reintegration Summit  

The event focuses on re-entry through higher education and workforce development 

Photo of Rey Martinez

Dr. Rey Martinez

 April 19, 2023

The Facundo Valdez School of Social Work, in collaboration with the South-Southwest Addiction Technology Transfer Center (SSWATTC), will be hosting an Educational/Reintegration Summit on Sunday, April 23, from 3 to 5 p.m. and on Monday, April 24, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  

The Educational/Reintegration Summit brings representatives from New Mexico Corrections, higher education, Tribal government officials, and State government officials together to discuss the integration of alcohol & other drugs (AOD) and behavioral health courses into correctional education. The goal is to create a pathway toward professional addiction counseling licensure for students to help support their successful reintegration. The event will feature a panel of educators and agency leaders striving to support the successful re-entry of citizens returning from incarceration. 

According to NMHU Professor of Social Work, Dr. Rey Martinez, barriers to re-entry in New Mexico for formerly incarcerated individuals are high. They include difficulty finding employment, qualifying for housing, and finding support to maintain a drug-free lifestyle. He sees the Summit as one way to bring people together to strengthen prison education by designing an academic track that leads to professional credentialing, includes peer mentoring, and increases the chances of successful reintegration. 

 “What we’re trying to do is to create options,” Martinez said. “This initiative has the potential to change the trajectory of a person’s life.”  

The event is free, but attendees are asked to reserve a spot at the following link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/educational-reintegration-summit-tickets-551605295287   

Travel support and coordination will be available to those who qualify. For more information on qualifications, please email Dr. Martinez at rcmartinez@nmhu.edu