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N.H. State Prison Expands Re-entry Coordinator Program

Cheryl Senter


Inmates with substance use disorder will now have someone to help them get recovery services after they leave state prison.

The initiative was piloted in 2018 in the women's prison in Concord and is now expanding to the men's prison in Berlin.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Helen Hanks says re-entry coordinators are needed because so many people in prison are struggling with addiction and many are in recovery. They face a high chance of recidivism or overdosing post release.

The two new coordinators will be mobile, traveling to where former inmates live to and accompanying them to appointments to make sure they're on the right track.

“We're calling and helping them and trying to be there before the help is needed to try to avoid returns to incarceration” said Hanks.

The coordinators will work with qualifying inmates for 12 months and the Department of Corrections plans to track data on rates of recidivism and recovery.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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