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Connection and Intervention center for former inmates opens in Twin Falls

The objective is to reduce recidivism and help parolees and probationers become successful community members
Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 10:47 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The Idaho Legislature has allocated $4.5 million for the Idaho Department of Correction to increase community services for individuals on parole and probation.

The IDOC has contracted GEO Reentry Services to manage four regional Connection and Intervention Stations in Idaho. One of those stations opened Tuesday in Twin Falls at 510 2nd Avenue South.

For many, adjusting back into society after being incarcerated, isn’t a simple thing.

“We’re going to build that foundational trust with them to create a strong therapeutic alliance with them, because our main goal is to ensure that we are meeting their essential needs,” said Statewide Manager of Geo Reentry Services Evette Navedo.

The objective is to reduce recidivism and help parolees and probationers become successful community members.

“The majority of people we are dealing with have substance abuse issues and so when we start to see them struggling with those issues or mental health issues, this gives us an opportunity that we just help transition them over to these stations,” said IDOC District 5 Manager of Probation and Parole Collin Widmier.

What’s actually going to happen at these stations?

“We offer various programs ranging from anger management, we touch upon some of our trauma programming, we help them in education and employment, and we also have those cognitive behavioral and behavior change programs as well,” said Kristen Heller, program manager of GEO Twin Falls.

Programs can last from a few months to a full year. The Twin Falls office can service about 60 people at a time and around 240 in a year.

The new stations aren’t certain to work, but for the IDOC, the chance is worth taking.

“We’re willing to take a little bit of risk because we really want to know what will work for these individuals,” Widmier said. “We don’t want to remain on status quo, we want to find out what is going to work, and if it’s working, let’s go, let’s roll with it.”

The other Connection and Intervention stations are located in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls.

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