Colorado looks to Alamosa sheriff for guidance

The San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group presented Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson with a plaque for his positive impact on the community. From left are Azarel Madrigal, Tammy Obie, Jennifer Silva, Sheriff Jackson, Fernando Martinez, Victoria Romero, Cathy Michopoulos and Lieutenant DeHerrera./Courtesy photo

ALAMOSA — As the opioid crisis progressively wreaks havoc on families of the San Luis Valley, Sheriff Robert Jackson is striving to make a difference in Alamosa County. He has been working closely with community partners to help those incarcerated overcome addiction and get the support they need to stay clean once they return to the community.

The San Luis Valley Behavioral Health Group (SLVBHG) recognized Sheriff Jackson with a plaque this past week for his efforts to bring the community together and provide support where it is need. With the expansion of the jail, Sheriff Jackson ensured there was a room with increased security and visibility to host group therapy sessions, individual therapy, teletherapy and telepsychiatry.

“[Sheriff Jackson’s] vision and facility preparation for services to be delivered in a safe place is a millstone for the community and our partnership,” said Fernando Martinez, CEO of SLVBHG.

SLVBHG Chief Clinical Officer Victoria Romero said, “SLVBHG and the sheriff’s office understand the importance of providing treatment services in a manner that respects and protects client’s rights and will work in collaboration to assure services are provided in a respectful and confidential manner. The goals of this partnership are to:

* Shorten incarceration time,

* Reduce recidivism for inmates with substance use disorders,

* Provide appropriate, timely and effective behavioral health services for inmates with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders that can continue and be sustained in the community following release through SLVBHG.”

The opioid crisis has hit the valley harder than most other places in Colorado. “Ninety percent of the jails detainees come in with an opioid addiction,” said Sheriff Jackson. The sheriff office’s innovative and collaborative approach to the opioid epidemic has caught the eye of other sheriff offices around the state and they too are working to implement some of his ideas. 

Sheriff Jackson’s plaque reads, “With our greatest appreciation, we present Sheriff Jackson with the ‘The Community Impact Award’. In recognition of his outstanding support and dedication.” 


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