KUNM

Chaves County

Hans Kretzmann / Pixabay / Creative Commons

New Mexico’s behavioral health system still hasn’t recovered from 2013, when many service providers were forced to close under former Gov. Susana Martinez’ administration. Now, the Children Youth and Families Department has been awarded $12 million dollars in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to bolster services for young people in three rural counties.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After less than two years serving southeastern New Mexico, a behavioral health provider will shutter its programs on March 31, leaving hundreds without services.

What does this mean for Roswell and its courts, which were ordering offenders into treatment there?

Judge Freddie Romero presides over the drug court for juveniles in Chaves County. It’s not what you might imagine. The judge is warm and friendly. The kids who approach the podium with their parents in tow are everyday teenagers—jeans, T shirts, the occasional piercing.