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Monday, November 09, 2009

News From The Classroom - An Update on Services for Our Spanish Speaking Clients

From Crew Supervisor Ramon Semorile

Since my last update on the enhancement of the Spanish-speaking Orientation group (where offenders have been learning about health related issues such as HIV/AIDS), I’ve been thinking of ways to introduce even more relevant topics to the group. As part of that effort, I reached out to Arms Acres, which is one of our partner agencies. A substance abuse program run by Liberty Behavioral Management, Arms Acres struck me as the type of organization that could help to add another dimension to our class setting.

After getting in touch with Arms Acres, I spoke with Francisco Guillen, who is one of their Spanish speaking counselors. After discussing the class and some of Bronx Community Solutions’ ideas with Mr. Guillen, he agreed to come to Bronx Community Solutions and give a presentation to the Spanish-speaking Orientation group.

As the class was going on, I noticed how attentive and engaged the offenders were. Tons of the participants were asking questions, and one of the offenders went to the Bronx Community Solutions social service clinic upon completion of the class for a referral to an outpatient drug treatment program. When the class ended, I thanked Mr. Guillen and noted that since the class had gone so well, he was more than welcome to return whenever his schedule allowed. After our discussion, Mr. Guillen agreed to co-facilitate the Spanish-speaking Orientation group with Bronx Community Solutions once per month.

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