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Aja Nicole Brooks, the statewide Pro Bono Coordinator for New Mexico Legal Aid’s Volunteer Attorney Program, was the special guest at the USAO’s Black History Month SEPM Event. Ms. Brooks discussed “Diversity in the Legal Profession: The State of our State.” The event was coordinated by AUSA Shammara Henderson, who serves as the Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) for Black Affairs Program in the USAO’s ABQ office, and Legal Assistant Jessica Masoner.
The USAO participated in the dedication of the Shiprock community's first ever Northern Navajo Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) room. With the assistance of the Sexual Assault Services of Northwest New Mexico, victims no longer will need to travel to Farmington for sexual assault examinations. The examinations can now take place right inside the Northern Navajo Medical Center. This has been a collaboration between different agencies working towards one goal: to meet the needs of the population we serve. Victims can now receive the same professional services they would have received if they went to the Farmington Sexual Assault Services without having to leave the reservation. One small step in the right direction.
Supervisory AUSA Brawley, AUSA Han and Victim Advocate Perry participated in the National Parks Service officer training in Santa Fe. Their presentation included changes in the law, the basics of federal prosecution, discovery/ethics, search and seizure, special considerations for juveniles and victim witness updates. They also provided a refresher on general Fourth Amendment issues – e.g., differences between consensual encounters, detentions, and arrests – and responded to questions by officers.
AUSA/Tribal Liaison David Adams participated in the board meeting hosted by the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc. NMCSAP leads the state’s efforts to reduce sexual abuse and sexual violence by providing training and technical assistance to service providers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, medical practitioners, and mental health professionals. NMCSAP also collects and analyzes sexual assault and domestic violence data and produces annual reports of the findings.
AUSA David Adams, DEA and UNM College of Pharmacy students (Generation Rx) participated in a Parent Involvement Program (PIP) at Rio Grande High School. The PIP is an alternative to long-term student suspensions for drug and alcohol violations. Students and their parents attend an after school/evening cycle of sessions addressing communication, facts about drugs and drug use, media literacy and adolescent issues, problem-solving skills, parent/teen issues, and focus on the family. AUSA Adams, DEA and the Gen Rx students discussed drug addiction with Gen Rx taking the lead, and AUSA Adams and DEA discussed their work investigating/prosecuting diversion cases and their intervention/prevention work under the HOPE Initiative. The presentation was followed by a question/answer session with the students and their parents.
Assistant U.S. Attorney/Tribal Liaison David Adams participated in a training for Pueblos located in Sandoval County. The training includes presentations from BIA, FBI, and the USAO, focused on ensuring that cases are properly reported to federal authorities, and ensuring that everyone understands mandatory reporting requirements. During the meeting, Mr. Adams provided a session on Indian Country jurisdiction.
Assistant U.S. Attorney/Tribal Liaison David Adams presented at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court’s Urban Healing to Wellness Court’s annual feast. The program has participants from tribes all across New Mexico who are taking advantage of alternatives to incarceration to improve their lives. Mr. Adams presented on his past experience working on a Wellness Court team as a prosecutor, and shared words of encouragement to participants.
Assistant U.S. Attorney/Tribal Liaison David Adams met with Zia Pueblo officials to discuss domestic violence and mandatory reporting. The training is part of the U.S. Attorney’s continuing commitment to strengthening the Office’s government-to-government relationships with New Mexico’s tribes and responses to violent crime throughout New Mexico, including tribal communities
USA Damon Martinez hosted a screening of Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, a 45-minute documentary film by the FBI and DEA which is aimed at educating students and young adults about the dangers of addiction, to the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. USA Martinez was joined by the FBI, DEA and an official from the UNM Health Sciences Center. USA Martinez and his guests then participated in a dialogue with the Fraternity on the ongoing efforts to educate New Mexico’s youth and young adults about the perils of heroin and prescription drug abuse.
Smart on Crime AUSA Henderson, a DEA Agent and UNM College of Pharmacy students (Generation Rx) collaborated on an opioid presentation to student athletesand coaches at Rio Grande High School as part of the HOPE Initiative’s prevention and education component. This is HOPE’s first step towards developing an outreach program for high school and middle school athletes, coaches and athletic directors.