Roosevelt County Honors Detainee for Earning His G.E.D. During Detainment

Portales, NM – The Roosevelt County Board of Commissioners recognized the hard work and achievement of Ronnie Lujan, Jr. at their February meeting. Lujan earned his G.E.D. during detainment at the Roosevelt County Detention Center (RCDC). In addition to Lujan, Ramon Tarango also earned his G.E.D. while at the facility. Both individuals were invited to attend the Commission meeting to be honored for their achievements. The Commission presented Lujan with a certificate of achievement and also presented his official high school equivalency credential. Lujan’s support network of family and friends were present to support him.

“I took GED classes years ago and quit, but decided to try again while in detention – I’m the first male in my family to graduate high school,” stated Lujan. “I wanted to make my mom proud and I’m hoping that my brothers will now also be inspired to pursue their G.E.D. again and finish what they started.”

Leadership at RCDC began working to provide G.E.D. classes in December 2021. The program was finally approved and implemented in September 2022. To-date, more than 20 detainees have elected to participate and enroll in classes. Currently there are four working towards their G.E.D. 

The Accredited Roosevelt County Detention Center has focused on adding extensive programing, educational opportunities and comprehensive treatment programs, to include Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) over the past three years.

Since Sept. 1, 2021, 70 (59 unduplicated) male participants and 40 female participants  (35 unduplicated) in the MAT program.  Of the 70 males, 19 have gone to DOC, 2 to another detention center, 1 to rehab, 11 are in RCDC; 32 were released to the Community, 2 withdrew, and 3 were removed from the program.  Of the Community releases, 11 have been rearrested with new charges,  yielding a 34 percent rate of recidivism.   Of the 40 females, 6 have gone to DOC, 6 to another detention center, 4 are in RCDC, 3 went to rehab; 19 were released to the Community, 1 withdrew and 1 was removed from the program.  Of the Community releases, 6 were rearrested with new charges, yielding a 32 percent rate of recidivism. 

“Lujan is an example that hard work, dedication, and perseverance can result in success even when the odds are stacked against you,” noted MAT Program Manager Kris Paulus. “The early statistics are showing the true value of such programing in reducing the rates of recidivism and equipping those detained within the facility to function and contribute upon release back into the community.”

For additional information on the MAT Program, you can visit and look under the Behavioral Health tab for the MAT Program.


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