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Bergen County Jail Drug Rehab Center Rescues Addicted Inmates

Bergen County Sheriff with Undersheriff Robert Colaneri and Officer Thomas Smaldone in the DRC and with Anita Rogers.
Bergen County Sheriff with Undersheriff Robert Colaneri and Officer Thomas Smaldone in the DRC and with Anita Rogers. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Bergen County Sheriff

HACKENSACK, N.J. – Addicted to heroin, crack and cocaine and carrying a lengthy rap sheet, Anita Rogers had nothing left to lose when she opted into the Drug Rehabilitation Center at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack.

In the seven years since then, the mother of four has been drug-free. She’s also become a supervisor in the food industry.

“If it wasn’t for the Bergen County Jail in-patient drug program, I wouldn’t have been able to break the cycle,” said Rogers, who visits the River Street lockup to share her story with inmates.

The 90-day intensive drug treatment program is the first of its kind in a county jail in New Jersey.

Participants live in a dormitory with strict rules. They must take educational classes, participate in group and individual counseling sessions and receive vocational training.

Once they're released, they're connected to a community resource center that provides the services they need to live a law-abiding, drug-free life.

“Anita is just one of the hundreds of graduates from the Bergen County Jail Drug Rehabilitation Center who have been freed from the cycle of drug addiction,” Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino said. “I am proud to be able to offer this groundbreaking facility to those inmates who are addicted to drugs.”

“It is just so genuinely rewarding to be part of the positive changes that we see in our treatment programs,” said Patrick Hughes, the sheriff’s director of behaviorial health. “We couldn’t be more proud of Anita."

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