Probation program in Merced County changing lives and making the county safer

MERCED COUNTY (KFSN) -- For Tammy Huerta every day is a struggle.

"Take it day by day-- some days are harder than others."

Tammy has an addiction to drugs and it has sent her to prison 16 times, the first time she was sentenced at the age of 22.

"Since then, it's been a revolving door. I've been in numerous programs."

Nothing really worked until she landed at the Geo Re-Entry Program in Merced County. Where her husband, Richard, volunteers his time-- he is also a graduate.

"If I could help one person get to where I'm at right now I feel like I'm doing something for my higher power."

The program is required by probation and it is designed to rehabilitate and restructure adverse ways of thinking.

Tammy has been in the program since April and is learning new skills to get a job someday, but above all-- learning how to cope with loss.

"I have to say, I hit my bottom."

Tammy gave up much of her life to addiction and two years ago, while Tammy was serving time-- her one and only daughter, Catrina was murdered. She was just 23-years-old and a mother of a young child.

"I had a lot of guilt and shame for that, but I always thought I would have that chance to make it up to her and make amends with her."

It was Tammy's catalyst for change and this program gave her the support she needed.

"I can be living amends and make amends to her even without her being here."

Tammy is in the third phase of her recovery-- if all goes as planned, she will graduate in October.

"It doesn't end with graduation, don't get me wrong-- this is an ongoing thing, I'm gonna be an addict for the rest of my life."

A daily struggle but now Tammy has control.
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