Many offenders are released with only a bus ticket and a few dollars. Once in the community, they are expected to get a job, earn a living, contribute to the well-being of a family, follow the law, and generally get along with their law-abiding neighbors. Statistics indicate that within five years, nearly half will be back in prison, either for violating conditions of their release or committing new crimes. That translates into more dollars, more victims, more frustration and diminished success when the offender is released the next time.
People are spending years, sometimes decades, cycling in and out of prisons, seemingly unable to disengage from the criminal justice system. In an effort to reduce the recidivism rate, Prison Coach is committed to enhancing the quality of life of our clients when they leave prison.
Prison Coach has organized and standardized programs and services to deal with these issues and to better prepare offenders for a successful reintegration into their communities. Offenders are provided the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational, vocational, faith-based and therapeutic programming to aid their reentry efforts.
Additionally, after being released from prison, every client receives are placed in our reentry program consisting of instruction in various topics. Ongoing consultation focus on how to find a job, money management and victim awareness to name a few. The commitment to preparing the offender to reenter society is a serious one. Without the ability of the offender to participate in this program, many will have a significantly more difficult time adjusting to life once back in their community.
The Day Reporting program allows participants who have been assessed as low-risk to maintain employment while ensuring their adherence to court mandates. The Day Reporting program offers job-skill development and resource-center assistance, and requires each participant to secure meaningful employment. Other Day Reporting services include random alcohol and drug testing, home visits, employment verifications and visits, curfew checks and assistance with court appearances. The program promotes individual responsibility, assists the individual in developing a support system and maintains individual accountability in the community.
The model of services utilized by The Hammond Group/Prison Coach (THG/PC), Inc. is adaptable to the unique characteristics of the DRC population to be served and the specific requirements of the venue. THG/PC’s Day Reporting Services allows participants who have been assessed as low-risk to maintain employment while ensuring their adherence to court mandates. THG/PC offers job-skill development and resource-center assistance, and requires each participant to secure meaningful employment. Other Day Reporting services include random alcohol and drug testing, home visits, employment verifications and visits, curfew checks and assistance with court appearances. The program promotes individual responsibility, assists the individual in developing a support system, and maintains individual accountability in the community.
The Satellite Monitoring Program is an outpatient treatment center. Participants in the outpatient program undergo a full clinical assessment and behavior evaluation. They are required to participate in individual and group counseling as well as several other structured activities, including job searches. Program participants are also required to attend four Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Alcohols Anonymous (AA) meetings per week and are subjected to random drug testing. This program incorporates the use of electronic monitoring, specifically active Global Positioning System technology, to track participants whereabouts.
The Hammond Group/Prison Coach (THG/PC), Inc’s Day Reporting Center provides a variety of non-residential, intensive supervision services for men, women, and juvenile offenders. All participants have been accessed as low-risk and in need of monitoring. The program allows participants to remain in school or in the work force, support their families, and contribute to the local economy, while remaining accountable for their behavior. The Day Reporting Center works with the community to access services for their clients, a portion of which the participants are required to pay for themselves. Services include random alcohol and drug testing, home visits, employment verifications, and curfew checks. Supervised community service projects are also offered. The Day Reporting Center offers a job bank and employment resource center, and assists clients in developing job skills.
THG/PC partners with state and local governments to provide community-based adult residential reentry services to offenders released or diverted from prison. These facilities are designed to provide structured programming with a focus on substance abuse treatment and education and changing criminal behaviors. Additional services offered at THG/PC’s residential reentry facilities include comprehensive assessment, individual and group counseling, life-skills training, and aftercare. Ultimately, each THG/PC program helps prepare residents to successfully reintegrate into their communities.
Substance Abuse Treatment
The majority of offenders in America have been involved with illicit drugs. As many as 83 percent of all offenders report past drug use, with 57 percent reporting drug use within one month of committing their crimes and 33 per cent using drugs while committing their most recent crime. (Griffith, Hiller, Knight, Simpson 1999) The alarmingly high rate of substance abuse among corrections populations underscores the need for treatment. Substance abuse is a key component of CEC’s treatment programs. Effective substance abuse treatment programs depend in large part on the successful implementation of the following:
- Comprehensive assessment of the offender
- Individualized treatment plan
- Case management
- Continuum of treatment
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Support services, including health care
- Education services
- Vocational training
- Linkages to aftercare
- Individual Counseling
In addition to reviewing progress toward meeting treatment goals, the goals of individual counseling include: providing a safe place to disclose and discuss sensitive personal issues, fostering and modeling a close interpersonal relationship, providing a positive role model, providing supportive, cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented psychotherapy as needed, and providing information and guidance on an individual course to recovery. In contrast to counseling in the community, it is not desirable to have an exclusive confidential relationship in the facility.
THG/PC has realized tremendous success through the utilization of Substance Abuse Education Groups. Group therapy is often combined with other treatment modalities to provide a structured, comprehensive treatment program for substance abusers. Therapeutic and education groups foster identification and affirmation and the releasing of shame and guilt. They provide a safe and secure environment, which assists residents in developing deep levels of trust, honesty, and personal awareness. These groups are facilitated by trained staff and use cognitive restructuring and other skill building approaches. Facilitators take into consideration the age and competency levels of the participants and adjust group content accordingly. Additional recovery programming will prioritize onsite meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotic Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and other appropriate community support group speakers as part of the program’s regular treatment activity schedule.
The purpose of The Hammond Group/Prison Coach’s assessment process is to gather information to determine an offender’s current risk factors for public safety concerns and also recidivism. During an assessment, clinical staff gathers data to assess the offender’s current treatment needs.
An important element in the The Hammond Group/Prison Coach’s continuum of care and therapeutic model is the emphasis that is placed on education, therapy, and vocational training. Studies show that recidivism rates decline when non-reading inmates become literate or in cases where inmates earn a GED while incarcerated. (Martinez, Izenberg, 2000) THG/PC employs full-time certified teachers and therapies. Although new educational technology may be used with residents, THG/PC understands that teacher-to-offender and offender-to-offender relationships in a group setting are still important to the success of the overall educational process. Certified teachers administer the educational curriculum. The classroom, although businesslike, provides an atmosphere of encouragement and positive reinforcement. Teachers and therapists are trained are trained in cognitive-behavioral techniques.
The use of cognitive-behavioral techniques in the classroom insures consistent continuity of care to residents. THG/PC has found, and studies have shown, that certain educational programs are more specifically suited to particular age groups of residents. Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs have a greater impact on older residents; while GED and college preparatory programs have a more significant impact on younger offenders. THG/PC places residents in appropriate education programs. There are four basic components to the educational program at CEC facilities: Adult Basic Education (ABE), General Educational Development (GED), Vocational Training and Post-Secondary education.