Using Cognitive Behavior Therapy to Chart a New Path
Since substance abuse is one of the primary contributing offenses placing inmates in correctional facilities today, we believe offering a variety of treatment programs is vital to changing and improving lives. Secular substance abuse programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Blue Walters, and STAR, along with faith-based programs such as Celebrate Recovery, Breaking Out: Faith-based Recovery, Drawing Near, and Kairos Prison Ministries are effective vehicles to drive personal recovery and redemption for an inmate.
A great example of such a treatment program is the STAR (Successful Treatment of Addiction and Recovery) Long-Term Program at Richwood Correctional Center's new year-long substance abuse treatment community. The program is licensed through Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals as part of the Monroe Addictive Disorders Clinic.
STAR is open to any inmate suffering from a substance abuse disorder having less than four years remaining on his sentence. Participants with remaining time greater than four years may be considered if they would like to continue past the course of treatment to be a mentor in Blue Walters.
The assessment battery includes a psychosocial interview, the Inventory of Risks, Needs, and Strengths (IORNS), the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test Version 3.0 (ASSIST), and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview 5.0 (MINI 5.0). After completion of the assessment battery, the program participant would then be allowed to begin participation in the program.
The offender benefits from a variety of services offered by the long term substance abuse/re-entry program. Services will be provided based on the need established in the assessment process and an individualized treatment plan will be developed for each participant. These services include, but are not limited to, addictions counseling, counseling for criminal thinking and behavior, mental health counseling, anger management, parenting classes, and more.
STAR is divided into three treatment phases: a 90-day initial phase focusing on substance abuse treatment and behavior modification; a 90-day second phase involving recreation therapy, career counseling, anger management, trauma resolution therapy, and ongoing substance abuse therapy; and finally a 180-day third phase that moves offenders into mentorship roles in Blue Walters where they facilitate Big Book studies, help participants complete and read required homework and self help literature, as well as provide other appropriate mentorship functions.
Participants are allowed to choose between Celebrate Recovery or a secular AA program. Program participants are encouraged to choose an accountability partner/sponsor and complete 12 step assignments.