Residential Reentry Services
CEC 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 CEC's residential reentry facilities include comprehensive assessment, individual and group counseling, life-skills training, and aftercare. Ultimately, each CEC 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
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.
CEC 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 Community Education'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 gather data to assess the offender's current treatment needs. Community Educations Centers developed New Jersey's first assessment center, Talbot Hall, in 1998. Talbot Hall provides assessment and rehabilitative services to 500 male residents. CEC uses standardized and actuarially based instruments to assess all offenders in the following domains.
An important element in the Community Education Center's continuum of care model is the emphasis that is placed on education 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) CEC employs full-time certified teachers. Although new educational technology may be used with residents, CEC 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 at The Harbor are trained in cognitive-behavioral techniques.
The use of cognitive-behavioral techniques in the classroom insures consistent continuity of care to residents. CEC 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. CEC 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.