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ERIC Number: EJ876177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1533-2705
The Implementation of Inmate Mentor Programs in the Correctional Treatment System as an Innovative Approach
Cook, Jana; McClure, Scott; Koutsenok, Igor; Lord, Scot
Journal of Teaching in the Addictions, v7 n2 p123-132 2008
In October 2006, the California Men's Colony (CMC) in San Luis Obispo, faced with staff recruitment and retention difficulties, took an innovative step to utilize long-term sentenced inmates as peer mentors and primary counselors to lead their prison-based therapeutic community (TC) program. The program was designed, developed, and implemented through the collaborative efforts of CMC's Our House program, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Center for Criminality and Addiction Research, Training and Application (CCARTA), and the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE). The program is designed to be a peer mentor-driven 24-hour TC built to uphold the fundamental TC principles that have been lost in many treatment programs. UCSD CCARTA was instrumental in training the long-term residents who served as peer mentors in substance abuse treatment principles and strategies, equivalent to the training received by state-funded providers for the nationally accredited Forensic Addictions Corrections Treatment certification program, and the OCDE joined the program to support the community's structural and educational needs. Since the implementation of the peer-driven Our House program, the peer mentors have demonstrated exceptional command of a TC environment and have yielded a postrelease aftercare attendance of approximately 81%, a number much higher than that of most treatment programs in CDCR. Thus, the peer-mentor-driven treatment model may be a much needed solution for the improvement of program quality and effectiveness, especially in rural and other hard-to-hire regions with constant staff retention problems.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California