Reintegration & Recovery

General Information

Since the 1990’s, the Criminal Justice System has faced many difficult situations: Citizens are demanding longer sentences and a harder stance on crime, while challenging the costs of incarceration, public safety and quality of life in our communities. This leaves us in a precarious situation; the courts, both locally and nationally, are forced to try to balance the excessive costs of incarceration with the safety of the community. Longer sentences, recidivism and higher demands placed on our judicial system have kept facilities overcrowded and pondering the question, “How do we fix this?” It is with this dilemma, that the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has fuelled two pioneering, prolific programs to reduce our jail population, criminal recidivism and prepare offenders to reintegrate into the community as a productive member of our society (Reintegration & Recovery Program –offender therapeutic services and Gateways Through the Rockies Program–a modified inmate work program).

The delivery of public safety in a cost-effective manner demands a more frugal and efficient means of maintaining budgetary constraints for our constituents.  With the ever-increasing incarceration rates, innovative and progressive programming, infused with re-education efforts have provided the opportunity to return a potentially law-abiding and tax paying citizen to our community.  The more the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Reintegration and Recovery Program is exposed to the incarcerated population, the greater the opportunity to reduce criminal recidivism.

Many facilities throughout the United States have inmate programs.  What makes our program unique is a therapeutic environment complimented with individualized treatment plans; multi-systemic curriculum; line-level staff instructors/mentors; mandatory participation; regimented and a consistent instructional/therapeutic schedule (daily); certified addiction counselors on staff; participant accountability and ownership of current and past actions; aftercare collaborations and the community resource availability for ex-offenders. Replication of our programs will require committed staff, innovative time management, community collaborations and funding. Challenges that most jurisdictions will face is the ability to provide one-on-one counseling and small group intervention/counseling requiring staff commitment and time;  finding and/or creating curriculum that addresses the majority of the offenders needs; committed community collaborations and funding sources.

In August of 2007, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Detention Bureau established the Reintegration and Recovery Program for sentenced inmates serving from three (3) to twenty-four (24) months at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center (CJC). The primary objective of the Reintegration and Recovery Program is to reduce criminal recidivism.  Considering the most serious studies on the subject of recidivism reflects 7 out of 10 inmates return to custody: affecting victims, taxpayers, the criminal justice system, offenders and their families.   As of December 2014, the tracking of successfully released participants to community equals 2,627 participants.  Of the 2,627 participants, only 4.4 out of 10 participants have returned to custody for various reasons: FTC, FTP and/or new charges. 

The Reintegration/ Recovery Program delivers a multi-dimensional educational/treatment approach to incarcerated individuals battling with substance abuse issues. The incarcerated individuals are having treatment needs met, educational issues addressed, while being instructed on thought, anger, relapse, and lifestyle techniques. Our program emphasizes post-release aftercare as well to ensure a successful reintegration into the community.

For the first time in El Paso County history, minimum to maximum security offenders are placed in a living environment together to begin rehabilitative treatment working towards the goal of providing them with the education, skills and therapy relevant to successful reintegration into the community. These offenders’ criminal charges range from lower level misdemeanor crimes to serious, violent felony crimes. They are required to comply with the regimented ward discipline and housing requirements, participate in classes and complete homework relevant to instruction. In addition, many of them work outside of the ward they live in either within the facility or in the community with contracted businesses.

Programs like Reintegration & Recovery and Gateways Through the Rockies are parts of a new wave of jail initiatives founded on well-substantiated principles of effectiveness in reducing offender re-offense rates. 


PROGRAM MINIMUM ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Inmates housed at El Paso County Jail (EPCJ) must meet the following criteria:

1. 90 days remaining on a county sentence
2. Non-violent offenders
3. No open felonies
4. No Class I write-ups in the past 3 years
5. No Class II write-ups in the past 60 days

Qualifications for Referred Inmates.  Ordered by the Judge to complete a minimum sentence to EPCJ of 90 days in the program (no early releases) and 90-day community transition referrals.

1. No Trustee time allowed by judge
2. Non-violent offenders
3. No open felonies
4. No Class I write-ups in the past 3 years
5. No Class II write-ups in the past 60 days
6. Final acceptance will be determined by the R&R staff

In accordance with Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1307: “If the inmate is sentenced to a DUI, DUI Per Se and/or Habitual User charge with an offense date after 07/01/2012, the sentence will be reviewed for notes from the court stating which numbered alcohol offense the inmate is sentenced. These notes will help determine if there is a ‘no wait’ for trusty status, 10-day, or 60-day mandatory incarceration period. Credit time served does count towards the mandatory incarceration period.”

Reintegration and Recovery:

This multi-disciplinary approach encompasses five components. First, education and therapy conducted by Certified Addiction Counselors to include intensive education and counseling that focuses on reintegration and recovery. Second, we obtained state licensure as a Weekly Outpatient Treatment Provider in Colorado (License #1701-03). Third, the education and therapy services received by the clients are accepted credited hours by any State or legal mandating agency. These agencies include the State of Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles, the State of Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board, the Department of Human Services, the Colorado Division of Adult Parole, and the 4th Judicial District Probation Department. Fourth, have sworn deputies assigned to the R&R housing unit become instructors and mentors in the Thinking for a Change curriculum. Fifth, provide case management specific to the offender’s identified issue(s) resulting in criminality behaviors to include:

Identifying and attempting to resolve any resistance to change the illegal and/or problematic attitudes and behaviors that ultimately result in a return to custody.  Provide the inmate participants with a network of social services agencies and community-based organizations that can provide these and any other needed services post-release for example medical/dental health treatment.  Assist the inmate participants in acquiring the life skills needed to succeed in the community as law-abiding citizens such as family reunification, housing, employment and vocational training, as well as “work” which will require the offender to maintain a schedule and commitment to a work ethic. 

Case Management specific to the offender’s identified issues resulting in criminality to include: (1) identifying and attempting to resolve any resistance to change the illegal and/or problematic attitudes and behaviors that ultimately resulted in a return to custody. (2) Provide the participant with a network of social services agencies and community-based organizations that can provide these and any other needed services post-release. (3) Assist the participant in acquiring the life skills needed to succeed in the community as a law-abiding citizen. (4) Work experience and perform Useful Public Service for the community in order to facilitate the transition from incarceration to productive citizenship.

During the R&R Program, the adult participants attend didactic psycho-educational classroom offerings. The classroom curriculum includes a cognitive-behavioral approach to domestic abuse, anger management, substance abuse recovery and relapse prevention, parenting and relationship skills, job seeking and employment skills, as well as post-release short-term and long-term life goals.

The R&R treatment utilizes the five critical components of effective treatment, as indicated by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and Domestic violence: (1) assessment, (2) patient-treatment matching, (3) comprehensive services, (4) relapse prevention, and (5) accountability

Levels Of Treatment Offered: 

Psycho-educational/media instruction: covers a vast area of identified problematic inmate behavior. The instructional curriculum includes the following: anger management; drugs, alcohol and addictive behaviors; substance (alcohol and/or elicit drug) use and/or abuse awareness.

Weekly Outpatient Treatment

  • Alcohol or Drug (AOD) Education and Therapy (Driving with Care Education and/or Therapy).
  • Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment: Strategies for Self-Improvement and Change.

 

Domestic Violence Offender Treatment: curriculum provided by the designated Colorado State approved DV Provider.

Individual Client Sessions: one-on one therapy specific to clients.

Thinking for a Change: instructional segment, which integrates cognitive restructuring of social skills, practices conflict management, identifies alternative decision-making options; and encourages the development of problem solving techniques.

General Elective Classes (must complete 8 credit hours during incarceration)

 

  • Basic Math
  • Independent Reading
  • Covey’s Seven Habits of Effective People
  • Resume Writing
  • Dave Ramsey –Wealth Building
  • Business Plans
  • Learning Spanish (tutorial)
  • Personal/Professional Development
  • Basic Computer classes
  • Love and Logic
  • GED study classes