Educational opportunities are available to inmates ranging from basic literacy to college courses. Completion of the GED, a technical program or associate degree shall earn the inmate 90 days of Educational Good Time. Academic education is offered weekdays. An inmate who has not completed high school may earn a GED and receive a $100.00 award for earning her GED at the institution. If she is a high school graduate, she may brush up on her academic skills in order to qualify for a specific technical education program. Technical education opportunities are available to all qualified inmates. Vocational and college counselling is also available to ensure that an inmate is placed in the program best suited to her needs and abilities. The school offers one full-time vocational program during the day, Horticulture and one part-time evening vocational program, Microsoft Office Specialist. Jefferson Community & Technical College offers the Associate of Arts and Associate of Science.
COUNSELLING AND THERAPY GROUPS
The Division of Mental Health offers a myriad of individual and group counseling and therapy opportunities; the Division is developing programs to meet the needs of the severely mentally ill population.
Sex Offender Treatment is a program that consists of individual and group counseling geared to provide tools that inmates can use for controlling their sexually assaultive behavior. Inmates apply and are screened for acceptance into the program that typically takes eighteen months to two years to complete. The program provides treatment for sex offenders to allow them to manage their deviant behavior and thoughts. Inmates who committed their crimes and who were convicted after July 15, 1998 are mandated by law to complete the program before they are eligible to meet the parole board.
The Sex Offender Treatment Program is open to those inmates who meet the entry criteria.
Understanding is the key to breaking the cycle of domestic violence. This program is an eight-week program that is geared to helping domestic violence offenders learn how to stop using violence to control their relationships. They discover that destructive behaviors are connected to a pattern of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings. Learning to understand each of these, along with awareness of body responses, provides a valuable early warning. With reading assignments, writing assignments, group discussions, and videos, participants learn many effective alternatives and practical skills, which will give them the power to make new choices and create a different way of handling domestic situations.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND SELF-HELP GROUP PROGRAMS
Substance Abuse Program
This is a voluntary six-month program designed to address substance abuse and behavior modification issues and teach inmates the tools to effectively combat their addiction. The program is approximately six to seven months in length. It is targeted toward inmates convicted of drug charges.
The WILLOW (Women Invested in Learning and Loving Ourselves Well) program is designed for women with co-occurring disorders. The program offers a full schedule of group therapy sessions that target issues like recovery from trauma and abuse, anger management, mental health wellness, grief work, addiction treatment and successful re-entry into the community. In addition to group therapy, each participant is seen individually on a monthly basis. Treatment programming also promotes self-esteem, and the overall empowerment of women. WILLOW programming utilizes various Evidence Based Practice (EBP) models for a minimum of six months in a modified therapeutic community format.
Challenges is a six month program serving the severely mentally ill population. The most common disorders that are treated are Bipolar disorder, Major Depression disorder, Schizophrenia, Anxiety disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress disorder. Inmates who may be struggling with symptoms of their mental illness that are impeding in their daily functioning have the opportunity to learn ways of healthy coping in a structured environment. The goal is to help adjust successfully to life outside prison. A team of mental health professionals provide inmates with a variety of therapeutic interventions including individual counseling, group counseling, medication therapy, and recreational therapy, all within a social learning environment. They meet weekly with a Social Service Clinician and monthly with a Staff Psychologist. Together, they will develop a treatment plan that describes their individual goals. Group counseling is held daily with attendance and participation being required. Challenges is designed to help inmates develop realistic thinking, pro-social behaviors, and emotional regulation.
Moral Recognition Therapy
Moral Recognition Therapy (MRT) is a systematic, cognitive-behavioral, step-by-step treatment strategy designed to enhance self-image; promote growth of a positive, productive identity; and facilitate the development of higher stages of moral reasoning. The program takes approximately six months to complete, but there is no set time frame to the program, as the inmate must complete each of the twelve steps before moving on to the next. Some of the early steps are done in a group setting, with the group deciding if the inmate has successfully completed each step.
There is a $25.00 fee to each inmate to cover the cost of the workbook used to record the twelve steps.
Seeking Safety is an educational group being offered by Northkey Community Care’s Female Reentry Case Managers. This group will target problems specifically related to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and substance abuse.
Anger Management is a cognitive-skill program that promotes growth and positive change in their mood development. The program takes approximately 6 months to complete, but there is no set time frame, as the inmate must complete each of her steps.
The pathfinders program provides a cognitive-skills program that involves team building, problem solving, life management, communication, and stress management. It is a four-month program and is available to all inmates.
This program is based on the twelve-step principle to promote personal recovery from alcohol and to prevent relapse. The program is open to any inmate, but specifically geared toward those with alcohol addictions whose lives have become powerless due to alcoholism. Life Without a Crutch is a substance abuse class. This class meets one time a week for approximately twelve weeks.
Narcotics Anonymous program is a self-referred, twelve-step program of recovery from drug addiction and is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. The program is open to any inmate, but targeted toward those with substance abuse issues and teaches measures to prevent relapse. Inmates with a history of drug abuse are recommended to attend weekly meetings to promote sobriety and addiction awareness.
Parenting classes increase student awareness concerning children and human relations. These classes teach alternative discipline techniques as well as provide growth and development information. In addition to gaining information and knowledge about acquiring the skills to become better parents, many students are “re-parented”.
In 2 Work
This program is designed to provide hands-on training that consists of three phases – kitchen basics, retail basics, and servsafe certification, which is highly regarded in the food service industry. The program is available to inmates assigned to the food service area and those closest to their release date. Basic reading and writing skills are taught.
Paws With Purpose
This program trains service dogs to help individuals with disabilities. The inmate trainers help Paws with Purpose train four different types of dogs. Service dogs are trained to help individuals with limited mobility, signal dogs are partnered with individuals with hearing impairments, facility dogs are trained to work in professional facilities such as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, and assisted-service dogs are trained to help children and adults with disabilities.
Inmates are allowed to participate in special visit programs that are designed to foster relationships with their newborns and/or children. Mothers of newborns and young babies (birth to age 3) may have two bonding visits each week for a maximum of two hours each time, except on Saturday and Sunday. Visits must be scheduled five days in advance.
Visitors must be on the inmates approved visiting list.
This program is open to children ages three through twelve years of age once every three months. The children are separated into age-appropriate groups: ages 3-5, ages 6-9, and ages 10-12. Recreational staff plan and coordinate activities to include: games, reading, arts & crafts, and recreation. Each child is provided two pictures and a gift.
Inmates may participate in a variety of indoor and outdoor recreation activities and programs. These activities include, but are not limited to, movies, individual video workout, pool, tennis, video games and team sports (i.e. volleyball and pickleball). Recreation also oversees arts and crafts projects and the purchase of musical instruments.
A variety of religious activities is available including Mass, Sunday Services, and Bible Study. Numerous community religious groups come to the institution throughout the year to provide additional services.