ACDP Program Types
ACDP prison-based programs operate within selected minimum and medium custody prison units approved by the Division of Prisons. The ACDP Director/Administrator is responsible for administering the treatment program; and the prison superintendent or warden is responsible for all matters pertaining to custody, security and administration of the prison.
Eligibility for prison-based treatment programs is established during admission at a diagnostic processing unit within the Division of Prisons. ACDP staff administers the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI), a severity indicator of a substance abuse problem, during diagnostic processing. Based on the screening results, prison staff makes the initial referral to treatment. Upon admission to a treatment program, ACDP staff complete a thorough “Common Assessment” on all participants, which further defines the history and extent of the substance abuse problem. The SASSI and the Common Assessment together establish the final recommended treatment placement for inmates in a ACDP program thereby matching the offender’s treatment needs to the appropriate level of treatment.
ACDP provides intermediate and long-term treatment services for male and female inmates. Intermediate programs are 90-days in length. Long-term treatment programs last 4-12 months and are back-end loaded, that is, inmates successfully complete the program and then leave prison immediately or soon thereafter returning to the community. Both programs share the following key elements:
- Use of Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions as the focus of treatment;
- Incorporation of evidence-based treatment modules;
- Gender-specific curriculum;
- Activities that support building a drug/alcohol/crime-free lifestyle;
- Three phases: Orientation, Main Treatment, and Relapse Prevention, Release and Reintegration preparation; and
- Individual and group counseling services that focus on the thinking and behavioral patterns that have caused the inmate’s current involvement with the criminal justice system.
One hallmark of the prison-based ACDP programs is the use of treatment assistants-current inmates in recovery from alcoholism and/or drug addiction. The concept of treatment assistants helping the treatment team is an integral part of corrections treatment design. Treatment assistants have completed residential treatment in their current sentences. Six months after the completion of treatment, inmates may choose to enter the treatment assistant application process. Selected male candidates attend an intensive 10-week training program at the Treatment Assistant Development Center at Wayne Correctional Center.
Community-Based Residential Programs
The Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency Programs has two community-based residential treatment facilities, DART Cherry and Black Mountain Substance Abuse Treatment Center for Women.
- DART Cherry is a community-based residential treatment facility located in Goldsboro, NC that provides substance abuse treatment services to male offenders who are on probation and parole and under the supervision of the Division of Community Corrections. DART-Cherry offers a 90-day therapeutic community (TC) program
Black Mountain Substance Abuse Treatment Center for Women is a community-based residential facility located in Black Mountain, NC that provides substance abuse treatment services to female offenders who are on probation and parole and under the supervision of the Division of Community Corrections. Black Mountain offers a 90-day treatment program.
Judges may order participation in a community-based residential treatment program as a condition of probation or the Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission may order participation as a condition of parole/Post Release. General Statute §15A-1343(b)(3) mandates that participation of probationers in a residential program must be based on a screening and assessment that indicate chemical dependency. Representatives from Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC) complete the assessment in the community to determine the offender’s eligibility for a community-based program.
Upon completion of a community-based program, the offender’s counselor develops a complete aftercare plan. The offender returns home and remains under the supervision of his probation/parole officer to ensure continued treatment follow-up in the community and the completion of his/her aftercare plan.
Community-based facilities do not have a dedicated detoxification unit. Offenders requiring detoxification are not appropriate for assignment to a community-based facility.
RSAT (Residential Substance Abuse Treatment)
In 1997, a federal grant began funding in-prison, long-term RSAT programs. The Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency Programs was awarded four grants to implement four RSAT programs at the following prison facilities: Morrison Correctional Institution, North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, Rowan Correctional Center and Western Youth Institution. All four of these programs were later converted to state-funded programs. Currently, ACDP has one RSAT program operating at Polk Correctional Institution. In the spring of 2012, an additional RSAT program will be implemented at Dan River Prison Work Farm.
RSAT programs involve three to four hours of daily chemical dependency treatment. Programs follow a three phase schedule:
- Intake/Orientation lasts up to eight weeks and focuses on the tasks of entering treatment and learning the language and behavioral expectations thereby allowing inmates to begin taking ownership of the problems that their chemical use has created for them, their families, and community.
- Drug Education focuses on providing inmates with thorough and current information regarding the effects of using, abusing and becoming dependent on alcohol and/or drugs. Criminal and Addictive Thinking is presented to provide the link between the inmate’s involvement with alcohol and drugs and their criminal lifestyle choices. Socialization needs are also identified to assist the offender in rebuilding important family relationships.
Relapse Prevention Planning and Release and Reintegration needs are focused on the last 60-90 days remaining on the inmate’s sentence. Inmates who complete their high school or GED programs are afforded the opportunity to enroll in college level courses. The NC Division of Prisons (DOP) also offers a variety of vocational enhancement programs. The opportunity for successful re-entry into the local community is a major priority of both DOP and ACDP program staff.
RSAT program staff coordinates a three-month post-release community transition aftercare plan. This is an essential part of the continuum of care. The newly released offender has a referral to his local TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities) agency to assist in the readjustment to community living and to address any continuing treatment needs based on the treatment team’s recommendation at the time of release from prison.