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Video Technology Connects CSOSA to Rivers

Submitted by Cedric R. Hendricks, Associate Director, Office of Legislative, Intergovernmental and Public Affairs
(CSOSA Newslink, Winter 2005)

On February 15, 2005, CSOSA's videoconferencing technology was put to yet another innovative use — facilitating a meeting between our Treatment Management Team and TIPS Supervisors with treatment staff and Unit Mangers at the Rivers Correctional Institution in Winton, North Carolina. They exchanged information about institutional and community-based substance abuse treatment services.

New Beginnings Treatment Program at Rivers

The Rivers staff said that they began their New Beginnings Treatment Program approximately 18 months ago. Sixty inmates are presently enrolled. Sixty inmates have graduated from the program. The program's duration is 9 months. To be eligible, inmates must be within 12 months of release. Participation is voluntary.

A typical day begins at 8:00 am with a Lecture Group session, which is followed by a Process Group session and a Peer Group session. A second series of these groups begins at 1:00 pm after lunch concludes. After the 4 pm count concludes, an evening group session is held. When participating inmates complete the program, they are returned to the general population.

The program's design includes three phases:

  1. Orientation (6 weeks — inmates are acquainted with life in a therapeutic community);
  2. Treatment (20 weeks — inmates address their chemical dependency); and,
  3. Reentry (16 weeks — inmates solidify new behaviors and focus on family reintegration).

CSOSA staff requested a list of the program's participants (past and present). CSOSA staff also requested a copy of the program's curriculum.

Finally, CSOSA staff asked that Rivers case managers include information regarding an inmate's participation in New Beginnings in their release packages (such as progress reports, certificates of completion and relapse prevention plans). They pointed out that this information would greatly assist us with our need assessments and case planning.

CSOSA Treatment Services

CSOSA staff explained that our agency offers supervised offenders substance abuse treatment services ranging from detox to outpatient. They pointed out that our assessment and case planning process seeks to identify the treatment modality that is most appropriate to meet an offender's needs.

Rivers Assistant Warden David Farmer requested a list of DC based treatment providers. He advised that this information would be provided to offenders with no community supervision obligation who may need substance abuse aftercare services upon their release.

The Future

This videoconference experience made clear the true benefit of face-to-face communication between CSOSA staff and institutional staff with a need to discuss programs and procedures. It facilitates clarity and understanding, as well as the development of close working relationships that can benefit our agency, the offenders and the public we serve. Earlier this year, a series of teleconferences was begun between CSOSA staff and staff at FCI Alderson to discuss the release planning process for female offenders. Perhaps videoconference technology can be used in the near future to enhance the quality of these exchanges.

News and Media

MEDIA CONTACT

For additional information on CSOSA media releases contact:


Leonard A. Sipes, Jr.

Senior Public Affairs Specialist


Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency

633 Indiana Avenue, NW Suite 1263

Washington, DC 20004

202-220-5616 (Work)

240-882-8274 (Cell)

leonard.sipes@csosa.gov