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Two recommendations that will positively affect the life of prisoners

Counselors should be especially aware of signs of suicidal ideation. A more common problem is, perhaps, the lack of identity and accompanying hopelessness that many offenders face. Some offenders feel relatively little anxiety regarding their incarceration, and many believe that being in prison and participating in prison culture are the norm. Others feel they are the victims of society, and still others take pride in belonging to an alternative culture e.

Unlike jail detainees, who are likely to be incarcerated for short terms, prisoners often learn to identify as inmates as a matter of survival. In part, this is a result of institutional pressures on them, and partly it is the result of interactions with other inmates who have accepted the role or persona of a prisoner. Gender-Specific Issues Gender in particular is a defining category for treatment and recovery in prison settings. Populations are segregated by gender so that in addition to the difference in psychosocial issues facing male and female inmates, the character and experience of men's and women's prisons are widely divergent.

Programs must be attuned to the differences inherent in treating men and women within a prison setting. Men in prisons The consensus two recommendations that will positively affect the life of prisoners suggests that, where possible, programs provide specific groups and educational curricula that emphasize the gender-specific aspects of treatment.

For example, issues related to relationships and to fatherhood should be explored. Fathers may be encouraged to participate in parenting education, with an emphasis on responsibilities and the impact of neglect, anger, and abuse on children. Employing both male and female counselors is helpful in an all-male program, as male inmates may be less guarded and confrontational with female staff. Treatment staff also should focus on gender dynamics that affect many male participants' willingness to assess honestly their own conduct, typically including behaviors such as avoiding responsibility, excessively blaming others, and repressing feelings.

For many incarcerated men, learning to express anger in healthy and constructive ways is vital. Violence prevention groups may help participants explore thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are often the underpinnings of violent behavior and sexual aggression—issues such as a lack of empathy, narcissism, anger management problems, an overblown sense of entitlement, and the lack of effective thinking skills and sense of self-efficacy.

Research shows that sexual offenders may be at greater risk for violent assaults by other offenders Brady 1993. Women in prisons Incarcerated women typically have a constellation of high-risk environmental, medical, and mental health issues as well as behaviors associated with continued or renewed substance abuse CSAT 1999b.

In the prison environment, these factors can operate as influences to relapse. They include antisocial behavior, emotional problems, the trauma of imprisonment, and the separation of the inmate from her family and loved ones, especially children.

2. Employment Rehabilitation for Inmates

Problematic behaviors and the attitudes that influence them have two recommendations that will positively affect the life of prisoners developed over many years and often have their roots in childhood trauma. Often, the trauma and related negative influences of imprisonment counteract the value of services provided by the in-prison treatment provider.

Women inmates' identities in most cases are tied to one or more of these roles. For some women, interference with these roles produces stress because of the loss of affection and security normally provided by their families, which can also trigger substance abuse. Women's Intensive Treatment Program View in own window National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA -sponsored research indicates that three frequent treatable problem areas in women's lives are substance abuse, recurring criminal behavior, and personality disorder.

The 9-month residential program is composed of individualized treatment planning, focused treatment modules, and work or school. It is geared toward offenders with 3 years remaining to serve, whose psychopathy is not too severe for the program, and who, after screening, are considered able to benefit from treatment.

Modules include anger management, moral problem solving, addiction awareness, relapse prevention, early memories, trauma recovery, social skills, and empowerment. Six key treatment principles guide the treatment process: It is important that in-prison treatment two recommendations that will positively affect the life of prisoners work with female participants to help create healthy prosocial relationships to meet these needs. Female inmates can draw the strength to change in a new peer group, rather than feel pressure from their old peer group to conform by engaging in drug-taking or criminal behavior.

Additionally, a strong core of female staff provides opportunities for role modeling and for developing healthy noncoercive relationships with inmate participants. Because the prison population tends to be incarcerated for longer periods than jail inmates, treatment possibilities in a prison setting are more extensive, depending on funding and other factors. Counselors and prison administrators may establish programs that are long term and comprehensive.

Substance abuse issues may be addressed along with behavioral, emotional, and psychological problems. Ideally, prisoners have the opportunity to abstain from substances and learn new behaviors before release. Treatment Intensity Treatment in a prison setting can vary greatly in the setting and intensity of the program.

On the most intense end of the spectrum, the TC is a treatment model that attempts to create a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week treatment environment that integrates community, work, counseling, and education activities. Ideally, the program activities take place apart from the general prison population. Complete isolation from the general population is somewhat unusual, however. Less intensive treatment programs may simply deliver counseling, education, and other treatment services in a manner similar to outpatient programs.

Inmates live in the general population and have assignments or appointments for services. Examples include weekly or twice-weekly individual therapy, weekly group therapy, or a combination of the two in association with self-help activities. Regardless of whether treatment occurs in a TC or as isolated outpatient sessions, intensity generally decreases over time as the individual meets treatment goals and moves through the stages of recovery. Treatment Components In-prison treatment incorporates several different models, approaches, and philosophies for the treatment of substance use disorders, as described in the following section.

Counseling In its prison study, CASA found that 65 percent of prisons provide substance abuse counseling. Of those, 98 percent offered group counseling and 84 percent offered individual counseling. Nearly one-quarter 24 percent of State inmates and 16 percent of Federal inmates participated in group counseling while incarcerated CASA 1998. Group counseling As the most common treatment method, group counseling seeks to address the underlying psychological and behavioral problems that contribute to substance abuse by promoting self-awareness and behavioral change through interactions with peers CASA 1998.

Although the intensity and duration of group therapy can vary, trained professionals typically lead groups of 8 to 10 inmates several times a week with the expectation that participants will commit to and engage in meaningful change in an emotionally safe environment.

Group sessions typically range from 1 to 2 hours in length. Cognitive-behavioral groups Substance abuse treatment programs in correctional settings should be organized according to empirically supported approaches i.

Programs based on nondirective approaches or medical models or those focusing on punishment or deterrence have not been shown to be effective Peters and Steinberg 2000. Such interventions concentrate on the effects of thoughts and emotions on behaviors, and include strategies e.

Examples of cognitive-behavioral group interventions include the National Institute of Corrections' Thinking for a Change curricula online at www.

  • For some women, interference with these roles produces stress because of the loss of affection and security normally provided by their families, which can also trigger substance abuse;
  • Also, evaluation studies usually test the efficacy of program models such as the TC and rarely test the effectiveness of individual treatment techniques;
  • The federal prison system is operating at 40 percent above capacity.

In REBT, the client's thinking patterns are also the focus of attention. Individuals who abuse substances tend to think automatically, in rigid terms, and with overgeneralizations.

Rationalizations are also commonly used by offenders to justify maladaptive behaviors, including substance abuse and a range of other criminal behaviors.

Clients are taught to be aware of their thinking patterns and to challenge their assumptions. Once these errors in a client's thinking are pointed out, they can be changed. Correcting the client's thoughts can lead to exploration of alternative behaviors and attitudes that do not involve substances. Specialty groups Specialized treatment groups are often organized around a shared life experience e. Specialty groups offer a chance to work on specific issues that may be impeding other treatment initiatives or require special attention not readily available in the regular program.

Two types of specialty groups are briefly described below. Anger management groups are widely used in drug treatment programs. They are especially helpful for inmates who are either passive and nonassertive or express anger in an explosive fashion.

By careful analysis of emotional reactions to painful and threatening experiences, treatment staff help the inmate learn to manage anger in a more socially acceptable manner.

5 Rewarding Types of Rehabilitation for Inmates

Two recommendations that will positively affect the life of prisoners example, inmates may feel incapable of expressing negative feelings verbally. Instead of responding appropriately to a provocation, they allow feelings to build up, which leads to a delayed explosive reaction. Learning to express angry feelings verbally and in an appropriate manner helps inmates feel more competent about interpersonal relationships.

Very successful groups have been organized around parenting issues. Although the perspective may differ for females and males, bonds to children can help motivate the recovery process for both genders and can contribute to a successful re-entry into the community. Practitioners have found that both men and women need to focus on developing parenting skills and overcoming patterns of neglect, abandonment, and abuse. As a result of parenting work, some program participants have tried to find their children and establish relationships with them upon release to the community.

The process of becoming a responsible parent can be a critical component in the recovery process. Family counseling Family therapy is a systems approach that often focuses on large family networks.

When possible, involvement of a family member in an individual's treatment program can help prepare the individual for parole. Often caution needs to be exercised when involving families of offenders because of high degrees of antisocial behavior and psychological disturbance. Individual counseling Individual counseling is an important part of substance abuse treatment. Counselors may operate from many different philosophical and theoretical orientations and employ a variety of therapeutic approaches in individual therapy.

The common feature of such sessions is that inmates in a private consultation are free to explore more sensitive issues, which they might not be ready to discuss in a group. Individual sessions also provide a place where a counselor can coach inmates on relapse prevention techniques such as how to recognize specific high-risk situations, personal cues, and other warning signs of relapse. Like group counseling, individual therapy strives to help offenders develop and maintain an enhanced self-image and accept personal responsibility CASA 1998.

It can act as an important adjunct to group therapy. Additionally, skilled psychologists and social workers who offer individual therapy to offenders play a role in the development and review of a client's treatment plan. Self-help groups Self-help groups, found in a majority of State and Federal prisons, are frequently a crucial component of recovery and can provide a great deal of support to recovering offenders.

Self-help groups provide peer support and may serve as therapeutic bridges from incarceration to the community. Self-help programs were founded by individuals who found conventional help inadequate or unavailable. These individuals shared common problems and a personal commitment to do something about their condition.

Instead, they are programs based on a philosophy of self-responsibility. The philosophy involves a powerful belief system that requires individuals to commit to their own healing. For many, this approach has proven inspiring and successful. A major focus of the self-help approach is altering the fundamental beliefs and overall lifestyles of participants. By taking responsibility for their own problems, individuals can gain control over their situation and develop a new sense of self-respect and competence.

Recovering role models provide support and guidance.

  1. A 1998 inventory of state and federal correctional information systems found that 20 states had electronic information systems that could identify offenders with physical disabilities at admission, 22 had systems that could identify inmates with mental or emotional problems, and 22 could identify inmates with specialized medical conditions.
  2. Additionally, the relationships built within these community groups can lead to job opportunities—a crucial step for reentry to society and elimination of recidivism. Women prisoners also are more likely to report medical problems after admission than men BJS, 2001b.
  3. The prevalence of mental illnesses appears to rise when moving from local jails to state prisons.

The entire approach can result in far-reaching changes in personal lifestyles and social relationships. In general, the self-help movement successfully instills the more positive aspects of individualism—self-reliance and responsibility—while also stressing the importance of group effort in overcoming common problems. The concept of empowerment is perhaps the most central to understand the positive effects of self-help groups.

For other benefits, see below.