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RDAP Program Structure

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The community discussions are crucial to successful treatment and the change process. RDAP relies on a therapeutic community of inmates and the belief that that recovering addicts can help other addicts off drugs and into recovery. Peers provide support and encouragement to each other, however, sometimes can be intensely confrontational. Inmates exhaustively learn criminal thinking patterns and their coping strategies.

Besides the therapeutic community, the program also uses three other types of groups for treatment:

First, “small groups”

To provide each inmate the opportunity to share his challenge in recovering with other participants on a more intimate level. A “reality check” of attitude and behaviors, which support recovery and are immediately reinforced. While attitudes and behavior, which signal relapse receive equally immediate scrutiny.

Second, “module group”

Designed to assist inmates in learning critical thinking and problem-solving skills using workbooks in a classroom environment. Class topics span from “rational thinking” to “lifestyle balance” to “relapse prevention”.

Finally, “self-help groups”

The twelve step programs, such as alcoholic anonymous (aa), narcotic anonymous (na), and smart recovery. As valuable components of the recovery process and serve as a support system.

These meetings can provide unconditional support in time of crisis. When you are in society and do not have peers or community professionals readily available.

Program phases

RDAP is comprised of three phases, each approximately 3 months in length.

Phase I

It begins with a two to three week orientation period. Followed by meetings with your primary drug treatment specialist (dts) to formulate an individualized treatment plan. Inmates must demonstrate their commitment and motivation to change their drug seeking behavior and criminal thinking.

Phases II and III

Participants continue to participate in module groups, small group therapy, community meetings, and evaluation. Inmates must prove to staff a commitment to change. As demonstrated in their thinking, behavior, attitude, and respect towards others.

A. Modified therapeutic community

The (RDAP) at the (BOP) is a modified therapeutic community. It’s stems from the belief that living in an environment where not only staff but also peers expect certain goals. Is a powerful form of therapy. Peer support is critical to the community and your treatment. The nature of the community requires that a great deal of interaction and sharing of issues take place in a public manner. Participants are expected to share information about themselves and their past in front of the community. To assist themselves and others in the change process. They are also expected to help each other by holding each other accountable for unacceptable behavior in private and in public. Community discussions are viewed as crucial to successful treatment. These meetings can be positive, intense, confrontational and challenging. Peers may, at times, provide support and encouragement to each other and at other times intense confrontation. In short, we believe that just as addicts get other people addicted to drugs. Recovering addicts can help other addicts off drugs and into recovery. Also, that people do not change because they see the light, but because they feel the heat. To make meaningful life changes and build a support program of recovery over addiction. The professional staff works closely with inmates in the community to create a positive and caring atmosphere. Where by residents can exert peer influence among each other.

B. Small Groups

This program utilizes a “small group”. Which provides for each inmate the opportunity to share his challenges. In sharing, he learns there is nothing he has experienced that has not been encountered by other group members. He also has a chance to practice new skills learned in module groups. The group serves as a “reality check”. Which attitudes and behavior support recovery and are immediately reinforced. While attitudes and behavior that signal a relapse receive equally immediate scrutiny. As part of the treatment, the community helps support a program of recovery for each inmate on the unit, through the various groups offered.

C. Module Groups

The program also places an emphasis on learning skills and putting these skills into action. Module groups are designed to assist participants in learning:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills (rational thinking).
  • Anger management, communication and interpersonal skills (living with others).
  • Recovery maintenance. Skills to avoid relapse in high-risk situations that lead to drug use.
  • A weighing of the costs and benefits of the criminal lifestyle and values that resulted in incarceration and victimization of others (criminal lifestyles).
  • An intense exploration of the pain that participants cause others (victim empathy).
  • Employment readiness. Skills to obtain employment.
  • Lifestyle balance. The development of a balanced lifestyle which includes physical, emotional and spiritual avenues to cope with stress.

In addition to the aforementioned modules, participants engage in personal responsibility and teaming. Personal responsibility involves weekly formal cleaning of the housing unit. Teaming allows for peers to formally team each participant. To assist each participant in identifying issues that are in need of change.

D. Self-help Groups

In addition to the skills that are taught in RDAP, we support the twelve steps groups and smart recovery as valuable components of the recovery process. The twelve step model is consistent with the goals of the community. To help addicts build a program of recovery from drugs and alcohol. Some participants choose to immediately reject AA and NA as a result of the spiritual component of these programs. As a result of the fact that these programs subscribe to the disease model of addiction. The disease model assumes that you are powerless over your addiction. This model can conflict with the bio-psychosocial model that is utilized in RDAP. Which asserts that although there are many factors (genetics, personality, societal influences, family environment, etc.) that contributed to one’s addiction, the individual is ultimately responsible for all the choices made in his life. Despite the differences, AA, GA, NA, and smart recovery can be used as a support system for a participant in his recovery. Upon release, self-help meetings are available to anyone who wishes to attend. Therefore, it is useful for participants to find a way to incorporate this into their recovery.

E. A Typical Treatment Day

A typical treatment day begins with A community meeting followed by a treatment activity. Treatment activities include:

  1. Personal responsibility –where participants take initiative for cleaning their units.
  2. Teaming. Where participants publicly evaluate another participant’s progress in treatment.
  3. Small group. A psychotherapy group. Or
  4. Module groups.
F. Phases I, II, and III

Phase I is approximately three months in length. It begins with a two to three week orientation period. Community members participate in structured activities under the direction of treatment staff, which critically examine their motivation for treatment. This is also a time for participants to develop an understanding of the importance and power of the treatment community. Participants meet with their primary drug treatment specialist (dts), who then formulates an individualized treatment plan. Each participant should direct questions about his treatment to his primary dts and should only attempt to speak to another staff member about his issue at the direction of his primary dts. This serves to minimize confusion and assures that one individual coordinates treatment. Participants engage in module groups, small group therapy, community meetings and evaluation as determined by their DTS. In phase I, participants must demonstrate their commitment and motivation to change their drug seeking behavior and criminal thinking. Participants who have not decided to stop using drugs or engaging in behaviors indicative of criminal thinking will not begin treatment. Participants will be given direct feedback during phase I about whether their behavior or behaviors are indicative of recovery. If an individual does not wish to change his lifestyle, he will not be permitted to continue in treatment. Phases II and III are each approximately three months in length. Participants continue to participate in all module groups, small group therapy, community meetings, and evaluation. Participants in phases ii and iii of the residential drug abuse program must have demonstrated to staff a commitment to change. It is very important for participants in these phases to continue to develop a program of recovery that is demonstrated in their thinking, behavior, attitude, and respect towards others. Participants will be given constant feedback about their progress. More precise and concrete feedback will be given every 60 days via 60-day reviews. Participants who perform poorly may meet with the entire treatment team in a formal meeting and their dts individually to develop a specific plan for improvement. More often, participants will meet with the community to include senior peer assistants, and/or the treatment team to be confronted with the problematic behavior.

G. Small Group Rules

Small group is a place for you to discuss issues on a more personal level as well as a place to try out new behaviors. It is a “lab” to practice and to work through important issues with the hope that you will one day be able to bring up these issues to the larger groups. Group works best when there is trust and support.

Patrick Boyce Federal Mitigation Specialist at NCIA is an expert in the field of prison consulting and a 2003 graduate of the RDAP program. Successful RDAP eligibility, admissions and support maximizes ones chances of a sentence reduction and early release. Timing is critical with the ever changing and complex requirements surrounding what documentation is deemed acceptable for RDAP admission, it is extremely important to contact us as early in the process as possible. For a free no-obligation case analysis contact Patrick now!

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