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Residential Substance Abuse Treatment

In 1997, a federal grant began funding in-prison, long-term Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (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 located at the 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. North Carolina's Section of Prisons also offers a variety of vocational enhancement programs. The opportunity for successful re-entry into the local community is a major priority of both SOP 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.