CONCORD — State corrections officials announced they have launched a special tier in the State Prison for Men that is dedicated to the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.
The 80-bed Focus Unit is the final such unit to open at corrections facilities. Others have already opened at the Northern Correctional Facility and the State Prison for Women.
The Focus Unit bills itself as a modified therapeutic community inside the prison, the Corrections Department said in a news release. It integrates group treatment and peer mentoring. The unit offers motivational strategies, alcohol/drug refusal skills, relationship repair, communication skills, anger management, problem-solving and long-term abstinence and recovery skills.
Focus Unit inmates must show a willingness to engage and do the work, the Corrections Department said.
“I am proud to be a part of the energy residents show when they are beginning to tackle the challenges of their struggles with substance use disorder and watching their growth and personal change,” said Heidi Guinen, deputy director of forensic services for the Corrections Department.
Participants use colored wrist bands to mark their progress in the program: red, the most restrictive stage; blue, for actively engaged in treatment; black for completion of the clinical phase and mentor status.
The program also provides case managers to help inmates find outpatient support services upon release.