Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $205,848)
The Alaska Department of Corrections (AKDOC) is a unified system that manages both jail and prison services statewide. Each year approximately 30,000 individuals are remanded. The AKDOC has seen addiction, along with the Opioid epidemic, has played a role in the increased number of offenders entering and remaining in the AKDOC system. This project has the potential to affect the entire State of Alaska, as Hiland Mountain Correctional Center (HMCC) and Wildwood Correctional Center (WCC) house offenders from all walks of life and geographical areas to include urban areas to rural remote villages. Additionally, this project has the potential to serve a cross section of cultures. The AKDOC proposes to use the grant funding to continue to support the substance use treatment services, specifically the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) programs located at HMCC and WCC. The target population for this program is male and female felons who have an identified substance use disorder, medium or higher custody level, and have enough time remaining on sentencing to complete the program. In addition, given that fact the Alaska correctional system is a unified system, it may incorporate individuals incarcerated on pre-trial status who have an identified substance use disorder and are believed to have enough time to complete the program. With this funding the AKDOC will provide programming/services that aid in the reduction of the rate of recidivism for the offenders who complete the RSAT program, increase public safety by supporting offenders for prosocial lifestyles and aid in the connection of individuals to the level of services needed, provide access and education about Medication Assisted Treatment Re-Entry (MATR) available for participants including assistance in connecting with services after release, reducing the impact the Opioid epidemic on the State of Alaska, and breaking the cycle of multi-generational addiction widely prevalent in Alaska. The MATR programs already established at HMCC and WCC utilize a Modified Therapeutic Community (MTC) modality and focus on a Cognitive Behavioral approach to address offenders’ criminal thoughts, behaviors, and lifestyles along with treating their addiction(s). The length of the program is six to nine months with a built-in mechanism which addresses aftercare needs in the community upon their release. This program is a collaborative effort between the AKDOC staff and multiple community-based substance abuse treatment programs with the common goal of providing meaningful services to as many offenders as possible.