Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $223,169)
The Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) operates two (2) in-prison residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programs at the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp (WHCC) in Newcastle, WY. The programs are a sixty-four (64) bed female Intensive Treatment Unit ( ITU) and a sixty-four (64) bed male ITU. The purpose of the WDOC RSAT project is to support and enhance the ITU programs through the use of peer specialists and a Substance Abuse Treatment Coordinator.
Primary activities of this project include continued funding and utilization of four (4) peer specialist positions within the ITU programs. The Peer Specialists will assist clients by finding resources, advising the client of processes, encouraging follow through with proposed resolutions, and locating social activities. They accompany clients to meetings/community groups to advocate for client needs and lead recovery dialogues/self-help sessions with clients. Peer specialists foster the client’s development of healthy relationships by encouraging participation in community activities, modeling effective coping and self-help techniques, providing advice on empowerment skills and successful community living, and informing clients on community resources. Additionally, WDOC will be hiring a Substance Abuse Treatment Coordinator to ensure clients are referred to the correct level of treatment and are tracked throughout their time with WDOC. This will allow for better data collection, continuity of care, and more timely access to services resulting in a higher number of clients receiving treatment while incarcerated.
The expected outcomes are to increase access to SUD treatment for WDOC inmates with an assessed need, increase successful completions of SUD treatment, and decrease recidivism rates among this population.
Although the ITU programs are located in Newcastle, the WDOC RSAT Project serves all of Wyoming as inmates will be discharging to communities throughout the state. Additionally, services provided benefit all Wyoming communities as SUD is crucial to the successful reintegration of offenders as they are released from prison. Completing SUD allows offenders to be more successful and productive members of society and reduces the likelihood of recidivism.
The intended beneficiaries for this project include WDOC inmates with an identified SUD need and the Wyoming communities these inmates will be releasing to.