U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for Adult and Juvenile Prisoners in Colorado

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $155,007)

The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Formula Grant Program (RSAT) assists states and local governments in developing and implementing substance abuse treatment programs in state and local correctional and detention facilities. The RSAT Program also assists states and local governments in creating and maintaining community-based aftercare services for offenders who are released from institutionally based substance abuse programs. Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Formula Grant funds may be used to implement three types of programs. At least 10 percent of the total state allocation for FY 2007 shall be made available to local correctional and detention facilities (provided such facilities exist) for either residential substance abuse treatment programs or jail-based substance abuse treatment programs as defined below.

In 1991 the Colorado General Assembly passed legislation (HB-1173) to better manage substance abusing offenders. The law provided the foundation for the establishment of a process to standardize substance abuse assessment and treatment.

A standardized drug assessment process was developed and has been utilized in Colorado since that time. Over the past two years, the assessment process, including the assessment instruments, has been re-evaluated and re-validated for the Colorado population. The identified levels along the continuum of treatment range are:

Level 1: No Treatment
Level 2: Alcohol and Drug Education & Increased U/As
Level 3: Weekly Outpatient Therapy
Level 4a: Enhanced Outpatient Therapy
Level 4b: Intensive Outpatient Therapy
Level 4c: Intensive Residential Treatment
Level 4d: Therapeutic Community
Level 5: Mental Health/Medical Referral

The assessment process allows the state to focus treatment dollars on those offenders identified as needing specific treatment services. RSAT projects are required to focus on the offenders substance abuse through behavioral, social and vocational needs. By mandating the use of the Standardized Offender Assessment process, Colorado has eliminated the 'one size fits all' response to offender services. The Colorado project targets treatment for offenders identified at Level 4c and 4d. Colorado has been a national leader in prison-based therapeutic communities and community corrections-based therapeutic communities for years.

The juvenile correctional system has a similar assessment process that is targeted specifically at the juvenile population. This process incorporates gender-specific assessments that further define appropriate treatment levels.


Date Created: July 2, 2007