Long Term Treatment Benefits Inmates
The Residential Substance Abuse and Treatment (RSAT) Program at the Wicomico County Detention Center in Salisbury, Md. provides repeat offenders with six months to two years of holistic rehabilitation services to promote permanent lifestyle changes, the Delmarva Daily Times reported on July 5.
’Substance abuse is more of a symptom than a cause — something else is going on that they’re either trying to self-medicate or ease a difficult situation,’ said Doug Devenyns, founder of the program and director of the detention center.
’When you couple the addictions treatment with the … other treatment that addresses that underlying cause, then we get into a pretty effective scenario. The success rate starts going off the map.’
The RSAT program has graduated 20 offenders since its formation two years ago, and only 4 have relapsed.
While up to 75 percent of offenders commit additional crimes after their release, only 2 of the RSAT graduates have been re-arrested.
RSAT participants live apart from the general inmate population, attending counseling and classes in such subjects as parenting, conflict resolution and hygiene for a total of 10 hours a day.
Those without a high school diploma are also required to complete a GED program to maximize the effectiveness of their rehabilitation.
The program can only admit 34 residents due to limited resources and a strict screening process.
RSAT costs $300,000 a year, 75 percent of which is provided by the governor’s office, while the remainder is paid by the city of Salisbury.
’There is so much talent with that group alone that the world hasn’t yet seen, that is hidden behind addiction,’ said RSAT lead counselor Lynn Schofer. ’They deserve an opportunity to show it and live it.’