Utah Department of Corrections

Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Utah's prisons administer substance-abuse treatment programs aimed at helping to address underlying issues affecting the majority of its population. The programs are in high demand and are evidence-based methods proven to reduce recidivism (click here for research). Despite popular myths, a small portion of the prison population is incarcerated for drug possession alone, many have underlying substance abuse struggles that contributed to other crimes, such as theft, burglary, and forgery. 

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Con-Quest
Ex-Cell
HOPE/CARE
Research
Substance Abuse Task Force 


Con-Quest (Males only - USP Draper):

conquest4

Synopsis: Con-Quest is based up the therapeutic community model. It is designed to facilitate a successful re-entry into society by teaching responsible living. Not only do the men learn the principles of responsible living, but they are immersed in them. They practice and live those principles on a daily basis. They have responsibilities to perform everyday, and they are held accountable to complete their responsibilities. Con-Quest also seeks to support the development of work responsibilities/skills to enhance employment and career opportunities by facilitating Davis Applied Technical College certificate programs as well as access to Canyon’s School District. Con-Quest promotes a 40-hour productivity model. Offenders participate in literacy education, GED, high school completion, vocational training, etc. Con-Quest encourages employment options for offenders. The treatment team monitors participant progress. 

 

Duration: 12 months (minimum requirement)

Philosophy: First, let us know these things: that our lives matter, because we are here with potential; that we are not victims of circumstances; that to be free, we must master our own habits; that we can be part of something greater than ourselves, and thereby find the greatest part of ourselves. Then, let us do these things: humble ourselves to learning; learn to be learners out of respect for our own potential, our family, friends, community, and out of respect for those who teach us. Take courage against our fears and be steady in our efforts. Help each other, draw strength from each other. For the one who falls low can bring us all down unless we help him rise, and the one who rises high can take us all higher if we strive together.

Summary of Treatment ProgramCon-Quest is an inpatient substance abuse treatment program at the Utah State Prison and consists of 400 residents participating in treatment. Individuals participating in Con-Quest can expect to be in the program of a minimum of 12 months to qualify for completion. Con-Quest provides individual and group therapy with licensed clinicians and behavioral modification classes to prepare the men for transition from prison to the community.

Those offenders with substance-abuse dependence or abuse and a Case Action Plan (CAP) of substance abuse as priority one or two are eligible for participation. Offenders who have a CAP priority Sex-Offender Treatment are not eligible for this program unless they have already completed sex-offender treatment. The Con-Quest resident will complete courses on the following topics: Recovery Maintenance, Victim Impact, Domestic Violence, Love and Logic, Why Try, Thinking for a Change, Anger Management, Trauma/PTSD (EMDR, TREM, and Helping Men Recover), Conflict Resolution, Why Try, Communication Skills and other cognitive based curriculum. 

The Program at-a-glance:

• Inmates (called residents here) live in a dormitory-style housing atmosphere, bunking with inmates in their dorm in a team-building atmosphere.

• Residents "call each other out" for behavior contrary to the program's standards, unlike other parts of the prison where this would be socially unacceptable. This includes even something as simple as failing to wipe down a sink. In this program, it is expected that residents will hold one another accountable to a higher standard. Punishments often entail light-hearted, albeit embarrassing, performances in front of peers, as deemed fit by a council of fellow residents.

• Each resident is expected to participate in classes as well as group and individual therapy offered by staff. 

• Male residents are required to attend various meetings and classes, including orientation, rational thinking, criminal lifestyles, wellness, living with others, lifestyle balance, recovery and maintenance, transition, choice and change, and "Why Try" classes. Generally, treatment lasts from 12 to 18 months, culminating in a graduation ceremony attended by family.

• Substance abuse educational courses are also offered for offenders waiting to enroll in Con-Quest.

 

Impacts on recidivism: Recidivism rates are much lower for residents who complete one of the three therapeutic community treatment programs (Con-Quest, Hope, or Ex-Cell). Recent research indicates residents of the TC programs at the Utah State Prison have a return-to-prison rate that is approximately one-third of those who leave prison without program participation.


Ex-Cell (Females only - USP Draper):  

Synopsis: Ex-Cell is based on a therapeutic community model (TC), but it's designed to be sensitive to the gender-responsive needs of females, addressing biological, social and cultural differences specific to them. It is designed to facilitate a successful re-entry into society by teaching responsible living. Not only do the women learn the principles of responsible living, but they are immersed in it. They practice responsible living on a daily basis. 

groupbackThe TC seeks to support the development of work responsibilities/skills to enhance employment and career opportunities by facilitating Davis Applied Technical College certificate programs as well as access to Canyon’s School District. Ex-Cell promotes a forty-hour productivity model.  Residents participate in literacy education, GED, high school completion, vocational training, etc.  Ex-Cell encourages employment options for offenders.  The treatment team monitors participant progress.

 

Duration of Program: 9 months (minimum requirement)

Brief Summary of Treatment ProgramEx-Cell is a TC substance abuse treatment program at the Utah State Prison and consists of 143 residents participating in treatment. Ex-Cell offers gender responsive and trauma informed psycho/educational classes and group and individual therapy. Individuals participating in Ex-Cell can expect to be in the program of a minimum of 9 months to qualify for completion. Ex-Cell  provides individual and group therapy with licensed clinicians, and behavioral modification classes to prepare the residents for transition from prison to the community.

Those offenders assessed by our therapists to have a moderate to severe substance use disorder and a Case Action Plan (CAP) of substance abuse as priority one or two are eligible for participation. 

The Ex-Cell resident will complete courses on the following topics: Recovery Maintenance, “Love and Logic” Parenting, “Why Try,” “Thinking for a Change,” Anger Management, Trauma/PTSD Recovery (EMDR, TREM, Helping Women Recover, Seeking Safety, Healing the Trauma of Abuse), Conflict Resolution, Healthy Sexuality, Communication Skills, Accepting Responsibility, co-dependency, cognitive self change, self esteem, grief and other cognitive behavioral based curriculum. 

Recidivism Rates: Recidivism rates are much lower for residents who complete one of the three therapeutic community treatment programs (Con-Quest, Hope, or Ex-Cell).  Recent research indicates programs at the Utah State Prison have a return-to-prison rate that is a one-third of the numbers of those who leave prison without program participation.

Expectations for Ex-Cell Residents:

 

Resident Responsibilities - Each Resident participates in, and contributes to, all activities of daily life in the TC. This gives the Resident the opportunity to learn many different social roles such as Peer, Friend, Leader and Mentor. Residents participate in the process of changing themselves and setting the example of positive change for others.

Resident FeedbackResidents are the primary source of teaching and support for personal change. Giving feedback to each Resident is a shared responsibility and is necessary forresidents of the TC individual and community success.

Residents as Role Models – Each Resident strives to be a role model for other Residents. Every Resident must be an example by displaying actions of positive change.

Individual Change – The TC Residents engage in the process of change primarily with their peers. Education and therapeutic activities occur in groups, meetings, job functions, and recreational activities. The learning and healing experiences needed for recovery and personal growth, take place in a community or group setting.

Sharing Values – Sharing beliefs and values serve as guidelines for self-help.

Community Work – Structured work in the community includes the many jobs needed to maintain daily operations of the facility.  This work is primarily for self-development.  Learning occurs not only through skills training, but also through adhering to guidelines, accepting and respecting supervision, and behaving as a responsible Resident of the community – being someone on whom others can depend.

Open Communication - The public nature of community experiences is for therapeutic purposes.  The life of each individual Resident, her feelings and thoughts, are matters of importance to the recovery and change process, not only for her, but also for the other Residents of her community.

Healthy Relationships – Healthy Relationships with peers and staff are essential in encouraging community Residents to change.   Relationships developed in treatment are the basis for a positive social network needed to sustain recovery beyond treatment and release.

Community Meetings:

The entire community comes together to deal with issues or solve problems that affect every Resident individually and the community as a whole. Generally in Ex-Cell, there are two types of community meetings.

1) Daily Meetings: Routine meetings held each morning and evening in which residents of the community come together and focus on motivation, communication, and problem-solving activities (when needed).

2) Large Group Meetings (involving entire community): These meetings are held once a week to inform the community of important events, changes or issues that need to be addressed. Staff approved learning experiences, TC Terminology, and TC Training Skits are presented as well as reciting the Ex-Cell philosophy and motto.
 

Chain of Command:

In Ex-Cell, there is an established Chain of Command (C.O.C.) used to resolve problems or disputes. This C.O.C. ensures that problems are resolved at the lowest level possible, giving the community leadership and Residents the opportunity to handle these issues when possible. Throughout this process staff is present to monitor and ensure ethical standards are followed. The C.O.C. starts with the community Residents themselves. When possible, this is where problems should be resolved. Peer conflict resolutions should take care of any disputes or problems between community Residents.

Committees: There are work groups in each Ex-Cell community called Committees. Each committee focuses on a specific area of the daily function of the community. In Ex-Cell, we utilize the following committees: Feel Good, Expeditor, Paint, and several Leads in charge of Janitorial and Cleanliness standards.

Committee Lead: Each committee has a lead who is responsible for supervising the performance of her individual committee Residents, ensuring that their assigned work is done. Depending on the size of the committee and the workload assigned, Committee Leaders may require Alternate Committee Leads to assist in supervising Residents and managing responsibility. Each Committee Lead reports directly to the community Section Leaders.

Section Leads: A Section Lead’s responsibility is to interact directly with the program staff and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the community. They lead both the morning and evening meeting. Section Leads are the primary form of communication between staff and the general community Residents. Section Lead positions are reserved for those community Residents who have earned the respect of their peers through their behavior and progress in the community.  The Section Lead is a position that community Residents can apply for.  Applications submitted by potential candidates are reviewed by the TC Staff and their decision is made through an interview process.

Staff: In Ex-Cell, staff includes Correctional Officers, Therapists, Counselors and Teachers. The staff is ultimately responsible for the safety and health of the community and each of its Residents. Staff Residents are the source of authority and must approve everything that happens in the community.  It is the responsibility of staff to be aware of all Ex-Cell activities and program-sponsored special events taking place in the community. This holds true for large-scale community plans as well as smaller ones.  Staff also trains the community Section Leads.

Ex-Cell at-a-glance:

• Inmates (called residents here) live in a special section separated from general population with cellmates in a team-building atmosphere.

• Residents "call each other out" for behavior contrary to the program's standards, unlike other parts of the prison where this would be socially unacceptable. This includes even something as simple as failing to wipe down a sink. In this program, it is expected that residents will hold one another accountable to a higher standard. A council of fellow residents will sometimes hold informal hearings and issue light-hearted consequences for such actions.

• Each resident is expected to participate in classes as well as group and individual therapy offered by staff. 

• Residents are required to attend various meetings and classes, including personal change, wellness, communication, living with others, co-dependency, budgeting, criminal lifestyles, cognitive self-change, self-esteem, relapse prevention, grieving, and "Why Try" classes. Generally their treatment lasts anywhere from 6 to 9 months, ending with a graduation.

• Substance abuse educational courses are also offered for offenders waiting to enroll in Ex-Cell through "Pre Ex-Cell."


HOPE/CARE (Males only - CUCF Gunnison):

Mission: The Mission of the HOPE RSAT Program is to Help Offenders Parole Effectively (HOPE) by guiding them toward a life of recovery and right living through the use of a values-based, Therapeutic Community (TC) model of treatment for addictions and criminal thought process. HOPE has opened expansion dormitory sections in the GALE housing unit. These additional TC sections are called "CARE," and use the same treatment curriculum, methods and processes as HOPE. 

CARE stands for "Community-Assisted Recovery Experience (CARE)." HOPE/CARE teaches offenders to live clean, sober, positive and productive lives, and leave prison with confidence in their ability to successfully complete their paroles and go on to live successful, law-abiding, "clean and sober" lives of recovery.

HOPE provides a thorough relapse prevention education to help recovering addicts/offenders live with life-long vigilance about relapse, knowing that a return to substance use, or "relapse," could be right around the corner if they ever let their guard down in the fight against addiction.

Goals:

  • -Develop self-discipline and impulse control.
  • -Develop genuine empathy and compassion for others.
  • -Achieve success and satisfaction in personal and work life.
  • -Become role models for newer residents.
  • -Become responsible and productive members of society.

Slogan"I create how I feel by how I think about the people and events around me. I am the only one who can change the way I feel by changing the way I think."

Rules & Expectations:

• A principle and values-based Therapeutic Community, designed to provide offenders a positive peer culture and environment where high standards of morals of "right living," where the learning and living of HOPE/CARE's 25 Core Values are chosen daily over the 23 Character Defects, and  are behaviorally reinforced with privileges, rewards, and recognition, as well as therapeutic consequences.

• Community-based, experiential substance abuse treatment and behavior modification, promoted through psycho-educational classes, individual and group therapy provided by licensed therapists, examples of program graduate leaders, and a therapeutic milieu or environment.

• Relapse prevention with an expectation of complete abstinence from abused substances. Personal identification of criminal thinking errors and behavior, along with the development of strategies to self-correct.

• Residents adhere to program rules related to pro-social behavior patterns (similar to society's expectations), which are adopted and internalized over time. For example: follow instructions, be punctual, maintain appropriate appearance, use proper manners. Residents hold one another accountable by raising awareness through expressing a verbal "concern," for behavior contrary to the program expectations. Peers offer corrective and assertive feedback to maintain a healthy, predictable community which can facilitate personal growth and recovery. Therapeutic Consequences may include "learning experiences," or "image-breakers" which are eight-second, one-person skits, in front of peers. Reports, service hours and loss of program privileges may also be deemed appropriate by staff and peers.

• No physical violence, or threats or violence are allowed. HOPE residents are carefully screened for participation, based on their offense history, programming needs, and suitability for dorm-style living. Dual-diagnosis offenders are referred to CUCF mental health staff for evaluation and treatment in order to maintain a achieve and maintain a remission of symptoms during their substance abuse treatment.

Each resident is expected to participate in psycho-educational life skills classes, followed by group and individual therapy offered by HOPE/CARE licensed therapists. 

• Residents are expected to be the best-behaved and hardest working in the institution. They complete an Intensive Phase (two 2-month terms or track).  If able, an offender may simultaneously earn high school credits in the evening. After the Intensive Phase, some complete Building Trades or Culinary Arts programs through Snow College, or apply to work in various prison jobs. In order to apply for jobs, residents must have a "step three" level in HOPE/CARE, which corresponds with their time in the program and the number of written assignments completed).

• The first four months of classes are the "Intensive Tracks." These courses are taught by advanced residents in the program and include: Relapse Prevention, Relapse Cycle, Interpersonal Skills, Conflict Resolution Anger Management, Stress Management, Thinking Errors, Drill (2), Physical Training, Tobacco Recovery (2), Stages of Recovery, Bradshaw-On the Family, Parenting with Love and Logic, Keys to Loving Relationships (Saving Marriage), Parole Planning Core Values, Video Processing, Doo-Wop, Physical Training (2). A *2 indicates this class is attended in both Track A and in Track B.

• Graduates who are released from prison after program graduation are referred to outpatient substance abuse treatment during parole.  Self-help meetings are encouraged after completing the program. Those offenders who are give a release date that does not allow an offender to graduate are recommended to complete intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) or residential treatment after prison release. Graduates are referred to general outpatient level treatment for their aftercare. This treatment is coordinated by the parole agent.

HOPE/CARE at-a-glance

• Inmates (called residents here) live in a dormitory-style housing atmosphere, bunking with inmates in their dorm in a team-building atmosphere.

• Principle and values-based Therapeutic Community designed as a positive, peer culture and environment where high standards of morals of "right living" and healthy values are reinforced with privileges, rewards, and recognition.

• Community-based change supported by therapists, program graduates, and other mentors or role models.

• Relapse prevention with an expectation of complete abstinence from abused substances. Recognition of elimination of criminal thinking and anti-social behaviors.

• Residents adhere to section rules related to pro-social behavior patterns (similar to society's expectations), adopted gradually. For example: follow instructions, be punctual, maintain appropriate appearance, use proper manners. Residents hold one another accountable by "calling each other out" for behavior contrary to the program's standards. They offer constructive and assertive feedback and create a safe, predictable community allowing room for personal growth and recovery. Punishments often entail light-hearted, albeit embarrassing, performances in front of peers, as deemed fit by a council of fellow residents.

• No violence allowed. HOPE residents are carefully screened for participation based on their offense history, programming needs, and suitability for dorm-style living. Residents with mental-health diagnoses are treated to maintain remission of symptoms.

• Each resident is expected to participate in classes as well as group and individual therapy offered by staff. 

• Residents are expected to be the best-behaved and hardest working in the institution. They complete an intensive track (two 2-month stages), and then are invited to go to school (high school/vocational trades) or work in prison jobs. In order to apply for jobs, residents must have completed the intensive phase and hold a "step three" position in HOPE (corresponding with the number of assignments completed).

• The first four months of classes are the "intensive tracks." These courses are taught by residents further along in the program and include: Relapse prevention, interpersonal skills, AA 12-step, anger management, stress management, cognitive restructuring (thinking errors), saving marriage, parenting, relationship building, core values, games, stages of recovery, physical training, family, conflict resolution, and parole planning.

• Residents are referred to outpatient substance abuse treatment and self-help meetings after leaving the program. For those who participate for a period short of one year and do not graduate, they receive a certificate of participation and will be referred to intensive outpatient treatment or residential treatment. Graduates are referred to aftercare only. This treatment is coordinated through parole officers.


Research on effectiveness of Corrections Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Con-Quest

Ex-Cell

HOPE