Utah Department of Corrections



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 Program: Con-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.

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