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The Correctional Association
of New York
FOUNDED 1844
2090 ADAM CLAYTON POWELL, JR.
10027
JR BLVD.· SUITE 200· NEW YORK, NY 10027
TEL. (212)
(212) 254-5700
254-5700·• FAX (212) 473-2807· www.correctionalassociation.org

TREATMENT BEHIND BARS:
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT IN
NEW YORK PRISONS
2007–2010

A Report by the
Correctional Association of New York

FEBRUARY 2011

The Correctional Association of New York (CA) was formed in 1844 by citizens concerned
about prison conditions and the lack of services for inmates returning to their communities. In
1846, the New York State Legislature granted the CA authority to inspect prisons and report on
its findings. Through four projects — Juvenile Justice, Prison Visiting, Public Policy/Drug Law
Repeal, and Women in Prison — the CA advocates for a more humane prison system and a more
safe and just society.
The Prison Visiting Project (PVP) is the arm of the Correctional Association that carries out
this unique legislative authority for the male prisons. PVP visits seven to ten of New York’s 67
state correctional facilities each year and issues facility specific reports on prison conditions to
both policymakers and the public. In addition to its general prison monitoring, PVP conducts indepth studies on specific corrections issues and publishes comprehensive reports of findings and
recommendations. Current in-depth research areas include: healthcare, mental health care and
substance abuse treatment. PVP produces reports, presents at forums, and engages in activities
aimed at educating the public about prison conditions, the high cost of incarceration and the need
for alternatives. The Project also works with legislators, corrections officials, former prisoners,
service providers and community organizations to develop more humane prison policies. All the
prison reports prepared by the Project since 2004 are available on the Correctional Association
web page.
For more information about the Prison Visiting Project, please call 212-254-5700 or visit
http://www.correctionalassociation.org/PVP/index.htm

Treatment Behind Bars: Substance Abuse Treatment in New York Prisons
Copyright © 2011, The Correctional Association of New York
All Rights Reserved
The Correctional Association of New York
2090 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd
Suite 200
New York, New York 10027
(212) 254-5700
(212) 473-2807 (Fax)

Acknowledgments

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Substance Abuse Treatment in New York Prisons, 2007–2010 was principally authored by Cindy Eigler,
Associate Director of Special Projects for the Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project and
coordinated by Jack Beck, the Director of the Prison Visiting Project. Significant editorial assistance
was provided by Amber Norris, former Associate Director of General Monitoring for the Prison
Visiting Project, Darcy Hirsh, current Associate Director of General Monitoring for the Prison Visiting
Project, Rosemary McGinn, Project Consultant, and Gerald Melnick, Project Consultant. Ms.
McGinn’s input and expertise and detailed editing of the report proved invaluable and considerably
improved the quality and scope of this report. This report could not have been completed without the
hard work of all of our interns, with special recognition of Monica Barrera Contreras, Rachael Feeney,
Britt Fremstad, and Allyson Walker for their significant contributions. Robert Gangi, Executive
Director of the Correctional Association, guided the project from inception to completion. Correctional
Association Board members Gail Allen, M.D., Nereida Ferran, M.D., Clay Hiles and Ralph Brown, Jr.,
Chair of the Prison Visiting Committee, provided very beneficial input through the Advisory
Committee for this project. We especially thank Mr. Brown and Dr. Allen for their careful review of
the report and their editorial input. We would also like to thank Troy Lambert for generously
volunteering his time and talent to design the cover for this report.
We express our gratitude to and regard for Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry, Chair of the Assembly
Standing Committee on Correction, for his dedication to improving prison substance abuse treatment
and his support of the CA’s efforts to investigate and report on prison conditions in New York State.
We also would like to thank Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC), Gateway Foundation Inc. and
WestCare Foundation Inc. for helping us identify and contact model substance abuse treatment
programs throughout the country. We extend a very special thanks to the prison-treatment program we
visited in New Jersey and the program staff we interviewed in Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania,
Virginia and Illinois, who provided us with very useful information and perspectives on the key
elements needed to run effective treatment programs. We would also like to thank The Fortune
Society, Phoenix House, Exponents and Peter Young Housing, Industries and Treatment (PYHIT) for
allowing us to speak with clients and staff about the reentry process for individuals with substance
abuse histories in New York State prisons.
We also wish to express our great appreciation to the following officials at the New York State
Department of Correctional Services: Commissioner Brian Fischer, Ken Perlman, Deputy
Commissioner for Program Services, Dwight Bradford, Director of DOCS Office of Substance Abuse
Treatment Services, and Deputy Counsel William Gonzales for arranging visits, supplying departmentwide information on DOCS substance abuse treatment programs and providing helpful comments.
Additionally, we would like to thank the following individuals from the Office of Alcohol and
Substance Abuse Services (OASAS): Steve Hanson and Patricia Flaherty, Bureau of Criminal
Justice/Diversion Treatment, OASAS Division of Treatment and Practice Innovation. We hope this
report lends support and guidance to DOCS and OASAS state officials in their concerted efforts to
enhance prison-based substance abuse treatment services.
We would also like to express our gratitude to the individual members of the Advisory Committee,
whose significant efforts and extensive expertise were so important to the preparation and completion
of the report (please see next page for more details about this distinguished group).
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Acknowledgments

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Above all, we wish to thank the many inmates, treatment staff, correctional officers, executive staff and
superintendents for generously sharing their experiences and observations with us. We are deeply
grateful for their participation and hope that this report gives adequate expression to their concerns and
recommendations for constructive changes.
This report was made possible by the substantial support from The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth
Foundation and Scott Moyer, President of The Langeloth Foundation. The continued commitment of
The Langeloth Foundation to the CA, and specifically to the Prison Visiting Project, has been crucial in
enabling us to pursue our research of this important topic, to thoroughly evaluate the information
collected, and to prepare this comprehensive report. We would also like to thank the Prospect Hill
Foundation, and especially William S. Beinecke and the Beinecke Family, for their many years of loyal
and generous support of the Prison Visiting Project. Also, a special thank you to the law firm of Davis
Polk and Wardwell LLP and Amy Rossabi, Pro Bono Coordinator, for generously donating printing
services.

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Acknowledgments

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

ADVISORY COMMITTEE
An Advisory Committee of experts in the field of substance abuse treatment and corrections directly
informed and guided the project from its beginning. Their input was crucial in helping us design the
study, improving data collection, refining data analysis, evaluating study results and suggested findings
and recommendations, and providing recommendations for best practices. In addition, members of the
Advisory Committee provided important editorial input and review.
We extend our deep appreciation to the following individuals, each of whom have endorsed the report’s
findings and recommendations.
Project Consultants
Rosemary McGinn, JD, is an attorney and a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Counselor, and has acted as a principal consultant for the Correctional Association on the Prison
Substance Abuse Treatment Project. She has extensive experience in research and practice related to the
intersection of the justice system and substance abuse.
Gerald Melnick, PhD, is a Senior Principal Investigator at the Center for the Integration of Research to
Practice and the National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI). Dr. Melnick developed the
Multimodality Quality Assurance Instrument (MQA) that evaluates the quality of substance abuse
treatment programs and which has been used to examine program quality in prison and community
settings (Melnick & Wexler 2004; Melnick et al., 2004; Melnick et al. 2006a). The CA used a modified
version of the MQA in its Prison Substance Abuse Treatment Project, and Dr. Melnick has also served
as a consultant throughout the project.
Expert Members
Gary Bartlett is Deputy Director of Treatment & Prevention Services at the Osborne Association. He
is responsible for Osborne’s community-based low-threshold substance abuse treatment and HIV/AIDS
prevention programs for people involved in the criminal justice system who are at risk for, or coping
with, substance abuse and HIV/AIDS or other infectious diseases such as hepatitis C.
George De Leon, PhD, a nationally recognized expert on therapeutic communities is the Director of
the Center of Therapeutic Community Research at NDRI and the author of the book Therapeutic
Community: Theory, Model and Method.
Ernest Drucker, PhD, is a Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology , Family and Social
Medicine, and Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New
York City, and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public
Health and at the University of British Columbia. He is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who is active in
AIDS, drug policy, and prison reform and human rights efforts in the U.S. and abroad.
Howard Josepher, LCSW, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Exponents, a minority-led
organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals affected by drug addiction,
incarceration and HIV/AIDS. Serving clients from the entire New York City area, Exponents' programs

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Acknowledgments

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

assist individuals and their families through difficult transitions — from addiction to recovery, from
incarceration to civilian life, and from welfare to work.
Anita Marton, JD, is the Vice President of the Legal Action Center (LAC). During her tenure at LAC,
Ms. Marton has provided legal advice and assistance to individuals with alcohol and drug histories,
criminal records, and HIV and has participated in ground-breaking litigation on all these issues.
Frederick Rotgers, PsyD, is a member of the Clinical Psychology faculty at Walden University. Dr.
Rotgers’ areas of interest include forensic substance abuse assessment, assessment and treatment of
addictive disorders, motivational interviewing, harm reduction approaches to working with substance
users, and methods of enhancing the working therapeutic alliance. He is a Fellow of the American
Psychological Association's Division 50 (Addictive Behaviors) and has published several books on
addiction treatment. He is American Editor-in-Chief of the journal Addiction Research and Theory and
a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Drug Issues.
Stanley Sacks, PhD, is a clinical-research psychologist and is the Director of the Center for the
Integration of Research & Practice at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) in
New York City. The author of numerous publications, Dr. Sacks was the Chair and Lead Author for
the Treatment Improvement Protocol #42, Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Co-Occurring
Disorders. He is also Expert Leader on SAMHSA’s Co-occurring Center for Excellence, a national
effort to provide training and technical assistance to states and agencies in the area of co-occurring
disorders.
Christine Toner, LCSW, has over 20 years experience working with youth, individuals and families
involved in the criminal and juvenile court system. She currently consults with community corrections
and corrections departments throughout the U.S. in evidenced-based practices, including Motivational
Interviewing (MI), cognitive behavioral programming and effective case management techniques. Ms.
Toner is also an adjunct professor at Fordham University in New York City.
Elizabeth Tremaine, MSW, is Vice President and Director of Adult Programs at Phoenix House in
New York City. She is responsible for the supervision and management of five New York Office of
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) licensed residential programs, including the clinical
and administrative operations, planning, development, supervision and coordination of policies and
programs of these facilities. She is a Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor and was
appointed to the New York State OASAS Credentialing Board in 2000.
Harry K. Wexler, PhD, has been with NDRI since 1977 and a senior staff member of the Center for
the Integration of Research Practice since its inception. Dr. Wexler was the Co-Chair of a recent
Treatment Improvement Protocol, Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the Criminal Justice
System, and is the Principal Investigator on two current government-funded projects studying elements
of prison treatment, community re-entry, and the effectiveness of sealing records as a method of
reducing recidivism by eliminating stigma. He has written numerous articles, has co-authored a book on
substance abuse treatment for women, and has served as co-editor of special issues of the Prison
Journal.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Damien Cabezas, MSW, MPH, Vice President for Program Services at The Fortune Society, is
responsible for the oversight of Fortune’s Substance Abuse Treatment Services, ATI Programs, Family
Services, Group Services, Drop In Center and Health Services, which includes HIV prevention and risk
reduction. He holds a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University and a Master of Public
Health degree from New York Medical College.
Robin McGinty, MPA, CASACT, is formerly incarcerated and has extensive experience in working
with diverse and disenfranchised communities. Currently, Ms. McGinty works as a Program Associate
with a SAMSHA/CSAT funded program in New York City, targeted specifically to assist formerly
incarcerated women who are homeless, with histories of chemical dependency and PTSD, as well as cooccurring psychiatric disabilities. In addition to being licensed (CASAT) by the NYS Office of Alcohol
Abuse and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Ms. McGinty is a current candidate for a Master of
Public Administration (MPA) degree at Baruch College School of Public Affairs (SPA) in New York
City.
CA Board Members
Gail Allen, MD, is a member of the CA Board and the CA’s Prison Visiting Project’s Steering
Committee. A psychiatrist specializing in chemical dependence, she was the director of substance
abuse treatment services at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital and founded the hospital’s Comprehensive
Alcoholism/Addictions Treatment Program. Dr. Allen is a longtime board member of the New York
Therapeutic Communities Inc., has served on the New York Governor’s Advisory Council on
Alcoholism Services, and was chair of the NYC Federation of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and
Alcoholism Services from 1993-95.
Ralph Brown, JD, is a member of the CA Board the Chair of the CA’s Prison Visiting Project’s
Steering Committee. He has participated in dozens of prison visits. Mr. Brown also serves on the
boards of The New York Society Library and The Osborne Association.
Clay Hiles, JD, is a member of the CA Board and past Chairperson of the CA Board. He is the
Executive Director of the Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research.
Nereida Ferran, MD, a CA board member and member of PVP’s Steering Committee, is an internist
who specializes in HIV Medicine, as well as prison healthcare, chemical dependency and nutritional
interventions in HIV care. Dr. Ferran is currently an Attending Physician at the Jacobi Medical Center
HIV Specialty Clinic in the Bronx, and an Attending Physician at Odyssey House, a long-term drug
program in Harlem. Dr Ferran has served on the Board of Directors of several prisoners’ advocacy
organizations, was former Medical Director at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and has been a
consultant for several organizations, including the AIDS Institute, NYC Human Rights Commission,
and Prisoners Legal Services, as well as several pharmaceutical companies involved in developing HIV
treatments.

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Acknowledgments

Correctional Association of New York

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

vi

Contents

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Treatment Behind Bars: Substance Abuse Treatment in
New York Prisons, 2007–2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 1
SECTION 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................... 3
SECTION 3. PROJECT SUMMARY ..................................................................................................
3.1 Substance Abuse Treatment in Prison ...................................................................................
3.2 Project Description ...................................................................................................................
3.3 Methodology ..............................................................................................................................
3.4 Visits Overview .........................................................................................................................

25
25
26
28
30

SECTION 4. POPULATION DESIGNATED AS IN NEED OF TREATMENT ............................ 35
SECTION 5. SCREENING, ASSESSMENT AND DESIGNATION AS IN NEED OF
TREATMENT ......................................................................................................................................... 39
5.1 Introduction to Screening and Assessment ............................................................................ 39
5.2 Diagnosis of Drug Related Conditions .................................................................................... 40
5.3 DOCS Designation of Individuals as In Need of Treatment ................................................. 40
5.4 Individuals with Indications of Involvement in Drug Trade with Limited or No Substance
Abuse Histories ................................................................................................................................ 45
5.5 Treatment Matching ................................................................................................................. 46
5.6 Assessment/Intake When Enrolled in a Prison Treatment Program ................................... 48
5.7 Coercive Treatment for Individuals with Minimal Substance Abuse Treatment Needs.... 49
5.8 Inmates Not in Treatment......................................................................................................... 49
5.9 Special Populations.................................................................................................................... 51
SECTION 6. OVERVIEW OF DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS ......... 53
6.1 Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 53
6.2 Therapeutic Community Model, Generally ............................................................................ 53
6.3 Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) ................................................................ 58
6.4 Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program (RSAT) .................................................. 61
6.5 Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT) .................................. 61
6.6 Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Treatment Programs ...................................................... 62
6.7 Integrated Dual Diagnosed Treatment Programs: ICP ........................................................ 62
6.8 Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs: General Population................................ 63
6.9 Special Housing Unit (SHU) Pre-Treatment Workbook Programs ..................................... 63
6.10 Special Needs Unit (SNU) ASAT Programs ......................................................................... 64
6.11 Nursery Mothers ASAT Program.......................................................................................... 64
6.12 Sensorially Disabled Unit ASAT Program ............................................................................ 65
6.13 Shock Incarceration Programs ............................................................................................... 65
6.14 Willard Drug Treatment Campus .......................................................................................... 65
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SECTION 7. STAFFING FOR DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS......... 67
7.1 DOCS staffing model................................................................................................................. 67
7.2 Positions and vacancies ............................................................................................................. 68
7.3 Funding for DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs ................................................. 72
7.4 Staff Qualifications.................................................................................................................... 74
7.5 Training and Professional Development ................................................................................. 75
7.6 Program Participant Assessment of Staff ............................................................................... 76
SECTION 8. TREATMENT PROGRAMMING AND MATERIALS .............................................. 87
8.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 87
8.2 Effective Prison-Based Substance Abuse Treatment .............................................................. 88
8.3 DOCS Clinical Approaches ...................................................................................................... 89
8.4 Engagement in Treatment ........................................................................................................ 92
8.5 Treatment Process: Group Sessions ........................................................................................ 94
8.6 Clinical Content ......................................................................................................................... 96
8.7 Treatment Approaches/Fidelity ............................................................................................... 97
8.8 Training in Social and Communication Skills and Other Topics ....................................... 104
8.9 Materials: Handouts and Workbooks ................................................................................... 106
8.10 TC Community Meetings...................................................................................................... 107
8.11 Other TC Components.......................................................................................................... 108
8.12 Reprimands and Reinforcements: Pull-Ups and Push-Ups............................................... 109
8.13 Survey Respondents’ Assessment of Program Climate ..................................................... 110
8.14 Participants’ Satisfaction with and Assessment of Treatment Program Components ... 113
8.15 Mix of Problem and Need Severity Among Treatment Participants................................ 117
SECTION 9. INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING......................................................................................
9.1 Individual Counseling in Prison-Based Treatment .............................................................
9.2 Individual Counseling in DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs..........................
9.3 Importance of Individual Counseling....................................................................................
9.4 The CA’s Observations and Treatment Participants’ Assessment of Individual
Counseling .......................................................................................................................................
9.5 Recommendations for Individual Counseling.......................................................................

119
119
119
120
121
123

SECTION 10. TREATMENT PARTICIPANTS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH SKILLS.............. 125
10.1 Limited English Speakers in DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.................. 125
10.2 Limited English Speakers’ Assessment of Treatment Programs...................................... 126
SECTION 11. TREATMENT PROGRAM COMPLETIONS AND REMOVALS .......................
11.1 Introduction ...........................................................................................................................
11.2 Program Completion.............................................................................................................
11.3 Removals from Treatment Programs Visited by the CA...................................................
11.4 Process of Removal from Treatment Programs .................................................................
11.5 Rates and Patterns of Removals at DOCS Facilities..........................................................
11.6 Strategies for Responding to Poor Program Performance and Non-Compliance ..........

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

SECTION 12. DRUG USE AND TESTING IN DOCS FACILITIES .............................................
12.1 Introduction ...........................................................................................................................
12.2 Drug Use and Possession Within DOCS..............................................................................
12.3 DOCS Directive on Drug Testing.........................................................................................
12.4 Impact of SHU Sentences for Drug Use and Possession ....................................................

139
139
139
142
144

SECTION 13. TREATMENT RECORDS.…………………………………….................................
13.1 Introduction ...........................................................................................................................
13.2 Standards and Practices........................................................................................................
13.3 DOCS Forms and Instructions.............................................................................................
13.4 General Findings and Discussion .........................................................................................

147
147
148
149
161

SECTION 14. OVERSIGHT AND SUPERVISION OF DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE
TREATMENT PROGRAMS ................................................................................................................ 165
14.1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 165
14.2 Clinical Supervision, Generally............................................................................................ 166
14.3 Clinical Supervision in DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs ........................... 166
14.4 Treatment Participant Perceptions of their Treatment..................................................... 168
14.5 Monitoring by DOCS ............................................................................................................ 170
14.6 DOCS Central Office Site Visits .......................................................................................... 171
14.7 OASAS Oversight.................................................................................................................. 173
14.8 OASAS Update ....................................................................................................................... 174
SECTION 15. AFTERCARE, CONTINUING CARE AND REENTRY SUPPORT.....................
15.1 Aftercare and Reentry, Generally........................................................................................
15.2 DOCS Transitional Services.................................................................................................
15.3 Connecting with Outside Service Providers........................................................................
15.4 DOCS In-Prison Aftercare ...................................................................................................
15.5 12-Step Programs in Prison..................................................................................................
15.6 DOCS Support for Post-Release Services ...........................................................................
15.7 Collaborating with Parole.....................................................................................................
15.8 Post-Release Support.............................................................................................................

177
177
179
180
182
183
185
187
188

SECTION 16. SPECIAL POPULATIONS......................................................................................... 189
16.1 Substance Abuse Treatment Services for Women .............................................................. 189
16.2 Treatment Services for Inmates with Co-Occurring Disorders......................................... 193
SECTION 17. MODEL PROGRAMS.................................................................................................
17.1 Sheridan Correctional Center: Sheridan, Illinois ..............................................................
17.2 Ozark Correctional Center: Fordland, Missouri ...............................................................
17.3 Estelle Unit: Huntsville, Texas .............................................................................................
17.4 Indian Creek Correctional Center: Chesapeake, Virginia................................................
17.5 CEC Penn Pavilion: New Brighton, Pennsylvania .............................................................
17.6 Northern State Prison: Newark, New Jersey ......................................................................
17.7 Talbot Hall: Newark, New Jersey ........................................................................................

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203
204
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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

17.8 Tully House: Newark, New Jersey ....................................................................................... 217
17.9 New York State DOCS.......................................................................................................... 219
SECTION 18. RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................. 221
BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................................................................... 231
GLOSSARY ............................................................................................................................................ 241
APPENDIX ............................................................................................................................................. 247
Appendix A - Map of DOCS Facilities
Appendix B - Correctional Association MQA Survey
Appendix C - Correctional Association Non-Program Survey
Appendix D - Summary of Diagnoses of Substance Abuse and Substance Dependency
Appendix E – Overview of OASAS Standards
Appendix F – Summary of MQA Survey Responses by Prison

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Introduction

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

1. INTRODUCTION
Substance abuse is a daunting problem for the majority of prison inmates nationally and more
than three-quarters of those in New York State. The devastation that often accompanies
substance abuse places notoriously heavy demands on the criminal justice, correctional and
substance abuse treatment systems, as well as on inmates, their families and their communities.
The prison system has the unique potential to provide effective drug treatment to this captive
population, addressing not only the individual needs of inmates but public health and public
safety as well. Not only is the prison system in a unique position to provide drug treatment, but a
substantial body of research documents that treatment is, on the whole, more effective than
incarceration alone in reducing drug abuse and criminal behavior among substance abusers and
in increasing the likelihood that they will remain drug- and crime-free.1
The need to provide more comprehensive substance abuse treatment services in New York State
prisons, similar to the increasing need to provide mental health services in prisons as a result of
deinstitutionalization of mental hospital patients, has directly been impacted by the Rockefeller
drug laws. With their rigid requirements of mandatory minimum sentencing, the Rockefeller
drug laws of 1973 radically restricted judicial discretion in utilizing alternatives to incarceration
as a response to drug offenses. The result: 11% of the total prison population in 1980 were
individuals incarcerated for drug-related offenses; as of January, 2008, that figure was 33%.
Though this past year brought significant reform to the Rockefeller Drug Laws, several
mandatory minimum sentences are still on the books and a large number of individuals remain
ineligible for alternative to incarceration programs. The considerable increase in this population
illustrates one of the many factors that make provision of prison-based substance abuse treatment
paramount, as the majority of incarcerated individuals will participate in treatment due to the
nature of their offense.
As of April 2010, the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) operated 68
facilities, with 57,650 inmates under custody. Eighty-three percent of inmates were designated
by DOCS as “in need of substance abuse treatment.”2 To address their needs, DOCS operates
119 substance abuse treatment programs in 60 of its facilities. As of April l, 2009, two of those
programs were licensed as treatment programs by the State’s Office of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse Services (OASAS); the remainder are operated solely under the aegis and
oversight of DOCS. The 2009 reforms to the Rockefeller drug laws call for change, however,
requiring OASAS to guide, monitor and report on DOCS substance abuse treatment programs.
In 2007, the Correctional Association launched a project to evaluate the needs of inmates with
substance abuse problems and the State’s response to their needs. The information presented in
this report is a result of this effort and presents our findings and recommendations based on visits
to 23 facilities, interviews with experts, prison officials and correction officers, more than 2,300
inmate surveys and systemwide data provided by the Department of Correctional Services.
1

Fletcher and Chandler, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide.
2
This is the number of inmates DOCS has identified with its screening process, not the number of inmates in New
York State prisons with a diagnosis of substance/alcohol abuse or dependence.

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Correctional Association of New York

2

Executive Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The majority of individuals incarcerated in New York prisons come from urban communities
characterized by poverty, unemployment, crime and substance use. These conditions, coupled
with the State’s law enforcement approach to drug use and sale, inevitably leads to large
numbers of individuals with some history of substance use being confined in our prisons. Along
with this confinement, however, comes the concomitant obligation that the State should provide
services to address the significant substance abuse treatment needs of this population.
A substantial body of evidence has established that effective prison-based substance abuse
treatment reduces the likelihood of relapse and recidivism for participants.3 Moreover, the
benefits of successful treatment go beyond the recovery of participants to enhancing the quality
of life within the prison itself and heightening public health and safety in the greater community.
Successful substance abuse treatment programs can lead to increased safety for inmates and
prison staff by decreasing prison violence associated with inmate drug use and trafficking, and
can foster positive attitudes and behaviors that frequently result in increased participation in
educational, vocational and other prison-based programming. Additionally, successful prisonbased treatment reduces drug use by formerly incarcerated individuals on the outside, leading to
reductions in crime and more productive and healthy lives for the individuals involved, their
families and other members of their community.
The New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) reports that 83% of the
State’s prison population, or approximately 47,850 of the 57,650 4 current inmates, are in need of
substance abuse treatment.5 Many inmates have struggled with addiction for years prior to their
incarceration, and many have participated in prison- and community-based treatment programs
before their current sentence. Sixty of New York State’s 68 correctional facilities operate 119
substance abuse treatment programs, making DOCS the single largest provider of substance
abuse treatment in the State. Developed and monitored by the DOCS Office of Substance Abuse
Treatment Services, these programs comprise approximately 10,000 treatment slots; about
34,000 inmates are enrolled in these programs annually. Each year, 27,000 individuals—nearly
40% of the prison population—return home. How well inmates with substance abuse histories
are prepared for their reentry into society has a significant impact on their overall success on the
outside and on quality of life in their communities.
Given the inmate population’s considerable need for treatment and the large number of inmates
participating in treatment programs, it is crucial that these programs be effective. Successful
prison-based treatment is realized only when that treatment is based upon sound strategies
carefully matched to the needs and strengths of program participants, and delivered by
competent, committed staff. Prison-based treatment can also provide an opportunity to address
the unhealthy behaviors that often lead to involvement with the criminal justice system in the
first place. Providing appropriate education about substance abuse and clinical treatment
3

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
4
As of April 1, 2010.
5
NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007.

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services makes it more likely that these individuals can better manage their behavior and take
care of themselves, their health and their communities. An additional ancillary benefit to
providing substance abuse treatment in prisons is not only the reduction in drug use and crime,
but the decrease in the spread of many injection-related chronic health conditions such as HIV
and hepatitis C.
The Department’s substance abuse treatment programming has been subject to little analysis or
outside monitoring. Consequently, in 2007 the Correctional Association of New York’s Prison
Visiting Project (PVP) undertook a multiyear study to evaluate the substance abuse treatment
programs in New York State’s prisons. PVP visited 23 correctional facilities that included more
than half of the Department’s treatment slots. PVP staff met with DOCS treatment staff and
facility management, interviewed treatment participants, observed treatment sessions, visited
housing units set aside for treatment participants and reviewed treatment case records. We
collected more than 2,300 surveys from inmates in prison treatment programs and those waiting
to enroll in such programs.
The information gathered by PVP shows that though most of DOCS treatment programs use the
same program curriculum, the implementation of these programs demonstrates wide variation in
the content and quality of prison substance abuse treatment, revealing some programs that
exhibit good practices run by dedicated and skilled staff and others that need significant
improvement. Of the 23 programs visited, there was considerable variation among programs in
content, structure and satisfaction. The variations were apparent in all aspects of the programs:
clinical content, staffing patterns and qualifications, participant satisfaction, treatment strategies,
program structure and program oversight. We visited programs where the vast majority of
participants (96%) were satisfied with their treatment, and other programs where two-thirds of
the participants were dissatisfied.
Our review of programs at individual facilities resulted in a number of findings that apply to the
overall treatment approach Department-wide. First, DOCS’s broad standards for designating
inmates as “in need of substance abuse treatment” result in considerable variation among
treatment participants with regard to the severity of their substance abuse and motivation to
complete treatment. Second, despite this variability, most programs adhere to a single design, a
six-month residential program of daily half-day sessions with groups of 20 to 50 participants.
Some programs better support participants in gaining insight and make meaningful progress in
addressing their addiction, but other programs are much less successful in engaging and assisting
the participants. Third, although some treatment staff have frequent and meaningful one-on-one
meetings with program participants, the individual counseling sessions in many programs are
brief and only occur monthly. Fourth, the Department does not have a detailed curriculum, and
therefore there is limited standardization of program content or materials. As a result, some
facilities use best practices and up-to-date materials while others rely on outdated materials and
conduct poorly designed treatment sessions. Fifth, the experiences, training and overall
competence of the treatment staff vary greatly, and there is little clinical guidance and oversight.
Finally, discharge planning is limited, with little coordination between in-prison treatment
programs and community-based treatment providers. Some DOCS treatment providers attempt
to assist soon-to-be-released inmates in identifying aftercare programs, but in most programs,
treatment staff do not help the participants develop effective aftercare plans. Instead, inmates are

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often left to identify their own post-release care or to rely on parole officers, who have little
knowledge of individuals’ treatment needs or community resources.
After reviewing practices in New York State’s prisons, researching current standards in the field,
and identifying the most up-to-date evidence-based practices, we identified several concrete
steps the State can take to improve its treatment programs. (See Section 18, Recommendations,
for more detailed descriptions.) We urge State officials and DOCS to consider implementing
five critical changes that could have the greatest positive impact. First, the Department should
implement a comprehensive system of screening and assessment to identify the severity of each
inmate’s substance abuse and corresponding treatment needs. Second, the Department should
develop a continuum of treatment options, from education to intensive residential treatment.
Third, the Department should place each inmate in the program that best addresses his/her needs.
Fourth, DOCS and other State agencies should enhance and coordinate discharge planning that
connects inmates with appropriate community-based treatment and other support services upon
release. Finally, the Department should collaborate with the Office of Alcoholism and Substance
Abuse Services (OASAS) to develop a more comprehensive curriculum for each program and
implement an effective system of monitoring and oversight of programs and staff. Implementing
these recommendations would not only greatly increase the likelihood that formerly incarcerated
individuals with substance abuse histories can avoid both relapse and reincarceration, but also
significantly benefit general public health and the safety of all communities.

Major Findings
Screening/Assessment
ƒ

DOCS assesses inmates at reception to determine their need for substance abuse
treatment using five methods and a broad definition for what constitutes need for
treatment. Many inmates object to the Department’s determination that they need
treatment. Corrections staff use two nationally recognized screening instruments, the
Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) and the Simple Screening Instrument (SSI), to
assess need for treatment, but the scores used to make this evaluation are set at a low
threshold so that inmates with a limited history of substance use are designated to need
treatment. For example, a score of 5 to 8 is specified by the MAST to be indicative of
alcohol abuse, but a score of 4 is used by DOCS to designate an individual as in need of
treatment; thus many individuals are inappropriately screened into treatment programs,
resulting in a high rate of false positives, which in turn overwhelms the treatment
resources and leaves programs with high numbers of individuals not in need of treatment
diluting the treatment resources for those with more severe need. These instruments were
designed only to screen inmates for a potential substance abuse problem and to determine
who should be further evaluated for potential treatment. A determination of an
individual’s diagnosis and actual treatment needs should be made only after a more
comprehensive assessment by a qualified substance abuse professional who can
distinguish between substance abuse and substance dependence, a procedure
recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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(SAMHSA).6 The Department does not follow this process, as individuals with positive
scores on the screening tests will have substance abuse treatment added to their required
program list.7 In addition, individuals may be designated to need treatment as a result of
self-reporting during reception or based upon information included in his/her presentence report. For example, if an individual has been convicted of a drug-related
offense such as possession, use or sale, he/she would generally be designated as needing
substance abuse treatment. The exact criteria for who will have treatment added to their
required program list are unclear, and the process for making this assessment is not well
defined, resulting in numerous reviews by DOCS staff of the same information without a
clearly designated person responsible for making the final determination of treatment
need. Finally, there is no Department training or requirement for specific experience in
treatment assessment for the staff involved in the process, resulting in inconsistent
application of the standards for who is required to enter a program.
ƒ

The Department’s definition of substance abuse issues that justify treatment is very
broad and includes any individual who is at moderate risk of substance abuse, has
any history of substance use or has been involved in drug sales in any capacity. As a
result, the Department estimates that approximately 83% of the inmate population has a
“substance abuse problem” and, therefore, would benefit from treatment.8 In determining
the need for treatment, the Department lacks guidelines instructing correction counselors
to consider how recently an individual used an illegal substance when assessing treatment
need, nor is there a threshold for frequency or consequences of substance abuse before a
determination of need is made.

ƒ

Many inmates we interviewed questioned their designation as in need of treatment
by DOCS because they believed they did not have a substance abuse problem. This
group includes inmates who were convicted of selling drugs, or whose pre-sentence
reports indicated involvement in drug sales, but who asserted they did not use drugs.
Department officials suggest that the individuals are appropriate candidates for treatment
because, despite assertions to the contrary, many of them are in fact substance users, and
the others can still benefit from treatment that addresses the issues of individual
responsibility, life skills, addiction behavior and criminal thinking. Other inmates who
complained about their designation reported using only marijuana on occasion or stated
that their substance use occurred many years prior to their current incarceration. In 2007,
DOCS reported that the most serious drug used by 36% of the male identified substance
abusers was marijuana, a percentage significantly greater than alcohol only (23%) or the
other identified substances (all under 18%).

6

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
7
Though substance abuse treatment is not mandated, if an inmate refuses to participate in a program on his/her
required program list, the consequences are extremely negative and can result in a loss of good time or merit time
and being denied early release by Parole. Many inmates expressed feeling forced to complete a treatment program
or face spending more time in prison.
8
NYS Department of Correctional Services, Hub System: Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody on January
1, 2008.

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ƒ

The screening process used by DOCS to determine whether an inmate needs
substance abuse treatment while incarcerated does not provide an assessment of the
severity of the individual’s substance abuse problem and criminal risk or a
recommendation for the type of program most beneficial to the inmate. Even if such
recommendations are made, only a limited number of types of programs are
available for individuals who have been designated as needing substance abuse
treatment. Substance abuse treatment programs offered by the Department are primarily
a “one size fits all” approach. Although there are programs for some special
populations,9 representing approximately 16% of all treatment slots, these programs
follow similar curricula as the general Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
program with additional topics being discussed (mental health, for example) and an
extended length of time spent to complete the curriculum in order to accommodate
different learning abilities. Other DOCS substance abuse treatment programs such as the
four Shock programs, the Willard Drug Treatment Campus and Edgecombe Correctional
Facility accept individuals based not necessarily on treatment needs, but on sentence and
other factors. Treatment matching requires that different types of individuals are
assigned to the most appropriate kind of treatment to achieve different types of treatment
goals. Most experts consider this kind of precise approach not only to be cost effective,
as individuals are matched to the level of services most appropriate to their need, but to
improve the effectiveness and quality of services offered.10 This type of treatment
matching generally does not occur in DOCS.

ƒ

Largely due to the over-inclusive screening process and the failure to institute a
more comprehensive assessment of need, significant variation exists among
treatment participants regarding their substance abuse histories and needs. Mixed
together in the sessions that we observed were inmates with active substance abuse
histories with substances such as heroin or crack, inmates who reported only using
marijuana occasionally, inmates who had previously had substance abuse problems but
had been abstinent for many years and inmates who were drug dealers but who asserted
they never used drugs themselves. For example, 15% of individuals we surveyed not in
treatment at the time of our visit, but who had previously completed prison-based
treatment, reported only occasional marijuana use and limited alcohol use, and said they
had no or only a slight substance abuse problem. Common criticisms from inmates
included that they often could not relate to some of their fellow participants and felt
pressure from their peers and the treatment staff to admit to more drug use then they had
actually done. They also reported that some of the subjects covered in group sessions
were either not specific or comprehensive enough to address their needs or were about
topics that were not applicable to them.

9

Programs for special populations include: two DWI programs, four CASAT programs, 13 programs for individuals
with co-occurring disorders, three programs for the special needs or sensorially disabled population and four
programs for inmates residing in regional medical units.
10
Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Most treatment programs we visited prioritize admission to the program based on
the inmate’s proximity to his/her earliest release date. Treatment programs
generally do not give priority to inmates who have current substance abuse
problems. Because it is DOCS policy to prioritize individuals for treatment based upon
the proximity to their release dates, inmates facing lengthy incarcerations will not receive
any treatment for many years, regardless of demonstrated need. At many prisons,
inmates must be within one year of their potential release dates before they are offered
treatment. We understand the challenges associated with completing a substance abuse
treatment program soon after beginning one’s incarceration. For example, the inmates
would then have to return to general population to complete their sentence, where
continued recovery support is limited and the chance of relapse is high, also negatively
impacting on prison management and safety. Moreover, at the beginning of one’s prison
term, it is more difficult to plan appropriate continuity of care for eventual discharge to
one’s community. Inmates definitely need treatment support toward the end of their
incarceration to prepare them for returning to the community. But we also observed
during our visits a portion of the inmate population with a significant need for treatment
earlier in their incarceration. Many inmates entering prison with a history of substance
abuse end up using drugs in prison and thus becoming subject to considerable
disciplinary sanctions. Inmates found possessing or using drugs or alcohol are routinely
given disciplinary sentences of several months to a year or more and are placed in a
Special Housing Unit (SHU) where they spend 23 hours of their day in lockdown and are
denied programming. In addition to being disciplined, inmates using drugs are
simultaneously moved to the back of the waiting list for substance abuse treatment and
will still have to wait for treatment until one to two years before their release.

Treatment Programs, Processes, Content and Structure
ƒ

Though many of the treatment programs we visited had some type of modified
hierarchy structure in place, the hierarchy roles were not generally associated with
an increase in privileges nor were all members of the community given a role in the
hierarchy structure. In a therapeutic community program, the treatment model for the
majority of DOCS treatment programs, hierarchy is defined as a system that allows for
positions of increasing responsibility and associated privileges through commitment to
and mastery of therapeutic community and counseling concepts. Sanctions and
incentives serve an equally important function. Many treatment programs we observed
punished individuals for failure to conform to the rules. However, we did not witness or
learn about many incidents in which individuals were rewarded for their progress.
Incentives are a principal function of a structured hierarchy and can help build selfesteem, model appropriate behavior and develop important social skills. In most cases
we observed and heard about from inmates, it seemed that occupying one of the multiple
hierarchy positions was often based on staff preferences or inmate volunteerism rather
than upon actual progress in the program.

ƒ

The role of inmates in the treatment programs varied significantly. At some
programs, inmate-participants facilitated a significant portion of the group sessions,
while at other prisons staff took a more direct role. At many facilities, inmate

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hierarchy members facilitated all or most community meetings. At other facilities,
inmates with hierarchy positions such as coordinator or assistant coordinator played a
central role in group sessions ranging from facilitating the entire session, to assisting in
engaging fellow participants, to assisting staff with materials or other assignments.
Though treatment staff were often present as inmates facilitated part or all of some
sessions, at some facilities the treatment staff would leave the group and allow the inmate
to facilitate on his/her own. This was also reported to us by treatment participants at
some facilities. While it is important that inmates take a leadership role in treatment
programs, appropriate supervision by treatment staff is key. Many inmates have a
significant amount to offer to other participants regarding their own experiences with
substance abuse and recovery, but they rarely possess the clinical background, training or
expertise necessary to provide a full range of treatment services. Being a facilitator can
be an important learning experience for the inmate and a meaningful opportunity to
model behavior and develop self-esteem. This type of development can only be
accomplished with the assistance and supervision of qualified treatment staff.
ƒ

Program structure varied a great deal from program to program. Group sizes in
most treatment programs ranged from 15 to 60 inmates, with typical groups of 25 to 30
participants. This group size is more appropriate for educational or informational
lectures and generally considered too large by experts for effective group therapy. In a
significant number of the programs we visited, groups rarely divided up to work in
smaller groups. Treatment participants also said they spent a considerable amount of the
program listening to educational presentations or watching informational videos and
much less time talking about their own substance abuse issues. As most programs use
some type of modified therapeutic community, they had some type of community
meeting, but again these sessions differed in length, frequency and format, with the
typical program having group meetings once a week. The variability from program to
program and within programs did not appear to reflect any differences in the population
or program design, but rather the style and preference of the individual treatment staff.

ƒ

Most of DOCS treatment programs are designed as modified therapeutic
communities. The DOCS ASAT Manual does not provide detailed guidance as to
clinical content or treatment modalities, and loosely states that programs can utilize
various techniques, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, within their programs.
Consequently, significant variations are present in program content and treatment
modality within and among the prison treatment programs.
Program Content

ƒ

The lack of a detailed curriculum with supporting documents in the treatment
manual leaves program staff without adequate direction concerning the daily
content of the program. The amount of skills training in areas such as anger
management, stress management and communication skills varied amongst programs.
For example, 83% of treatment participants at Greene Correctional Facility reported
receiving communication skills training, compared with 29% at Oneida. We observed
some effective presentations and program sessions, but also saw sessions that were

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poorly planned and lacking coherent content. Each prison, and often each staff member
within a prison, collects and maintains different handouts, worksheets and other tools.
Some of these materials are inaccurate and/or outdated, resulting in treatment programs
that are very inconsistent.
Treatment Modality
ƒ

Though most DOCS treatment programs utilize some components of a therapeutic
community, cognitive-behavioral and 12-step approach, the degree to which these
are utilized varied among facilities. Inmates voiced differing perceptions of the
importance of these treatment modalities among the programs, rating cognitive behavior
as both the most important component (77%) and the modality which provided them
higher levels of satisfaction (77%). Survey participants next expressed the importance of
and satisfaction with therapeutic community (63% importance of and 67% satisfaction
with) and 12-step elements (53% importance of and 60% satisfaction with).

ƒ

Individual counseling is limited, with wide variations among programs. There is no
clear requirement for significant one-on-one counseling beyond monthly meetings that
serve as the basis for the monthly evaluations. Some of these monthly meetings last only
a few minutes or less per inmate. Some treatment staff reported, however, that they have
frequent informal individual meetings with program participants who request them. It
does not appear that these sessions are documented in participants’ treatment records.

ƒ

The written materials and handouts used in the treatment programs varied
significantly, at times were outdated and were made up of individual documents
brought in by treatment staff with limited to no guidance from DOCS Central
Office. Both treatment staff and inmates voiced concerns about the lack of up-to-date
materials, written and video, available for use in the treatment programs. They expressed
frustration with the limited amount of resources available to update these materials. It is
challenging to find innovative ways to engage a population that is oftentimes resistant to
treatment, and using videos and handouts that do not reflect current trends or evidencebased practice make this task even more difficult. Facilities such as Bare Hill, Franklin,
Five Points, Oneida, Shawangunk and Taconic added supplemental materials from
outside sources, though these were not always consistently up to date.

ƒ

Individual treatment records vary in content from program to program and the
documents in the records provide no real indication or detail about an individual's
treatment needs, substance abuse history, or treatment objectives. We received
substance abuse treatment records from some facilities that did not represent an adequate
or holistic view of the individual and the many factors that will impact his/her current
treatment, including information about the individual’s previous treatment history, results
of his/her initial screening by DOCS, medical history, educational/vocational needs or
social support assessment. We also were unable to find any results of individuals being
tested for drug use while incarcerated. In many records, treatment objectives or other
important questions were left blank or filled in with one word answers. In addition, the
monthly evaluations and discharge assessments contained limited substantive feedback

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and few, if any, notes indicated the content of individual counseling sessions. Overall,
the treatment records were not sufficiently individualized. Also, it appears that no
clinical supervisors ever reviewed the charts.
Program Climate
ƒ

Treatment participants’ views on staff support, communication within the program
and engagement in the program varied considerably from facility to facility. The
program environment can either assist a program’s effectiveness and improve outcomes
for the participants, or hinder them. We observed both the positive and negative impacts
that program climate can have on programs during our visits.
Staff Support
We observed variation among treatment staff in their commitment to inmates, including
some treatment staff who seemed to possess a negative attitude toward inmates, viewing
the role of prisons as containment rather than rehabilitation. In contrast, 32% of all
treatment participants we surveyed reported that it was mostly or very true that staff
believed in them and 30% stated it was mostly or very true that staff were interested in
helping them. In some programs, such as Taconic (63% and 48%, respectively) and
Lakeview Female (64% and 68%, respectively), survey respondents reported
significantly higher positive responses to the above questions, and we were able to
observe some staff who appeared sincere and dedicated to the work and the population.
Communication
For individuals to gain the most from a treatment program and their community of peers,
it is important that they feel the program is a safe space for sharing personal information
and viewpoints. We observed some programs that clearly had created a safe environment
conducive to honest and open discussion and others where levels of tension appeared
high and participation was lower. For example, survey respondents from Lakeview
Female (71%), Oneida (59%), Bare Hill (60%) and Washington (56%) reported it was
mostly or very true that participants were afraid to speak up for fear of ridicule or
retaliation, whereas survey respondents at other prisons expressed much less fear about
participating in a discussion (Shawangunk (27% mostly or very true afraid to speak),
Eastern (28%), Taconic (33%) and Hale Creek (32%)).
Engagement
At some treatment sessions we saw programs participants who were actively engaged and
demonstrated a clear sense of ownership for the program, while at other facilities,
participants appeared bored and disengaged. Of the total number of survey respondents,
34.5% stated that it was mostly or very true that they enthusiastically participated in the
program and 37% reported that it was mostly or very true that they felt an attachment to
and ownership of the program. The survey results also illustrated the variation we
observed among programs with facilities such as Lakeview Female (63%), Lakeview

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Male (55%), Taconic (52%) and Sing Sing (50%) reporting higher percentages of
individuals who found it to be mostly or very true that they felt an attachment and
ownership to the program, compared with Gouverneur (15%), Oneida (17%), Willard
Drug Treatment Campus Male (21%) and Bare Hill (22%).
ƒ

Treatment participants at many programs reported feeling high levels of anxiety
and stress based on their concern that they would be removed from the program for
a small infraction, losing their good/merit time and having to spend more time
incarcerated. Many programs appeared punitive in nature, often relying on disciplinary,
rather than therapeutic responses, to minor violations. A large focus was placed on
keeping areas tidy, and individuals reported receiving sanctions for minor transgressions
such as not having their shoes in a straight line under their bed. In contrast, we observed
some programs whose staff made a genuine effort to ensure that participants would
succeed in the program and who used minor violations as a learning opportunity for the
individual.

Staffing
ƒ

The staffing ratio at most treatment programs is inadequate to meet the needs of the
participants. Most ASAT programs are staffed with only one ASAT correction
counselor and two program assistants (PAs) for every 120 program participants,
with the PAs facilitating most of the group meetings. We observed significant
program staff vacancies at many of the prisons we visited. The programs are
primarily run by PAs and class sessions range from 15 to 60 inmates, with an average
size of 25 to 30. At several prisons, we not only found a high number of staff vacancies,
but also a high level of staff turnover. It appears that some professionals use the PA
position as an entry-level job and then seek promotions once they have met the minimum
standards for advancement. Inmate participants often facilitate the classes, sometimes
with limited oversight by the PAs. In the current economic environment, most facilities
are not being granted the authorization to fill vacancies, resulting in treatment program
staff being stretched beyond capacity and inadequate treatment attention often being
given to program participants.

ƒ

There was wide variation in staff’s commitment to the program. We observed
substance abuse staff that were enthusiastic and engaged with the participants in their
classes, evidencing a commitment to the program and the success of its participants. We
also observed some substance abuse staff that appeared to be indifferent to the daily
activities of the treatment program. These staff members often exhibited a lack of
concern about the need for updated materials and innovative approaches for engaging
participants in the treatment process. Many survey respondents were highly critical of
the staff’s efforts and did not believe they were receiving effective support for their
recovery. Satisfaction with such key services as providing treatment plans and general
counseling varied considerably at some facilities. For example, a minority of survey
respondents at Bare Hill (31%), Cayuga (33%), Oneida (33%) and Gouverneur (40%)
reported that they were somewhat or very satisfied with the counseling process, compared
with the vast majority of survey respondents voicing satisfaction at Taconic (77%), Hale

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Creek (84%), Lakeview Male (84%) and Lakeview Female (96%). We found similar
variation with regard to satisfaction with the treatment plan.
ƒ

Wide variations were apparent in competence and skills among DOCS treatment
staff. Some treatment staff had extensive substance abuse training and experience
working in community-based treatment programs, while others possessed considerably
less experience and training. Very few treatment staff possessed higher level degrees and
only 23% of the treatment staff we spoke with reported being credentialed alcoholism
and substance abuse counselors (CASACs).

ƒ

Many staff are not actively engaged in continuing professional education and
development or engaged in professional organizations that focused on substance
abuse treatment. Though all treatment staff participate in the mandatory 40 hours
of training required by DOCS, they receive minimal training on substance abuse
topics such as new counseling techniques and preparation for working with special
populations. DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services provides limited
professional training, focused on an average of two or three different topics a year. It
appears that training on therapeutic communities is the only topic offered on a more
regular basis by this office. We observed some staff actively engaged in professional
training programs or professional organizations outside of DOCS. The Office of
Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (OASAS) has an extensive training catalog on a variety
of topics, but participation in this training is not a requirement for DOCS treatment staff.
We observed significant variation in answers among staff when asked if they have
participated in OASAS trainings. In addition, when asked about trainings they had
participated in during the past two years, a number of staff were unable to recall the topic
covered in the training session.

ƒ

Staff/inmate relations varied from facility to facility and were often marked by
inmate distrust of staff and frustration with the power many staff held over
participants. Inmates we spoke with often felt that staff were not sincere in their efforts
to help them and that they did not appear to be invested in the treatment program. Only
39% of survey respondents said it was mostly or very true that treatment staff supported
their goals and 40% reported as mostly or very true that treatment staff sincerely wanted
to help them. Several inmates also reported that some staff would use their ability to
remove them from the program as a means of intimidation. In our conversations and
meetings with treatment staff, we observed staff who appeared truly committed to
assisting treatment participants and were able to see the individuals holistically. We also
observed staff who seemed disengaged and did not express much empathy for them.

Program Completions and Removals
ƒ

The number of removals and completions among programs varies significantly. The
removals policies and procedures in place differ from facility to facility. Some
programs we visited removed nearly as many participants as they graduated, while others
had considerably higher graduation rates. Facilities with high removal rates include Five
Points, Washington, Greene and Mid-State, whereas Wyoming, Taconic, Wende and

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Eastern had much lower removal rates. Treatment staff at some programs we observed
worked closely with treatment participants to ensure their successful completion and
utilized learning experiences rather than punitive responses to program violations. In
contrast, other programs were more likely to remove individuals for repeated relatively
minor infractions. Individuals in treatment programs receive a monthly evaluation from
staff, and oftentimes, two or more negative monthly evaluations lead to a participant’s
removal from the program. The various elements that may result in a negative monthly
evaluation differ among programs and treatment staff.
Drug Use and Testing
ƒ

The frequency of drug use and possession among inmates varies significantly among
the DOCS facilities we visited. Dedicated substance abuse treatment facilities such as
Lakeview Shock, Willard DTC and Hale Creek had low occurrences of both drug use and
possession. Facilities such as Five Points, Sing Sing and Wende had high rates of both
drug use and possession, whereas Gowanda, Greene and Franklin had lower rates. Fortytwo percent of survey respondents from all facilities we visited stated that contraband
drug use was very common, with Sing Sing (73%) reporting the highest percentage and
Taconic (25%) the lowest.

ƒ

Inmates who test positive for illicit substances are frequently sent to the Special
Housing Unit (SHU), where little to no substance abuse treatment is offered. Eightysix percent of survey respondents at the facilities we visited who had received a positive
urine test were given a SHU sentence and, if at the time enrolled in a treatment program,
were removed from their substance abuse treatment program. Only 14% of the
individuals surveyed who received a SHU sentence as a result of drug use or possession
were provided with a cell-study workbook on substance abuse treatment during their
SHU sentence; no out-of-cell treatment program is offered by the Department for
disciplinary inmates.

Reentry/Aftercare
ƒ

Most treatment programs make little effort to develop specific in-prison and postrelease aftercare recommendations for program graduates. Treatment programs
generally do not require or provide assistance to inmates in contacting community-based
aftercare programs or developing a concrete plan for continuum of care, even for those
participants who are nearing release. In addition, program staff in many prisons make
little effort to develop prison-based aftercare programs, and treatment staff frequently do
not emphasize the importance of participation in voluntary programs such as Alcoholics
Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Programs at some facilities, such as
those at Lakeview Shock, Sing Sing and Hale Creek, did engage in aftercare planning and
support both in prison and in preparing for release. In addition, Mid-State had developed
an aftercare dorm for program graduates.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Discharge planning is minimal, and many of the staff responsible for this task lack
the expertise and resources to execute it effectively. The treatment staff who have
worked with the inmates for a minimum of six months and are in the best position
to assess an individual’s readiness for, and make recommendations to, appropriate
community-based treatment programs are not charged with the responsibility of
developing a detailed discharge plan. No detailed discharge plan is produced for an
inmate in any program, as the responsibility of determining program and housing
placement upon release lies with parole. In practice, the treatment staff at most
facilities provide little to no support or assistance to inmates who have been
graduated from prison-based substance abuse treatment and are being released.
Discharge planning for inmates with substance abuse problems is the responsibility of the
DOCS Transitional Services (TS) unit and the New York State Division of Parole. The
discharge planning process for inmates with substance abuse problems varies greatly
among the prisons we visited. The Transitional Services units are primarily staffed by
inmate program assistants, with varying degrees of professional staff oversight. The
Division of Parole created a special unit of parole substance abuse counselors called
ACCESS that is responsible for interviewing, assessing and referring individuals who are
required to participate in community treatment and are being released in New York City.
This effort by Parole focuses on New York City, so many inmates discharged in other
parts of the state are not provided these important services.

Clinical Case Records
ƒ

Substance abuse treatment records we reviewed were often not individualized and
did not present a holistic or comprehensive view of the treatment participant or
his/her experiences or history. Many treatment records lacked basic information such
as full substance use or treatment histories. They also contained minimal information
about other needs or issues that may impact on recovery such as social supports and
employment and educational opportunities. In addition many of the long- and short-term
goals in the treatment plans were broad and unspecific and were repeated verbatim
among various treatment records.

ƒ

The treatment record forms and process outlined in the ASAT manual do not
encourage collaboration between inmates and treatment staff in the development of
critical treatment elements such as treatment and discharge plans. The treatment
plan and discharge forms did not appear to include space for substantive participant input,
nor was there evidence of such input in the treatment staff’s comments on the forms
themselves. The records we reviewed seemed to contain mostly the views of the
treatment staff and less the voice of the participant.

ƒ

No clear process exists for clinical supervisors to regularly review and ensure the
quality and content of treatment records. Only one form in the treatment records
included a line for documentation of a clinical supervisor review. Other than annual site
visits from Central Office in which some treatment records may be reviewed, there
appeared to be no formal process by program supervisors to review treatment records.

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This type of review is integral to ensuring appropriateness of content, proper completion
of forms and quality and effectiveness of treatment services provided.
Monitoring/Oversight
ƒ

Protocols or procedures for prison management oversight of treatment programs do
not exist; prison staff responsible for this oversight have little relevant expertise. On
most of our visits, prison administrative staff reported limited experience or expertise in
treatment programs. They typically performed no monitoring of the program other than
visiting the area and reviewing grievances and complaints from participants. At some
facilities, however, the supervising correction counselor, who was directly responsible for
the program, had expertise in the area, but even in these situations there was no protocol
defining these officials’ duties in managing and monitoring the program. There appears
to be very little clinical supervision in the daily operations of the treatment program,
particularly in terms of observing sessions, case consultations and chart reviews.

ƒ

Only recently has there been any outside monitoring of DOCS substance abuse
treatment services. Language was included in the Rockefeller drug law reforms passed
in April 2009 that required the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
(OASAS) to monitor prison-based substance abuse treatment programs, develop
guidelines for the operation of these programs and release an annual report assessing the
effectiveness of such programs. Previously, OASAS certified both the Willard Drug
Treatment Campus (Willard DTC) and the treatment program at Edgecombe Correctional
Facility. OASAS’s involvement with correction, such as the new standards created for
Willard DTC in 2009, has helped to reduce the size of group counseling sessions and
increase the qualifications necessary for certain treatment staff positions. OASAS’ first
report on NYS DOCS Addiction Services published in December 2009, lays out plans for
2010 that include site visits to 8-10 facilities (including a reception center and maximum
security facility) as well as the development of new basic operating guidelines for both
the ASAT and CASAT programs.

Special Populations
ƒ

Inmates with both substance abuse problems and mental health needs do not
consistently receive appropriate substance abuse treatment. The State has created
only 13 Integrated Dual Diagnosed Treatment (IDDT) programs, designed for individuals
with both substance abuse and mental health problems, some of these taking place in
general population while most are held in the mental health residential units at Office of
Mental Health (OMH) level one facilities. These represent approximately 294 of the
nearly 10,000 DOCS treatment beds. No clear policies or criteria exist for including
general population inmates with mental health needs in existing treatment programs. We
received varying descriptions from the prisons we visited concerning these inmates’
participation in general substance abuse treatment programs. Nearly 14% of New York’s
prison population is on the OMH caseload, representing more than 8,500 inmates, of
whom 3,500 to 4,000 have significant mental health needs. The State is not providing an
adequate number of treatment slots for this patient population. The majority of

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individuals on the OMH caseload are placed in general population, and it is unclear
whether they receive treatment geared to their needs. However, the Department has
reportedly recently developed a new treatment manual for its IDDT programs, and it
appears the Department wants to enhance these services.
ƒ

At most prisons, services for participants with limited English skills are inadequate.
Few DOCS treatment staff are Spanish-English bilingual, and very few treatment
activities are conducted in Spanish. Since approximately 6% of the State’s inmate
population has limited English skills, the needs of many individuals are not adequately
being addressed. At many prisons, some materials are available in Spanish. However,
for most programs, the inmates must rely on other bilingual inmates to translate for them.
The inmate translators have received no training in performing these functions.
Moreover, most substance abuse treatment staff cannot read Spanish, so it is unclear to
what extent they are able to review the materials prepared by Spanish language–dominant
program participants.

ƒ

Gender-appropriate topics and materials for substance abuse treatment programs
in DOCS facilities housing women varied significantly. Approximately 88% of
women in New York State prisons are assessed as having an alcohol or substance abuse
problem. Eight out of 10 women in prison in New York State experienced severe abuse
as children, and nine out of 10 have had incidents of physical or sexual violence in their
lifetimes. Compared with nearly 13% of the male inmate population in the State, 42% of
women have been diagnosed with a mental illness, and 73% of incarcerated women are
mothers. Incarcerated women have specific experiences that will influence their recovery
process. These perspectives must be addressed in substance abuse treatment programs
serving women in order to ensure effective treatment.

Major Recommendations
As mentioned above, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services released its
first annual report on DOCS treatment services in December 2009. The OASAS report
outlined a number of promising developments and future plans for improving DOCS
substance abuse treatment programs, including: reviewing the Department’s
screening/assessment instruments and processes; developing new operating guidelines for the
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) and Comprehensive Alcohol and
Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT) programs currently offered by DOCS; providing
assistance in identifying additional training opportunities for treatment staff; exploring the
use of medication-assisted therapy (MAT) within DOCS facilities; and assisting the
Department in monitoring the effectiveness of its programs. These plans are positive and
necessary first steps in improving the current substance abuse treatment offered in NYS
prisons and the following recommendations build upon and further develop many of these
points. We have included a more complete list of recommendations in Section 18 of this
report.

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Screening/Assessment

11

ƒ

Develop and implement a more comprehensive and standardized assessment process
and an instrument that enable the guidance/reception staff to distinguish among
types and severity of need for substance abuse treatment as well as risk of future
criminal behavior, and to distinguish between substance use, substance abuse and
substance dependence. The addition of a more comprehensive assessment tool for use
for individuals who screened positive for substance abuse and a clear, formal definition
of who should receive treatment would reduce the number of individuals being
inappropriately placed into treatment programs, would ensure that individuals were being
placed into the program that most accurately reflects their level of need, would make the
best use of limited staffing and financial resources and would be most effective in
reducing risk of relapse and recidivism due to drug use.

ƒ

Require staff conducting assessments regarding substance use to receive training to
administer the standardized assessment instrument. Decisions regarding appropriate
placement for substance abuse treatment programs are more effective when done by
trained professional staff. A degree of understanding about the different levels of
severity of substance abuse, the types of prison-based programs available, and the
program that best suits an individual’s needs can reduce inappropriate referrals and
increase treatment effectiveness. Specialized training covering basic counseling
techniques, essential mental health terms, symptoms, relationship building and reflective
listening should be offered to counselors administering screening and assessment
instruments. Office of Mental Health (OMH) staff should work in coordination with
counselors assessing inmates for substance abuse treatment, sharing mental health
information as needed and collaborating when necessary to make an appropriate
recommendation for substance abuse treatment services for individuals with mental
health problems.

ƒ

Develop a variety of treatment and educational programs for individuals with
differing needs and match individuals who have been identified as needing some
substance abuse treatment to appropriate treatment programs based on their
individual needs and severity of substance abuse. Matching programs to individual
needs greatly increases the chances that an individual will be successful in his/her
treatment placement. Treatment matching or determining appropriate level of care
requires that a continuum of services be available, ranging in levels of intensity, length,
treatment modality and location (residential or outpatient). To create a successful
therapeutic environment, inmates with similar types and severity of substance abuse
issues should be placed together to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment and to
make the best use of treatment staff resources. Correctional facilities in Colorado11 and
Maine have had success with treatment matching; these programs could serve as models
for a similar approach in New York State.

ƒ

Allow for prioritizing of substance abuse treatment programs according to need and
severity of substance abuse problem for inmates demonstrating circumstances such

https://exdoc.state.co.us/secure/combo2.0.0/userfiles/folder_5/Overview_SA_Treatment_Services_FY08_2.pdf

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as active substance dependence when entering prison and drug use inside prison.
Inmates with a significant need for substance abuse treatment at admission to DOCS or
who repeatedly receive disciplinary sanctions for drug use inside prison should be
prioritized for substance abuse treatment services regardless of the length of their prison
sentence. Though individuals will still be required to participate in a substance abuse
treatment program toward the end of their incarceration, the State should explore the
creation of a separate voluntary substance abuse treatment program for individuals first
entering the prison system who need treatment services more urgently. This option
should also be available for inmates who receive a misbehavior report for use or
possession of drugs while incarcerated. It is important to note that the Substance Abuse
and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) also recommends that inmates with
significant substance abuse needs and high recidivism risk should be prioritized for initial
placement into a substance abuse treatment program.12
Treatment Programs, Processes, Content and Structure
ƒ

Standardize program content and material using evidence-based workbooks,
handouts and videos. The DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services
(OSATS) should provide a more detailed curriculum to treatment programs including
handouts and videos to be used in the program. Treatment staff with community-based
treatment experience should introduce relevant materials that they believe would add
value to the program, but such materials should be reviewed by OSATS staff during their
routine monitoring of the programs to ensure the appropriateness of such materials and to
identify useful materials to distribute to all treatment programs. Centralizing materials
and program content can assist in making certain that materials and content are up to date
and include new evidence-based practices and approaches.

ƒ

Increase frequency and length of individual counseling sessions. Individual
counseling in a setting with such a diverse population and large group sessions allows
inmates to address more sensitive issues that they might hesitate to discuss in a group
setting. DOCS should offer individual counseling sessions in substance abuse treatment
programs in accordance with OASAS standards for community-based programs. It is
also essential that treatment staff ensure the confidentiality of such individual sessions
and accurately document their duration and content.

ƒ

Reduce the size of group sessions and increase frequency of use of small group
sessions. Large group sessions are conducive to didactic instruction, but do not create an
appropriate environment for open communication, sharing and discussion. Group size
should be limited to ensure best clinical effectiveness; groups should routinely break into
small groups that can facilitate greater interaction, dialogue and support among peers.

ƒ

Fidelity to therapeutic community and cognitive-behavioral principles should be
improved. Efforts should be taken to ensure that key elements of therapeutic

12

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf, 148.

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communities and a cognitive-behavioral approach are more fully integrated into the
program. This approach includes placing a greater focus on role playing and skills
development, as well as use of incentives and privileges in the community.
Staffing
ƒ

Increase substance abuse treatment staffing numbers. State policymakers should take
action to promptly fill authorized DOCS treatment staff positions. Staff-to-participant
ratios should be in accordance with OASAS community regulations

ƒ

Increase qualifications and skills necessary for treatment staff. Treatment staff
should meet the necessary requirements and qualifications as outlined by OASAS,
resulting eventually in a substantial portion, if not all, of treatment staff having some type
of outside credential or license, such as CASAC.

ƒ

Provide more comprehensive and frequent training for treatment staff covering
topics such as evidence-based counseling approaches used in substance abuse
treatment, working within the criminal justice setting and working with special
populations. The State should develop additional mandatory ongoing training sessions
and encourage greater participation in training by providing monetary support, approved
absences and other incentives to enhance the skills of the treatment staff. Training for all
DOCS substance abuse treatment programs should be offered by a consistent set of
trainers able to inspect treatment plans and observe programs to best identify needed
areas for training. The Department should explore creating “model training programs”
where all new staff can receive training, prior to placement at a permanent facility.

Program Completions and Removals
ƒ

Standardize the removal process for all prison-based substance abuse treatment
programs and develop program retention committees at all treatment programs
with the aim engaging individuals in treatment and decreasing the number of
inmates removed from the program. Substance abuse and dependence are chronic,
reoccurring conditions; relapse, acting out, noncompliance and multiple experiences with
treatment programs are typical and expected. Many inmates resist being forced into
treatment and may act out in various ways, and it is up to treatment staff to find ways to
engage participants in the recovery process. Every substance abuse treatment program in
DOCS should develop a program retention committee, which should work resourcefully
with individuals who demonstrate problems in the program. These committees should
use removals as a last resort.

Drug Use and Testing
ƒ

Institute less punitive responses to drug usage inside prison and develop appropriate
programs for inmates who use drugs. We recognize that drug use inside prisons can
impact on the safety of inmates and staff and must be regarded seriously. Inmates testing
positive for drug use are often in urgent need of intensive treatment services.

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Disciplinary responses should be tempered, not eliminated, and efforts should be made to
guarantee that individuals placed in disciplinary housing because of a positive urine test
are offered treatment preparation or services during this confinement. In addition, once
an inmate completes a disciplinary sentence, he/she should be prioritized for intensive
treatment services.
Reentry/Aftercare
ƒ

Increase aftercare services for inmates completing treatment programs and
returning to general population, including possibly an aftercare dorm. The creation
of an aftercare dorm for inmates completing residential substance abuse treatment
programs, more formal and diverse aftercare services, and continuity of services from
treatment staff are important elements for reducing recidivism and relapse, as well as
adding an incentive for inmates to complete the program. In addition, we recommend
that the Department allows inmates to run AA and NA programs when volunteers from
the outside community are not available.

ƒ

Develop a more comprehensive, coordinated and integrated discharge planning
policy, including recommendations from treatment staff on the type of program that
would best suit individuals’ substance abuse treatment needs in the community. To
promote successful reentry for individuals graduating from prison-based substance abuse
treatment programs, the State should develop a prison-based, reentry oriented, integrated
process that includes input from, and coordination with, treatment staff, Parole, and
community-based organizations. The State should create a comprehensive discharge plan
that includes specific recommendations for the type and length of treatment program or
services that would most benefit the individual. These programs should range in level of
intensity from outpatient services to halfway houses and inpatient treatment programs. In
addition, each facility should provide every individual leaving prison with documentation
from the treatment staff outlining the treatment services he/she received while
incarcerated. This information would enable community-based treatment staff to provide
a more effective and appropriate continuity of services.

Clinical Case Records
ƒ

Work with the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to
design new treatment record forms that are concise, individualized, intuitive and
comprehensive. OASAS has the expertise and experience to assist DOCS in developing
forms that more effectively capture the information necessary to offer the highest quality
of services to treatment participants. They may also be able to offer training or assistance
in developing training for treatment staff on completing these forms in a manner that is
both individualized and concrete. DOCS should take advantage of the existing resources
and work with OASAS towards improving these forms.

ƒ

Promote better inmate participation in the treatment and discharge planning
process. Treatment staff should be encouraged to involve treatment participants in
developing their treatment and discharge plans in order to increase ownership and

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investment in the program and their recovery. This collaboration should be documented
in the treatment records, and should be viewed as an important learning experience for
the participant and an opportunity to engage in important therapeutic conversations.
ƒ

Develop formal process for regular review of treatment records by a clinical
supervisor. Without a process in place to ensure accountability, even the most
comprehensive of forms can become ineffective. Proper auditing and supervision of
treatment records and their content not only provides this accountability, but allows
treatment staff to develop their professional skills while increasing the quality of services
beings offered to treatment participants.

Monitoring/Oversight
ƒ

Develop and implement written policies and procedures on how individual facilities
and DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services provide clinical
supervision to treatment staff. A clinical supervisor should regularly monitor all
individual treatment plans and records. Clinical supervision should be provided to all
treatment staff by a qualified clinical supervisor in accordance with OASAS community
standards. If a qualified clinical supervisor is not available at the facility, DOCS should
employ a consultant to offer clinical supervision to treatment staff two to four times per
month in person or through teleconferencing.

ƒ

Develop written policies and procedures for OASAS oversight and evaluation of
DOCS substance abuse treatment programs. To address the significant variation
among programs, the State and OASAS should establish formal policies requiring quality
assurance and utilization review plans. In addition, documents should be developed for
monitoring purposes to comprehensively rate treatment plans and records, program
sessions and participant satisfaction, and to collect outcomes data.

Special Populations
ƒ

Increase collaboration with the Office of Mental Health (OMH) to provide support
and expertise in substance abuse treatment programs serving inmates with mental
health issues. The Department’s efforts to increase the number of substance abuse
treatment programs for inmates with mental health needs is commendable, but we are
concerned by the lack of mental health training for and expertise of many of the treatment
staff. OMH staff should frequently participate in the treatment sessions for IDDT
programs for both general population inmates and individuals in residential mental health
programs. DOCS should also schedule weekly treatment meetings should be scheduled
with OMH and treatment staff working in those programs to address the special needs of
this population.

ƒ

Increase the number of Integrated Dual Diagnosed Treatment Programs available
in general population. DOCS and OMH have been able to collaboratively develop what
appears to be generally successful integrated treatment programs for individuals with cooccurring mental health and substance abuse problems housed in both disciplinary and

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residential mental health programs. Thousands of inmates with mental health disorders,
many of them seriously mentally ill, reside in general population and the three current
general population IDDT programs are not sufficient to address the needs of this
population.

13

ƒ

Increase resources available for limited English speakers and the number of
bilingual treatment staff. Conduct a needs assessment for limited English speakers
in need of substance abuse treatment and determine if a Spanish-language
substance abuse treatment program should be piloted at one facility. Treatment staff
should be able to provide limited English speakers with information and materials in their
native language. All materials and information made available to the group should also
be available to limited English speakers, whose treatment services should not be reduced
simply because of their inability to speak English. Prison administrators should make a
strong effort to recruit more bilingual treatment staff, working with state officials to offer
pay differentials where necessary. The Department should explore the possibility of
creating at least one Spanish-only treatment program, allowing individuals with limited
English skills to participate more fully in their recovery. In addition, if the Department
uses inmate translators, it should establish a paid position to adequately trained
individuals who are not currently in treatment.

ƒ

Incorporate gender-appropriate topics and curriculum into the substance abuse
treatment programs offered in prisons that house women. Gender-specific programs
should address issues of maintaining and developing healthy relationships; trauma;
parenting; and health education. The Department should explore the use of genderspecific screening and assessment instruments such as Texas Christian University Drug
Screen (TCUDS II) or TWEAK.13

Ibid., 38.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

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Project Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

3. PROJECT SUMMARY
3.1 SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT IN PRISON
Incarcerated individuals with substance abuse histories are at higher risk for relapse and return to
criminal behavior if their need for treatment goes unmet.14 Effective, timely prison-based
treatment greatly reduces the risk of substance abuse and criminal behavior for inmates with
substance use disorders.15 This is especially true when treatment specifically addresses criminal
thinking and behavior, helping inmates to identify and modify maladaptive coping strategies.
Substance abuse treatment in prison has been shown to have an appreciable effect on post-release
arrest, conviction and incarceration16 and to reduce post-release alcohol and drug use.17 A
number of studies indicate that inmates who do not participate in substance abuse treatment are
significantly more likely to be rearrested than those who do.18
Many studies, including several funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and a
1997 report by RAND Drug Policy Research Center, have demonstrated that substance abuse
treatment is, on the whole, more successful than imprisonment in reducing substance abuse and
crime rates and in increasing the ability of individuals convicted of drug offenses to find and
hold jobs.19 Although alternative programs are more effective and less expensive than
imprisonment, many individuals in need of treatment end up in New York State prisons.
On an individual level, lack of treatment availability can prevent an inmate struggling with
substance abuse from finding help throughout years of a lengthy sentence, can postpone parole
for an inmate who is mandated to complete treatment before release and can have negative
consequences for the individual and his/her family. In contrast, prison treatment programs can
be the foundation for inmates to build a lifetime of recovery, whether inside prison walls or after
release. For example, we found that participants in the comprehensive programs of Lakeview
Shock and the Hale Creek CASAT had considerably higher GED graduation rates than those of
other Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) treatment programs we visited. These
facilities also had low levels of inmate violence. Strengthening and expanding these ancillary
benefits should be factored into any consideration of prison-based treatment programs.
14

Fletcher and Chandler, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide.
15
Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
16
Inciardi et al., “An effective model of prison-based treatment for drug-involved offenders,” 261-278; Prendergast
et al., “Reducing Substance Use in Prison,” 265-280; WEXLER et al., “Three-Year Reincarceration Outcomes for
Amity In-Prison Therapeutic Community and Aftercare in California,” 321-336; Wexler, “The Success of
Therapeutic Communities for Substance Abusers in American Prisons,” 57-66; Melnick, Hawke, and Wexler,
“Client Perceptions Of Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment Programs,” 125-25.
17
Anglin, M.D. and McGlothlin, W.H., “Outcome of narcotic addict treatment in California”; De Leon, G.,
“Program-based evaluation research in therapeutic communities”; Simpson and Friend, “Legal status and long-term
outcomes for addicts in the DARP followup project.”
18
Andrews et al., “Does Correctional Treatment Work - A Clinically Relevant and Psychologically Informed MetaAnalysis,” 369-404.
19
Caulkins, Jonathan P., C. Peter Rydell, William Schwabe and James Chiesa. Mandatory Minimum Drug
Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers' Money?

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The repercussions of prison-based treatment range far beyond that of individual drug-involved
inmates, however, with the potential to enhance both public safety and public health. Many of
New York State’s inmates come from communities ravaged by poverty, unemployment and
chronic health problems such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. If they return to these communities
armed with knowledge about substance abuse, as well as valuable coping and social skills, they
are more likely to contribute to the health and safety of their communities. There are also
considerable positive multigenerational effects of recovery on families and communities. In
addition, effective substance abuse treatment has been proven to reduce drug sales, the incidence
of driving while impaired/intoxicated, public disorder, prostitution, homelessness and physical
and sexual abuse.20 Communities with higher levels of drug use have increased rates of both
personal and property crimes as well as driving while intoxicated or impaired.21
National attention has shifted to these issues with NIDA’s establishment in 2002 of the Criminal
Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS), a multisite research program that aims to
improve the treatment of individuals involved with the criminal justice system who have
substance use disorders and to integrate criminal justice and public health responses for these
individuals.22 23
The majority of substance abuse treatment programs in New York State have not been
thoroughly evaluated or assessed for effectiveness by either an external or internal body. Other
prison-based treatment programs or state correctional systems at times have worked with
universities and other outside agencies to conduct evaluations of their prison-based treatment
programs. For example, in 1999 a study of Ohio’s prison-based therapeutic community
treatment programs was conducted by Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine.24
In 1999, researchers evaluated the therapeutic community program at Amity Prison in
California.25 Based on the lack of evidence-based in-prison substance abuse treatment, the
Correctional Association (CA) decided to embark on a multiyear study of prison-based substance
abuse treatment provided by New York’s Department of Correctional Services.
3.2 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The CA’s Substance Abuse Treatment Project aimed to determine whether New York State
prison-based substance abuse treatment meets the needs of inmates with substance abuse through
achievement of three objectives: developing a thorough and comprehensive understanding of
20

Magura et al., “Substance User Treatment Program Quality: Selected Topics,” 1185-1214.
McLellan et al., “Evaluating the effectiveness of addiction treatments,” 51-85.
22
Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJ-DATS). http://www.cjdats.org/Wiki%20Pages/Home.aspx.
23
The overall objective of CJ-DATS was to bring together a group of nationally recognized researchers to study the
drug treatment services available in the U.S. criminal justice system in an effort to improve their quality and
effectiveness. Research was begun in a variety of key areas including: screening and assessment, reentry services,
performance monitoring, working with special populations, and improving treatment engagement and retention.
Phase Two was launched in 2008 to expand on previous research as well as to improve the quality of treatment
services available for drug-involved offenders.
24
Siegal, Harvey A., Wang, Carlson, Falck, and Fine. “Ohio’s Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Treatment
Programs for Substance Abusers: Preliminary Analysis of Re-Arrest Data.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
28(3/4):33-48.
25
Siegal et al., “Ohio's Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Treatment Programs for Substance Abusers,” 33-48;
Wexler et al., “The Amity Prison TC Evaluation,” 147-167.
21

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how New York State prisons respond to these inmates; identifying current evidence-based
standards in the field; and creating recommendations for DOCS to adjust its services as needed
in order to meet those standards.
To achieve these aims, the CA assessed the screening process by which inmates are designated
as “in need of treatment”; analyzed the effectiveness of treatment through observation of
treatment sessions, interviews with inmates and staff, reviews of case records, evaluation of
program policies and procedures and (where available) outcomes as related to program
completions and removals; identified the degree to which DOCS adheres to recognized
guidelines for evidence-based treatment; assessed the provision of in-prison aftercare for inmates
who have completed treatment; and assessed the efforts made by prisons to assist inmates as they
make the transition to community-based treatment upon their release.
The Project was implemented in two phases. In the first phase, the CA visited 23 correctional
facilities in New York State, where we encountered 15 of the 17 types of substance abuse
treatment programs operated by DOCS.26
The Project sought to examine the needs of and services for inmates with substance use histories,
whether or not they were in treatment at the time of our visits. Thus, we surveyed and
interviewed inmates not currently in treatment programs (see Appendix C). With this strategy,
we reached people who asserted their need for treatment but reported that they were not
designated as such by DOCS’s screening system. It also ensured that we engaged inmates not
currently in treatment, but who had already participated in DOCS treatment, had been removed
from treatment for disciplinary or administrative reasons, or were on a waiting list for treatment
as they approached the end of their sentence. We also gained valuable insights and information
from inmates not in treatment who had no need for it; they provided information about drugrelated activity in the prisons. Overall, inmates not currently in a program provided great insight
into treatment program removals and disciplinary processes for prison-based drug use/possession
and provided an assessment of drug trafficking in DOCS facilities (for more information about
the questions included in the survey for individuals not in treatment, refer to Section 3.3,
Methodology).
In addition, we observed treatment sessions, residential treatment areas, and discharge planning
services (the DOCS Transitional Services program). Over the course of the Project, we received
more than 2,300 surveys detailing inmates’ experiences in New York State correctional facilities,
specifically with regard to substance abuse treatment programs. The programs we visited
represented more than half of the treatment beds available throughout DOCS.
The Project’s second phase sought to evaluate the reentry process for individuals with substance
abuse histories being released from New York State prisons by examining their access to
community-based treatment and how well their prison-based treatment prepared them for it. CA
staff facilitated a limited number of focus groups with formerly incarcerated individuals enrolled
26

We did not include the following DOCS programs for the stated reasons: CASAT Phase II Outpatient Services are
provided by outside contractors or agencies; participants of the Nursery and Female Trauma Recovery Programs
attend the same six-month ASAT or CASAT program described throughout the report; and the Parole Violators
Relapse Prevention Program was not in operation at the time of our visits.

Correctional Association of New York

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Project Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

in selected community-based substance abuse programs. We asked them to complete a survey
about their experiences accessing community-based treatment programs and the prison-based
substance abuse treatment they received in New York State prisons. In addition, we had brief
discussions with a small number of staff from community-based treatment programs to assess
their impressions of in-prison treatment (via their experiences working with formerly
incarcerated individuals) and of the reentry process for inmates with substance abuse histories.
We spoke with 35 formerly incarcerated individuals and treatment staff in New York City and
throughout New York State. This phase also included in-depth interviews with model prisonbased substance abuse treatment programs in other jurisdictions to better understand the
components of effective treatment. These included telephone interviews with the administrators
of prison-based treatment programs in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Missouri and Illinois as
well as site visits to three programs in New Jersey.
3.3 METHODOLOGY
Launched in 2007, the CA’s study on substance abuse treatment in New York State prisons
visited 23 correctional facilities (see Table 3.1 below). The facilities visited represent a broad
cross section of the various types of treatment programs offered by DOCS; to get the most
information, the CA visited many of the largest treatment programs. We visited maximum,
medium and minimum security facilities, but focused primarily on the medium security facilities
where most of the prison-based treatment programs occur. The Project employed a range of
research methods including but not limited to: inmate surveys, site visits, interviews and focus
groups, in-depth communication with experts, record reviews, systemwide data and policy
analysis, and comparison with models employed by other states.
Interviewers and site visitors for the current study were trained for interviewing this population,
and the interviewers emphasized the confidential nature of the data.
3.3.1 Inmate Surveys
During phase one of the Project, we employed two survey instruments to interview inmates: one
designed for inmates enrolled in a prison-based substance abuse treatment program, and another
for those not enrolled. For inmates enrolled in a program, we used a modified version of the
Multimodality Quality Assurance Scales (MQA) Participant Survey, developed by the National
Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI)27, to evaluate participant assessment of
substance abuse treatment programs (see Appendix B).
NDRI developed the Multimodality Quality Assurance Instrument (MQA) to collect program
information from participants and staff at 13 prison-based drug treatment programs across the
United States, and 80 community-based residential substance abuse treatment programs. Briefly,
27

National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) was established in 1967 and is a not-for-profit, taxexempt non-governmental agency whose primary mission is to advance scientific knowledge in the areas of
substance abuse, mental health, HIV/AIDS and other related social and health concerns in order to contribute to the
prevention and solution of these social problems. NDRI collaborates with a wide array of hospitals, treatment and
prevention programs, publishes in leading journals and scientific books and works with a variety of diverse
communities.

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Project Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

the MQA was designed to: 1) fill the gap between the reliance on descriptive documents
produced by program directors and expensive field audits, 2) compare programs with different
treatment approaches (e.g., therapeutic communities, cognitive-behavioral therapy and 12-step),
as well as eclectic programs that incorporate a combination of elements, and 3) provide a wide
range of treatment, organizational, financial and client information to support “data-driven”
decision-making.28
The instrument is self-administered and assesses five domains considered critical to the
effectiveness of substance abuse treatment programs, organizational characteristics, client
characteristics, program policies and services, treatment elements, program climate, and staff and
client satisfaction. The domains are based on the standards for health care organizations
formulated by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, the substance
abuse treatment research literature, and a panel of experts in community- and prison-based
substance abuse treatment. The reading level is at the 5th grade or less, and the instrument takes
approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete.
For inmates not enrolled in a treatment program, the CA developed a separate survey to assess
need for treatment (See Appendix C). This instrument asks inmates about substance abuse
histories prior to incarceration; desire for treatment; how DOCS screens inmates for treatment;
how DOCS responds to illegal drug use/possession during incarceration; the length of time that
inmates must wait for treatment; reasons for removal from treatment programs; discharge
planning services; and inmate access to volunteer or other programs such as Alcoholics
Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
The survey instrument utilized for phase two was built upon the MQA and assesses formerly
incarcerated individuals’ experience of in-prison substance abuse treatment programs and the
reentry process. The survey includes questions about experiences and assessment of prisonbased substance abuse treatment, need and desire for substance abuse treatment, discharge
planning, aftercare services, level of preparedness for release from prison, and the overall reentry
process.
3.3.2 Site Visits
The CA conducted one- or two-day visits to the 23 prisons in this study. In most cases, the
primary purpose of the first day was to gather information for the CA’s general prison
monitoring work, with a limited amount of information relevant to the substance abuse study
also collected. The second day of the two-day visits was for the sole purpose of gathering data
for the study. The process consisted of interviewing inmates and staff directly involved with
substance abuse treatment programs and observing the implementation of these programs.
During these visits, we spoke with inmates about our study and signed up individuals to receive
the surveys in the mail. Within a few days of completing a visit, the CA mailed surveys and
consent forms to each inmate in the treatment program and to those not in the program who had
agreed to participate in the study.
28

Melnick, Hawke, and Wexler, “Client Perceptions Of Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment
Programs,” 121-138.

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Project Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

In phase two, the CA staff conducted site visits to four community-based programs serving
formerly incarcerated individuals in New York City and upstate New York. We held focus
group sessions with individuals who had been incarcerated in a New York State correctional
facility within the past two years and had participated in a prison-based substance abuse
treatment program during this incarceration bid. Prior to the focus group session, focus group
participants completed the individual survey described previously, which was based on the MQA
and described in Section 3.3.1.
3.3.3 Systemwide Data
In response to a Freedom of Information Law request by the CA, the Department provided the
CA with updated systemwide policies and data as of August 2009 for the following materials:
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT), Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Treatment (CASAT), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), and Chemical Dependency/Domestic
Violence manuals; description of each DOCS substance abuse treatment programs; monthly
department-wide reports summarizing all prison programs, including substance abuse treatment
services; listing of substance abuse treatment programs and their capacity at each prison; current
job descriptions for substance abuse treatment staff; site visit reports by DOCS Office of
Substance Abuse Services for all prisons for January 2007 through April 2009; lists of prisonbased, voluntary substance abuse aftercare programs at each prison; and lists of substance abuse
treatment staff at each facility. In evaluating the Department’s response to the needs of inmates
with substance use histories, we have used these policy statements and systemwide data to assess
DOCS treatment programs.
3.3.4 Advisory Committee
A panel of experts in the fields of substance abuse treatment and correction informed the work of
the Substance Abuse Treatment Project. These experts have helped to guide the Project’s design,
evaluation of data, and recommendations. Specifically, the advisory committee provided:
critique of study design; suggestions to improve data collection and analysis; suggestions on
triangulation of data; analysis of study results and possible findings; recommendations based on
study results; and recommendations concerning best practices for caring for inmates with
substance abuse problems. In addition to frequent communication with members of the advisory
committee to troubleshoot emerging issues and receive feedback, the CA held two formal
advisory committee meetings.
3.4 VISITS OVERVIEW
The following tables provide a summary of the facilities and treatment programs the CA visited
during its two-year study. Table 3-1 details general information about each facility at the time
of the site visit, including: the date of visit; the facility’s security level; the total prison
population; the types of substance abuse treatment programs available; the number of treatment
staff and vacancies; and the enrollment in each program. Table 3-2 illustrates the number of
both MQA and non-program surveys we received from inmates at each facility.

Correctional Association of New York

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Project Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

The information gathered from the site visits and surveys provides a broad view of the substance
abuse treatment programs offered by DOCS. We compared and contrasted responses and
information provided by the executive and treatment staff, inmate surveys and interview
responses, systemwide data and our own observations to arrive at a thorough and comprehensive
evaluation of the DOCS treatment programs. The following sections provide detailed analysis of
specific program areas such as screening, staffing, clinical content, and program monitoring. In
the Recommendations section of this report, our objective is to propose strategies to improve on
the current state of DOCS treatment and add to the dialogue and movement toward restructuring
these services for future participants.

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Project Summary

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Table 3-1 CA VISITS TO PRISONS AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS
Prison
Albion
(medium)

Date of
Visit

Prison
Population

Substance Abuse Treatment
Programs*

Treatment Staff
(Vacancies)**

Enrollment in
Each Program

1/29/2009

1,052

ASAT, DWI, MICA

Data Pending

188, 25, 14
Total = 227

Arthur Kill
(medium)

4/10/2007

945

CASAT, MICA, Stay’n Out,
ASAT, SNU ASAT

Arthur Kill
(medium)

6/2/2009

964

CASAT, MICA, ASAT,
SNU ASAT

6/3–4/08

1,691

ASAT

07/14–
15/08

1,015

ASAT

6/27/2007

1,170

CD/DV, ASAT,
SDU ASAT

Bare Hill
(medium)
Cayuga
(medium)

Eastern
(maximum)

Five Points
(maximum)
Franklin
(medium)
Gouverneur
(medium)

11/17–
19/08

1,386

ASAT

6/5–6/08

1,680

ASAT

4/29–
30/08

1,054

ASAT

Gowanda
(medium)

1/26/2009

1,625

ASAT, DWI

Green Haven
(maximum)

7/11/2007

2,134

ASAT

Greene
(medium)

10/2–3/08

1,754

ASAT, RSAT

Hale Creek
(medium)

10/28–
29/08

Lakeview
Shock
(minimum)

10/23–
24/07

Mid-State
(medium)

04/1–2/09

459

CASAT

Male 420

Shock ASAT

Female 76
1,434

ASAT, MICA, Evening ASAT,
ICP ASAT, PC ASAT, SHU
Workbook

Correctional Association of New York

1 SCC (0)
2 CC (1)
3 PA (0)
1 SW (0)
1 SCC (0)
1 CC (1)
2 PA (1)
1 SW (0)
2 CC (1)
5 PA (1)
1 CC (0)
2 PA (0)
2005:
4 CC (0)
9 PA (0)
2007:
1 SCC (0)
1 CC (0)
3 PA (0)
2 CC (1)
5 PA (0)
2 CC (0)
5 PA(1)
1 CC (0)
2 PA (0)
1 SCC (0)
7 CC (4)
14 PA (6)
1 CC (0)
2 PA (1)
1 MICA CC (1)
5 CC (1)
4 PA (1)

45, 10, 60, 12
Total = 127
57, 50, 11, 14
Total = 132
240
120

161, 100, 17
Total = 278

184
240
120
98, 155
Total = 253
65
159, 87
Total = 246

2 SCC (1)
8 CC (3)
1 Span CC (0)
18 PA (4)
3 Network Admin(0)
1 SCC (0)
5 CC (1)
10 PA (2)

Female 76

1 SCC (0)
3 CC (0)
6 PA (0)

92, 46, 24,
21, 9, 8
Total = 200

459

Male 420

32

Project Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Date of
Visit

Prison
Population

Substance Abuse Treatment
Programs*

Treatment Staff
(Vacancies)**

Enrollment in
Each Program

3/14–
15/07

1,173

ASAT

2 CC (1)
4 PA (0)

210

7/1–2/09

547

ASAT, SOCTP ASAT

1 SOCTP CC(0)
2 PA (0)

40, 30
Total = 70

04/24–
28/09

1,703

ASAT, MICA

1 CC (1)
3 PA (2)

76, 17
Total = 93

2/26/2009

320

ASAT, CASAT, Relapse,
Nursery, FTRP

1 SCC
4 CC (1)
4 PA (2)

50, 65, 0, 8, 16
Total = 139

Washington
(medium)

07/28–
29/09

868

ASAT

1 CC (0)
2 PA (0)

120

Wende
(maximum)

1/27–
28/09

914

ASAT, RMU ASAT, SNU
ASAT, Mental Health ASAT

Willard DTC

2/14–
15/08

Prison
Oneida
(medium)
Shawangunk
(maximum)
Sing Sing
(maximum)
Taconic
(medium)

Male 748
DTC ASAT
Female 58

Wyoming
(medium)

TOTALS

5/30–
31/07

1,684

CASAT, ASAT

2 CC (0)
1.5 PA (1)
0.5 RMU PA (0)
Male: 2 SCC (0)
10 CC (1)
3 Network Prog
Admin (1)
18 PA (2)
5 KBS (0)
Female: 1 SCC (0)
1 CC (0)
1 PA (0)
1 SCC (0)
2 ASAT/CASAT CC
(0)
1 CASAT CC (0)
3 ASAT PA (2)
3 CASAT PA (0)

27,967

Male 748

Female 58

95, 140
Total = 235

5,365

* MICA: Mentally Ill, Chemically Addicted
SNU: Special Needs Unit
CD/DV: Chemically Dependent/Domestic Violence
FTRP: Female Trauma Recovery Program
SOCTP: Sex Offender Counseling Treatment Program

SHU: Special Housing Unit
ICP: Intermediate Care Program
RMU: Regional Medical Unit
DTC: Drug Treatment Campus
SDU: Sensorially Disabled Unit

** CC: Correction Counselor
SCC: Supervising Correction Counselor
KBS: Keyboard Specialist

PA: Program Assistant
SW: Social Worker

Correctional Association of New York

100, 9, 8, 8
Total = 125

33

Project Summary

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Table 3-2 SUMMARY OF SURVEYS RECEIVED BY THE CA

PRISON

Date of Visit

Albion
Arthur Kill
Arthur Kill
Bare Hill
Cayuga
Eastern
Five Points
Franklin
Gouverneur
Gowanda
Green Haven
Greene
Hale Creek
Lakeview
Shock
Marcy
Mid-State
Oneida
Shawangunk
Sing Sing
Taconic
Washington
Wende

1/29/09
4/10/07
6/2/09
6/3–4/08
7/14–15/08
6/27/07
11/17–19/08
6/5–6/08
4/29–30/08
1/30/09
7/11/07
10/2–3/08
10/28–29/08

Willard DTC

2/14–15/08

Wyoming

5/30–31/07

10/23–24/07
3/2–3/08
4/1–2/09
3/14–15/07
7/1–2/09
4/27–28/09
2/26/09
07/28–29/09
1/27–28/09

MQA Surveys from
Treatment
Participants
22
36
28
85
44
62
51
97
30
54
27
45
97
41 male
28 female
72
59
41
35
39
27
37
41
23 male
9 female

Non-Program Surveys
from Inmates Not in an
SA Program
NA
42
39
40
70
37
121
159
29
58
36
87
NA

TOTALS

Correctional Association of New York

Total Inmate
Surveys
22
78
67
125
114
99
172
256
59
112
63
132
97

NA

69

35
71
40
35
91
30
51
62

107
130
81
70
130
57
88
103

NA

32

54

38

92

1,184

1,171

2,355

34

Population in Need of Treatment

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

4. POPULATION DESIGNATED AS IN NEED OF
TREATMENT
This section describes the sector of the prison population that the New York State Department of
Correctional Services (DOCS) designated as in need of substance abuse treatment. All
information presented herein is based on data provided by DOCS in its public reports: Identified
Substance Abusers 2006; Identified Substance Abusers 2007;29Profile of Inmate Population
Under Custody on January 1, 2007; Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody on January 1,
2008; and Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody on January 1, 2009. It should be noted
that the Department has not published a summary of its identified substance abusers since the
data presented for 2007, and it is unclear if DOCS plans to continue its annual reporting of
statistics about this population, which it had done since at least the 1990s.
Of the 83% of the inmate population that DOCS identifies as in need of substance abuse
treatment, the highest percentage of substances used among both males and females was
marijuana (36% in 2007), followed by alcohol (22% in 2006; 23% in 2007;), and cocaine (22%
in 2006; 18% in 2007). As more fully described in Section 5, Screening and Assessment,
alcohol use was measured by the Department using only the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test
(MAST) instrument in both years and therefore may be underestimated. Heroin (11% in 2006;
10% in 2007) and crack (9% in 2006 and 2007) were the substances least reported as the single
most serious drug used by individuals identified as in need of substance abuse treatment in both
2006 and 2007, although the category of “other drugs” was reported even less (6% in 2006; 5%
in 2007). 30
Males and females reported different patterns of alcohol and other drug use. Among individuals
identified as in need of substance abuse treatment in 2007, females most often reported using
crack (24%), alcohol (22%), and marijuana (22%) as their primary substance, while males most
often reported using marijuana (36%), alcohol (23%) and cocaine (18%). The percentage
difference between men and women who reported marijuana as the most significant substance
remained constant from 2006, although the actual percentages then were slightly lower, with
31% of males and 17% of females identifying marijuana as the primary substance used.
Females, however, reported using crack significantly more than males in both years, with 26% of
females in 2006 and 24% of females in 2007 identifying crack as the most serious substance
used, compared with only 8% of males in both years. Female inmates identified as in need of
substance abuse treatment also reported more serious heroin use in both years (15% in 2006;
14% in 2007) than male inmates identified as in need of treatment (10% in 2006; 9% in 2007).
For individuals identified by DOCS as substance users,31 the type of commitment crime, region
of commitment, felony offender status, and maximum/minimum sentence do not vary
significantly from the overall prison population. This is primarily because identified substance
abusers constitute the majority (83%) of the State’s general prison population, thus their
29

NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007.
The Department has developed a ranking system modeled on the schedule developed under the Comprehensive
Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.
31
Occasionally used by DOCS interchangeably with “substance abusers.”
30

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Population in Need of Treatment

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

characteristics dominate the overall description of the prison population. As a result, a review of
isolated data about the remaining 17% of the prison population identified as non-users provides a
richer context for highlighting the differences and similarities between individuals identified as
needing substance abuse treatment (51,748 in 2007) and individuals not so identified (8,676 in
2007). In comparing users with non-users, the contrast between individuals identified as needing
substance abuse treatment and the overall population becomes even more pronounced. For
example, in 2007 DOCS noted that 55% of identified substance abusers were committed for
violent felonies—only 3% less than the general population (58%), but nearly 20% less than nonusers (74%) similarly committed for violent felonies. Table 4-1 summarizes the major
characteristics of the general population, substance users and non-users as of 2007.32
Table 4-1 COMPARISON OF SUBSTANCE USERS AND NON-USERS AS OF 2007
Characteristics

Category

Non-User Total
(N = 8,676)

User Total
(N = 51,748)

Gender

Male
Female
White
African-American
Hispanic
Average Age
Average Minimum
Sentence
Average Maximum
Sentence
From New York City

97.6%
2.4%
17%
56%
25%
37.1 years
10.6 years

95.3%
4.7%
21%
51%
26%
36.4 years
8.5 years

General
Population Total
(N = 62,599)
95.6%
4.4%
21%
51%
26%
36.7 years
9.0 years

13.0 years

11.2 years

Not available

64%

50%

52%

74%
6%

55%
25%

58%
21%

43%

49%

44%

Race/Ethnicity
Age
Average Sentence
Commitment
Region
Crime

Violent Felony
Drug Felony
Second/Persistent
Felony

Not surprisingly, when compared with non-users, individuals identified as substance abusers
were much more likely to have been committed for drug offenses (25%, compared with 6% in
2007). In large part, this is due to the fact that the majority of individuals convicted of drug use,
sale, and possession are required to complete substance abuse treatment during their
incarceration. Of the 13,426 inmates in the entire prison population who were committed for
drug offenses (as reported in DOCS’s Hub Report: Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody
on January 1, 2008), nearly all (96%) were also identified as needing substance abuse treatment.
As for general demographic information, individuals identified as in need of substance abuse
treatment were, on average, 36 years of age (36.3 in 2006; 36.4 in 2007), similar to the average
age of the inmate population referred to by DOCS as “non-users” (35.7 years in 2006; 37.1 years
in 2007). The majority of inmates identified as in need of substance abuse treatment were
African-American (50% in 2006; 51% in 2007), followed by Hispanic inmates (27% in 2006;
32

Data presented in Table 4-1 is based on information contained in DOCS reports: NYS Department of Correctional
Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007; NYS Department of Correctional Services, Under Custody Report:
Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody on January 1, 2009.

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Population in Need of Treatment

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

26% in 2007), and white inmates (22% in 2006; 21% in 2007). These percentages, compounded
by the knowledge that the severe criminal penalties enforced under the Rockefeller drug laws
disproportionately impacted communities of color, reflect the overrepresentation of racial
minorities in the criminal justice system overall.33 When compared with non-users, individuals
identified as in need of substance abuse treatment represented a relatively higher percentage of
white inmates (21% in 2007, compared with 17% of non-users in 2007), a lower percentage of
African-American inmates (51% in 2007, compared with 56% of non-users in 2007), and the
same percentage of Hispanic inmates (25% for both in 2007). Table 4-2 compares non-users
and users by race and gender, as reported in Table 12 of DOCS’s Identified Substance Abusers
2007.34
Table 4-2 RACIAL COMPARISON OF SUBSTANCE USERS AND NON-USERS IN 2007
Race/Ethnicity
White
African-American
Hispanic
Total

Non-User Male
17%
56%
25%
98%

User Male
21% (+4%)
51% (-5%)
27% (+2%)
99%

Non-User Female
34%
44%
18%
96%

User Female
30% (-4%)
47% (+3%)
22% (+4%)
99%

As demonstrated in Table 4-2, a comparison between non-users and identified substance abusers
reveals some racial differences that persist across gender lines, with female users representing a
lower percentage of white inmates and male users representing a higher percentage of white
inmates than non-users (see Table 4-1 for additional information regarding reported racial
differences). The disparate racial composition of the non-user and user subpopulations may be
attributed to a number of factors, such as the increasing enforcement of DWI laws upstate,
referrals to alternative to incarceration programs for drug offenders downstate, or the imposition
of harsher sentences for drug offenders in various geographic regions. These differences may
also be influenced by the trends observed with regard to region of commitment, with DOCS
reporting that approximately half of the inmates identified as in need of substance abuse
treatment were committed from New York City (Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and
Richmond Counties) in 2006 and 2007 (51% and 50%, respectively). This is notably less than
the majority of non-user inmates (64%) who were also committed from New York City. It
should further be noted that the percentage of all incarcerated inmates from New York City has
declined over the last several years (from 58% in 2005 to 50% in 2009), supporting the
possibility that a greater percentage of inmates from upstate regions may be incarcerated for
substance abuse.
Differences were also observed among inmates with respect to sentencing. The percentage of
individuals identified as in need of substance abuse treatment who were sentenced as
33

Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions determined that lifetime drug
abuse is actually higher among whites (8.6%) when compared with blacks (6.4%) or Hispanics (2.9%), yet blacks
and Hispanics continue to represent the vast majority (over 85% combined) of inmates incarcerated for drug sale and
possession in New York State prisons (Compton et al., “Prevalence, Correlates, Disability, and Comorbidity of
DSM-IV Drug Abuse and Dependence in the United States.”).
34
The information provided by DOCS in it report Identified Substance Abusers 2007, the most recent report issued
by DOCS concerning this population, excludes missing data (nN = 2,175) and does not represent 100% of the total
(totals for each column are noted in the last row of the chart). The numbers enclosed in parentheses in Table 4-2
represent the numerical difference between the race/ethnicity users and non-users by gender.

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Population in Need of Treatment

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second/persistent felony offenders (49%) in 2007 was more than the percentage of non-user
inmates (43%). Female inmates in need of substance abuse treatment were more than twice as
likely as non-user females to be sentenced as second/persistent felony offenders (39%, compared
with 16% in 2007).
The average minimum sentence for identified substance abusers in 2007 was 8.5 years and the
average maximum sentence was 11.2 years. This represents an increase from 2006 when the
average minimum and maximum sentences were 7.9 years and 11.0 years, respectively. For nonusers, both the average minimum sentence (10.6 in 2006 and 2007) and maximum sentence (13.0
years in 2007, 13.1 years in 2006) were higher, as would be expected with a greater population
of “violent felony offenders.” Among identified substance abusers, there were considerable
differences in sentence length by gender, with the average minimum sentence for males being
nearly double that of females in both 2006 and 2007 (8.0 years for males and 4.8 years for
females in 2006; 8.7 years for males and 4.8 years for females in 2007). Males identified as
needing substance abuse treatment also had a longer average maximum sentence in both years
(11.2 years in 2006; 11.3 years in 2007) when compared with females (7.6 years in 2006; 7.3
years in 2007). It is also worth noting that differences in commitment crime across gender lines
may account for the discrepancy in sentence length between male and female identified
substance abusers: in 2007, males (56%) were more likely to be committed for violent felonies
than females (35%), while females (37%) were more likely to be committed for drug offenses
than males (24%).
Although considerable data about the individuals indentified as needing substance abuse
treatment was presented in the 2006 and 2007 DOCS reports, it is notably less than that provided
about the overall prison population in the Profile of Inmate Population reports. Additional
information about the inmate population identified as in need of substance abuse treatment, such
as English language fluency, educational attainment, reading level, prior prison term, marital
status, religious affiliation, and veteran status (as is collected and presented about the general
prison population) would be useful. This information could be analyzed to assist DOCS in
developing substance abuse treatment that best meets the needs of this significant subpopulation.
Moreover, it is particularly unfortunate that the Department has not made efforts to provide the
public with updated information about this population, especially given the amendments in the
drugs laws that could result in changes in the prison population requiring substance abuse
treatment.

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5. SCREENING, ASSESSMENT AND
DESIGNATION AS IN NEED OF TREATMENT
FINDINGS
DOCS designates inmates as “in need of substance abuse treatment” based on five primary
sources: two standardized screening instruments; inmate self-report; and two sets of
automated data. A low threshold is set for these sources and a positive indicator from any
one source results in a designation for being in need of substance abuse treatment (83% of
all inmates in 2007).
Interpreting these standards, the Department’s definition of “identified substance abuser”
includes any individual who is at moderate risk of substance abuse, has any history of
alcohol or other drug use, or has been involved in drug sales or possession in any capacity.
Many of the inmates interviewed and surveyed by the CA asserted that the designation was
inappropriate for them because they used alcohol and other drugs minimally or not at all.
The system used by DOCS to designate inmates as needing substance abuse treatment does
not generate the information considered essential for screening and assessment by current
evidence-based standards, such as risk, need, and recommendation for appropriate
treatment level or modality. With the exception of special populations, substance abuse
treatment programs offered by the Department are nearly identical and use the Alcohol
and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) curriculum as their foundation.
There is no clear, written centralized policy or process as to how individuals are identified
for special programs such as Integrated Dual Diagnosed Treatment (IDDT), Driving While
Intoxicated (DWI), Comprehensive Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT),
or Special Needs Unit (SNU) ASAT.

DISCUSSION
5.1 INTRODUCTION TO SCREENING AND ASSESSMENT
Clinically sound screening and assessment are critical for effective treatment of substance abuse.
Screening does not aim to diagnose a specific disorder, but to determine whether an individual
needs further, more comprehensive assessment and evaluation. Although a screening process
may be used to identify individuals at high risk for a diagnosis, it is never diagnostic in and of
itself. An individual with a positive screening test must undergo a clinical assessment before a
diagnosis can be made and before clinical management can begin. Screening instruments are
often intentionally designed to achieve high sensitivity, to identify large numbers of persons with
the disease or condition. Therefore, screening tests may have low positive predictive value; in
other words, many individuals with a positive screening test will later be found not to have the
disorder.35
35

Winters, Simple Screening Instruments for Outreach for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Infectious Diseases.

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An assessment gathers information and engages the individual in a process with the aim of
establishing (or ruling out) the presence of a disorder. The assessment process should also
determine readiness for change, identify strengths or problem areas that may affect the processes
of treatment and recovery, and engage the individual in the development of a therapeutic
relationship. A screening is typically a single event; an assessment, by contrast, is a process that
extends over time and taps multiple sources of information.
5.2 DIAGNOSIS OF DRUG-RELATED CONDITIONS
Mental health disorders are classified using the criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM),36 currently in its fourth edition after minor text revisions
several years ago. The drug-related diagnoses in the DSM are called “substance use disorders”
and include substance abuse (a pattern of using alcohol or other drugs with substantial negative
consequences) and substance dependence (continued use of alcohol or other drugs with
substantial negative consequences and physiological symptoms of tolerance or withdrawal).
(See Appendix D for an outline of each condition.) The term “addiction” is not used in the
current DSM but can be defined as a compulsion to use alcohol and other drugs despite negative
consequences. New York’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) uses
the term “chemical dependency” to reflect its blending of alcoholism and substance abuse
treatment programming; this, too, does not have a technical definition in the DSM.
5.3 DOCS DESIGNATION OF INDIVIDUALS AS IN NEED OF TREATMENT
New York’s prisons, however, do not use the DSM system for classifying inmate need for
substance abuse treatment, nor does a designation by DOCS as being in need of substance abuse
treatment require a formal drug-related diagnosis. Rather, DOCS designates inmates as
“substance abusers” or “in need of substance abuse treatment” by an eclectic process of
screening, assessment, and data analysis that can be both under- and overinclusive. Individuals
entering the DOCS system are initially sent to a reception facility where, in order to determine an
appropriate prison placement, they undergo medical and mental health reviews, evaluation of
educational needs, determination of security level, and assessment for vocational and other
programs. During this process, which averages 21 days, a classification counselor establishes the
programs each inmate is offered during incarceration.
It is primarily, though not exclusively, at this point that DOCS utilizes four primary screening
methods to determine whether an inmate will be told they should undergo substance abuse
treatment: (1) the Guidance System (KGNC), which “identifies inmates who have a need for
substance abuse treatment based on interviews and evaluations conducted by facility program
counselors;”37 (2) inmate self-reporting of using any substance; (3) the Simple Screening

36

The DSM is used in a wide array of settings by clinicians, researchers, health care insurers, funders and many
others, providing a common language and shared perspective that are indispensable to efficient, effective care and
management in our fragmented health care system. Each edition is developed by consensus of panels of experts.
The DSM can be a source of heated discussion and disagreement, especially when the next edition is in development
as it is now. Nonetheless, it is almost universally accepted as the standard in the field.
37
NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007, 1.

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Instrument for Outreach for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SSI-AOD),38 administered at
reception; and (4) the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST),39 also administered at
reception.40
In addition to the above instruments or reporting methods that are used to screen inmates, DOCS
also uses the Inmate Payroll System (KIPY), which documents inmates who are actively
participating in substance abuse treatment programs, in order to identify all individuals who have
already been designated as in need of treatment. The information from the four screening
methods and the KIPY result in DOCS’s estimate that 83% of the total inmate population on
December 31, 2007, had “an identified substance abuse need.” Nearly half of the inmate
population (45%) at that time had completed, or were enrolled in, substance abuse treatment
programs provided by DOCS. DOCS estimated, however, that approximately 78% of all
inmates discharged in 2008 needing substance abuse treatment had completed, or were enrolled
in, prison-based treatment prior to their release.41
The process that DOCS utilizes to identify individuals in need of substance abuse treatment is
over-inclusive in many ways, due in large part to the low threshold that DOCS sets for its
screening instruments. On the other hand, it is likely that inmates identified as in need of
treatment through KIPY under-represents the actual figure, because it counts only those inmates
enrolled in substance abuse treatment programs on the date that DOCS evaluates the system.
Consequently, it does not include inmates who completed treatment programs before or started
treatment after that date, and who had no other indicators of a need for treatment. It is unclear
why DOCS relies on the payroll system for these data rather than maintaining a census of its
treatment programs. In analyzing the data from screening and other sources, DOCS is also likely
to be inaccurate because a significant proportion of important data is missing.
5.3.1 Guidance System: Verbal Self-Reporting and Pre-sentence Reports
The majority (56%) of inmates in need of substance abuse treatment in 2007 were identified
through self-report. DOCS does not describe how it determines that an inmate’s statements
indicate a need for treatment. Furthermore, the DOCS Reports Identified Substance Abuser 2006
and Identified Substance Abusers 2007 do not account for self-reported alcohol use, implying
that DOCS is either not collecting or not recording that information. We recommend that DOCS
refine the alcohol-use screening process to include self-report and track this data in the same way
that it tracks self-reported use of other drugs.
We have been told by DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services that at reception,
inmates are asked if they “have used drugs.” Those who respond positively are asked “to specify
the drugs used during six months preceding their incarceration,” though they are not asked about
frequency or duration of use at this point. The CA visited Downstate Correctional Facility,
38

Winters, Simple Screening Instruments for Outreach for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Infectious Diseases.
http://www.oasas.state.ny.us/asian/documents/SSI-English.pdf.
39
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST).”
http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/assesing%20alcohol/instrumentpdfs/42_mast.pdf.
40
The references provided for the SSI and MAST instruments provide links to the standard tests. The Correctional
Association has been unable to access DOCS’s forms for these instruments.
41
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, 2008 Criminal Justice Crimestat Report, 54.

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which serves as one of DOCS’s four reception facilities, and obtained information from
approximately 130 reception inmates.42 These individuals reported that the entire interview with
classification counselors lasted between five and 15 minutes and comprised a series of questions,
including questions about previous use of alcohol and other drugs. They indicated that the
classification counselor interview does not include typical screening and assessment questions
regarding issues like age of onset, frequency, duration, and so on. The classification counselors
conducting these interviews do not undergo training in assessing substance abuse treatment
needs.
Under the Freedom of Information Law, we requested a list of the interview questions asked by
the classification counselors at Downstate with regard to substance use but were told this list
and/or document did not exist. We strongly recommend that DOCS develop a clear list of
questions to be used during this screening process so that all staff conducting these interviews
are provided the necessary guidance and are able to get the same key information from all
inmates entering DOCS custody.
Inmates may also be recommended for substance abuse treatment by a guidance counselor on the
basis of a review by correction staff of other documents in the inmate’s departmental record,
including pre-sentence reports and criminal history. Inmates whose crimes are drug-related, such
as use, possession, or sale of illegal substances, are generally designated as in need of substance
abuse treatment regardless of MAST or SSI-AOD scores or the inmate’s denial of alcohol or
other drug abuse. DOCS reported that 18% of individuals entering a State prison in 2007
identified as in need of substance abuse treatment were so designated based on these reviews.
Finally, individuals can also be referred to substance abuse treatment by a correction counselor
any time during his/her incarceration.
5.3.2 Simple Screening Instrument for Alcohol and Other Drug Use (SSI-AOD)
DOCS uses two standardized self-report screening instruments in the reception process to
designate individuals as in need of substance abuse treatment. The Simple Screening Instrument
for Alcohol and Other Drug Use (SSI-AOD), which comprises 16 items, was developed by the
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) through selection of items from 13 existing
screening instruments.43 This paper-and-pencil test is administered to groups of approximately
30 to 35 individuals by a DOCS staff member who is available to answer questions and to read
the instrument aloud on request. DOCS has been using the SSI-AOD since 2002.
The official guide for administering and interpreting the SSI-AOD scores one point for each yes
answer and zero for each no. The guide establishes a score of 0 to 1 as indicating no risk or low
risk for alcohol or other drug abuse; 2 to 3 as minimal risk; and 4 or greater as moderate to high
risk. The SAMHSA Treatment Improvement Protocol describing the instrument emphasizes that
it does not yield a clinical diagnosis but only an indication as to whether further comprehensive
assessment is necessary. The SSI-AOD does not identify the types of substances used, but
covers both alcohol and other drug use. It explores consumption patterns, self-awareness of a
42

A “reception inmate” is an inmate newly admitted to the Department of Correctional Services who has entered a
reception facility to be screened and assessed for his/her future facility and program placements.
43
Winters, Simple Screening Instruments for Outreach for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Infectious Diseases.

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substance abuse problem, loss of control of alcohol and other drug use, and adverse physical,
psychological and social consequences of substance abuse. In addition, the instrument asks
about any physiological effects of tolerance or withdrawal. DOCS reported that 5% of
individuals entering into DOCS custody in 2007 were designated as in need of substance abuse
treatment based solely on the SSI-AOD.44
According to CSAT, administration of the SSI-AOD requires specialized skills on the part of the
interviewer in order to establish a rapport with the client. These skills include good listening
techniques, communicating empathy, support, and understanding, and fostering an atmosphere of
mutual trust and respect.
5.3.3 Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST)
The second screening instrument used by DOCS is the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test
(MAST), a self-administered paper-and-pencil test that comprises 25 items regarding social,
vocational, family and other problems resulting from alcohol use.45 Because the test asks about
these problems over a lifetime, individuals may receive high scores even after many years of
abstinence. Nineteen percent of individuals under DOCS custody in 2007 were determined to be
in need of substance abuse treatment based solely on MAST results, and not as a result of any
other triggers.46
According to the instructions provided with the instrument, a score of 5 to 8 is “suggestive” of
alcohol abuse or, as the instructions describe, a “problem drinker.” A score of 3 to 5 is
suggestive of early or middle problem drinking, and scores of 0 to 2 indicate no apparent
problem.47 Though the MAST, similar to the SSI-AOD, is a screening instrument intended only
to be used to determine whether further assessment is necessary, DOCS considers a MAST score
above 4 to be indicative of alcohol abuse and of the need for substance abuse treatment.
The CA visited the reception facility at Downstate in 2009. However, the facility reported that
detailed data on the number of individuals designated there as needing substance abuse treatment
through the SSI-AOD or MAST are not maintained and thus unavailable to us.
5.3.4 Analysis of Automated Data Sources
The percentage of inmates identified as in need of substance abuse treatment in the 2007
population (83%) is 11% higher than the 2006 figure (72%). DOCS notes, however, that this
does not represent an increase in substance abuse among the prison population. Rather, it
springs from a “refinement” in how the automated data sources (KGNC and KIPY) are analyzed
“for the purpose of developing an enhancement in the method of calculating the prevalence of
substance abuse” among inmates. Consequently, the percentage of inmates who were designated
through KGNC and KIPY as needing substance abuse treatment combined doubled in 2007
44

NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007.
Selzer, “The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test,” 89-94.
46
NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007.
47
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of the San Fernando Valley, Inc., “Michigan Alcohol
Screening Test.”
45

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(22%) when compared with 2006 (11%). A similar jump occurred in 2003, when DOCS “made
use of additional data sources in an effort to determine whether inmates with substance abuse
treatment needs were being undercounted.”48 As a result, the percentage of inmates identified as
in need of substance abuse treatment increased from 65% in 2002 to 73% in 2003. Between
2003 and 2006, the percentage of individuals identified as in need of substance abuse treatment
remained steady at 72% to 73%.
5.3.5 Lack of Adequate Criteria for Substance Abuse Treatment Need Designation
One of the most significant issues that emerged from the CA’s review of the treatment programs
is the absence of accurate, consistent criteria for the designation of inmates as “identified
substance abusers” or “in need of treatment.” The overreliance on a single criterion, or on
criteria that are not diagnostic of substance abuse (such as any lifetime drug use), can create a
treatment population with many participants who have a low severity of substance abuse.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a history of drug use does not in
itself indicate the need for drug abuse treatment for individuals involved in the criminal justice
system.49 Research shows that those with low severity also have low motivation, often resulting
in low engagement and program disruption that hinder the treatment of those with higher
motivation.50
A substantial body of research indicates that coerced substance abuse treatment can be as
effective as voluntary treatment.51 There has been some concern about the soundness of those
studies, however, because of inconsistent methodologies, different program types and outcome
measures, and differing types and degrees of coercion.52 Studies that take these variables into
account are growing in number and validity, and promise to shed much-needed light on the
factors in effective mandated treatment.53
5.3.6 Screening Recommendations
The CA commends the Department’s goal of decreasing “false negatives”—inmates who are in
need of treatment but are not identified as such by the system. However, we believe that the
multiple redundancies that DOCS has built into its system for identifying individuals in need of
treatment more than compensates for this possibility. The current cutoff scores seem appropriate
if the MAST and SSI-AOD tests are used for initial screening only. We strongly recommend
that these test results be used for a screening purpose only to indicate the need for a more
comprehensive evidence-based assessment. We also suggest that DOCS investigate the use of
other well-regarded screens, such as the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), the
Alcohol Dependence Scale (ADS), and the Texas Christian University Drug Screen (TCUDS),
48

NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers: 2006, 3.
Fletcher and Chandler, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide.
50
Anglin et al., “Studies of the functioning and effectiveness of Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime (TASC)
programs.”
51
Anglin and Maugh, “Ensuring success in interventions with drug-using offenders,” 66-90; Fletcher and Chandler,
Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based Guide.
52
Farabee et al., “Barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment programs,” 150-162.
53
Young, Fluellen, and Belenko, “Criminal recidivism in three models of mandatory drug treatment,” 313-323.
49

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consulting appropriate research in the area.54 This use of appropriate and effective screening
instruments, such as the TCUDS, is important to achieving the objective of reducing
inappropriate referrals to services.55
At a time of fiscal crisis for many State agencies, matching individuals to appropriate treatment
programs would allow the Department to make the best use of limited resources.
Given the high likelihood of inaccuracy or deception in the three self-report screens (verbal at
reception; SSI-AOD; and MAST), DOCS would do well to rely on one-on-one interviews with
trained staff to detect and assess the need for substance abuse treatment.
5.4 INDIVIDUALS WITH INDICATIONS OF INVOLVEMENT IN DRUG TRADE
WITH LIMITED OR NO SUBSTANCE ABUSE HISTORIES
One of the most common objections from
inmates we interviewed was that they were
placed in a substance abuse treatment program
even though they believe they had no—or only a
limited—need for it. Primary among these are
inmates convicted of selling drugs or whose presentence report indicated an involvement in drug
sales, but who asserted they did not use drugs.
Department officials claim these individuals are
appropriate candidates for treatment because,
despite inmate assertions to the contrary, many
of them are in fact substance users, and the few
who are not can benefit from treatment
concerning issues of individual responsibility,
life skills, addiction behavior56 and criminal
thinking.
Other inmates who complained about their
designation reported occasionally using only
marijuana or stated that their substance use
occurred many years prior to their current
incarceration or the time when they were being
offered treatment.

I have been drug free for over 25 years, don’t
have any positive drug tests during my continuous
years of prison and have clarified that I don’t
have a need for the program. But they have made
the claim that if I don’t participate in the
program, they will take away my good time which
will stop me from going home.
Anonymous Inmate (Bare Hill C.F.)
Why is it that DOCS is making people take ASAT
when they don’t have a drug problem? I’ve
admitted to using marijuana and cocaine once
back in 1985 and never used a drug since and
have never drunk alcohol. I have not been
arrested or ever convicted of drug use, drug
possession or drug trafficking, and when I was
arrested, no drugs were found on me or in my
possession, and I have no charge of drugs on my
indictment, but yet I was told by a counselor that I
needed ASAT.
Anonymous Inmate (Gowanda C.F.)

54

Peters et al., “Effectiveness of screening instruments in detecting substance use disorders among prisoners,” 349358.
55
Ibid.
56
The definition of addiction behavior includes any activity, substance, object, or behavior that has become the
major focus of a person's life to the exclusion of other activities, or that has begun to harm the individual or others
physically, mentally, or socially. Adapted from Engs, Alcohol and Other Drugs.

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5.5 TREATMENT MATCHING
A substantial body of research supports the strategy of treatment matching: seeking to place
individuals with substance abuse in the treatment modality and with the treatment services that
best suit their needs and strengths.57 For example, those with stronger social and economic
supports and fewer psychiatric problems do well in most treatment modalities, while those with
more severe substance abuse and less social and psychological stability do best in highly
structured treatment such as long-term residential programs. Careful matching of participants to
treatment helps improve treatment retention and thus outcomes, since they are so closely tied to
length of stay.58
Without objective strategies, treatment staff tend to assign participants to treatment subjectively,
often using clinically irrelevant information.59 A variety of tools and systems have therefore been
developed in order to systematize the process of matching individuals to the treatment that is
most likely to be effective for them. These include the patient placement system of the
American Society of Addiction Medicine and New York State’s LOCADTR system (described
below). A treatment matching protocol has also been developed and validated for use in the
therapeutic community, the dominant treatment modality in New York’s prisons.60
Level of Care for Alcohol and Drug Treatment Referral (LOCADTR) is a patient placement
criteria system designed for use in making level of care decisions in New York State. Level of
care determination is a clinical procedure provided by OASAS-certified alcoholism and
substance abuse treatment services or by qualified health professionals as defined in OASAS
chemical dependence regulation (refer to Appendix E for more information regarding OASAS
standards). It is the responsibility of the provider to make an appropriate placement.
The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS, the State agency that licenses
drug treatment programs in New York), has formulated a set of patient placement criteria to
guide treatment providers in placing clients in the least restrictive but most clinically appropriate
level of care available. OASAS guidelines distinguish among four primary levels of care: crisis
services, outpatient services, inpatient rehabilitation services, and residential services, with
additional sublevels for each. The OASAS guidelines require that every treatment participant
undergo the determination, which must be completed by a clinical staff member with clinical
oversight by a qualified health professional.61

57

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf; Finney and Moos, “Matching patients with treatments,” 122-134;
Committee on Treatment of Alcohol Problems, Institute of Medicine, Broadening the Base of Treatment for Alcohol
Problems, 122-134; Leshner, “Drug abuse and addiction treatment research,” 691-694; Melnick et al., “A clienttreatment matching protocol for therapeutic communities,” 119-128.
58
Simpson et al., “A national evaluation of treatment outcomes for cocaine dependence,” 510-514.
59
Westenberg, Koele, and Kools, “The treatment of substance addicts,” 39-46.
60
Melnick et al., “A client-treatment matching protocol for therapeutic communities,” 119-128.
61
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Guidelines for Level of Care Determination
LOCADTR 2.0.

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DOCS does not currently use OASAS’s level of care system; we recommend they implement a
similar system, with appropriate modifications for the correctional setting, to place inmates in the
most appropriate level of care available. It is important that individuals incarcerated in New
York State prisons receive assessment, evaluation and placement services consistent with
standards in the community, with necessary adjustments made to account for the unique
circumstances and environment of this population. It is our view that community standards
developed by OASAS based upon best practices in the field should be applied to the
Department’s substance abuse treatment programs.
In addition to determining the severity of an individual’s drug or alcohol problem, it is important
to distinguish among types of drugs used. The number of individuals who reported their “most
serious” drug use as marijuana has risen significantly in the past few years. In 2006, 30% of
inmates designated as needing substance abuse treatment listed marijuana as the most serious
drug they used. This number rose to 36% in 2007, and marijuana leads as the most prevalent
drug used, followed by alcohol (23%), cocaine (18%), heroin (10%) and crack (9%). Though
individuals who use marijuana on a regular, non-recreational basis may indeed be in need of
substance abuse treatment, the level and content of services needed for this population would
differ greatly from the services needed for opioid users.62 As we observed during the study,
mixing these two very different populations in one treatment program can reduce the
effectiveness of treatment and decrease the engagement and motivation of all program
participants.63
It is our understanding through conversations with DOCS executive staff, treatment staff and
inmates that a comprehensive assessment that would generate a diagnostic impression is rarely
conducted. Once inmates are “screened in” as needing treatment, substance abuse treatment is
added to their required program lists.
The manual for ASAT, the primary DOCS treatment program, requires that treatment staff
conduct an interview with every inmate admitted to the program. Many of the treatment staff the
CA interviewed stated that the purpose of this interview is to familiarize themselves with the
incoming inmate’s needs and orient the inmate to the program—not to conduct a comprehensive
assessment that could result in a decision that the inmate is not in need of treatment. The
perception of treatment staff is that the decision to admit the inmate to treatment is made before
this interview and that their role does not include assessing the validity of that decision.
Treatment staff rarely reported instances in which, once this interview was conducted, an
individual was deemed not to be in need of substance abuse treatment.
5.5.1 Inmate Objection to Designation as In Need of Treatment
When an inmate objects to placement in a substance abuse treatment program, this assignment is
reviewed by the treatment staff, including a psychosocial assessment of the potential program
participant. If the inmate continues to disagree with the determination of treatment need
62

Prendergast and Podus, “Drug treatment effectiveness.”
Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.

63

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following the staff’s evaluation, the objection is forwarded to the DOCS Office of Substance
Abuse Treatment Services (OSATS), with supporting documentation such as pre-sentence
reports, screening results, and the psychosocial assessment. At this point, OSATS makes a
determination as to whether the individual is in need of substance abuse treatment. When
questioned about the frequency with which such objections result in an individual being
determined to not be in need of substance abuse treatment, staff from the OSATS office reported
it to be rare. Facilities also reported a low number of decision reversals on this matter.
Many treatment staff and inmates were unclear as to the process for submitting an objection, nor
did the CA observe any written policy provided to inmates outlining the steps to take if an
individual wanted to place an objection. In contrast, the CA did observe materials outlining the
negative consequences for refusing to participate in recommended programming. The document
stated, “I understand that refusal to participate in recommended programming may result in the
denial of Parole, the loss of Good Time, denial of Merit Time and/or Earned Eligibility Program
certificate and ineligibility for an area of preference transfer. In addition, refusal to participate
may affect placement in an outside clearance assignment, honor program housing and the family
reunion program.” This emphasis on the negative consequences of program refusal, coupled
with the lack of written policy outlining an objection process, works to limit the number of
individuals attempting to engage in the process and may result in individuals feeling coerced into
participation when they believe such treatment is unwarranted.
5.6 ASSESSMENT/INTAKE WHEN ENROLLED IN A PRISON TREATMENT
PROGRAM
Every inmate undergoes an intake interview after enrollment in a DOCS substance abuse
treatment program. The intake forms that guide the interview and are retained in the inmate’s
case records vary widely among facilities. Most of them are very brief; some are one side of a
single page, with very little space to record answers to the interview questions that include
minimal information about patterns of use, symptomatology, and motivation; previous substance
abuse treatment; medical, mental health, criminal, educational and employment histories; family
and other supports; and the interviewer’s impressions of the inmate’s strengths and needs. Most
of the forms reviewed by the CA were confusing and provided little or no guidance or
opportunity to record anything but the most basic data. No space is provided for important data
such as date of birth. Refer to Section 13, Treatment Records, for a more detailed analysis of
the treatment documents.

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5.7 COERCIVE TREATMENT FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH MINIMAL SUBSTANCE
ABUSE TREATMENT NEEDS
As far as ASAT, I believe the biggest problem is that
Though there is not full agreement as to
people are forced to take the program, in that if they
the effectiveness of coercive treatment,
don’t take the program they lose their good time.
mandating individuals into treatment who
This creates an atmosphere where you have a few
do not have a substance abuse problem, or
who want the help and truly want to change and the
who feel forced to participate, can lead to
big percentage doesn’t want to be there. I know this
a disruptive and fragmented therapeutic
does not stop one for getting help and staying with the
environment, as a balance must be
few who want the help, yet it creates a very negative
maintained in a program between
and overall untrustworthy atmosphere that affects the
individuals who are committed to, and
few who want and need the help.
enthusiastic for, treatment and more
64
Anonymous Inmate (Arthur Kill C.F.)
reluctant coerced participants.
Furthermore, any treatment program is
likely to have participants with varying degrees of severity and motivation. An array of
evidence-based interventions is available to enhance treatment readiness and engagement,
creating a more promising treatment experience for everyone involved.
Committed individuals may motivate and engage coerced participants; conversely, if the
majority of participants are coerced and disengaged, this will also impact the quality of the
treatment for the individuals who are serious about engaging in treatment. Of the inmates not in
treatment that we surveyed, 70% were told during their intake to DOCS that they should enroll in
a substance abuse treatment program during their incarceration. Eighty-seven percent of these
individuals reported being asked about their history of alcohol and other drug use; 25% reported
no such history, but were told they needed substance abuse treatment nonetheless.
Matching individuals to clinically appropriate treatment programs requires a trained clinician to
explore a variety of factors, such is the severity of the individual’s substance abuse problem, the
length of the problem, and the impact on his/her life. In addition to specific questions regarding
the individual’s history of substance abuse, a clinician must also determine how motivated the
individual is to begin treatment, as some treatment modalities or programs are more suited to
engaging individuals resistant to treatment. The individuals identified by DOCS as being in need
of substance abuse treatment vary greatly in the severity of their substance abuse, their
motivation for treatment, and their risk for future relapse and criminal behavior. However, the
vast majority will be enrolled in a residential therapeutic community ASAT program regardless
of the severity of their substance abuse problem, use history or risk. See Section 6, Overview of
DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, for a more detailed description of the ASAT
program.
5.8 INMATES NOT IN TREATMENT
The goal of the CA is to assess the DOCS response to inmates with substance abuse problems,
not just those in DOCS treatment programs. Thus, we interviewed and surveyed 1,163 inmates
not currently in treatment, most of whom had already participated in DOCS treatment or were
64

Ibid.

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waiting to begin a substance abuse treatment program. These inmates completed the CA’s NonProgram survey (see Appendix C), which assessed through self-report the severity of their
substance abuse problems, as well as their motivation to participate in a prison-based substance
abuse treatment program. Of the surveyed inmates, 1,028 respondents indicated they had already
participated in some prison-based treatment. Of the remaining 135 respondents with no prior
prison-based treatment, only 15 had been told by DOCS officials that they did not need
substance abuse treatment, reported no substance abuse history, and expressed no interest in
treatment.
When asked, “How serious do you think your drug or alcohol problems are?” 35% answered not
at all serious; 14% slightly serious; 13% moderately serious; 18% considerably serious; and
20% extremely serious. Though these replies are based on self-assessment, it remains significant
that there is so much variation in levels of substance abuse severity. Inmates were also asked
about how important it was that they got treatment in prison. Forty-two percent of inmates
surveyed stated that it was not at all important; 9% slightly important; 9% moderately important;
13% considerably important; and 26% described receiving prison-based treatment as extremely
important.
Of the individuals who described their substance abuse problem as moderately, considerably or
extremely serious, 89% reported during admission some alcohol or drug abuse; 80% had been
told that they needed a treatment program; and 74% said they were interested in enrolling in a
treatment program. In addition, 72% of this group had been in some prison-based treatment and
27% had been removed from prison-based treatment previously. In contrast, of those survey
participants who said they had no substance abuse problem or described their substance abuse
problem as slight, 45% reported some alcohol and/or drug abuse during their reception interview,
63% were told they needed a prison treatment program, and 73% said it was not at all important
or only slightly important that they get treatment while incarcerated. In addition, 51% of this
group had been in a prison treatment program already and 29% failed to complete their most
recent treatment program.
Though the surveys do not accurately capture overall motivation for treatment, they offer a
preliminary indication of an inmate’s interest in treatment services. The data clearly illustrate
that inmates in New York State prisons significantly differ in their motivation for substance
abuse treatment. In order to provide effective and appropriate substance abuse treatment services
to a population with such significant differences, treatment matching is key.
We also asked the inmates not in treatment to respond to 12 questions about their use of
substances and the impact of this use on their lives in the 12-month period prior to their
incarceration. These questions are similar to the Texas Christian University Drug Screen
(TCUDS), an instrument used to perform initial screens for community- and prison-based
treatment programs. According to the TCUDS guidelines, a score of 3 or more indicates
relatively severe drug-related problems, corresponding approximately to DSM drug dependency
diagnosis.65 Although our survey is missing one question from the latest TCUDS form, a review
of the results from the 1,100 non-program survey respondents is informative. Fifty-six percent
of the respondents who answered all the questions had scores of 3 or more, with 34% scoring in
65

Institute of Behavioral Research, Texas Christian University, TCU Drug Screen Scoring Guide.

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the 6 to 8 range. Forty-four percent of the respondents had a score of 2 or less; 6% scored 2,
10% scored 1; and 28% had a 0 score. Of those scoring 0 or 1, 63% had been told that they
would need a treatment program during their incarceration, although 90% felt they had no drug
problem or only a slight one, and 63% had reported at reception no alcohol or drug abuse. Sixtysix percent of this group was not interested at all in getting treatment and an additional 10% had
only a slight interest. Despite these indications of little need or interest, 47% of this group had
already been in a prison treatment program.
These data demonstrate the great variability between severity of substance abuse problems on
one hand and interest in substance abuse treatment on the other. These figures also confirm that
DOCS makes aggressive efforts to place individuals into more intensive treatment who have low
problem severity and low motivation—a combination that predicts poor treatment outcomes for
them and perhaps others in their programs.
5.9 SPECIAL POPULATIONS
Treatment matching becomes even more critical with individuals who have special needs, both to
accommodate varying treatment goals and to maximize cost-effectiveness.66 The DOCS
programs for special populations, such as those with mental health disorders and inmates
residing in in-patient regional medical units, follow curricula similar to those of the mainstream
programming, with the addition of appropriate topics or extended duration of the program. Refer
to Section 16, Special Populations for more information.

66

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.

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6. OVERVIEW OF DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE
TREATMENT PROGRAMS
6.1 INTRODUCTION
This report looks at the DOCS treatment programs observed by the CA during the course of the
Substance Abuse Treatment Project. The manual for the main DOCS treatment program sets a
performance objective of “offering a diversity of treatment approaches and strategies to meet the
needs of all inmates.”67 However, the majority of DOCS treatment programs aim to utilize a
modified therapeutic community (TC) approach. Thus, this section presents first a brief
overview of the TC model generally; next, the TC model as it is widely utilized in the nation’s
prisons; and finally, the TC model described in the DOCS program manuals. This information is
based on widely accepted academic sources and empirically validated research; it was not
provided by DOCS.
This section also provides basic descriptive information about the different treatment programs
we visited.68 These program descriptions are based solely on manuals, guidelines and protocols
provided by the Department, not on the observations or findings from our visits. The differences
we observed between the content of the program manuals and actual practice in the programs are
discussed in detail throughout the remaining sections of this report.
6.2 THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY MODEL, GENERALLY
This section looks at academic, expert and clinical research on the TC model that was not
provided by DOCS and does not necessarily describe how DOCS implements the TC model in
its programs.
A substantial body of theory, clinical practice and research supports the stature of the modified
therapeutic community as the most effective in-prison modality.69 The therapeutic community
utilizes a model that is highly structured and hierarchical, with progress upward through the
hierarchy linked with increasing levels of responsibility and privilege.70 It views substance
abuse as a problem of the whole person and focuses its treatment approach on the entire
individual.71 Residents live and work together, creating a strong sense of community that
engenders a feeling of safety and facilitates sharing among participants, transforming the

67

State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual, 3.
68
This section discusses only programs that the Prison Visiting Project visited for this project. The remaining
DOCS programs (not covered in this section) consist of programs with limited enrollment, programs that no longer
appear to be in operation, and programs we were unable to observe.
69
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Therapeutic Community.
70
LaBarbera and Bush, “Introduction to the Therapeutic Community Model: Training for Correctional Staff - A
Manual on the Elements Common to Therapeutic Communities.”
71
De Leon and Wexler, “The Therapeutic Community for Addictions,” 167-177.

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community into the primary therapeutic agent.72 Individuals participating in a TC are considered
members, not patients, of the program, and they play an important part in managing the TC’s
day-to-day operations. They serve as role models and peer support for each other.73
The earliest therapeutic communities, founded in the 1960s, were built on the concept that
participants needed to be broken down and then rebuilt into responsible adults through structure
and very rigorous rules and interventions. Treatment included requiring members to wear signs,
scrub bathrooms with a toothbrush, or undergo a haircut in front of the entire house community.
Most staff were former addicts with no professional training. The model has evolved to meet the
needs of a changing population and to become part of the substance abuse treatment
continuum.74 Staff training is encouraged, coercion and confrontation have been toned down,
and changes are made to accommodate the needs of special populations like juveniles and
women. Contemporary TCs increasingly integrate aspects of other approaches, such as
cognitive-behavioral treatment and social learning techniques. This model is often referred to as
the modified TC; for the most part, this report references that model when discussing the TC.
For more on DOCS implementation of treatment models and interventions, see Section 8,
Treatment Programming and Materials.
A length of stay in a TC, both in prison and in the community, ranges from 12 to 24 months,
though as budgets are being cut nationwide, the duration of many TC programs is decreasing.
As with other treatment modalities, length of stay strongly correlates with positive outcomes,
even for those who do not complete the program. TCs usually consist of three primary stages:
induction and early treatment or orientation phase; primary treatment phase; and relapse
prevention/reentry phase.75 During the first stage, participants are introduced to the program and
TC ideas, and they begin to establish trust with both staff and peers. The following stage
consists of more intensive treatment services, and the relapse prevention/reentry stage assists the
participant to prepare for program completion.
Standards of behavior provide safety, structure and accountability, with corresponding sanctions
and rewards. A contingency-based system of rewards and sanctions encourages compliance with
community norms. Sanctions are clinical interventions that help the individual and the
community understand and correct behavior that violates community norms and rules. Ideally,
sanctions are corrective, tied to the underlying behavior, and supportive of community cohesion.
Verbal sanctions for failure to conform to community expectations (e.g., persistent lateness or
rudeness) can include minor rebukes by peers and staff (“pull-ups”) and confrontation or
encounter groups (sometimes called “haircuts”). Participants are expected to monitor and report
on each other’s behaviors, with failure to report misbehavior considered the equivalent of
condoning it.76 Violations of explicit facility rules are likely to draw disciplinary sanctions that
are both punitive and corrective, including loss of privileges. “Learning experiences” and
72

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
73
Therapeutic Communities of America, 2008. http://www.therapeuticcommunitiesofamerica.org/main/.
74
White, Slaying the Dragon, 241 ff.
75
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Therapeutic Community.
76
De Leon, George, The Therapeutic Community, 169.

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“contracts” provide extended opportunities for individuals to explore problematic attitudes and
behaviors with the support of the community. The most severe sanction, of course, is removal
from the program.77
Structure is an essential aspect of the TC. Individuals move up through a hierarchy as they
demonstrate improvements in attitudes and behavior as well as clinical progress. Privileges can
include promotions in work assignments, passes, a key to the house, increased phone or visiting
time, or improved living quarters.78 At the same time, responsibilities also grow, and may
include assisting in assigning and monitoring chores, escorting peers off-site for appointments,
assisting staff in clerical jobs, or facilitating group sessions. The TC model relies on a
community of concerned peers working together to facilitate individual change.79 Daily
community meetings of all program participants anchor the process, helping to ensure
maintenance of a therapeutic milieu.
6.2.1 The Prison-Based Therapeutic Community
The TC must be modified for the unique conditions of prisons, such as the focus on security and
prison culture. The tendency to define “substance abuse” broadly results in participants with low
severity and motivation mixed with those who have the highest of both.80 Nonetheless, the
modified TC is one of the most successful in-prison treatment modalities. A prominent feature
of successful modified prison models is the involvement of correctional officers, prison
administrators, and mental health and TC treatment professionals.81
The rapid expansion of prison-based TCs has created problems with consistency and quality
control, however. Research has found “considerable confusion” as to what a TC is, and that
many programs describing themselves as TCs integrate substantial features of cognitivebehavioral therapy and the 12-step approach. The effectiveness of the prison-based TC model
was demonstrated in studies of relatively sophisticated or “pure” TCs. Thus, as the model is
diluted, it loses its grounding in research and the experience of other prisons.82 This need for
consistency has prompted a variety of efforts to develop national standards for prison-based TC.
While the size of a typical TC residential unit may vary, almost every state in the United States
operates a TC program in at least one of its prisons.83
6.2.2 The Therapeutic Community In DOCS
Though a report on the current state of treatment programs in New York State prisons could
77

Ibid., 211 ff.
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Therapeutic Community.
79
Therapeutic Communities of America, 2008. http://www.therapeuticcommunitiesofamerica.org/main/.
80
Welsh and McGrain, “Predictors of therapeutic engagement in prison-based drug treatment,” 271-280.
81
The Criminal Justice Committee of Therapeutic Communities of America, The Prison Based TC Standards
Development Project: Final Report of Phase II.
82
Melnick, Hawke, and Wexler, “Client Perceptions Of Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment
Programs,” 121-138.
83
LaBarbera and Bush, “Introduction to the Therapeutic Community Model: Training for Correctional Staff - A
Manual on the Elements Common to Therapeutic Communities.”
78

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benefit from an overview of the evolution of such programs, the CA was unable to find a concise
account of the history of substance abuse treatment in New York State prisons. In addition to
researching the legislative history of the development of some DOCS treatment programs, efforts
were made to reach out to individuals and organizations involved in past treatment programs in
the prisons and we were able to put together a brief account of the growth of these programs.
The CA recently contacted the Department for a more formal and accurate account of the history,
but at the time of publishing we had not yet received a response.
The early history of substance abuse treatment in New York State prisons must give credit to the
efforts of Father Peter Young, along with Department officials. Father Young helped to
introduce a bill in the early 1960’s that removed public intoxication as a violation of penal law as
part of his push to provide treatment to such behavior rather than a criminal justice response. As
an advocate, he has worked closely with the Department and state officials to advocate for
treatment as opposed to punishment. Also in the 1960’s, Father Young initiated a small program
at Woodbourne C.F. to provide voluntary substance abuse treatment to inmates. After the
positive experience at Woodbourne C.F., in the late 1970’s Father Young started a similar and
larger program at Mt. McGregor C.F. where he was the prison chaplain.
What started out as a small, voluntary program where inmates would be “called-out” to the
program run out of the chapel grew into a full-fledged, residential, modified therapeutic
community program serving over 800 inmates at Mt. McGregor. The program utilized a 12-Step
approach and for the first few years, inmates served as the only staff, strongly developing their
ownership and commitment to the program. Father Young also brought in other individuals in
recovery from the community to act as mentors and facilitators. The inmates reported that they
found a great deal of inspiration from hearing from others who had similarly battled addiction.
The success of the substance abuse treatment program at Mt. McGregor, with some calling it the
birth of the current Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) program, was due not only
to the dedication of both Father Young and the inmates, but also to a innovative and willing
superintendent, Joe Kennedy.
Formal substance abuse treatment programs in the prisons appeared to expand exponentially in
the late 1970’s and 1980’s. What began as a program at a few facilities grew into substance
abuse treatment programs at 60 of the 63 New York State correctional facilities by 1992.84
These programs served approximately 15,000 inmates each year.85
In 1977, Stay’N Out, a program of New York Therapeutic Communities Inc. opened at Arthur
Kill C.F and Bayview C.F. The original design of the program included six months of in-prison
treatment which would allow the inmate to be granted parole six months early if the individual
agreed to participate in six months of community-based treatment. Although the early parole
program was not implemented, the in-prison program continued to operate even without the
assurance of early release. The two programs operated by Stay’N Out were originally not
monitored by DOCS, but by the Division of Substance Abuse Services (currently OASAS).
From 1977 to 1980 the program was supported as a pilot by federal funds, and DOCS provided
84

Murphy, Johnson, and Edwards, “In the Decade of the Child: Addicted Mothers, Imprisonment and Alternatives.”
National Institute of Corrections, “State Corrections Agencies' Substance Abuse Treatment Programs: Results of
an NIC Information Center Survey.”

85

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the funding starting in the early 1980’s when federal funds were no longer available. The Stay’N
Out programs were initially 9 to 12 months in length, but DOCS reduced the program length to
six months in order to increase the number of inmates who could enter the program. As an
outside provider, Stay’N Out received outside certification and ran with a great deal of
documented success86 until 2008 when funds for the program were eliminated. Though Stay’N
Out made requests to expand their successful program to other facilities, DOCS did not agree as
the trend was for treatment programs to be run by DOCS instead of outside contractors.
In 1987 legislation passed that mandated DOCS to create a six-month program that could prepare
young, non-violent inmates for early release consideration. This was the beginning of the State’s
Shock programs. Between July 1987 and September 2006, 51,522 inmates were sent to Shock,
of which 35,102 graduated successfully and were granted early release to parole supervision.
DOCS originally established five Shock facilities: Monterey C.F., 1987; Summit C.F., 1988;
Moriah C.F., 1989; Butler C.F., 1989; and Lakeview C.F., 1989. Butler Correctional Facility
closed in 1993, but the remaining four programs remain in existence.
In late 1989, the New York Prison Omnibus Act was passed providing for the expansion of
existing alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs administered by DOCS, and resulting
in the creation of the three-phase Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment
(CASAT) programs. With the exception of one program at Marcy serving 200 inmates and run
by outside contractor, Phoenix House, the remaining programs were run by DOCS staff. The
legislation called for the creation of six, 200-bed alcohol and substance abuse treatment annexes
with the intent of providing more of a continuum of substance abuse treatment. In 1990, four
CASAT programs were developed at Marcy C.F., Hale Creek C.F., Butler C.F. and Chateaugay
C.F. These four programs were followed by the creation of CASAT programs at Arthur Kill
C.F. (1992), Taconic C.F. (1992), Cape Vincent C.F. (1993), Livingston C.F. (1994) and
Wyoming C.F. (1998). The CASAT program at Livingston C.F. closed after only one year
(1995) followed by the closing of the program at Cape Vincent C.F. (1998), Chateaugay C.F.
(2002), Butler C.F. (2002) and Marcy C.F. (2005). Some of these closures were a result of a
change in 1995 of the State’s temporary release criteria, which greatly reduced the number of
inmates eligible for the CASAT program.
The CASAT program run by Phoenix House at Marcy C.F. operated for 15 years and was able to
achieve many successful outcomes. In addition to their work at Marcy C.F., Phoenix House was
able to make a convincing case to DOCS that women also needed the continuity of care that
Phoenix House could provide. As a result, in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, Phoenix House was
awarded a contract to run a six-month reintegration program for women being released from
Taconic C.F. Phoenix House has also been able to develop close relationships with staff at
Bayview C.F. and a few other correctional facilities in order to provide community treatment
after an inmate’s release.
In addition to the Shock and CASAT programs developed as a direct result of legislation, the
federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 established state correctional
facilities to enhance and develop residential, prison-based substance abuse treatment services.87
DOCS has received funds to operate these Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Programs
86
87

Wexler et al., “Outcome evaluation of a prison therapeutic community for substance abuse treatment.”
National Institute of Justice, “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.”

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(RSAT) since 1996, though these funds have decreased considerably throughout the years. The
addition of RSAT funding resulted in many of DOCS ASAT programs transforming into
residential programs. As of January 2009, DOCS received an annual RSAT grant of $336,000,
which has been used to sustain the project staff of the programs. Twenty-three RSAT programs
were in operation in 2006, in contrast to six in 2010, though most of the terminated DOCS RSAT
programs were converted to ASAT treatment programs and continue to be residential programs.
A major change to the substance abuse treatment programs in DOCS occurred in 1996 with the
case of Griffin v. Coughlin.88 David Griffin was an inmate at Shawangunk who had been told
his continued eligibility for the Family Reunion Program was contingent upon his participation
in the facility’s ASAT program. As previously mentioned, prior to this time the treatment
programs in DOCS used a 12-step approach. Mr. Griffin filed a petition, which he eventually
won, as the court ruled that under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, an inmate
could not be deprived eligibility in a program, such as the Family Reunion Program, for refusing
to participate in the only treatment program available whose curriculum adopts religiouslyoriented practices and philosophies.89 Following this decision, the subsequent years saw DOCS
treatment programs switching from a 12-step approach to the modified therapeutic community
model found in nearly all DOCS substance abuse treatment programs today.
The DOCS ASAT Program Operations Manual (hereinafter referred to as the ASAT Manual)
serves as the primary guide for nearly all DOCS substance abuse treatment programs.90 The
ASAT Manual describes many of the basic elements of TCs as mentioned above, though
significant differences exist between the Manual’s guidelines and actual implementation.
For a detailed analysis of the DOCS treatment programs and models, see Section 8, Treatment
Programming and Materials.
6.3 ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT (ASAT)
The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program (ASAT) is the most widely utilized
DOCS program, operated in the majority of all medium- and most maximum-security DOCS
facilities, a total of 56 prisons.91 The ASAT program is administered and supervised by DOCS
Central Office under the Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.
The six-month program aims to provide education and counseling through “the Substance Abuse
Program,” a competency-based curriculum consisting of nine subject areas, and individual
treatment plans. Individuals do not proceed through the competencies in chronological order as
the Department’s ASAT programs have continuous enrollment, and inmates may join the
program at any point in the curriculum. Inmates are generally not eligible to enroll in ASAT
until they are within 6 to 18 months of the end of their sentence. According to the 2002 ASAT
Manual, residential (segregated) treatment programs are preferred but ASAT facilities “may
88

Griffin v. Coughlin. 88 N.Y.2d 674 (1996).
Ibid.
90
The Manual provided to the CA by DOCS is dated October 2002. We have not identified any updates or
revisions.
91
The CA observed ASAT in operation at these correctional facilities: Albion, Arthur Kill, Bare Hill, Cayuga,
Eastern, Five Points, Franklin, Gouverneur, Gowanda, Green Haven, Greene, Marcy, Mid-State, Oneida,
Shawangunk, Sing Sing, Taconic, Washington, Wende, and Wyoming.
89

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choose to employ alternative single treatment strategies, such as cognitive-behavioral or
therapeutic community, or an approved eclectic treatment strategy approach”92 (The majority of
ASAT treatment programs are residential, in that the treatment participants are housed together
in the same housing block). The ASAT Manual clearly details components of the therapeutic
community model, including community meetings, pull-ups, work assignments and a structured
hierarchy. Finally, although self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics
Anonymous (NA) are no longer a required or formal component of any ASAT program, the
ASAT Manual states that weekly participation in such groups is recommended.
The ASAT program is structured around nine competency areas: (1) drug use/abuse
consequences; (2) understanding self and others; (3) understanding criminal thinking; (4)
decision making and communication skills; (5) the process of addiction;( 6) the process of
recovery; (7) the relationship of alcoholism/addiction to a multitude of problems (e.g., health,
family, social, legal); (8) the process of relapse prevention; and ( 9) the process of maintaining a
drug-free lifestyle. According to the ASAT Manual, the goal of the ASAT program is “to help
the participant progress through the stages of recovery in each of the nine competency areas.”
The “recovery stages” listed are: information, body of knowledge, discovery and assessment,
conceptualization, understanding, internalization, and actualization.93
The manual provides a definition for each stage. For example, the information stage introduces
facts and definitions “to establish a foundation for communication … alcohol is a drug, denial is
symptom of addiction.” The body of knowledge stage is “the grouping of facts and definitions
necessary to achieve insight about a specific subject area.” In the actualization stage, “the
process of recovery becomes the person.” See the ASAT Manual for definitions of all stages.
It is unclear how the ASAT program accounts for variations among inmates regarding the
different stages they may be starting at or advancing to throughout their participation in the
program.
The Manual lists “treatment objectives” for each competency in bullet form, extending over six
pages. A “sample curriculum” is provided in the form of a week-by-week breakdown of the
competencies over six months, with several bullet points for each week. The curriculum does
not support/address rolling admissions in this form. In the first week, for example, the learning
objectives that address the competency area of drug use/abuse consequences include the
classification of drugs, the concept of tolerance, and physical/psychological dependence and
withdrawal. Learning objectives for the second competency area (understanding self and others)
include “development of values, attitudes, and behavior,” “the role of drugs in meeting social
and emotional needs,” and “the defense mechanism [sic] associated with alcoholism and
addiction.” This entire “curriculum” is laid out in five pages.
Neither the list of competencies nor the sample curriculum provides guidance regarding program
content, didactic strategies, therapeutic techniques, or participant materials.

92

State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual.
93
Ibid., 13 ff.

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According to the ASAT Manual, the ASAT program consists of one or two program modules per
day, five days per week. The Manual calls for program participants to receive a minimum of 200
hours of “direct treatment services” addressing some or all of listed program activities, which
include “group discussion of educational material,” group counseling/therapy, individual
counseling, and self-help group participation. A minimum of 130 hours is to be devoted to
“treatment program support activities,” which include community meetings, “self-growth and
self-development assignments,” “lifestyle and relapse prevention assignments,” and “family and
interpersonal relationships.” The ASAT Manual recommends a weekly minimum of two hours of
discussion groups, a minimum of one hour of seminars/lectures, one hour of audio/visual
presentations, and a minimum of two hours of group counseling.
Ancillary support services needed to support specific substance abuse treatment, such as health,
mental health, educational, vocational, ministerial, and recreational services, are considered an
important component of the ASAT program. The ASAT Manual states that these programs
should be available to treatment participants, though not provided directly by ASAT staff.
The ASAT Manual calls for individual counseling to “focus on a particular topic pertinent to a
participant’s experiences and/or problems,” which is to be used to “establish and review goals”
from the treatment plan. The Manual states that these sessions are to occur monthly on a one-toone basis as needed. The Manual does not specify a required minimum length of time for this
individual counseling session. Our case record reviews indicate that individual counseling
sessions are infrequent; when they do occur, they consist primarily of the inmate signing off on a
monthly review or other document requiring his/her signature. See Section 9, Individual
Counseling, for further discussion.
According to the ASAT Manual, an “ASAT team” consists of one ASAT correction counselor
and two ASAT program assistants (PAs). The Manual states that each team “typically carries a
treatment caseload of 120 inmates” and each ASAT correction counselor maintains a guidance
caseload of 50 inmates who are ASAT participants. “Minor” adjustments to this staffing pattern
can be granted by the Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.
Participation in ASAT is voluntary; however, inmates who are designated by DOCS as needing
treatment may face serious consequences (e.g., more prison time) for refusing to participate in or
complete the program. ASAT staff are instructed to interview each participant on admission to
the program and complete an ASAT intake form (included in the Manual) within seven days of
admission. The information gathered during this process is to be used to collaborate with the
inmate in developing an initial treatment plan that indicates the inmate’s strengths, weaknesses,
and treatment goals. The ASAT Manual indicates that the initial plan is to be updated after two
months, with subsequent updates if needed.
As described in the ASAT Manual, inmates are expected to “take a sincere and active role in the
treatment/recovery process while being honest and accountable with themselves and staff
regarding addiction and recovery issues.” According to the Manual, ASAT staff evaluate inmate
participants on anything from a weekly to a monthly basis, depending on the intensity of the
program. The purpose of this evaluation is to provide ASAT staff with “a holistic view of the

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inmate’s progress and provide inmates with feedback regarding their progress in meeting
treatment goals.”
According to the Manual, participants are discharged from the program with a “satisfactory
completion” after a minimum of six months in the program if they receive a satisfactory rating
on the ASAT discharge evaluation; demonstrate “a functional understanding of the dynamics and
consequences of addiction;” and “have convinced ASAT staff” that they have acquired
knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are critical to achieving and maintaining a drug-free
lifestyle.” Inmates may be removed from an ASAT program for disruptive behavior
(unsatisfactory completion) or administrative reasons (administrative termination). See Section
11, Treatment Program Completions and Removals.
6.4 RESIDENTIAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM (RSAT)
The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program (RSAT) is a federally funded program that
requires participant housing to be segregated from the general population.94 DOCS operates six
RSAT programs at six facilities. RSAT was established by the Violent Crime Control and Law
Enforcement Act of 1994 to encourage state correctional facilities to enhance and develop
prison-based substance abuse treatment services.95 DOCS has received RSAT funds since 1996,
though these funds have decreased considerably throughout the years. As of January 2009,
DOCS received an annual RSAT grant of $336,000, which has been used to sustain the project
staff of the programs. Twenty-three RSAT program were in operation in 2006, in contrast to six
in 2010. The RSAT curriculum is based on the ASAT Manual and utilizes the same nine
competency areas. It also employs similar screening, staffing, treatment modality, and removal
policies as ASAT. As federal funding has decreased, many RSAT programs have closed or been
converted to ASAT programs. A condition of the federal funding is that the State provide
quarterly performance measures and semiannual reports.
6.5 COMPREHENSIVE ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
(CASAT)
Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT) is a residential intensive
three-phase substance abuse treatment program offered at four correctional facilities: Arthur Kill,
Hale Creek, Taconic, and Wyoming.96 Phase I consists of treatment similar to ASAT, including a
six-month residential treatment program. Phase II focuses on community reintegration, and is
designed to occur within six to 18 months of an inmate’s earliest release date. Phase II involves
a transitional period in a work-release facility for inmates who are approved for Presumptive
Work Release by the Director of Temporary Release Programs in DOCS Central Office and is
intended to allow participants an opportunity to use recovery principles and coping skills
acquired during Phase I. This phase typically lasts a minimum of six months. During this time,
participants are to find and maintain employment, while participating in an outpatient alcoholism
94

We observed RSAT programs at these correctional facilities: Greene and Marcy.
National Institute of Justice, “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994”; US Dept of Justice and
Bureau of Justice Assistance, Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners (RSAT) Program.
96
We observed CASAT programs at all four correctional facilities where it is operated: Arthur Kill, Hale Creek,
Taconic, and Wyoming.
95

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and substance abuse treatment program. Inmates who are court-ordered to CASAT but not
approved for Presumptive Work Release participate in Phase I only and are then transferred to
general population in the prison system, or discharged from custody if they are paroled or
complete their sentence.
Phase III of the CASAT program includes aftercare for participants who have been released on
parole and are enrolled in community-based treatment. This phase is based on individual needs
of inmates with a focus on relapse prevention.97 In order to be eligible to participate in the three
phases of CASAT, an inmate must have a minimum of nine months to earliest release. The staffto-inmate ratio in CASAT programs is lower than in ASAT programs, averaging between 1:16
and 1:20.
6.6 DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED (DWI) TREATMENT PROGRAMS
The Driving While Intoxicated Treatment (DWI) Program is intended to help DWI (or relatedoffense) offenders develop a foundation for positive change in their lives through assessment,
education, counseling, relapse prevention, and discharge planning.98 The program is residential
and runs between six and 12 months. It is currently conducted at Albion C.F. for female
inmates, with a capacity of 20 and enrollment of 25 as of January 2009, and at Gowanda C.F. for
male inmates, with a capacity of 155 and enrollment of 155 as of January 2009.
To be eligible for the DWI program, an inmate must have been assessed as being in need of
alcohol abuse treatment, have sufficient time remaining in his/her sentence to complete the
program, and have an alcohol-specific crime of commitment or an offense that involves
operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The program described in the revised
DWI manual is 26 weeks long and uses the therapeutic community approach. It is divided into
five five-week sections: (1) alcoholism/substance abuse as a disease; (2) the role of
drugs/emotions in relapse prevention; (3) alcoholism and the family; (4) evaluation of one’s
stages of change; and (5) criminal thinking and maintaining recovery. At the end of each fiveweek module, the inmate undergoes an evaluation.99
6.7 INTEGRATED DUAL DIAGNOSED TREATMENT PROGRAMS: ICP
A modified ASAT program is provided in Intermediate Care Programs (ICPs) for inmates with
mental health disorders who are designated as in need of substance abuse treatment.100 An ICP
is a segregated supportive living/treatment program that provides 24-hour “care and custody” for
inmates with serious and persistent mental illness. ICPs are jointly operated by DOCS and the
New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH), which has statutory responsibility for
providing a continuum of mental health services to inmates through its Central New York
Psychiatric Center (CNYPC).101 ICP inmates with a substance abuse history are eligible for the
97

New York State Department of Correctional Services, Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment
Program Manual.
98
We observed DWI programs at these correctional facilities: Albion and Gowanda.
99
Metz, Felony Driving While Intoxicated Treatment Program Curriculum Manual.
100
We observed ICP ASAT programs at these correctional facilities: Albion, Arthur Kill, Five Points, Mid-State,
Sing Sing, and Wende.
101
Smith, Sawyer, and Way, “Central New York Psychiatric Center,” 523-534.

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ICP ASAT if they have a primary Axis I or Axis II diagnosis. The program runs for a minimum
of nine months, in either half-day modules or two- to three-hour sessions, five days a week.102
ASAT programs are operated in 12 ICPs with a total capacity of 182. 103
According to the DOCS and the OMH ICP Manual, the ICP core curriculum includes psychiatric
rehabilitation therapy, individual and group therapy, medication management, recreation therapy,
task and skill training and development, educational instruction, vocational instruction, security
services, crisis intervention, substance abuse, and pastoral counseling.104 The nine ASAT
competencies are utilized in the ICP ASAT program and combined with the ICP core curriculum
to meet both the mental health and substance abuse needs of these inmates. Individual facilities
differ in the extent to which they incorporate therapeutic community elements into this program,
with most eliminating the structured hierarchy and elements such as pull-ups and push-ups.105
The staff-to-inmate ratio in these programs is much lower than in general ASAT programs,
between 1:3 and 1:10. Therapy and groups are sometimes cofacilitated by OMH staff.
6.8 INTEGRATED DUAL DIAGNOSIS TREATMENT PROGRAMS: GENERAL
POPULATION
The Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT) Residential ASAT programs are intended to
provide treatment in the general population to inmates with mental health disorders who have
been designated by DOCS as in need of substance abuse treatment. Bedford Hills C.F. and MidState C.F. currently offer this program.106 The IDDT programs combine the ASAT
competencies with a specialized treatment curriculum tailored to meet the individual needs of
each participant who has mental health problems. The program length is a minimum of nine
months, with one half-day module five days per week.
In order to be eligible for this program, an inmate must have an identified substance abuse
history and an Office of Mental Health (OMH) classification of service level one, two, three or
four. As part of the aftercare discharge evaluation process, Mentally Ill, Chemically Addicted
(MICA) ASAT staff coordinate substance abuse treatment recommendations with mental health
discharge recommendations from OMH staff.
6.9 SPECIAL HOUSING UNIT (SHU) PRE-TREATMENT WORKBOOK PROGRAMS
Inmates serving sanctions in a Special Housing Unit (SHU) who have been designated by DOCS
as needing substance abuse treatment can complete a three-part workbook entitled Time to Think
About Change, based on the ASAT nine competencies. This workbook does not satisfy the
102

All DOCS programs operate in module format, with four time slots: morning, afternoon, early evening, and late
evening.
103
We observed ICP ASAT programs at these correctional facilities: Albion, Arthur Kill, Five Points, Mid-State,
Sing Sing, and Wende.
104
NYS Department of Correctional Services and NYS Office of Mental Health, Intermediate Care Program
Manual.
105
A pull-up is a verbal reprimand given by participants or staff to a participant who is seen as inappropriately
handling emotions, behaviors, or tasks. Push-ups, in contrast, are positive acknowledgements of self or other
participants. See Section 8.12 for further discussion.
106
We observed general population MICA programs at the following correctional facility: Mid-State.

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requirement of substance abuse treatment for the purposes of the Earned Eligibility program.
Rather, it is intended to motivate SHU inmates to participate in a substance abuse treatment
program after completing their SHU sentence. The completion of the workbook takes
approximately 14 to 16 weeks. The program is offered at seven facilities: Albion, Five Points,
Greene, Lakeview, Mid-State, Southport, and Upstate.107
In order to be eligible to participate in the SHU Pre-Treatment Workbook Program, an inmate
must first have a minimum SHU sentence of six months, and second, have been issued a
misbehavior report that is alcohol/drug related or have a documented history of substance abuse.
Inmates are ineligible for the program if they have received previous disciplinary sanctions for
violence or sex offenses within one year prior to their review for participation. Interested
inmates must also submit a request for a transfer to a SHU Pre-Treatment Workbook site if they
are not already housed in one. Priority placement in the program is given to inmates who are
pre-screened and transferred to the Pre-Treatment Workbook site. A SHU Pre-Treatment
Workbook Coordinator reviews all requests for participation. This staff member also distributes
the necessary materials and reviews the weekly written material submitted by program
participants.
6.10 SPECIAL NEEDS UNIT (SNU) ASAT PROGRAMS
ASAT programs operated in Special Needs Units (SNUs) treat the unique needs of SNU inmates
who are developmentally disabled and require substance abuse treatment. According to DOCS,
the TC model and the competencies are “tailored to meet the functioning level of the inmates
with frequent repetition and review of skills.” The SNU ASAT Program requires a minimum of
nine months of participation in a half-day module per day, five days a week. In order to
participate, an inmate must be housed in a Special Needs Unit. Though the program utilizes the
ASAT curriculum, it moves at a slower pace and limits utilization of some of the principal TC
elements such as a hierarchy and pull-ups and push-ups. There is a higher staff-to-inmate ratio
than in general population ASAT programs. This program is offered at Arthur Kill, Sullivan,
and Wende.108
6.11 NURSERY MOTHERS ASAT PROGRAM
The Nursery Mothers ASAT Program operates at Taconic C.F. and has a capacity of 16 women.
It is offered to mothers who are chemically addicted to address substance abuse issues, parenting,
and pre-release planning. The substance abuse treatment component involves enrollment in
either an ASAT or a CASAT program. The Nursery Mothers Program allows infants to remain
in the nursery with their mothers for a maximum of 18 months. Participants in the Nursery
Mothers ASAT Program live together in the nursery, but attend the regular ASAT/CASAT
sessions.

107

We observed SHU Pre-Treatment Workbook programs at the following correctional facilities: Albion, Five
Points, Greene, Lakeview Shock and Mid-State.
108
We observed SNU ASAT programs at the following correctional facilities: Arthur Kill and Wende.

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6.12 SENSORIALLY DISABLED UNIT ASAT PROGRAM
The Sensorially Disabled Unit (SDU) ASAT Program is a modified therapeutic community for
SDU inmates with documented substance abuse issues. The program meets for three hours a
day, five days per week, for between six and 12 months. The program is conducted at the
Eastern C.F. SDU and has a capacity of 10. Though it utilizes a TC approach, certain aspects are
modified to meet the needs of this specific population.
6.13 SHOCK INCARCERATION PROGRAMS
Shock Incarceration is an intensive boot camp-style treatment program that emphasizes
substance abuse treatment, military-style discipline, physical labor and fitness, a variety of life
skills, and education in a TC setting. Shock programs are voluntary. Successful completion of a
Shock program entitles inmates to reduced sentences, as brief as six months. Male and female
inmates are first screened at one of the State’s reception facilities for Shock eligibility based on
the statutory requirements for the program. To qualify for Shock, inmates must have been
between 16 and 50 years of age at the time of the commitment crime; must have no prior felony
convictions for which a prison sentence was ordered; and must not have been convicted of a
violent crime. At its inception in 1987, New York’s Shock Incarceration program accepted only
inmates aged 23 or younger. Since then, the legislature has broadened the eligibility criteria to
include older inmates. In 1988, only inmates up to 25 were included. In 1989 the age limit was
raised to 29, in 1992 to 34, in 1999 to 39 and in 2009 to 50. The Shock program runs for 26
weeks, during which participants receive approximately 500 hours of alcohol and substance
abuse education and treatment from the Network 109 and ASAT Programs. Shock programs are
run at Lakeview C.F. (600 capacity), Monterey C.F. (250 capacity), Moriah C.F. (183 capacity),
and Summit C.F. (120 capacity).
6.14 WILLARD DRUG TREATMENT CAMPUS
The Willard Drug Treatment Campus is an intensive 90-day boot camp-style substance abuse
treatment program. Willard is a sentencing option for individuals convicted of a nonviolent
drug-related offense and for parole violators who otherwise would have been returned to a State
prison (in most cases for a year or more). Because of their special status, the men and women
detained at Willard are referred to as parolees, not inmates.
Willard is operated by DOCS in conjunction with the Division of Parole and is one of the two
DOCS facilities that are licensed as treatment programs by OASAS, the other is Edgecombe
Residential Treatment Facility. Willard has a capacity of 900 men and women. The CA issued a
report about our visit to Willard in July 2008 describing our general observations about the
prison and its programs.110

109

The Network Program is designed to promote the positive involvement of inmate participants in an environment
which has as its focus their successful community reentry. The objective of the program is to assist inmates in
learning cooperative work and leadership skills, while demonstrating responsible behaviors.
110
The report from our Willard visit is available at
http://www.correctionalassociation.org/publications/download/pvp/facility_reports/Willard_7-14-08.pdf.

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7. STAFFING FOR DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE
TREATMENT PROGRAMS
FINDINGS
The staffing patterns at most DOCS treatment programs visited for the Substance Abuse
Treatment Project were inadequate to meet the needs of the participants, both as designed
(i.e., if they were fully staffed) and as currently implemented (i.e., with current vacancies).
Many of the programs observed had substantial vacancies in critical staff positions,
hindering their ability to provide effective treatment.
DOCS treatment staff varied widely in competence, commitment and skills. Some staff had
extensive community-based treatment experience and training prior to DOCS employment
and exhibited commitment to employing current evidence-based practices in their prisonbased treatment sessions. Other treatment staff had considerably less experience and
training, and many staff used out-of-date materials and/or failed to employ well-established
approaches for engaging participants in the treatment process.
Many DOCS treatment staff did not engage in continuing professional education and
development or participate in professional organizations, while others appeared committed
to continuing their training and education. Though all treatment staff are mandated by
DOCS to participate in the 40 hours of training, the Department provides a limited amount
of training on substance use disorders and their treatment.
The DOCS hiring, supervisory, and staff assignment systems did not encourage employees
to remain within a specific program as they develop experience and enhance their
qualifications.
Limited formal clinical supervision was provided to substance abuse treatment staff.

DISCUSSION
7.1 DOCS STAFFING MODEL
The ASAT Manual describes the staffing pattern at a “typical correctional facility” as a team
comprising one ASAT correction counselor (ASAT CC) and two ASAT program assistants
(PAs). A supervising correction counselor (SCC) may supervise larger treatment programs.
“Minor” adjustments can be granted by the Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services.
The Manual sets a “standard” ratio of 40 inmates per treatment worker, resulting in each team
having a treatment caseload of 120 inmates. A treatment caseload refers solely to the caseload a
staff person carries who is charged with maintaining participant's’ treatment records, and should
not be confused with a guidance caseload. The latter refers to a more general caseload that all
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correction counselors are required to carry, and refers to all of an individual’s needs while
incarcerated, including programs, transfers and grievances. The Manual calls for each ASAT
correction counselor to carry a guidance caseload of 50 inmates, all of whom are usually
designated as in need of substance abuse treatment. According to the ASAT Manual, the ASAT
correction counselor supervises the PAs’ activities and tasks.
According to the examination notices provided to the CA by DOCS, the minimum qualifications
for a PA are two years of experience in a substance abuse treatment program; one year of
treatment experience plus current certification as a CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse Counselor); or one year of experience plus an associate’s degree in human
services. The notice emphasizes that qualifying experience must be in substance abuse
counseling; other types of counseling experience does not qualify. Correction counselors
working in DOCS substance abuse treatment programs are required to have a Bachelor’s Degree
in social work, sociology, criminal justice, psychology, counseling or community and human
services. In addition, they are required to have two years experience as an individual or group
counselor in a recognized drug treatment program, though an individual with a Master’s Degree
in an above-mentioned discipline or who is a CASAC is only required to have one year of
treatment experience. ASAT correction counselors may also have substantial general population
counselor duties that are not related to the substance abuse treatment program. The job
description for the ASAT SCC requires them to have had some experience (minimum of one
year) in a prison-based substance abuse treatment program and one year as a CC, though it does
not require any substance abuse qualifications, certifications or training.
Concerns about effective staffing go beyond the treatment staff. Unlike most OASAS programs
in the community that have treatment staff present 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, DOCS
treatment staff generally work from approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the evening hours,
the only staff present in the treatment program housing areas are security staff. Cross-training of
both criminal justice and treatment staff can improve the program effectiveness. Security staff
such as correction officers who oversee housing areas and staff who provide vocational,
educational and other services should participate in cross-training that goes both ways. Security
should know about treatment considerations, and treatment staff should be familiar with security
and related issues. Without these training safeguards in place, the custody concerns of the
correctional facility often overwhelm the concerns of the treatment program.111 At some of the
facilities we visited, interaction was sometimes lacking among these groups, who at times
operated as silos rather than teams. At other facilities, we were pleased to observe effective
collaboration and communication with treatment and security staff.
7.2 POSITIONS AND VACANCIES
DOCS treatment staff positions are not appropriately distributed, and a significant number of
positions were vacant at the time of our visits. Some positions had been vacant for an
unacceptably long time, ranging from six months to two years or more.

111

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf, 209.

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In August 2009, the CA received a listing of DOCS substance abuse treatment positions at each
prison. Table 7-1 shows ASAT supervising correction counselors, ASAT correction counselors,
and ASAT program assistants for all 62 DOCS treatment programs with assigned staff. The
vacancy rate was 33% for supervising ASAT correction counselors, 26% for ASAT correction
counselors, and 44% for ASAT program assistants.
At seven prisons,112 the number of staff working at the time of the CA’s visits was significantly
less than the authorized treatment staff positions for the prison. For some programs, this may
reflect a change in program design or capacity; others may have had no participants at the time
the list was generated. We have therefore recalculated the vacancy rates without these programs.
Even with these adjustments, the vacancy rates were close to 25% for all positions: 27%, 24%,
and 27% for supervising ASAT correction counselors, ASAT correction counselors, and ASAT
program assistants, respectively. There were seven programs that had no ASAT correction
counselors or ASAT supervising correction counselors to monitor the activities of the program
assistants. It is unclear how these programs would be able to provide adequate clinical
supervision for treatment staff, or overall program supervision, with these supervisory level
vacancies.
Table 7-1 DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Staff Vacancies, 2009
Treatment Staff at
All 62 Programs

Position
# of
Prisons

Treatment Staff at
55 Programs

# of
# of
%
# of
# of
# of
%
Positions Vacancies Vacant Prisons Positions Vacancies Vacant

Supvg ASAT Corr
Counselor

12

15

5

33%

8

11

3

27%

ASAT Corr
Counselor

60

159

42

26%

53

135

32

24%

ASAT Prog Assist

58

301

133

44%

52

237

87

27%

The statewide monthly total for inmates in treatment averaged approximately 9,800 inmates
during the period January through May 2009. Thus, the 285 ASAT correction counselors and
ASAT program assistants represent one staff member for every 34 inmates in a program. The
actual ratios vary program by program, however. (See Table 7-2 for a more detailed analysis).
At some facilities, the ratios are much higher for general population treatment programs than
they are for programs for individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities. These
specialized programs typically have one or two treatment staff for only eight to 17 participants.
Table 7-2 shows the 2009 staffing for the 23 programs visited by the CA for the Substance
Abuse Treatment Project. Of the 23 programs, 21 had at least one treatment staff vacancy, and
15 of the 23 (65%) had two or more vacancies. Many of these positions had recently become
112

Butler ASACTC, Cape Vincent, Chateaugay, Lincoln, Livingston, Taconic and Ulster.

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vacant, while others had been vacant for as long as several years. For example, Albion had a PA
vacancy for more than two years; a Franklin PA position had never been filled since its
authorization years earlier; at Gowanda, two counselor items were vacant for 12 and 18 months,
respectively, and two PA positions were vacant for more than a year; and at Oneida, a counselor
position had been vacant for more than two years.
Turnover is high at the treatment programs as well. For example, at Willard, from the time of our
visit in February 2008 until the August 2009 data, the program lost one of its two supervising
counselors, four of its nine counselors, and two PAs.
In the field of substance abuse services generally, turnover is higher than in other human
services.113 Research shows that turnover is even higher in prison-based substance abuse
treatment programs, and positions tend to be vacant longer. Recruitment and retention are
hampered by salary patterns, geographic isolation of many prisons, and reluctance of some
substance abuse professionals to work in an unfamiliar setting, among other factors. Counselors
who are well suited for community-based treatment programs may not be willing or able to
function effectively in the prison setting. In particular, problems related to over-familiarization
and resistance to rigid custody regulations are common among treatment providers who lack
experience in criminal justice settings.114
The CA is concerned that DOCS may not approve positions because of the State’s dire fiscal
situation and that as new vacancies arise, the prisons will be unable to fill them for some time.
The CA recognizes the State’s need for fiscal prudence. However, it is critical for the public
safety and public health that DOCS ensure adequate effective treatment is available as long as
State criminal justice policies result in the incarceration of so many individuals in need of
treatment.
Table 7-2 Treatment Staff at Programs Visited by the CA as of 2009
Prison
Capacity
Albion
235
Arthur Kill
140
Bare Hill
240
Cayuga
120
Eastern
128
Five Points
217

113
114

ASAT
SCC

1

CC

PA

Credentials

4

5

3 CASACs
1 CASAC-T*

Vacant
Items
1 CC
2 PAs

Staff : Inmates
N/A

1

12

N/A

10 PAs

SNU – 1:15
IDDT – 1: 6
ASAT – 1: 25
CASAT – 1: 60

2

5

2 CASACs

1 PA

1:40

1

4

1 CASAC

2 PAs

1

5

2

5

3 PAs
1 CASAC
1 CASAC-T*

1: 40 overall
(1:20 in AM, 1:20 in PM)
ASAT – 1:20
SDU – 1:15
1:33

Mulvey, Hubbard, and Hayashi, “A national study of the substance abuse treatment workforce,” 51-57.
Farabee et al., “Barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment programs,” 150-162.

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Prison
Capacity
Franklin
180
Gouverneur
120
Gowanda
253
Green Haven
65

ASAT
SCC

1

Greene 410

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

CC

PA

Credentials

Vacant
Items

Staff : Inmates

2

5

2 CASACs
1 CASAC-T*

1 PA

1:30

2

2

1 CC

1:30

7

14

3

4

5

6

4 CASACs

4 PAs

1:40

16 CASACs

1 SCC
3 CCs
3 PAs

1:20

3 CCs
6 PAs
2 CCs
3 PAs

1:20
1:33

Hale Creek
480

3

10

20

Lakeview
600

1

5

10

2 PAs

1 to a platoon

Marcy
360

1

3 Total:
1 ASAT
2 RSAT

6 Total:
2 ASAT
4 RSAT

1 PA

1:40

1 CC

General Pop – 1: 15
ICP – 1: 10
Evening Mod – 1:25
PC Unit – 1:15

2 CCs
4 PAs

1:50

Mid-State
231

7

6

Oneida 151

3

6

Shawangunk
40

1 Sex
Offender
Program
(SOP)
CC

2

Sing Sing
97

2

5

5

11

4 CASACs

Washington
120

2

3

1 CASAC-T

Wende
143

2

3 total
0.5 RMU

1 CASAC

11

20

Taconic
282

1

Willard DTC
980

2

Wyoming 300

1

1 CASAC
1 CASAC-T*

ASAT: 2:20
SOP: 1: 30

3 Total
8 Total
2 ASAT
3 ASAT
1 CASAT 5 CASAT

3 CASACs
1 CC
2 PAs
1 SCC
2 CCs
6 PAs
1 CC
1 PA

ASAT: 1:27
IDDT: 1 to 17
PAs 1:18
CCs 1:30-35
1:30

1 PA

ASAT: 1:20
SNU: 1:9
MH: 1:8

1 SCC
4 CCs
4 PAs

1:50 for males
1:60 for females

3 PAs

CASAT: 1:20
ASAT: 1:40

* Counselors who have fulfilled a substantial portion of the credentialing requirements are designated CASAC
Trainees or CASAC-Ts.

Individuals in need of more intensive treatment can be placed in programs with a higher staff-toinmate ratio, whereas individuals with less need would require less frequent and individualized
staff attention. Similarly, most DOCS treatment programs run groups of the same size each day.

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With limited staff, group size could differ
daily depending on the activity. For
example, a lecture can be presented to a large
group on one day requiring fewer staff and
the following day, with additional staff,
groups could be divided into smaller sizes in
order to discuss the material presented.

[M]y ASAT counselor works with the ASAT
participants to the best of his ability, but he’s
only one man dealing with 60 guys.
Anonymous Inmate (Bare Hill C.F.)

As discussed in Section 8, Treatment Programming and Materials, group size varied among
the programs visited by the CA. While large groups are appropriate for educational
programming, groups for interactive or skills-based counseling should be small enough to allow
all to participate. However, most of the programs we observed did not make this distinction, and
many groups comprised 50 or more participants. Staff-to-participant ratios differed among
programs, though the average was one staff for every 30 participants. When taking into
consideration that the program assistants are generally responsible for providing the directservices components of the program, these staff-to-inmate ratios rise even more. For ASAT
programs in general population, we observed staff-to-participant ratios of as low as 1:15 and as
high as 1:70. With such a high number of participants for every treatment staff member, it can
be challenging to provide adequate, individualized treatment services, a situation that is
problematic when working with such a varied population with complex needs.
7.3 FUNDING FOR DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS
The Department’s public budget does not detail the costs associated specifically with the prisons’
substance abuse treatment programs. The treatment staff are all civilian DOCS employees
included in the budget under the broader category of DOCS program services, which includes all
educational and vocational programs as well as any other specialized program services. There
are a total of approximately 3,050 DOCS program staff members, of whom about 350 are
allocated to the Department’s substance abuse treatment programs.115 Within the last two years,
DOCS’s program services budget has been significantly reduced. In fiscal year 2009-10, the
staffing for program services was scheduled to be reduced by 140 employees (approximately
5%), although the budget proposal for fiscal year 2010-11 suggests that the program staff is
down almost 400 items since March 2009.116 For fiscal year 2010-11, the governor’s current
proposal is to reduce the funds for DOCS program staff by an additional $5.3 million. Based
upon conversations with facility administrative staff during 2009-2010, it appears that
restrictions have been placed on the prisons’ ability to fill program vacancies in order to reduce
115

The treatment staff consists primarily of supervising correction counselors, ASAT counselors and ASAT
program assistants, as well as approximately 10 other support staff, including two social workers, five teaching
assistants, an educational counselor and a clerk. The ASAT program also has keyboard specialists at 21 prisons.
Finally, there are 12 employees assigned to DOCS Central Office who oversee the treatment programs throughout
the Department.
116
The FY 2009-10 budget presentation for DOCS estimated that the Department employed about 3,480 full time
equivalency (FTEs) DOCS program staff as of March 31, 2009 and projected that there would be 3,340 program
FTEs (reduction of 140 items) by the end of the fiscal year (March 31, 2010). New York State Division of the
Budget, 2009-10 Executive Budget Agency Presentations, 340. In the proposed FY 2010–2011 budget for DOCS,
however, the estimated program FTEs as of March 31, 2010 was only 3,050 employees. New York State Division
of the Budget, 2010-11 Executive Budget Agency Presentations, 340.

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the Department’s overall budget, which the governor is proposing to reduce by nearly 10% in
terms of State general funds in fiscal year 2010-11.117 We are concerned that these reductions in
the program service budget will result in further reductions in the substance abuse treatment staff
in the prisons and greater divergence from the staff requirements specified in the standards of
care (treatment manuals).
Without official DOCS figures, we have attempted to estimate the personnel costs for DOCS
prison-based substance abuse treatment programs. The salaries for all treatment staff, including
those running the federally funded Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) programs,
are controlled by the New York State Department of Civil Service job title grades and
compensation schedules. Based upon these schedules as of April 2010, the cost for all prisonbased treatment staff actually employed as of August 2009 is in the range of $16.5 to $17.7
million for the total number of staff occupying the three primary treatment positions (10
supervising correction counselors, 117 ASAT correction counselors and 169 ASAT program
assistants).118 The additional support staff of a few social workers, educational counselors and
teaching assistants represent costs of about $500,000. The costs for the 12 staff at DOCS Office
of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, according to current civil service rates, would be about
$825,000. In addition, there are 32 clerical positions filled and assigned to the substance abuse
program. Throughout our visits we did not observe clerical staff directly involved in the
treatment program, but these items would increase the substance abuse program personnel costs
by about $1 million. In addition to personnel costs, each treatment program has a small budget
for supplies and materials, but these costs appear to be limited based upon staff reports during
our visits. Combining these items, we would estimate that the entire DOCS treatment program is
under $20 million for direct services, not including security staff or ancillary services for this
inmate population.
The DOCS treatment program is funded both by State and federal monies. Specifically, in
addition to State funding, the Department receives federal funds for its Residential Substance
Abuse Treatment (RSAT) programs, which was operational at six facilities in 2009. In
documentation for the current State fiscal year 2010-11, it appears that the State will receive $1
million for the RSAT program.119 This represents a significant increase from the federal monies
provided in recent years. In federal fiscal year 2009, DOCS received $373,706, and for the years
2006 through 2009, the State annually received approximately $400,000. The more recent
RSAT funding (2006 through 2009) had declined significantly since fiscal year 2005, when New
117

NY State Senate Finance Committee, Senate Finance Majority Staff Analysis of the 2010-11 Executive Budget,
163-164. (Hereafter Senate Finance Committee’s 2010 Budget Blue Book.)
118
The supervising correction counselors (SCC) are grade 22 and have a salary range of $63,041 to $79,819; the
ASAT correction counselors (grade 19) salary range is $54,045 to $68,637 and ASAT program assistant (grade 14)
salaries are $49.140 to $52,552. The lower total calculated assumed maximum salary for all supervising CCs (job
rate) and an average of five years experience for ASAT CCs and ASAT PAs; the higher total assumed job rate pay
for all employees.
119
See Senate Finance Committee’s 2010 Budget Blue Book, 164. It is unclear from this document the exact source
of the federal funds. These monies could represent newly authorized federal support for the RSAT program and/or
reauthorization of federal RSAT funds from the previous year. We were informed by DOCS officials in 2009 that
they had not utilized all the federal RSAT funds provided in prior years. In fact, in the fiscal year 2009-10 budget,
the Department listed federal funds for the years 2005 through 2008 as part of its fiscal year 2009-10 budget for
substance abuse treatment. We anticipate a similar mechanism may be used in fiscal year 2010-11 budget, which
has not been passed at the time of this writing.

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York received $1,402,396 from the federal sources supporting programs at 23 facilities. As a
consequence of the reduction of federal funds since 2005, the State has had to absorb the cost for
the previously DOCS-run RSAT programs, which generally have been converted to ASAT
programs.
Clearly the Department is expending significant funds, both from State and federal sources, to
support its treatment program. Given the fiscal crises the State is currently experiencing,
however, we are concerned that inadequate resources will be allocated to the treatment program
in this and future years. State officials should ensure that this essential service is not undermined
by inadequate funding, and creative efforts should be undertaken to identify and secure
additional resources to properly fund the State’s prison-based treatment programs.
7.4 STAFF QUALIFICATIONS
During each site visit, we met for approximately one hour with substance abuse treatment staff.
Twenty-three percent reported that they were credentialed alcoholism and substance abuse
counselors (CASACs), the State’s credential for direct-service treatment professionals.
Counselors who have fulfilled a substantial portion of the credentialing requirements are
designated CASAC-T (CASAC Trainee). 120 The credentialing system is administered by the
New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), which also
licenses programs and operates residential treatment centers around the State.
Several staff members who were eligible to obtain or renew their CASACs said they would not
do so because it would mean they could do—and would most likely be assigned—paperwork
that noncredentialed counselors could not do. Thus, the effort and expense of acquiring the
credential would bring them only more work.
In a related issue, CASAC standards require that CASAC candidates complete a minimum of
6,000 hours (approximately three years) of supervised, full-time-equivalent experience in “an
approved work setting” (usually an OASAS-licensed treatment program, though exceptions can
be granted). Most DOCS substance abuse treatment programs are not currently OASAS
certified, which limits opportunities for treatment staff to work toward the CASAC. We believe
these circumstances may contribute to the low percentage of CASACs (23%) and CASAC
Trainees (3%) we encountered. OASAS’s role in DOCS treatment programs has grown as a
result of the 2009 Rockefeller drug law reforms, and this new role may address this issue to some
extent. OASAS plans to eventually certify all DOCS treatment programs. Similarly, their new
role may impact on levels of treatment staff certifications within in DOCS programs as new staff
and training requirements and opportunities take effect.
The treatment staff we interviewed reported a wide range of education, training and experience.
Many had worked in community-based inpatient or outpatient counseling or treatment programs,
halfway houses and other human-service settings. Some held bachelor’s degrees in fields such
as counseling, criminal justice, forensic science or psychology, while others had associate’s
degrees in related areas. We encountered very few treatment staff with master’s-level degrees.
120

For a complete description of the CASAC and CASAC-T, including credentialing requirements, see the OASAS
website: http://www.oasas.state.ny.us/sqa/credentialing/casacprocess.cfm.

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7.5 TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
DOCS staff are mandated to receive 40 hours of training by DOCS annually on correctional
topics. Treatment staff reported that little of that training relates to substance abuse treatment.
Each year, treatment staff receive three professional days for additional training, which is not
mandatory. At some facilities, management encouraged professional development, including
training, but other prisons did not seem to make it a priority.
Nine of the 23 facilities we visited reported sending both security and clinical staff to training on
therapeutic communities (TCs), making that the most common topic for training. (This is a
result of DOCS’s ongoing shift to the TC model from previous treatment models structured
around the 12-step model.) While many staff described these programs as “helpful” or even
“outstanding,” they also expressed frustration that very little of the training was specific to the
prison setting, where the TC model is substantially altered.
OASAS maintains an online statewide catalog of more than 10,000 training programs offered by
OASAS and its certified education and training providers (of which DOCS is listed as a certified
trainer for certain courses).121 In addition to training programs in every area of the State, the
catalog includes distance learning programs that can be conducted entirely online. Many
programs are provided at no charge. The OASAS Bureau of Workforce Development’s Training
Unit attempts to ensure that the range of available training programs matches credentialing
requirements and other professional development needs of substance abuse professionals
throughout the State. Training and other professional development activities are also available
through the Association of Substance Abuse Providers of New York State (ASAP NYS) at its
conferences and meetings, and other professional associations.122
Staff interviewed had attended trainings on dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorders (Five Points,
Washington), women in corrections (Albion, Cayuga), cultural diversity (Cayuga), domestic
violence (Cayuga), counselor wellness (Five Points), meth labs and rave drugs (Gouverneur),
mental health (Marcy), trauma (Taconic), and motivational interviewing for mental health,
substance abuse, and HIV (Wende). Continuing education trainings by DOCS on substance
abuse were lacking in general, and staff from several facilities expressed a need for more training
in this area, as well as to address the needs of the rising population of individuals in substance
abuse treatment programs with mental health problems. In addition, staff wanted more training
on group work techniques and youth addiction. Staff at Albion, Cayuga and Gowanda reported
more participation in training courses than staff at Bare Hill, Arthur Kill and Five Points.
Although treatment staff are entitled to three professional days for training annually, staff
vacancies have sometimes prevented staff from taking advantage of training opportunities. For
instance, staff at Gouverneur were well informed about available training programs but believed
they could attend only if they obtained coverage for their shifts. Willard staff had similar
grievances and were frustrated that OASAS provides training courses about which prison
treatment staff were not always informed. In contrast, Lakeview staff described DOCS as very
accommodating when a staff member expressed interest in attending a training program, but they
121
122

“NYS OASAS Training Catalog.”
“Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers.” http://www.asapnys.org/.

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also noted their impression that both DOCS and OASAS have sponsored less training lately than
in the past. Not surprisingly, staff holding a CASAC or a CASAC-T reported attending more
trainings. We recommend that in order to reduce variability in practice and programs and
address fidelity issues, DOCS set up a model program or “teaching hospital” to serve as a
training institute for all new treatment staff.
7.6 PROGRAM PARTICIPANT ASSESSMENT OF STAFF
Treatment staff at the 23 treatment programs
observed by the CA varied considerably in
their qualifications, experience and how they
related to treatment participants. Though we
were impressed with the commitment and
knowledge of some treatment staff, we were
equally concerned by the apparent lack of
skills among others. Our observations were
reinforced by participants’ comments and
survey results. A substantial body of research
indicates that motivation is a shared
responsibility, with counselor knowledge,
attitudes and competence having significant
impact on treatment participant resistance.

I have been a heroin addict since the age of 10, and
my need to stop using is very strong. Counselor X
and Program Assistant Y are instrumental and
supportive in my needs to change.
Anonymous Inmate (Marcy C.F.)
The counselors are very disrespectful. They call you
stupid, loser, dumb, ignorant words that break a
person’s character. If I am an addict, I need to be
built up, not broken down. Counselors want to
exercise authority like a CO [corrections officer].
Any little discrepancy and they want to threaten to
kick you out of the program. Comply or goodbye.
Anonymous Inmate (Gouverneur C.F.)

The counselor’s ability to clearly express
At first it was just a program to complete for me,
empathy and support is key in engaging and
however Mrs. X stayed on me until I got involved in
helping to motivate the participant, thus we
the program. She allowed me to see my messed up
sought to measure inmate perceptions of
123
thinking for what it was.
support by their program staff. NIDA’s
Anonymous Inmate (Sing Sing C.F.)
guide to principles of effective treatment for
this population includes motivational
enhancement as an appropriate evidence-based practice to enhance engagement.124
As more fully discussed in Section 8.14 there are numerous studies that have demonstrated that
program participants’ satisfaction with their treatment is strongly correlated with program
retention and, more importantly, with reduction in relapse following completion of treatment.125
The Multimodality Quality Assurance Scales (MQA) survey for prison-based treatment
participants was specifically designed as a tool to measure participants’ assessment of the
treatment program’s therapeutic approach (TC, cognitive-behavioral therapy[CBT] and 12-step),
program climate, community-related interactions between participants and program staff, rapport
123

Hiller et al., “Problem Severity and Motivation for Treatment in Incarcerated Substance Abusers”; Welsh,
“Inmate responses to prison-based drug treatment.”
124
Fletcher and Chandler, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide.
125
Zhiwei Zhang, Gerstein, and Friedmann, “Patient Satisfaction and Sustained Outcomes of Drug Abuse
Treatment”; Hser et al., “Relationship between drug treatment services, retention, and outcomes,” 767-774; Melnick,
Hawke, and Wexler, “Client Perceptions Of Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment Programs,” 124125.

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with the counseling process, communication within the program, and participants’ assessment of
their engagement and commitment. Finally, the survey contains participants’ assessments of
their satisfaction with multiple elements of their program.
7.6.1 Survey Participants’ Satisfaction with Treatment Staff Services
Specifically, the MQA survey asked treatment participants to rate their satisfaction with aspects
of their treatment program on a four-point Likert scale from very dissatisfied to very satisfied.
Table 7-3 lists the percentage of survey participants at each prison who responded that they were
somewhat satisfied or very satisfied, and the responses of all program participants are
summarized in the last column labeled “Total.” Concerning services provided primarily by the
treatment staff, the participants were asked about their satisfaction with the treatment plan (see
response to question 6) and with the counseling process (MQA Q18 series).
Overall, 57% of the survey respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with their treatment
plan, and 58% were similarly satisfied with the counseling process. The survey respondents
rated these two elements generally lower than their satisfaction with the other components of the
program; 65% of respondents were somewhat or very satisfied overall with all the elements of
the program.
But these overall satisfaction ratings are somewhat misleading because there was significant
variation in the percentage of respondents who were somewhat or very satisfied with the
counseling process, ranging from a low of 31% to a high of 96%. There were several facilities
with satisfaction rating in the 30% to 40% range, including Bare Hill (31%), Cayuga (33%),
Gouverneur (40%) and Oneida (33%). The prisons with high counseling process satisfaction
included: Albion (76%), Hale Creek (84%), Lakeview Male (84%), Lakeview Female (96%),
Sing Sing (74%) and Taconic (77%).
Similarly, there was also significant variability in the survey respondents’ satisfaction with the
treatment plan, ranging from a low of 22% to a high of 96%. There was a cluster of prisons with
satisfaction rates well below 50%, including Bare Hill (26%), Cayuga (39%), Oneida (22%) and
Willard Male (43%). Conversely, there were several prisons with treatment planning satisfaction
rates of 70% or greater, including Hale Creek (83%), Lakeview Male (95%), Lakeview Female
(96%) and Taconic (70%).

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68
59
71
90

Satisfaction with the Treatment Plan
Satisfaction with the Discharge Planning
Satisfied with Safety
Satisfied with Educational and Vocational
Programs
Satisfaction with Social Skills Training
Satisfaction with Services
Satisfied with Menu A (TC)
Satisfied with Menu B (CBT)
Satisfied with Menu C (12 Steps)
Satisfaction with your Own Involvement
Satisfaction with the Counseling Process
Satisfaction with your Commitment
Average of All Questions

95
76
92
83

Satisfaction with the Treatment Plan
Satisfaction with the Discharge Planning
Satisfied with Safety
Satisfied with Educational and Vocational
Programs
Satisfaction with Social Skills Training
Satisfaction with Services
Satisfied with Menu A (TC)
Satisfied with Menu B (CBT)
Satisfied with Menu C (12 Steps)
Satisfaction with your Own Involvement
Satisfaction with the Counseling Process
Satisfaction with your Commitment
Average of All Questions
82
76
85
98
93
90
84
100
88

LVM

Description

91
67
75
90
62
96
76
90
77

AL

Description

83
74
93
86
89
96
96
100
91

96
91
96
89

LVF

55
42
51
74
52
89
71
89
61

68
41
72
27

48
48
65
78
62
89
56
99
65

53
34
70
80

MA

48
46
67
72
56
96
50
89
58

47
37
75
24

AK I AK II

74
40
53
71
44
82
55
91
61

52
42
64
59

MS

34
20
49
56
36
75
31
78
44

26
18
66
42

BH

49
50
31
58
40
56
33
81
55

22
N/A
54
78

ON

36
38
51
68
46
88
33
93
54

39
33
61
67

CY

66
43
68
74
72
83
69
85
68

69
37
97
53

SH

51
60
82
81
63
89
60
90
71

66
60
87
57

EA

74
46
72
81
63
84
74
97
71

68
63
89
61

SS

61
49
87
87
73
87
67
93
73

61
50
85
73

FP

81
56
78
85
60
96
77
96
78

70
50
96
50

TA

49
40
60
62
47
80
50
85
58

48
30
72
67

FR

59
64
73
71
68
87
57
94
67

55
50
61
70

WA

48
44
63
82
57
81
40
100
60

47
22
76
61

GV

54
43
65
80
61
74
50
87
56

53
23
83
24

WE

48
50
76
78
48
85
61
94
66

60
45
78
72

GO

50
48
44
68
73
70
55
86
61

43
50
74
73

WIM

57
44
69
93
70
93
56
92
65

60
29
69
50

GH

57
38
67
67
63
89
57
100
68

56
63
78
78

WIF

57
46
71
79
55
81
57
93
64

47
53
76
50

GR

60
52
76
85
69
84
51
87
67

61
47
78
59

WY

71
63
76
90
82
94
84
93
81

83
66
90
75

58
49
67
77
60
85
58
91
65

57
44
77
62

Total

Correctional Association of New York

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Prison Abbreviations: AL-Albion, AK I-Arthur Kill (2007), AK II-Arthur Kill (2009), BH-Bare Hill, CY-Cayuga, EA-Eastern, FP-Five Points, FR-Franklin, GV-Gouverneur, GOGowanda, GH-Green Haven, GR-Greene, HC-Hale Creek, LVM-Lakeview Male, LVF-Lakeview Female, MA-Marcy, MS-Mid-State, ON-Oneida, SH-Shawangunk, SS-Sing
Sing, TA-Taconic, WA-Washington, WE-Wende, WIM-Willard Male, WIF-Willard Female, WY-Wyoming.

11
12
13
14
15
17
18
19

Quest
#
6
6
10
10

11
12
13
14
15
17
18
19

Quest
#
6
6
10
10
HC

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Table 7-3 SUMMARY OF THE PERCENTAGE OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS SATISFIED WITH PROGRAM ELEMENTS

DOCS Treatment Staff

DOCS Treatment Staff

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

These satisfaction ratings with direct treatment staff activities (treatment plan and treatment
process) were consistent with other aspects of the participants’ assessment of rapport with staff,
communication in the program and their assessment of their overall satisfaction with their
treatment (MQA Q18(d)).
7.6.2 Survey Participants’ Assessment of Treatment Staff Support and Help
The MQA also sought the participants’ evaluation of their rapport with, and perception of, the
treatment staff. Specifically, the MQA survey posited the following four specific statements to
which the survey participants could reply as not true, somewhat true, mostly true or very true: (1)
“I feel that people in this program are interested in helping me” (MQA Q16(b)); (2) “I think that
the staff believes in me” (MQA Q16(e)); (3) “The substance abuse treatment staff supports my
goals” (MQA Q18(a)); and (4) “I work well with my substance abuse treatment staff” (MQA
Q18(c)).
Chart 7-1 illustrates the percentage of survey participants at each prison who responded to these
four statements as mostly true or very true. In addition, the percentage of all survey participants
responding as mostly or very true to these statements are indicated in the last entry in the chart
under the label “Total.” Overall, survey respondents gave mixed reviews of the treatment staff
and their support for program participants, with a significant majority of the group expressing
doubt that staff genuinely supported their recovery. As illustrated in Chart 7-1 under “Total,”
only 30% of all survey participants said it was mostly or very true that program staff were
interested in helping them, 32% said it was mostly or very true that staff believe in them, and
38% reported that it was mostly or very true that treatment staff support their goals. On the other
hand, 49% said it was mostly or very true that they worked well with treatment staff.
Analyzing the data by prison, the survey participants’ responses to the questions of staff helping
them, believing in them and supporting their goals were very consistent for all prisons.126 This
consistency existed at both prison programs with more favorable responses and those with more
negative analysis of staff support. For example, at some programs more than 40% of survey
participants said these statements were mostly or very true (Hale Creek, Lakeview Male and
Female, Sing Sing and Taconic), while less than 20% of the survey participants at other
programs (Bare Hill, Gowanda and Oneida) replied that these statements were mostly or very
true.

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16-b Interested in Helping Me

Correctional Association of New York

n

16-e Believe in Me

18-a Support my Goals

18-c Work Well with Staff

ll
k
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a
a
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n
g
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II
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ill
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W
d
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e
S
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e
F
H vi
r
A
G
W
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W
Sh
illa
G
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ke
W
a
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Visited Prisons

o
bi
Al

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Chart 7-1 MQA Survey Responses of Mostly or Very True to Questions
on Staff Support and Help

DOCS Treatment Staff

Percentage of Responses Mostly or Very True

80

DOCS Treatment Staff

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

7.6.3 Variability of Survey Participants’ Assessment of Rapport with Staff
The survey results indicate significant variability among the treatment programs concerning
participants’ assessment of rapport with staff. The degree of variability is best illustrated by
examining the responses of survey participants at the two ends of the Likert scale, that is, the
percentage of program participants who said a given statement was not true and those who
replied it was very true. Chart 7-2 illustrates the survey participants’ responses of not true and
very true to the statement whether the program staff was interested in helping them. For
example, 23 to 44% of survey respondents at several prisons said it was very true that people in
the program were interested in helping them; in contrast, at others prisons the percentage of
responses of very true was 0 to 2%.127 Forty percent of all treatment participants reported that it
was not true that people in the program were interested in helping them, but similar to the very
true responses, the range of negative evaluations among the facilities varied significantly.128
Overall, the percentages of positive and negative responses for the best programs were five to
nearly 20 times higher than the responses for the most problematic treatment programs,
demonstrating very high variability among treatment programs.
Chart 7-2 Participants' Responses of Not True or Very True to Whether
Program is Interested in Helping Them (MQA Q16b)

70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Al
Ar bio
th n
Ar ur
th Kil
l
ur
K
ill
II
Ba
re
H
ill
C
ay
ug
Ea a
Fi ste
ve
rn
P
oi
n
Fr ts
G an
ou kli
ve n
rn
eu
G
r
G owa
re
en nda
H
av
en
G
r
La Ha een
ke le
e
C
vi
ew re
ek
F
La
ke em
a
vi
ew le
M
al
e
M
ar
M
id cy
-S
ta
te
O
S
n
ha e
w ida
an
gu
n
Si
ng k
S
in
g
T
W aco
as ni
hi c
ng
to
n
W
W
ill
ar en
d
de
F
W em
al
ill
ar
e
d
M
a
W
l
yo e
m
in
g
To
ta
l

Percent of Survey Respondents

80%

Visited Prisons

Percent Not True

Percent Very True

127

The prisons with high and low percentages of very true responses included: Bare Hill (2%), Gouverneur (0%),
Greene (2%), Lakeview Male (30%), Lakeview Female (36%), Oneida (7%), Shawangunk (26%), Taconic (33%),
Willard Female (44%) and Wyoming (23%).
128
Oneida (73%), Bare Hill (68%), Cayuga (65%), and Gouverneur (57%) represent the highest number of
participants expressing it was not true that staff was interested in helping them, while survey assessments at Taconic
(4%), Lakeview Female (11%), Willard Female (11%), and Hale Creek (17%) represent the lowest percentages of
not true responses.

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Responses to other questions about treatment staff also demonstrated significant variability
among programs. Chart 7-3 shows responses indicating not true and very true to the statement
whether staff believe in the participant and whether staff support the participant’s goals. As with
the question about staff interest in helping the participant described earlier, the variability in the
percentages of very true or not true responses was extremely high. Respondents at some
treatment programs, such as the Willard Female, Lakeview Female, Taconic and Hale Creek, had
responses that were five to 10 times better than the survey participants’ assessments at
Gouverneur, Oneida, Bare Hill and Wende.129

Chart 7-3 Participants' Responses of Not True and Very True to Questions about
Staff Believing in Me (MQA Q16e) and Supporting My Goals (MQA Q18a)
80%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

ll
l
B a l II
re
H
C a ill
yu
Ea ga
F i s te
ve
rn
Po
i
F r n ts
G ank
ou
l
v e in
rn
G eu
G ow a r
re
en nda
Ha
v
G en
r
e
La H al ene
e
ke
vie C re
w
La F ek
ke em
v ie a l
w e
M
al
M e
a
r
M
id c y
-S
ta
te
Sh One
a w id a
an
g
Si un
ng k
Si
T a ng
c
W
a s o n ic
hi
ng
to
n
W
W
illa
en
rd
de
F
W em
illa a
r d le
M
W a le
yo
m
in
g
To
ta
l

Ki

Ki

ur

Ar

th

bi
Al

th

ur

on

0%

Ar

Percentage of Survey R esponses

70%

Visited Prisons

% Not True Staff Believe in Me

% Very True Staff Believe in Me

% Not True Staff Support my Goals

% Very True Staff Support my Goals

129

See Appendix F for the responses by prison of survey participants to statement on whether staff believe in the
participant (question 16(e)) and whether staff support their treatment goals (question 18(a)).

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7.6.4 Survey Participants’ Composite Mean Score Assessing Treatment Staff
An analysis of all seven staff-related survey questions provides an overview of respondents’
attitudes toward staff.130 We combined responses to these questions and calculated a combined
average score on the four-point scale. This combined mean score was then converted to a
percentage of the maximum possible score for all questions, resulting in 0% if the survey
respondent answered not true to all the questions and 100% if the survey answers were very true
to each staff-related question. The mean scores and the corresponding percentage of the
maximum possible score for each prison and for all survey responses are listed in Table 7-4 and
illustrated in Chart 7-4.

Table 7-4 Mean MQA Survey Responses to Seven Questions Concerning Program Staff
Description
Treatment Staff Assessment
% of maximum mean score*

AL
1.46
49%

AK I
1.15
38%

AK II
1.12
37%

BH
0.49
16%

CY
0.77
26%

EA
1.24
41%

FP
1.24
41%

FR
1.00
33%

GV
0.57
19%

Description
Treatment Staff Assessment
% of maximum mean score*

GO
1.13
38%

GH
1.37
46%

GR
0.90
30%

HC
1.57
52%

LVM
1.80
60%

LVF
2.02
67%

MA
1.17
39%

MS
0.99
33%

ON
0.55
18%

Description
Treatment Staff Assessment
% of maximum mean score*

SH
1.58
53%

SS
1.65
55%

TA
1.90
63%

WA
1.01
34%

WE
0.90
30%

WIM
0.82
27%

WIF
2.02
67%

WY
1.33
44%

Total
1.16
39%

*Combined mean score converted to a percentage from 0% if all responses were not true to 100% if all responses
were very true.

These data demonstrate the overall variability of treatment participants’ attitudes and
assessments of the treatment staff. Several observations are noteworthy. First, the composite
scores represent a negative assessment of staff. A majority of respondents felt it was not true or
only somewhat true that staff supported them and their recovery. Second, responses to the seven
statements were highly correlated and relatively consistent internally for most programs. Third,
the differences among programs were substantial, with the five highest-ranking programs
(Willard Female, Lakeview Female, Taconic, Lakeview Male and Sing Sing) having an average
percentage (62%) that was approximately three times greater than the percentage (21%) for the
five lowest-ranking programs (Bare Hill, Oneida, Gouverneur, Cayuga and Willard Men).

130

These included MQA statements from items 16 and 18, including: 16(b) I feel that people in this program are
interested in helping me; 16(c) I think that the people in the program are trying to do what is best for me; 16(d) I
think that the program is well organized (runs smoothly); 16(e) I think that the staff believes in me; 18(a) The
substance abuse treatment staff supports my goals; 18(b) The substance abuse treatment staff is sincere in wanting to
help me; and 18(c) I work well with my substance abuse treatment staff.

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Chart 7-4 Survey Respondents' Composite Mean Score
Assessing Treatment Staff
80%

Percent from Not True to Very True

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

A
Ar lb
i
Ar thu on
th r K
ur il
K l
Ba ill
re II
C Hil
ay l
Ea uga
Fi s
ve te
Po rn
in
G Fra ts
ou n
ve klin
rn
G
G o eu
re wa r
en n
H da
av
La H Gr en
ke a ee
vi le ne
e C
La w re
ke Fe ek
vi ma
ew l
e
M
al
M e
M ar
id cy
-S
Sh O tate
aw ne
an ida
Si gu
ng nk
Si
W Ta ng
c
as o
hi nic
ng
W
illa W ton
rd en
W Fe de
illa m
rd ale
W Ma
yo le
m
TO ing
TA
L

0%

Visited Prisons

Finally, survey participants’ responses to the questions on staffing were very consistent with
their assessment of the treatment program, as illustrated in Chart 7-5. We compared three items
from the surveys: (1) the composite mean staffing scores; (2) the composite scores for responses
about satisfaction with treatment (MQA Q18(d)) and whether treatment meets or exceeds
expectations (MQA Q18(e)); and (3) ratings of satisfaction with the counseling process
(counseling satisfaction rating following MQA Q18).

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Chart 7-5 Comparison of Composite Staff Assessment and
Treatment Satisfaction Scores
90%

Percentage from Not True to Very True

80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%

A
A lbi
r
o
A thu n
rth r
ur Kil
K l
B ill I
ar I
e
C Hill
ay
u
E g
Fi as a
ve te
P rn
oi
n
G Fra ts
ou nk
ve lin
G rne
G ow ur
re a
en n
H da
av
e
La H Gr n
ke al ee
vi e C ne
e
La w ree
ke Fe k
vi ma
ew le
M
al
M e
M ar
id cy
-S
t
Sh O ate
aw ne
an ida
Si gun
ng k
S
in
W Tac g
as o
hi nic
ng
W
ill W ton
ar e
d n
W Fe de
ill ma
ar
d le
W Ma
yo le
m
i
TO ng
TA
L

0%

Visited Prisons

Staff Composite Score

Composite Treatment Satisfaction

Counsel Process Satisfaction

These data also support the conclusion that treatment participants who experienced program staff
as unsupportive were also significantly less satisfied with their treatment and the counseling
process. Overall, 52% of survey participants reported they were mostly or very satisfied with the
counseling process. Similarly, all survey participants had a combined score of 39% on a scale
from 0% (not true) to 100% (very true) in response to the statements that they were satisfied with
their treatment and that their treatment experience meets or exceeds their expectation. The
survey participants at the five prisons with the lowest composite mean staff assessment scores,
however, had counseling process satisfaction scores in the range of 29% to 44% and treatment
satisfaction scores in the range of 17% to 27%. In contrast, the survey participants at the five
prisons with the highest composite mean staff assessment scores had counseling process
satisfaction scores in the range of 62% to 81% and treatment satisfaction scores of 57% to 73%,
percentages in both categories that were twice as high as the results for those prisons with low
staff assessments. These marked differences in survey participants’ responses to the staff and
their treatment program strongly suggest that efforts must be made to improve staff performance
at some prisons experiencing low participant satisfaction.

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8. TREATMENT PROGRAMMING AND
MATERIALS
FINDINGS
Program structure and content varied a great deal from program to program.
Treatment approaches and interventions were applied inconsistently within and among
programs.
Many treatment strategies and interventions we observed were not drawn from evidencebased practices.
Fidelity to treatment models was low; while most staff labeled their programs as
therapeutic communities, many programs did not fully adhere to the generally accepted
definition of an in-prison TC.
Based on our observations, analysis of the ASAT Program Manual, inmate interviews and
surveys and review of materials provided to us by facility staff, the large group sizes and
broad curricula of the treatment programs resulted in an inability to successfully
implement effective therapy approaches.
In general, drug treatment should address issues of motivation, problem solving, skill-building
for resisting drug use and criminal behavior, the replacement of drug using and criminal
activities with constructive nondrug using activities, improved problem solving, and lessons
for understanding the consequences of one’s behavior.
— Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide. National Institute of Drug Abuse, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (2006),
page 2.

DISCUSSION
8.1 INTRODUCTION
Over three years, the Substance Abuse Treatment Project sought to assess the effectiveness of
New York’s prison-based treatment programming using a variety of strategies, both qualitative
and quantitative. We visited 23 DOCS substance abuse treatment programs, observing large and
small group sessions, visiting housing areas, reviewing and analyzing case records, interviewing
and surveying current and former treatment participants as well as inmates who had not
participated in treatment, interviewing staff and management, and reviewing manuals, data and
other material provided by DOCS. The CA observers were staff members, board members, and
experts in the fields of correction and substance abuse treatment. All were trained and advised of
confidentiality requirements.

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We found significant variations in clinical programming among and even within programs.
Overall areas in which we observed difficulties included: variation in content and presentation of
topics as a result of a curriculum that was too broad and lacking in sufficient detail; low fidelity
to stated treatment models; low emphasis on motivational enhancement or other engagement
strategies; and group size that often made meaningful therapeutic interaction difficult. Many of
our observations suggest that several programs were a patchwork of interventions and strategies
that most often reflected the experience and preferences of program staff.
The above observations reflect systemwide challenges in DOCS substance abuse treatment and
illustrate the frequent differences we found from program to program. It is important to note that
the CA also observed some programs with extremely dedicated staff and high levels of
participant involvement, engagement and satisfaction.
While there is much to be said for individualizing treatment to address the unique needs of
inmates at each facility, a wide variety of well-tested models is readily available for use,
obviating the need for patchwork and improvisation. Furthermore, it is difficult for DOCS to
adequately monitor treatment programming that fluctuates constantly. The CA suggests that
DOCS provide more-substantial guidance and indicate where customization is appropriate with
approval. Monitoring and auditing of programs will be facilitated. This will be especially
important as OASAS plays a growing role.
8.2 EFFECTIVE PRISON-BASED SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
Prison-based treatment for substance abuse can be effective, according to a substantial body of
evidence, clinical experience and expert consensus.131 Over the last two decades, specific
interventions, strategies and models have been identified that can help inmates prepare for a
drug- and crime-free life, both inside the facility and after release to the community.
A large body of research, clinical experience and expert opinion has declared the therapeutic
community (TC) highly effective at reducing drug use and crime.132 As its growth has
skyrocketed, the model has been modified to accommodate the demands of the prison setting,
including the focus on security, the inmate goal of early release, the constraints of space and
scheduling, and the prison culture.133 Researchers have noted that some of these variations
actually have low fidelity to the model and may lack the elements responsible for the success of
the programs studied.134 For a detailed discussion of the treatment models that DOCS seeks to
utilize, see Section 6, Overview of DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs. Thus, in

131

Inciardi et al., “An effective model of prison-based treatment for drug-involved offenders,” 261-278; Peters,
Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the Criminal
Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement
Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf. Prendergast, M. L. & Wexler, H. K. (2004). Correctional Substance Abuse Treatment
Programs in California: A Historical Perspective. The Prison Journal. 84(1), 8-35.
132
Hiller, Knight, and Simpson, “Prison-based substance abuse treatment, residential aftercare and recidivism,” 833824; Gaes et al., “Adult Correctional Treatment.”
133
Taxman, F.S. & Bouffard, J.A. (2002). Assessing therapeutic integrity in modified therapeutic communities for
drug-involved offenders. The Prison Journal 82(2): 189–212.
134
Rockholz, “National update on therapeutic community programs for substance abusing offenders in state
prisons,” 49, 56-59.

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assessing DOCS therapeutic communities, one strategy the Substance Abuse Treatment Project
used was to identify the use of these elements, by observation and by surveying inmates.
A major component of effective substance abuse treatment is unlearning old habits associated
with drug use and learning new skills and habits that support a drug-free life. For prison-based
treatment, evidence-based interventions include cognitive-behavioral approaches that teach
coping and decision-making skills.135 Researchers and clinicians have made great strides in the
last 20 years toward identifying these skills and developing effective approaches for training
inmates to use them. Incorporating this training into a clear, step-by-step curriculum can help to
ensure that they are covered thoroughly and accurately in a treatment program. Working from
this kind of plan is consistent with the TC’s view of incremental learning.136
A 2007 study of correctional treatment nationwide found that most drug treatment provided to
this population consists not of clinical services but of drug education: lectures on pharmacology,
the process of addiction, its impact on the family, and so on.137 While these programs may have
aimed for an interactive intervention, the actual result was often didactic, leaving inmates
without the practice and feedback that is important for effective skill building.
Our observations of DOCS programs agreed with this finding. This concern can be addressed by
creating and using detailed curricula, which were not used by most of the DOCS programs we
observed. (The ASAT Manual does not provide guidance in this area, but does not bar facilities
from developing their own curricula.) In addition to lectures, there was a tendency to talk about
skills such as refusal or anger management, rather than learning and practicing them.
8.3 DOCS TREATMENT PROGRAM AND CLINICAL APPROACHES
8.3.1 Treatment Prioritized at the End of Inmates’ Sentences
DOCS’ policy for enrolling inmates into substance
abuse treatment programs prioritizes inmates for
admission based upon the proximity to their parole
board hearing. Consequently, individuals who
have been designated as in need of treatment upon
reception into DOCS custody will often spend a
considerable amount of time in prison before
becoming eligible to enroll in a treatment program.
The DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment
Services has developed this policy so that
individuals completing prison-based treatment are
close to their release date and better able to access

I’ve been upstate for over seven years and I need
help with my drug problem. I used drugs a few
times while I’ve been in prison…and have been
waiting and trying to get into a program for
years, but I never get close on any list…I don’t
see how I can get the help I need. If I don’t get
help, I’ll end up stressing, then I’ll smoke weed
and catch another ticket and lose more good time.
I don’t feel it is fair I’ll have to be stuck in prison
longer because I was not allowed the help prison
is supposed to offer me.
Anonymous Inmate (Collins C.F.)

135

Evidence-based practices can be defined as interventions that have shown consistent scientific evidence of being
related to preferred client outcomes. They are identified by multiple randomized controlled trials; consensus
reviews; expert opinion based on clinical observation; and analyses of the aggregated results of scientifically sound
studies. Interventions and tools that are proven effective in the controlled environment of a clinical trial often cannot
be transferred intact into the real-world clinical setting. Nonetheless, along with expert opinion and clinical
experience, evidence-based practices provide signposts to effectiveness.
136
De Leon, “The Therapeutic Community and Behavioral Science,” 74.
137
Taxman, Perdoni, and Harrison, “Drug treatment services for adult offenders,” 239-254.

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the continuity of care critical to their recovery when they complete the program. As discussed in
Section 15, Aftercare, Continuing Care and Reentry Support, we found inadequate
continuity of care efforts by the treatment staff and other Department officials in facilitating
program graduates’ connection to community-based programs, but we generally endorse the
value of promptly following prison-based treatment with community care for those individuals
with a significant risk of relapse when they return home.
Though the importance of establishing
Inmates should be afforded the opportunity to
continuity of care for individuals with substance
address their addictions early and continue to
abuse problems is clear, our observations of
maintain the afforded tools from these
current prison practices have led to several
therapeutic programs to sustain during
concerns. Primary among these is that some
incarceration. The earlier the treatment, the
individuals entering DOCS custody are arriving
less likelihood for continued use.
with substantial substance abuse problems that
Anonymous Inmate (Sing Sing C.F.)
require more immediate attention. These
individuals are being forced to wait for long lengths of time before their treatment needs are
addressed; they are often the same individuals who end up receiving multiple disciplinary
sanctions for drug use and possession in prison. Requiring these individuals to wait years before
they are offered enrollment into a treatment program is nearly equivalent to denial of treatment.
Second, because it is the Department’s policy to delay treatment, DOCS has not made any
significant effort to develop a prison-based aftercare program (see Section 15 for a more detailed
discussion).
In order to work toward the most successful reentry experience possible, it is important that
treatment services are offered at the end of an individual’s incarceration, but additional treatment
services should be made available at the beginning of one’s sentence if he/she feels there is a
significant need. These programs could be voluntary and would not exempt an individual from
then completing the treatment program at the end of their sentence. The provision of such
additional voluntary programs can help to reduce drug use and possession inside prison,
increasing prison safety for both staff and inmates. Finally, DOCS should develop more prisonbased aftercare planning and programs for those inmates who remain incarcerated for significant
periods after program completion.
8.3.2 Length of DOCS Treatment Programs
Expert opinion asserts that up to a point, the
positive outcomes of substance abuse treatment
programs are associated with longer lengths
program, though this no longer holds true for
programs longer than one year.138 It is widely

“With a longer program, I could have gained
more vital information.”
Anonymous Inmate (Marcy, C.F.)

138

Swartz, Lurigo, and Slomka, “The impact of IMPACT: An assessment of the effectiveness of a jail-based
treatment program”; Wexler et al., “Outcome evaluation of a prison therapeutic community for substance abuse
treatment.”

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accepted that a nine to twelve month TC program is most effective with at least three months of
community aftercare treatment.139
The ASAT program has been designed as a competency-based continuum of care treatment
model. Successful completion of the program is supposed to be based on demonstrating a
“functional” understanding of the dynamics and consequences of addiction, as well as showing
staff one has developed the skills and attitude necessary to maintain a drug-free lifestyle.140
Treatment participants are also required to have completed a minimum of six months in
treatment and received a satisfactory rating on their discharge evaluation.
Based on our observations and on comments from inmates, the majority of ASAT programs we
visited appeared to function more as a time-limited program, with the vast majority of graduating
inmates completing the program in approximately six months. The individuals we observed who
had been in the program longer than six months generally were there because they had at least
one unsatisfactory monthly evaluation. Most programs use no oral or written testing or other
objective method to evaluate the program participants’ understanding of the materials and/or
development of skills. Though all graduates of the treatment programs received successful
discharge evaluations, we did not find these forms to be comprehensive or particularly
descriptive of an individual’s progress within the program. See Section 13, Treatment
Records, for a more detailed description of DOCS treatment forms.
8.3.3 Clinical Strategies
According to the DOCS manual for its Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment program
(referred to as the ASAT Manual in this report), ASAT may be implemented in one of these
modalities: residential therapeutic community; modular;141 shock incarceration; Willard Drug
Treatment Campus; residential substance abuse treatment (RSAT); and the cell-study
program.142 They are all to be structured around the nine competencies specified in the ASAT
Manual. Residential units “are preferred but facilities are free to select the treatment modality
(residential and/or modular) that best meets the needs and staff resources of the facility.” 143
Facilities have the choice to employ a single treatment strategy such as cognitive-behavioral or
TC, or an approved eclectic treatment strategy approach. (The ASAT Manual does not specify a
process for securing approval of an eclectic approach, nor did we hear of any such process
during the course of the Project.)
Staff and management of most of the programs we observed stated that the programs were TCs
or modified TCs. We found that most of these programs included some TC features related to
sanctions such as pull-ups (see Section 8.12), and some form of hierarchy. Though we observed
several TC elements in the majority of DOCS treatment programs, the implementation of these
139

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
140
State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual.
141
In a modular setting, inmates participate in ASAT program for one to two program modules (periods) per day,
five days per week, but are not housed together with other program participants.
142
State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual, sec. IV. B.
143
Ibid., sec. IV. A. 4.

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was often not consistent with their stated therapeutic objective, and many important TC elements
were not fully utilized.
We were unable to discern cohesive clinical strategies in most of the programming we observed.
Rather, clinical content usually reflected the knowledge, training, and sometimes the personal
experience of staff managing the programming at a given time.
8.4 ENGAGEMENT IN TREATMENT
Motivation and engagement in treatment are highly predictive of positive outcomes.144 A
substantial body of research shows that motivation, which drives engagement, is not static and
can be strengthened at most stages of treatment.145 Accordingly, a variety of clinical tools and
strategies have been developed over the past three decades to build and strengthen the motivation
of treatment participants.146
Some may question the need for enhancing the motivation and engagement of a prison’s captive
audience, but it is exactly for this population that treatment staff should focus on increasing
intrinsic motivation. Engagement strategies need special attention with this population because
of the natural temptation to rely on institutional control.147 For example, in a community-based
therapeutic community, residents who are not complying with rules or making progress are
“managed” by their peers, both formally and informally; a TC resident who is frequently late to
community meetings or group sessions would be confronted by the appropriate hierarchy person
one-on-one or in a group. Peers would help the resident work through resistance and develop
internal motivation. In a prison-based TC, however, staff may be tempted to respond to these
expressions of low motivation with institutional sanctions such as a ticket (misbehavior report)
or even removal from the program. Thus, an inmate who believes treatment is unnecessary or
ineffective may not express those concerns for fear of sanctions.
Unfortunately, the compliance and submission yielded by institutional control can provide a false
sense of therapeutic accomplishment. Once these external controls are removed at the
completion of treatment, however, inmates must rely on their internal motivation—that is, their
own understanding and acceptance of the legal, social, family, health, financial, spiritual and
other consequences of their drug use. Strategies that have proven effective in increasing
motivation include providing more individual sessions during the initial phases of treatment,
demonstrating success of previous program graduates and motivational interviewing.148
The CA sought to assess inmate engagement in treatment and program efforts to build
engagement and motivation. A survey distributed to treatment participants at the programs we
observed asked them to assess their engagement in treatment. Only 34.5% of all respondents
144

Welsh and McGrain, “Predictors of therapeutic engagement in prison-based drug treatment,” 271-280.
De Leon, G., Melnick, G., Wexler, H. K., Thomas, G. & Kressel, D. (2000). Motivation for treatment in a
prison-based therapeutic community. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 26(1), 33-46. Melnick, G., De
Leon, G., Wexler, H. K., Thomas, G. & Kressel, D. (2001). Treatment progress in therapeutic communities:
Motivation, progress and outcomes. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 27(4), 633-650.
146
Miller, “Increasing Motivation for Change.”
147
Farabee et al., “Barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment programs.”
148
Miller, “Increasing Motivation for Change.”
145

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reported that it was mostly or very true that they enthusiastically participated in program
activities (see Chart 8-1). Similarly, only 37% of all treatment participants who responded to the
survey said it was mostly or very true that they felt an attachment and ownership in the program,
with facilities such as Lakeview Female (63%), Lakeview Male (55%), Taconic (52%) and Sing
Sing (50%) representing the highest percentages, compared with Gouverneur (15%), Oneida
(17%), Willard DTC Male (21%) and Bare Hill (22%), programs in which participants had much
less engagement.
Our observations and conversations with inmates were consistent with these data. Most of the
programming is conducted in large groups (from 20 to 50 participants) that limited meaningful
participation to a few individuals. In some groups we observed, participants were eager to speak,
listening intently and appearing actively engaged in the discussion. In other groups, many group
members seemed unengaged and bored. This may be a result of some staff’s inability to engage
participants, the manner in which the material was presented or the outdated content and
structure of the material itself.
Although we observed many programs in
“One of the main reasons for this lack of
which people were not or only somewhat
enthusiasm is because the structure of the
engaged, we observed one group session
program is outdated. The material from which we
consisting of training in listening and
study is outdated. The ASAT movies that we
reflection skills where the staff member
watch are all outdated. There’s nothing about
facilitating the session used creative
this program that’s attractive or motivational.”
strategies to keep most of the participants
engaged and active in the session, even
Anonymous Inmate (Bare Hill, C.F.)
those who hung back. The session was
highly structured and used a standardized
model for training in cognitive-behavioral skills, as opposed to many of the more didactic and
less engaging and organized sessions we observed.

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Chart 8-1 Survey Respondents Reported as Mostly or Very True that They
Enthusiastically Participate and Feel Attached to Their Program (MQA Q17b & c)

Percentage of Responses Mostly or Very True

90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%

17-b Enthusiastically Participating

e
ar
cy
id
-S
ta
te
O
n
Sh
ei
da
aw
an
gu
n
Si
ng k
Si
n
Ta g
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as
i
hi c
ng
to
n
W
W
e
i lla
rd nde
F
W em a
illa
l
rd e
M
a
le
W
yo
m
in
g
To
ta
l

al

M

M

M

w

La

ke

vi e

Fe

m

al

e

k

e

ee
Cr

le

w

La

ke

vi e

n

en
Ha

ve

re

Ha

G

eu
G

n

G

re
e

ow

an

r

da

n

rn

ve

ou

n

ts

kli

an
G

Fr

in

er

Po

st
Ea

ve

Fi

ll

ga

Ca

yu

I

Hi

ll I
Ba

re

ll
Ar
th

ur

Ki

Ki

ur

Al

Ar

th

bi

on

0%

Visited Prisons
17-c Attachment and Ownership

8.5 TREATMENT PROCESS: GROUP SESSIONS
Like all DOCS programming, treatment programs are delivered in half-day modules. Each
inmate, whether in ASAT or CASAT, is assigned to a group that attends either the morning or
the afternoon module. Thus, treatment participants generally spend between 1¾ and 2½ hours a
day in treatment programming, for four or five days a week. Most of that time is spent in large
groups.
A foundational element of the TC model is the community as the agent of change.149 Group
sessions are a major setting for this transformation to take place as peers provide each other
feedback and develop communication skills, and group size is a controlling element as to
whether these interactions can take place.
The size of the group sessions we observed varied greatly, from approximately 20 participants to
more than 50 inmates. A larger group size may be appropriate for educational activities, such as
lectures on pharmacology, and for community meetings, but is too large for the group counseling
that is widely considered a mainstay of effective treatment.150 Indeed, the New York State Office
149

Taxman and Bouffard, “Assessing Therapeutic Integrity in Modified Therapeutic Communities for DrugInvolved Offenders,” 189-212.
150
Alonso, Group Therapy in Clinical Practice.

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of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the State’s licensing agency, limits
group size to 12 in community-based treatment programs.151 At Willard Drug Treatment
Campus, the boot camp program licensed by OASAS, counseling groups may have a maximum
of 18 participants.152 The ASAT groups in treatment programs serving special populations, such
as the SNU (Special Needs Unit) or ICP (Intermediate Care Program), averaged no more than 10
participants, and such a small group size seemed to benefit the participants greatly, based on our
observations, participant comments and survey results.
The topics of group sessions we observed included the effects of addiction on families; anger and
related issues; decision making; defense mechanisms; the disease model of addiction; domestic
violence; trust; and an extensive array of topics related to pharmacology and the physical
processes of addiction and recovery such as dependence, tolerance, withdrawal, and substances
of abuse. We observed several group sessions viewing videotapes on topics such as
psychopharmacology. Several group discussions, both large and small, consisted primarily of
inmates sharing their life stories. Discussions were often monopolized by more articulate
inmates, and some staff made little effort to draw out those who seemed unengaged.
The large groups we observed did not divide into smaller working groups very frequently. In
some cases, this was due to staffing shortages. We interviewed 75 treatment participants at TCs
in seven facilities in an effort to measure the program fidelity to the TC model. We asked these
treatment participants to rate the frequency with which they worked in smaller groups, using a
five-point Likert scale where 1 was never and 5 always. The average response to this question
was 2.3. This supports our observations that small groups were held occasionally but much less
often than large groups. There was some variability from prison to prison; the women
interviewed at Taconic averaged 1.4 on the low end and the men at Gowanda averaged 2.7. In
the small group sessions that we observed, participants appeared more engaged and open than in
the large groups.
Inmates played a range of roles in group sessions, both educational and interactive therapeutic
sessions. At some programs, inmates led entire educational sessions, presenting substantive
material, responding to questions and comments and guiding discussion. Staff participation
varied considerably among programs. Thus, one way that inmates were included was by reading
aloud from material the group was studying. Treatment staff were usually present in the room or
in an adjacent room, sometimes observing and at other times meeting with inmates or doing
paperwork. Other programs were at the other end of the spectrum, with treatment staff (mainly
program assistants) facilitating most aspects of the session and limited opportunity for inmates to
take an active leadership role.

151

OASAS, “Operating Regulations Part 819.2.”
Under OASAS standards for Willard DTC that were enacted in December 2009, 40 hours of structured chemical
dependence treatment per week must be offered, including informational/educational sessions; group counseling;
chemical abuse and dependence awareness; evaluations; parole transition and Network services; training in
socialization skills, nutritional education, vocational and educational classes, and accessing community services.
Only group counseling sessions have a maximum of 18 people per group. (OASAS, “Requirements for the
Operation of Treatment Readiness Specialized Chemical Dependence Services at Willard Drug Treatment
Campus.”)
152

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Survey respondents were asked to rate how often inmates led all or some of a group session.
Using a Likert scale, when asked how often inmate led all or some of a group session, where 1
equaled never and 5 equaled always, the average response was 3. The average response from
individuals at Taconic was 5, compared with 1.6 from inmates at Sing Sing.
We observed some treatment programs that seemed to strike a balance between enabling inmates
to develop important new skills and ownership of the program on one hand, and benefit from
staff expertise and knowledge on the other.
8.5.1 Length of Group Program Sessions
The large majority of group sessions were held either in the morning or afternoon module, and
lasted between approximately two to three hours, though a prison module is comprised of a
three-hour time block. Treatment staff sometimes expressed concern regarding the shortened
session time due to activities that delayed participants or otherwise interrupted program activities
such as count clearing, general movement or the location of the program itself.
8.6 CLINICAL CONTENT
On most visits, the CA observed two, three or four treatment group sessions. In addition, almost
1,200 treatment participants completed a survey that included questions about program content.
The DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (OSATS), the office responsible for
providing and monitoring DOCS treatment programs, provides limited guidance to ASAT
programs regarding clinical content. A “broad curriculum” lists topics in bullet form, but there is
no detailed syllabus. The ASAT Manual requires facilities to provide a treatment curriculum
outline and weekly schedule to OSATS.
Our observations and the survey responses indicate significant variability among facilities and
even, in some facilities, within a single program. Treatment staff, though provided with broad
topics to cover from the ASAT curriculum, are responsible for deciding what supporting
information or additional content to include, as well as how to present the information (e.g.
video, lecture, discussion). Some sessions we observed did not have a specific topic, but were
focused instead on a participant recounting his/her life story. The sharing of one’s life story can
be effectively therapeutic if a qualified counselor is present to assist the individual and group
understand the triggers for one’s behavior and the impact and consequences of certain behavior,
and brainstorm how different choices could have been made. Unfortunately, we did not observe
this type of therapeutic feedback during most of the sessions we observed, resulting in a missed
therapeutic opportunity for the group.
Some programs had developed curricula or obtained them from outside sources. These included
“Commitment to Change,” a fatherhood development program; and “Good Intentions, Bad
Choices,” a videotape and workbook package that targets criminal thinking not specific to
substance abuse. Several programs integrated some materials from Hazelden Education
Materials, Inc., including Shaping a Life of Recovery and Freedom for Chemically Dependent
Criminal Offenders; A Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Curriculum; Touchstones: A Book of
Daily Meditations for Men; and the video collection entitled Understanding Self and Others.

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These materials were most often used by certain staff as additional documents and were not a
central element of the program.
However, one facility we visited, Bare Hill, had recently undergone an arduous process to obtain
DOCS approval for purchase of a complete system from Hazelden Educational Services entitled
“A New Direction.”153 This is a “cognitive-behavioral treatment curriculum” that says it will
guide participants through creating their own TC. Purchase of the program included several days
of on-site training for treatment staff and extensive materials such as workbooks, manuals and
even several of the medallions often distributed by 12-step groups to commemorate milestones in
recovery time. In order to obtain funding from DOCS for this system, facility staff demonstrated
that the system addressed the nine competencies and otherwise matched DOCS requirements.
Both staff and inmates reported high satisfaction with this system.
As noted earlier in this section, the group size for most sessions made it very challenging for
staff to conduct training and practice in cognitive-behavioral skills such as communication and
problem solving. It was also difficult for the community to strengthen the bonds that are
supposed to form the foundation of the TC and its role as the agent for change.
8.7 TREATMENT APPROACHES/FIDELITY
Most of the programs we visited were described to us as modified therapeutic communities.
Since fidelity to the classic TC model has become erratic with the rapid spread of prison-based
TC programs throughout the country, many of which seem to employ multiple treatment
modalities, the CA attempted to quantify in New York prison-based treatment programs the
prevalence of three treatment approaches: therapeutic community, cognitive-behavioral therapy,
and 12-step. To do this, we asked treatment participants about services provided and about goals
and activities associated with those approaches. The questions were based on the Multimodality
Quality Assurance Scales (MQA) instrument, a quality-assurance tool developed by NDRI and
based on research, expert consensus, and other sources.154
Overall, survey respondents rated cognitive-behavioral components as the most important part of
their treatment programs. Of note, survey respondents also were most satisfied with the
cognitive-behavioral work they did in treatment. They reported that many components of the TC
approach were also present, but these were not as significant as the cognitive-behavioral
elements. Finally, they reported that in most programs, elements of the 12-step approach were
less important than either of the other two, but still had a significant presence
Inmate responses to the MQA survey about the three approaches are tabulated in Table 8-1,
Table 8-2 and Table 8-3, indicating the percentage of inmates who reported the treatment
component was mostly or very important. For each prison, we also combined survey responses
for all questions for each of the three approaches and calculated a composite score on a fourpoint Likert scale. This combined score for each approach was converted to a percentage of the
maximum possible score for all questions, with 0% representing that the survey respondent
153

Hazelden Foundation, “A New Direction: A Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Curriculum -- Hazelden.”
Melnick and Pearson, A Multimodality Quality Assurance instrument. The MQA questions referencing TC are
contained in Menu A, CBT (Menu B) and 12-Steps (Menu C). The specific questions for each modality are listed in
Appendix B.
154

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answered not at all important to every question for a particular approach and 100% representing
that the survey respondent answered very important to every question. The data from these
composite calculations are summarized in Table 8-1, Table 8-2 and Table 8-3, and the results
illustrated in Chart 8-2. The “Total” column in the tables and chart represents the responses of
all survey participants from all the programs we visited.
The survey results show that a majority of survey respondents reported that all the measured
components of all three treatment approaches were mostly or very important to their programs.
However, the data reveal significant variability for the composite percentages among the three
approaches, and within each approach, substantial variations sometimes exist among the separate
components we measured.
The “Total” column of Table 8-1, representing the responses of all survey participants, shows
their assessment of each of the measured TC components, as well as a composite score
combining all of the TC elements. The overall composite percentage for the TC approach (63%)
signifies that most inmates believed the measured TC elements were somewhat to mostly
important. But inspecting the separate TC components reveals significant variability. For
example, only 52% of survey respondents stated that increasing privileges as a participant
progresses was mostly or very important (MQA Q13(h)), whereas 72% made a similar
assessment concerning participants helping one another (MQA Q13(b)).
Table 8-2 tabulates the survey respondents’ assessment of important components of the
cognitive-behavioral approach used in their treatment program. The percentage of survey
respondents who reported that components of cognitive-behavioral therapy were mostly or very
important fell in the range of 77% for encouraging communication in an assertive, but polite,
way (MQA Q14(c)) to 83% for encouraging finding pleasure in things other than drugs (MQA
Q14(b)). These results are substantially higher than comparable values for the TC components.
The average composite score for all the cognitive-behavioral components was 77%, representing
that survey respondents overall felt all the cognitive-behavioral therapy components were mostly
important.
Table 8-3 illustrates the survey respondents’ assessment of the 12-step elements. About half of
survey respondents reported these elements were mostly or very important to their programs.
Evaluating the data concerning 12-step elements reveals less definitive responses, but still the
percentage of survey participants concluding that a component of this approach was mostly or
very important ranged from 51% for barriers to affiliation to a 12-step program (MQA Q15(e))
to 58% concerning the nature of the “sponsoring relationship” (MQA Q15(d)).
The data suggest that implementation of the TC model is irregular. The survey asked about eight
elements of the TC approach. Survey respondents reported that the most common element was
participants helping each other (72% mostly or very important) and senior participants serving as
role models (70%). They also strongly affirmed that penalties or punishment were imposed for
program rule violations (66%). The survey respondents were less certain about treatment staff
serving as role models (57% mostly or very important) and even less sure about increasing
privileges as participants advanced (only 52%). Sixty percent of the survey respondents said
work was a mostly or very important part of the therapeutic program.

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Our observations of the programs were consistent with these results. The punitive features of the
TC model were emphasized, including excessive concern for order and cleanliness, with much
less attention to rewards for progress. As detailed later in this section, we observed little
evidence that privileges increased as participants advanced in their treatment. Our observations
were also consistent with the survey results suggesting there was less emphasis on the integration
of work in treatment programs. While staff cited the importance of work to the TC model, we
observed that work assignments were not coordinated with participants’ progress but focused
primarily on maintaining the cleanliness of the housing area and sometimes other areas of the
facility.
The data for the cognitive-behavioral approach, Table 8-2, illustrates more consistent responses
reflecting greater importance for each element of the CBT approach than the responses for the
TC, with an average of 77% to 83% of all survey respondents rating the CBT elements as mostly
or very important. There was also greater consistency in the responses to the 12-step statements
(Table 8-3), with an average of 51% to 58% of respondents saying these components were
mostly or very important.

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85
73
65
74
80
76
69
2.08
69
93

83
80
58
70
60
76
69
2.06
69
85

1.80
60
65

1.79
60
51

73

50

31

64

72

61

1.76
59
65

53

64

54

77
62
66
51

57

MA

70

58

LVF

74
55
55
46

64
81
66
47

LVM

59

64

AK I AK II

1.80
60
54

42

77

62

60
72
64
59

49

MS

1.60
53
49

54

64

51

65
56
49
45

42

BH

1.39
46
31

7

39

100

46
93
63
7

53

ON

1.75
58
51

48

60

55

73
58
58
50

59

CY

1.88
63
68

43

59

67

77
57
59
72

66

SH

2.23
74
82

53

81

75

81
77
68
74

87

EA

1.80
60
69

43

71

68

80
63
44
71

60

SS

1.85
62
87

61

80

65

82
48
49
64

50

FP

2.16
72
83

56

80

80

76
72
52
80

80

TA

1.96
65
60

61

71

66

71
63
67
58

62

FR

1.92
64
73

61

82

76

79
63
58
49

63

WA

1.65
55
63

46

67

60

56
50
44
56

56

GV

1.61
54
63

44

63

50

68
50
52
58

49

WE

1.68
56
76

57

64

56

65
65
50
48

51

GO

1.67
56
44

53

42

42

47
63
63
47

74

WIM

2.33
78
69

45

85

80

84
70
79
85

75

2.23
74
67

67

71

86

86
75
86
71

86

WIF

1.76
59
71

58

69

57

65
67
56
54

56

GR

1.91
64
76

55

82

70

86
58
64
61

67

WY

2.07
69
76

58

77

73

78
78
72
64

73

HC

Correctional Association of New York

100

Prison Abbreviations: AL-Albion, AK I-Arthur Kill (2007), AK II-Arthur Kill (2009), BH-Bare Hill, CY-Cayuga, EA-Eastern, FP-Five Points, FR-Franklin, GVGouverneur, GO-Gowanda, GH-Green Haven, GR-Greene, HC-Hale Creek, LVM-Lakeview Male, LVF-Lakeview Female, MA-Marcy, MS-Mid-State, ON-Oneida,
SH-Shawangunk, SS-Sing Sing, TA-Taconic, WA-Washington, WE-Wende, WIM-Willard Male, WIF-Willard Female, WY-Wyoming.

Question 13 Menu A Description
(a) Staff confront unacceptable behavior
outside group sessions
(b) Participants frequently help each other
(c) Program violations receive penalty
(d) Work is part of therapeutic program
(e) Treatment staff serve as role models
(f) Inmate treatment staff serve as role
models
(g) Senior participants serve as role models
h) Program involves increasing privileges as
participant advances
Menu A – Composite Score
Percentage on 4-point scale
Satisfied with Menu A – Q13

Question 13 Menu A Description
AL
(a) Staff confront unacceptable behavior
80
outside group sessions
71
(b) Participants frequently help each other
76
(c) Program violations receive penalty
67
(d) Work is part of therapeutic program
67
(e) Treatment staff serve as role models
(f) Inmate treatment staff serve as role
65
models
67
(g) Senior participants serve as role models
(h) Program involves increasing privileges as
42
participant advances
1.93
Menu A – Composite Score
64
Percentage on 4-point scale
75
Satisfied with Menu A – Q13

GH

1.88
63
67

52

70

64

72
66
60
57

62

Total

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Table 8-1 Menu A (MQA Q13) – Percentage of Mostly or Very Important Responses to TC Components

Treatment

96
88
96
96
2.67
89
86

88
90
90
2.63
88
98

2.07
69
74

2.42
81
90

93

76

90

92

70

80

93

69

80

LVF

69

85

LVM

72

2.23
74
78

75

74

66

78

82

MA

2.38
79
71

82

68

82

96

84

AK I AK II

90

AL

2.28
76
70

80

71

74

79

78

MS

1.98
66
56

71

71

70

75

68

BH

1.26
42
58

49

29

44

34

34

ON

2.30
77
68

84

78

81

84

81

CY

2.52
84
74

83

86

83

83

90

SH

2.64
88
81

94

92

86

96

92

EA

2.42
81
79

82

88

88

85

86

SS

2.44
81
87

86

86

81

88

84

FP

2.39
80
91

76

76

72

81

84

TA

2.17
72
62

78

74

75

77

72

FR

2.19
73
71

75

72

71

81

76

WA

2.26
75
82

82

82

63

85

79

GV

2.52
84
78

82

84

82

94

91

WE

2.18
73
78

78

71

76

82

83

GO

2.14
71
68

75

70

75

85

65

WIM

2.75
92
93

92

92

92

88

96

2.77
92
67

100

100

100

86

86

WIF

2.13
71
79

73

65

70

78

80

GR

2.48
83
85

90

90

84

92

86

WY

2.65
88
90

92

87

90

92

94

HC

Correctional Association of New York

101

2.32
77
77

81

79

77

83

81

Total

Prison Abbreviations: AL-Albion, AK I-Arthur Kill (2007), AK II-Arthur Kill (2009), BH-Bare Hill, CY-Cayuga, EA-Eastern, FP-Five Points, FR-Franklin, GVGouverneur, GO-Gowanda, GH-Green Haven, GR-Greene, HC-Hale Creek, LVM-Lakeview Male, LVF-Lakeview Female, MA-Marcy, MS-Mid-State, ON-Oneida,
SH-Shawangunk, SS-Sing Sing, TA-Taconic, WA-Washington, WE-Wende, WIM-Willard Male, WIF-Willard Female, WY-Wyoming.

Question 14 Menu B Description
(a) Helps participants to identify “trigger”
situations for taking drugs
(b) Encourages participants to find pleasure
in other things besides drugs
(c) Encourages participants to talk with
others in an assertive, but polite, way
(d) Emphasizes problem-solving techniques
to deal with frustration
(e) Helps participants to recognize errors of
thinking
Menu B – Composite Score
Percentage on 4-point scale
Satisfied with Menu B – Q14

Question 14 Menu B Description
(a) Helps participants to identify “trigger”
situations for taking drugs
(b) Encourages participants to find pleasure
in other things besides drugs
(c) Encourages participants to talk with
others in an assertive, but polite, way
(d) Emphasizes problem-solving techniques
to deal with frustration
(e) Helps participants to recognize errors of
thinking
Menu B – Composite Score
Percentage on 4-point scale
Satisfied with Menu B – Q14

GH

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Table 8-2 Menu B (MQA Q14) – Percentage of Mostly or Very Important Responses to CBT Components

Treatment

53
52
60
49
1.60
53
62

92
84
76
2.43
81
89

1.23
41
54

1.13
38
52

92

36

36

54

46

38

92

32

28

MA

32

27

LVF

27

24

AK I AK II

1.25
42
42

45

57

43

45

44

MS

0.95
32
36

33

44

27

25

24

BH

0.80
27
40

22

15

20

24

24

ON

1.20
40
46

34

49

37

40

28

CY

2.04
68
72

65

71

68

68

71

SH

1.50
50
63

45

60

45

44

46

EA

1.38
46
59

39

52

41

44

44

SS

1.46
49
73

56

54

53

53

44

FP

1.68
56
64

61

61

61

61

61

TA

1.66
55
47

55

62

58

53

57

FR

1.47
49
68

47

59

48

44

32

WA

1.70
57
57

56

60

54

52

50

GV

1.95
65
58

60

66

66

69

67

WE

0.99
33
48

21

33

26

21

27

GO

1.95
65
73

65

75

70

60

75

WIM

2.22
74
70

71

76

68

64

64

GH

2.26
75
63

71

86

71

86

86

WIF

1.35
45
55

39

42

45

42

46

1.85
61
69

57

65

59

63

67

WY

2.34
78
82

81

83

85

82

77

HC

1.60
53
60

Correctional Association of New York

102

51

58

53

52

52

Total

Prison Abbreviations: AL-Albion, AK I-Arthur Kill (2007), AK II-Arthur Kill (2009), BH-Bare Hill, CY-Cayuga, EA-Eastern, FP-Five Points, FR-Franklin, GVGouverneur, GO-Gowanda, GH-Green Haven, GR-Greene, HC-Hale Creek, LVM-Lakeview Male, LVF-Lakeview Female, MA-Marcy, MS-Mid-State, ON-Oneida,
SH-Shawangunk, SS-Sing Sing, TA-Taconic, WA-Washington, WE-Wende, WIM-Willard Male, WIF-Willard Female, WY-Wyoming.

Question 15 Menu C Description
LVM
(a) Goals of 12-step discussed and
88
explained
85
(b) How to work the 12 steps is explained
(c) The reasons why the 12 steps succeed
88
are explained
(d) Discusses the nature of the “sponsoring
78
relationship”
(e) Discusses the barriers to affiliation with
78
the 12-step program
2.42
Menu C – Composite Score
81
Percentage on 4-point scale
93
Satisfied with Menu C - Q15

Question 15 Menu C Description
AL
(a) Goals of 12-step discussed and
63
explained
53
(b) How to work the 12 steps is explained
(c) The reasons why the 12 steps succeed
60
are explained
(d) Discusses the nature of the “sponsoring
63
relationship”
(e) Discusses the barriers to affiliation with
63
the 12-step program
1.73
Menu C – Composite Score
58
Percentage on 4-point scale
60
Satisfied with Menu C – Q15

GR

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Table 8-3 Menu C (MQA Q15) – Percentage of Mostly or Very Important Responses to 12-Step Components

Treatment

Treatment Program

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Despite the overall acknowledgment by the survey respondents that all three treatment strategies
were important to their treatment, there was significant variability in the responses between
programs. For example, the average prevalence of cognitive-behavioral components was 63%.
Yet a group of programs were well below that average, including Oneida (46%), Bare Hill
(53%), Wende (54%) and Gouverneur (55%). Another group had significantly higher
prevalence, including Green Haven (78%), Eastern (74%), Willard Female (74%) and Taconic
(72%) (see Table 8-1 and Chart 8-2). As discussed in greater detail in Section 8.14, several of
the programs with lower scores for TC, including Oneida, Bare Hill, and Gouverneur, also had
overall poorer ratings by the survey participants concerning their assessment of the program and
their treatment progress.
The data also demonstrate significant variability in the importance of the 12-step approach
among the different programs. Despite the prohibition of coerced 12-step participation, we
found that the shock and boot-camp programs (Lakeview and Willard) heavily emphasized the
12-step approach in their programming and their environment. At Willard, the 12 steps were
painted on the walls in several rooms and were included in the program’s handbook, slightly
altered. Survey data reinforced this perception in composite scores. In contrast, at Arthur Kill,
Bare Hill, Gowanda and Oneida, 40% or less of the survey respondents assessed the 12-step
approach as mostly or very important.
Chart 8-2 Survey Respondent's Composite Responses for TC (Menu A),
CBT (Menu B) and 12-Steps (Menu C)

90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
A
Ar lbio
th n
Ar ur
th Ki
ur ll
K
Ba ill II
re
H
C ill
ay
u
Ea ga
Fi ste
ve
r
Po n
in
ts
F
G ran
ou kl
ve in
r
G ne
G ow ur
re an
en d
H a
av
G en
r
La Ha ee
ke le ne
vi
e Cre
La w F ek
k e em
vi
ew ale
M
al
e
M
a
M
rc
id
-S y
ta
t
Sh On e
e
aw id
an a
g
Si un
ng k
Si
Ta ng
W co
as n
hi ic
ng
to
W
illa We n
rd nd
e
F
W em
illa a
rd le
M
W al
yo e
m
in
g
To
ta
l

Percent Not Important to Very Important

100%

Visited Prisons

Menu A (TC) Composite Score

Menu B (CBT) Composite Score

Correctional Association of New York

Menu C (12 Steps) Composite Score

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We also asked program participants about their satisfaction with the components of the TC,
cognitive-behavioral and 12-step treatment approaches in their programs. The percentage of
survey respondents who were somewhat or very satisfied are tabulated in Tables 8-1, 8-2 and 8-3
and illustrated in Chart 8-3. The level of respondents’ satisfaction with each strategy generally
correlated well with the importance their programs placed on those elements. In addition, their
satisfaction with them was generally consistent with their overall assessment of the program’s
success and operation.
Chart 8-3 Survey Respondents' Mostly or Very Satisfied with TC, Cognitive Behavioral and 12Step Approaches Compared to Treatment Satisfaction
100%

80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%

To
ta
l

0%
A
lb
io
A
n
rt
hu
rK
A
rt
ill
hu
rK
ill
II
B
ar
e
H
ill
C
ay
ug
Ea a
st
Fi
er
ve
n
Po
in
ts
Fr
an
G
ou klin
ve
rn
eu
G
ow r
G
an
re
en da
H
av
en
G
re
en
La Hal
e
e
ke
C
vi
ew ree
k
Fe
La
m
ke
al
vi
ew e
M
al
e
M
ar
cy
M
id
st
at
e
O
ne
Sh
aw id
an a
gu
nk
Si
ng
Si
ng
Ta
co
W
ni
as
c
hi
ng
to
n
W
W
ill
e
n
ar
de
d
Fe
m
W
al
ill
e
ar
d
M
al
W
e
yo
m
in
g

Percentage of Survey Respondents

90%

Visited Prisons

TC Mostly or Very Satisfied

CBT Mostly or Very Satisfied

12-Step Mostly or Very Satisfied

Composite Treatment Satisfaction

Based on our observations and on discussions with staff, the treatment approach in each program
was greatly influenced by individual staff members, their professional experience, and their
personal attitudes and histories. Counselor style has been clearly identified as having a major
influence on treatment effectiveness.155 156 The use of standardized or manualized treatment
interventions can help to mediate this effect, reducing variations and enhancing effectiveness.
The lack of a detailed curriculum in most DOCS programs, coupled with limited monitoring and
oversight, is likely to be a major reason for the inconsistency of treatment approaches among and
within those programs.

155

Najavits, Crits-Christoph, and Dierberger, “Clinicians' impact on the quality of substance use disorder treatment,”
12-14.
156
Project MATCH Research Group (1998d). “Therapist effects in three treatments for alcohol problems.”
Psychotherapy Research, 8, 455-474.

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8.8 TRAINING IN SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND OTHER TOPICS
In addition to our observations about clinical content, inmates were asked about training in
several social skills critical to recovery, including communication, anger management, and stress
management. Chart 8-4 shows the results for inmates who had participated in the treatment
programs for more than 90 days at the time they responded to the survey. Note that Willard
DTC, a three-month program, is excluded from these data.
Chart 8-4 Survey Respondents Received Training about Communication Skills,
Stress Management and Anger Management in Their Program (Q11(a), (e) and (f))

100%

Percentage of Respondents

90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%

To
ta
l

A
lb
io
A
n
rt
hu
r
A
K
rt
ill
hu
rK
ill
II
B
ar
e
H
ill
C
ay
ug
a
Ea
st
er
Fi
n
ve
Po
in
ts
Fr
an
G
kl
ou
in
ve
rn
eu
G
ow r
a
G
n
re
en da
H
av
en
G
re
en
H
a
e
La
ke le C
vi
re
ew
ek
Fe
La
m
ke
al
vi
ew e
M
al
e
M
ar
cy
M
id
st
at
e
O
ne
Sh
aw ida
an
gu
nk
Si
ng
Si
ng
Ta
co
W
ni
as
c
hi
ng
to
n
W
en
de
W
yo
m
in
g

0%

Visited Prisons

Communication Skills

Stress Management

Anger Management

The amount of training provided in these skills varied significantly among facilities, according to
the survey respondents. For example, most participants at Albion (80%), Lakeview Male (75%),
and Greene (83%) reported receiving training in communication skills, while less than half of
those at Gouverneur (38%), Oneida (29%) and Wende (43%) reported that training. The
differences reported regarding training in anger management were also significant: most survey
respondents at Lakeview Men/Female (86%; 91%), Wyoming (78%) and Mid-State (70%)
reported receiving it, with much lower percentages at Wende (14%), Oneida (21%) and Arthur
Kill 2009 (28%).
Perhaps most striking is the difference between programs within a single facility, such as Willard
Drug Treatment Campus. At Willard, men and women are in separate programs that follow the
same curriculum. All survey respondents who participated in the Willard DTC program for
women reported that stress management training was an element of their program, compared
with none of the Willard men reporting that they received any training in this topic.

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There were considerable and somewhat anticipated differences between programs within the
same facility. These programs at times served a unique population and consisted of a more
specialized curriculum, which might account for some of the differences reported by participants.
For example, at Eastern Correctional Facility, 44% of survey respondents in the ASAT program
felt that communications skills were incorporated into their substance abuse treatment program
in contrast with 80% of survey respondents from Eastern’s Chemical Dependency/Domestic
Violence (CD/DV) program. Gowanda Correctional Facility also had sizeable differences
between its programs with 64% of ASAT survey respondents stating that they were taught stress
management skills, compared with 94% of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) program
respondents.
The CD/DV and DWI programs utilized curricula specific to the population of the program.
Though the differing curricula may result in a variety of topics covered and participant
satisfaction, this is less so when comparing ASAT and CASAT programs. The survey responses
we received from participants in the CASAT program were from Phase I participants. See
Section 6, Overview of DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs for further information.
CASAT Phase I utilizes the same curriculum that is used in the ASAT programs. Though
similar curricula are employed in both programs, participants’ reports on the provision of these
services varied considerably. For example, 83% of survey respondents in the CASAT program at
Taconic Correctional Facility said that stress management skills were included in their treatment,
compared with 46% of Taconic’s ASAT respondents. Another difference between the CASAT
and ASAT programs was apparent from the data from Wyoming Correctional Facility. At
Wyoming, 54% of ASAT participants surveyed found money management skills to be an
important part of the program, compared with 90% of CASAT participants. Training in topics
such as health and wellness, as well as management of chronic health conditions, should be
included in more intense substance abuse treatment programs as these areas help to support an
individual in recovery, develop new coping skills and reduce the risk of relapse.
8.9 MATERIALS: HANDOUTS AND WORKBOOKS
In both residential and nonresidential programs, there were variations in the frequency that
materials such as workbooks and handouts were distributed to participants. Often, materials
were collected at the end of the sessions, with participants retaining little or no materials for
study or further work between sessions. The amount of assigned homework also varied.
Occasionally inmates were asked to write a short essay or keep a journal, though inmates and
staff did not report that this happened frequently.
Some treatment programs used handouts more than others. Survey respondents were asked to
rate the frequency with which handouts were distributed, using a Likert scale where 1 equaled
never and 5 always. Variation was clearly illustrated as Arthur Kill had an average of 2 and
Mid-State an average of 4.
The content of most materials that were used by participants during sessions was provided
independently by treatment staff, often without review or approval by the facility. These
materials included single- and multiple-page documents that may have been handmade, some of
which had been reproduced so many times they were barely legible. Some of the materials were

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outdated. Treatment staff reported obtaining these materials from a variety of sources such as
places where they were previously employed, training programs, colleagues, and so on.
As for materials available outside sessions, most residential programs and TCs had some
recovery-related literature on hand. Several programs had 12-step materials available for
interested inmates, but they were not always easily accessible or well advertised. Though some
programs used these materials for their daily readings and had them in bookcases in the program
area, others locked these recovery-related materials in a cabinet or in a separate room, and
inmates needed to request the materials from a counselor. Some inmates reported that the
process to get a book could take up to several days. Seventy-three percent of the individuals we
interviewed stated that they were able to have access to recovery-oriented materials outside of
group, though for some this meant a trip to the library or to an AA meeting. An exception was
one program that had hundreds of copies of the basic texts of Alcoholics Anonymous and
Narcotics Anonymous readily available in common space. No one was able to tell us where
these came from; it seems likely they were donated by local 12-step groups or regional offices.
Staff and inmates both consistently complained that much of the videotapes and other materials
were very outdated. Staff emphasized the need for new and up-to-date materials. This was
confirmed by our observations of materials available in the group rooms and other shared space.
We occasionally observed treatment participants viewing videotapes, sometimes followed by
discussion. In some sessions, treatment staff or inmates suggested topics and encouraged
discussion. Though the treatment staff generally followed the ASAT curriculum and
incorporated the nine ASAT competencies into their lessons, as discussed previously, the ASAT
Manual provides little direction in terms of supporting documents or evidence-based approaches
to presenting the information, resulting in the wide variations we witnessed in program format.
8.10 TC COMMUNITY MEETINGS
Daily meetings of the entire treatment community are a core element of the TC model.
Typically, a community’s morning meeting explicitly sets the tone for the day, with a “thought
for the day” and sometimes a “vocabulary word of the day” chosen by community members who
have been assigned those duties as part of their role in the community’s hierarchy (“inspiration
coordinator”). Similarly, an afternoon or evening meeting provides closure for the day’s events
and facilitates planning for the next day. These events are typically highly structured, with each
element carefully orchestrated. “Pull-ups” and “push-ups,” the verbal reprimands and
reinforcements that characterize the TC (see Section 8.12), are often administered at community
meetings. During our visits to DOCS programs, we observed many community meetings, which
varied considerably between programs. Some were as brief as 15 minutes, while others ran up to
two hours.
At the programs we observed, community meetings were held once or twice a day, or weekly,
depending on the program. The community meetings for most programs were standard for TCs,
including the word or thought for the day, a news item, a reading from recovery-focused
literature, pull-ups and push-ups, announcements, and sometimes a “feelings check.” For the
residential TC treatment programs, the correction officers often attended and sometimes
participated in the community meetings.

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Consistent with the TC model, in most programs inmates played a central role in facilitating
community meetings, pursuant to their roles in the hierarchy.
8.11 OTHER TC COMPONENTS
The classic TC model places great value on work assignments within the community. Tasks
such as cleaning bathrooms are assigned to residents who are low in the hierarchy. As residents
progress up the hierarchy structure, their work assignments become more desirable, including
those without physical labor such as organizing and facilitating community activities and
assigning tasks to residents.
The programs observed for the Substance Abuse Treatment Project adhered to this model, in at
times limited ways. Those programs that provided segregated housing for treatment participants
required them to maintain the communal areas, including classrooms, laundry room and
bathrooms. In a classic TC, every participant would be given a work assignment (separate from
their position within the hierarchy and/or their prison job assignment), with the more desirable
work assignments going to inmates who have been positively progressing with their treatment.
The work assignments in the DOCS therapeutic communities that we visited varied, and were
not generally assigned based on clinical progress. Seventy-eight percent of the individuals we
interviewed said every inmate had some type of work assignment. However, some programs
housed so many inmates that at times there were not enough work assignments to go around. At
the facilities where each treatment participant had an assigned task, the assignments rotated on a
weekly, biweekly or monthly basis and were not based on progress in the program.
We observed an exception to this pattern at Washington C.F., where all inmates entering the
ASAT program were placed in a double bunk and assigned bathroom maintenance duties.
Inmates at Washington explained that after they progressed in the program, if they received a
negative evaluation they could be returned to a double bunk and bathroom duty, whereas if they
received positive evaluations they could remain in their single bunks and have more desirable
work assignments.
In the nonresidential treatment programs, inmates were sometimes assigned tasks to keep the
program area clean, though not every inmate had an assignment all the time. Any hierarchy
applied only during program hours, though in many facilities inmates were still required to keep
their cell areas compliant with the ASAT standards for cleanliness and order.
In a classic therapeutic community, the hierarchy is a system that allows residents to assume
positions of increasing responsibility and associated privileges as they progress through
treatment.157 The ASAT Manual states that each individual program is responsible for
determining the number of hierarchy positions and the tasks under each position. Each program
is required to develop a formal hierarchy chart containing specific assignments and duties.
Following each visit, we issued a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to each facility
asking for their hierarchy chart. The majority of programs did not provide us with one, replying
157

De Leon, “The therapeutic community.”

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that such a document did not exist, though we often observed a structure board with hierarchy
positions in many of the programs we visited.
As with other program elements, the hierarchy can be customized to suit the unique needs and
strengths of each facility. We were concerned, however, at the extreme variations in the
hierarchy and the role it played in the programs we observed. Of the individuals we interviewed,
78% said that some type of hierarchy was in place in their program, though they described
hierarchies of various scopes and responsibilities.
A typical hierarchy at the programs we observed included eight key positions: senior
coordinator, assistant coordinator, education coordinator, expeditor, information coordinator,
service coordinator, inspiration coordinator, and creative energy coordinator. Other than the
senior coordinator, the positions were relevant primarily during community meetings when, for
example, the inspiration coordinator selected and posted or read the thought for the day. In some
facilities, individuals not assigned to a hierarchy position were assigned to a crew, such as the
expeditor crew. In some programs, we observed that the senior coordinator took a leadership
role, facilitating a large part of treatment sessions. Inmates retained their hierarchy positions
from one to six months, depending on the program. In some programs, individuals were required
to complete an application to become part of the hierarchy leadership, while at others the
positions were assigned by treatment staff.
The hierarchy is a central element to the TC model, so it is important that TC participants know
with some certainty the standards for movement up the hierarchy. During our visits, we were
told that in order to move up, an inmate must have a good disciplinary record and be “positively
engaging” in the program. Furthermore, the new role must be viewed by staff as beneficial to
the inmate’s treatment. There appeared to be no formal connection between clinical progress and
hierarchy position.
In contrast to the definition of hierarchy in the ASAT Manual, the hierarchy positions we
observed were not utilized as incentives or rewards for progress in treatment. Rather, it seemed
that positions were allocated to inmate volunteers or to reliable inmates who were handpicked by
treatment staff because they could assist staff in the program. Most of the inmates we spoke with
said that additional privileges were not associated with hierarchy positions.
Sanctions can serve a function in a therapeutic community, but incentives serve an equally
important role. In many of the treatment programs we observed, individuals were punished for
failure to conform to the rules. However, we did not witness or learn about incidents where
individuals were rewarded for their progress. This is one of the principle functions of using a
structured hierarchy and can help build self-esteem, model appropriate behavior and develop
important social skills.
8.12 REPRIMANDS AND REINFORCEMENTS: PULL-UPS AND PUSH-UPS
Another important component of a typical therapeutic community is the use of “push-ups” and
“pull-ups.” A pull-up is a verbal reprimand given by participants or staff to a participant who is
seen as inappropriately handling emotions, behaviors or tasks. These may be delivered in

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community meetings or individually throughout the day. Push-ups, in contrast, are positive
acknowledgements of self or other participants. Some facilities referred to these as “regressions”
and “progressions.”
In some programs we visited, pull-ups were submitted without an inmate’s name and read at the
community meeting. The inmate who was the object of the pull-up was then expected to identify
himself. In other programs pull-ups were submitted in writing with the inmate’s name and read
by a member of the treatment team or a senior program participant at a community meeting.
Programs had a variety of ways for participants to respond to pull-ups and push-ups. Some
programs required inmates to stand up while the pull-up was delivered, to listen to comments and
suggestions from peers, and to respond. In other programs, inmates responded to pull-ups 24
hours after they were administered in order to provide time for reflection. The process for giving
and receiving push-ups appeared to be much less formalized.
Seventy-four percent of the inmates we interviewed stated that push-ups and pull-ups were used
in their programs, though they reported considerable variation in frequency. In some programs,
pull-ups and push-ups were given on a daily basis; in others once a week; and in a few programs
they were reported rarely used. At least one program required treatment participants to submit a
minimum number of push-ups and pull-ups on a daily basis.
In addition to the variations in forms and frequency of push-ups and pull-ups, treatment
participants reported differing views on their value to treatment. Sixty-eight percent of survey
respondents believed they were very or extremely important to the treatment program, while
others reported feeling unsafe using pull-ups because they so resembled ”snitching,” which is
anathema to the general prison population.
The CA supports the use of peer support and feedback as tools for recovery in a TC. However,
we are concerned about the possible consequences of pull-ups and other confrontational tools in
the prison setting. These are intended for use by a supportive community with a climate of trust
and openness, and their effectiveness directly correlates with that atmosphere.158 They must be
carefully implemented and overseen to ensure that the person receiving the pull-up does not feel
attacked and resentful. Furthermore, pull-ups can be regarded by the prison culture as
“snitching.” An inmate who snitches on another can be the object of retaliation that includes
violence or other serious consequences. Confrontation can also be seen as a violation of inmate
codes of conduct.159 Thus, these tools need to be used even more carefully in the prison setting.
8.13 SURVEY RESPONDENTS’ ASSESSMENT OF PROGRAM CLIMATE
In addition to assessing the use of the three treatment approaches, we sought to assess therapeutic
milieu and program climate using several questions included in the MQA survey. There are
many components that comprise an effective treatment program, and key among these is
communication. It is important that participants feel safe among their peers and within group
158

Ibid.
Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.

159

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sessions. We combined the survey responses to the various communication questions with high
correlations and calculated a combined score on a four-point Likert scale.160 This combined score
was converted to a percentage of the maximum possible score for all the combined questions,
with 0% representing survey respondents answering not true to each question and 100%
representing a very true response to every communication question. Chart 8-5 illustrates the
results for each prison program and includes the results for all survey respondents in the last
column, labeled “Total.”
Chart 8-5 Survey Respondents' Assessment of Communication Within Their
Program as Measured by a Composite Communication Score
80%

60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
A
A lbi
rt
on
h
A
rt ur K
hu
r K ill
B ill I
ar I
e
H
C ill
ay
u
E ga
Fi ast
ve er
Po n
i
Fr nts
G an
ou k
ve lin
r
G neu
G ow r
re a
en nd
H a
av
G en
r
La H
e
ke ale en
e
vi
C
e
r
La w F eek
ke em
vi
ew ale
M
al
M e
a
M
id rcy
-S
ta
Sh On te
aw ei
an da
Si gun
ng k
S
Ta ing
W
co
as
hi nic
ng
to
W
ill W n
ar en
d
d
W Fem e
ill
ar ale
d
W Ma
yo le
m
in
g
To
ta
l

Percentage Not True to Very True

70%

Visited Prisons

Composite Communication Score

Overall, the composite score of 56% for all survey respondents reveals that they had a somewhat
positive assessment of the communication environment within the programs. Within some
programs, such as those at Five Points, Green Haven, Shawangunk, Sing Sing and Taconic,
participants expressed positive impressions of the group process of frank discussions and group
acceptance of alternative view. But many survey respondents were not comfortable raising
controversial issues or topics that the majority of the group would not adopt, as exhibited by the
survey results at Albion, Bare Hill, Cayuga, Mid-State and Willard Female. A significant
portion of respondents at these facilities expressed the view that disagreements were not resolved
fairly, that a variety of opinions was not sought or considered and that participants were afraid of
160

The nine statements concerning communication within the program, presented in item 20 of the MQA, included:
(a) We have open and frank discussions about our differences; (b) Disagreements are generally resolved fairly; (c)
Participants are divided into small groups or cliques that do not communicate well; (d) We actively seek out a
variety of opinions; (e) Most viewpoints are given serious consideration; (f) People are afraid to talk for fear of
being made fun of; (g) We are not afraid to disagree with other participants; (h) We learn a lot from considering
each other’s opinions; and (i) Individuals who disagree with the majority are likely to have a hard time. In order to
combine these items for a composite score, we had to reverse the responses to statements 20(c), (f) and (i).

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ridicule if they offered alternative
views from the group. At these
facilities it did not appear that a safe
environment had been created for
frank discussions.

“Would you sit in a group of 45 criminal in a prison and talk
about your personal life, feelings, beliefs, failures, pains,
etc.? Maybe YOU would. I have to live here, and there’s
another 1,600-1,700 criminals around me every time I go out
the door. Word gets around quick. That guy this, that guy
that.”

The variations among programs
become even more apparent when
Anonymous Inmate (Mid-State, D.F.)
looking at specific questions. As
demonstrated in Chart 8-6, survey respondents at several prisons said it was mostly or very true
that people were afraid to talk for fear of being made fun of by other participants (MQA Q20(f))
at rates that were higher than the overall average percentage of only 43%; these included:
Lakeview Female (70% of survey participants), Oneida (59%), Bare Hill (58%) and Washington
(58%). In contrast, at other prisons the percentage of responses of mostly or very true was much
lower, including: Shawangunk (23%), Eastern (26%), Taconic (32%) and Hale Creek (33%).
These data are particularly important because for a treatment program to be effective,
participants must feel they have a safe environment for communication and sharing.
Chart 8-6 Participants Afraid to Speak Up for Fear of Ridicule/Retaliation (Q20(f))

70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%

A
A lbi
rt
o
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A
rt r K
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ta
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aw ei
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to
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ill W n
ar en
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ill
ar ale
d
W Mal
yo e
m
in
g
To
ta
l

Percentage of Mostly of Very True Responses

80%

Visited Prisons

Mostly or Very True that people are afraid to talk for fear of retaliation

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8.14 PARTICIPANTS’ SATISFACTION WITH AND ASSESSMENT OF TREATMENT
PROGRAM COMPONENTS
Many studies have demonstrated that program participants’ satisfaction with their treatment is
strongly correlated with program retention, and, more importantly, with reduction in relapse
following completion of treatment.161
In order to assess the satisfaction of participants in New York’s prison-based treatment
programs, the MQA survey included satisfaction questions addressed to various aspects of the
content and therapeutic climate of their treatment on a four-point Likert scale from very
dissatisfied to very satisfied. Table 7-3 summarizes the percentage of survey respondents at
each facility who reported that they were somewhat satisfied or very satisfied with various
aspects of their treatment program. The last column of the table, labeled “Total,” contains the
assessments of all the survey respondents for each satisfaction question.
Examining these data reveals several key points. Overall a majority of program participants
(generally 57% to 77%) reported that they were somewhat or very satisfied with most of the
program elements. Although the responses by all survey participants for two components fell
below the 50% threshold, signifying that a majority of the respondents were dissatisfied with that
element, the remainder of the satisfaction questions showed at least a majority of somewhat
favorable responses. There were, however, significant differences between the responses by all
survey participants to individual satisfaction questions, ranging from a low of 44% for those
satisfied with discharge planning to a high of 91% for satisfaction with the participant’s own
commitment. We also observed significant variability among the prisons in participant
satisfaction for nearly every element. Finally, we found that the satisfaction ratings for all
components were highly correlated, signifying that programs with problems in one area tended to
manifest difficulties in many other areas as well.
To better understand these data, we divided the satisfaction questions into four categories: (1)
staff-related questions about treatment planning, discharge planning and counseling process;162
(2) treatment approach assessments about therapeutic community, cognitive-behavioral and 12step modalities;163 (3) ancillary program topics such as training on social skills and other
services;164 and (4) participants’ assessment of their own involvement and commitment.165 In
order to measure these items, we added the score on the four-point scale reported for each
question in a category and then converted this combined score to a percentage of the maximum
possible score for all questions, with 0% representing that the survey respondent was very
dissatisfied with every item asked in the survey and 100% signifying that the survey respondent
answered very satisfied for every element. Table 8-4 and Chart 8-7 detail the results for each
program with “Total” indicating the results for all survey respondents.
161

Zhiwei Zhang, Gerstein, and Friedmann, “Patient Satisfaction and Sustained Outcomes of Drug Abuse
Treatment”; Hser et al., “Relationship between drug treatment services, retention, and outcomes,” 767-774.
162
MQA satisfaction questions Q6 about treatment planning and discharge planning and Q18 about counseling
process. See also Section 7.6, Program Participant Assessment of Staff.
163
Satisfaction questions about therapeutic community (Menu A, MQA Q13), cognitive behavioral therapy (Menu
B, MQA Q14) and 12-step approach (Menu C, MQA Q15). See Section 8.7, Treatment Approaches/Fidelity.
164
MQA satisfaction question Q11 on social skills training and Q12 on services.
165
MQA question Q17 on their own involvement in treatment and Q19 on their commitment to treatment.

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Table 8-4 Survey Respondents’ Combined Satisfaction Percentage Score with Staff
Services, Treatment Approach, Skills/Services and Involvement/Commitment

Prison

Satisfaction
with Staff

Treatment
Approach
Satisfaction

Skills Service
Satisfaction

Involvement
Commitment
Satisfaction

Albion

58.5

65.0

62.7

85.8

Arthur Kill I

37.0

47.7

36.7

76.7

Arthur Kill II

39.5

58.8

44.4

83.3

Bare Hill

27.1

44.4

25.5

68.8

Cayuga

33.3

51.1

36.8

80.2

Eastern

55.1

65.9

49.0

80.2

Five Points

60.9

69.1

45.0

79.8

Franklin

40.3

51.2

38.1

74.4

Gouverneur

34.0

61.3

42.1

83.3

Gowanda

48.9

56.8

39.6

77.9

Green Haven

47.5

66.7

39.4

85.3

Greene

43.5

58.8

42.3

75.8

Hale Creek

66.2

72.0

53.9

81.7

Lakeview Male

75.7

80.2

65.8

85.1

Lakeview Female

77.5

80.2

65.3

90.1

Marcy

44.7

61.1

42.5

85.5

Mid-State

44.8

50.8

48.8

75.5

Oneida

26.7

39.4

44.1

61.1

Shawangunk

56.3

68.4

50.6

76.8

Sing Sing

62.9

66.3

57.8

85.6

Taconic

61.6

67.6

57.7

87.8

Washington

45.6

61.5

50.6

83.8

Wende

43.7

64.1

39.7

74.8

Willard DTC Male

45.8

53.5

41.7

62.1

Willard DTC Female

57.1

58.3

47.2

88.9

Wyoming
Total

48.4

67.9

47.2

76.3

48.6

60.6

45.7

78.5

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th

on

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ll

Staff Services

II

Therapeutic Approach

Skills/Services

Involvement/Commitment

115

l
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La

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Correctional Association of New York

A

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Chart 8-7 Survey Respondents' Combined Satisfaction Scores for Staff Services,
Treatment Approach, Skills/Services and Involvement/Commitment

Treatment Program

Percentage from Very Dissatisfied to Very Satisfied

Treatment Program

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007-2010

The data in Table 8-4 reveal several interesting points. The combined staffing satisfaction score
was below 50%, signifying that a significant portion of the survey respondents were sufficiently
dissatisfied with the staff services to lower the total for the three staffing questions to just below
a minimally positive satisfaction score. As more fully discussed in Section 7.6 on participants’
assessment of treatment staff, many survey respondents expressed serious misgivings about the
support they have received from the treatment team, whereas others, although a minority of
respondents, were very positive about the services they had received. In addition, great
variability is shown from prison to prison, with low scores for Bare Hill, Cayuga, Gouverneur
and Oneida. High staffing satisfaction scores were obtained for programs at Five Points, Hale
Creek, Lakeview Male and Female, Sing Sing and Taconic; these figures were approximately
double those obtained for the lower performing group.
The lowest scores were recorded for the ancillary services associated with training on such topics
as communication skills, anger management and stress management, as well as the presentation
of information about jobs, health issues, housing and government benefits. Overall, the
programs had a combined satisfaction score of 46%, representing an assessment that places the
mean score on the dissatisfied side of the scale. As with other questions in the survey, there were
significant differences among the programs, with the low-scoring programs (Arthur Kill, Bare
Hill, Cayuga, Franklin, Gowanda and Green Haven, with scores of 26% to less than 40%) well
below the programs with greater survey respondent satisfaction (Albion, Hale Creek, Lakeview
Male and Female, Sing Sing and Taconic with scores from 54% to 63%).
Satisfaction with the treatment approaches—therapeutic community, cognitive-behavioral and
12-steps—is discussed in Section 8.7. Overall, the survey respondents were positive about all
three treatment approaches (60% combined satisfaction score), with the highest satisfaction and
component ratings recorded for the cognitive-behavioral approach, followed by therapeutic
community and then the 12-step approach. It is important to note, however, that the overall
satisfaction with the therapeutic approaches matched the trend with staff satisfaction and overall
treatment satisfaction. High satisfaction with treatment approaches was recorded for Five Points,
Hale Creek, Lakeview Male and Female, Shawangunk, Sing Sing, Taconic and Wyoming. The
lowest scores were computed for programs at Arthur Kill, Bare Hill, Cayuga, Franklin, MidState and Oneida. The differences between these groups, however, were not as significant as
those recorded for the satisfaction scores for staffing and skills/services.
The survey respondents were most satisfied with their own involvement and commitment. This
reflects the trend in other jurisdictions around the country where the MQA has been administered
and is not surprising because survey respondents are being asked to evaluate their own
behavior.166Although uniformly high, the involvement/commitment satisfaction score trended
downward in programs with lower satisfaction scores for staffing and therapeutic approaches.
The four satisfaction scores also reveal clusters of programs that appear to be consistently either
in the high or low end of the satisfaction ratings. The programs with consistently greater
satisfaction scores include Albion, Hale Creek, Sing Sing, Taconic and Lakeview Male and
Female. The programs that had the lowest satisfaction scores were Bare Hill, Oneida, Arthur
166

Melnick, Hawke, and Wexler, “Client Perceptions Of Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment
Programs.”

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Kill, Franklin and Cayuga. Assessment of many of the other MQA indicators also placed these
same programs in the high and low range of the survey respondents’ assessments of content and
treatment processes.
The Department should routinely survey program participants about their satisfaction with
program content, staff-participant relationships, and the program’s therapeutic milieu. All these
elements affect treatment outcomes.
8.15 MIX OF PROBLEM AND NEED SEVERITY AMONG TREATMENT
PARTICIPANTS
During our visits, the CA observed wide variations in the problem severity and motivation of
participants within a single treatment group. We observed inmates with recent histories of heavy
use of substances such as heroin or crack; inmates who reported smoking marijuana occasionally
as their only drug use; inmates with a history of substance abuse followed by many years of
abstinence; and inmates who admitted selling drugs but denied using them. All were required to
undergo treatment and all were placed in the same group. Common concerns from inmates about
the participants’ disparities in drug history in the program included that they were often unable to
identify with fellow participants, felt pressured by peers and treatment staff to exaggerate their
drug use, and found that some topics in group sessions either not specific or comprehensive
enough to address their needs or were irrelevant to them.
A growing body of research reinforces the need for addressing the issue of matching individuals
to the appropriate level of treatment. First, no single treatment is effective for everyone. Placing
individuals in the treatment that most closely matches their needs and strengths increases the
chance that they will successfully complete treatment.167
Second, it is very difficult to individualize treatment for DOCS treatment participants because
they spend so much time in large groups and receive little individual counseling. Some are
therefore being “under-treated” and others “over-treated,” and may not be ideally matched to
services that reflect their needs. For example, staff and inmates reported to us that individuals
were unable to complete or participate in training or GED programs because they needed to
participate in ASAT, and vice versa. Some treatment participants may do better receiving lowerintensity substance abuse services, such as drug education and prevention, and increasing other
services, such as educational and vocational. 168
A substantial body of research has established that treatment participants benefit from treatment
that is matched to the severity of their substance abuse. Furthermore, recent studies are finding
that motivation for treatment directly correlates with severity of need.169 In other words, inmates
who had severe, long-term substance abuse were more motivated to participate in treatment than
those with less severity. Individuals who are placed in intensive treatment but do not need or
167

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
168
Ibid.
169
Welsh and McGrain, “Predictors of therapeutic engagement in prison-based drug treatment,” 271-280.

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desire it may disrupt the program and even drop out or be removed, wasting valuable resources
at a time when they are much in demand. Furthermore, placing casual drug users in highintensity programs can be harmful, as it may expose them to criminal thinking and habits that
they do not yet have the skills to reject.170
Most DOCS treatment programs are of a single level of intensity, that of the therapeutic
community. The CA looks forward to OASAS working with DOCS to fine-tune its treatment
matching strategies, perhaps utilizing the OASAS LOCADTR system discussed in Section 5,
Screening and Assessment. As New York State struggles with massive budget challenges, this
may be a source of savings in resources even as it improves outcomes.

170

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.

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9. INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING
FINDINGS
DOCS does not require a set amount of individual counseling for participants in its
treatment programs.
Individual counseling in the DOCS treatment programs observed by the CA was limited,
with wide variations among programs.

DISCUSSION
9.1 INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING IN PRISON-BASED TREATMENT
Individualizing treatment is widely considered critical to effective treatment, and individual
counseling provides a foundation for that process. Furthermore, a substantial body of evidence
demonstrates that group counseling in conjunction with individual counseling is far more
effective than group counseling alone.171
The dominant prison-based treatment modality is the therapeutic community, with its strong
emphasis on “community-as-method.” Nonetheless, private meetings with a counselor carry
special importance in prison. Prison culture may impose ridicule or retaliation on inmates who
explore sensitive issues, express unpopular opinions or recount experiences that identify other
inmates as engaging in criminal activity.
In addition to providing privacy, individual counseling provides the ideal setting to assess and
enhance inmate motivation and engagement in treatment, in prison and beyond. It can be
tempting for staff to rely on institutional controls to maintain inmate participation in treatment,
especially in facilities that are understaffed. But the apparent compliance that results from prison
discipline can mask low engagement and motivation. However, inmates’ motivation and
engagement in prison-based treatment are strong predictors that they will continue in treatment
and recovery after release from prison. The best way to assess and, if necessary, enhance that
enthusiasm for recovery is through an individual session.172 Research demonstrates that
providing more individual sessions early in treatment can help address low motivation and
engagement, thereby increasing the chances that the inmate will continue treatment and recovery
over the long term.173
9.2 INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING IN DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
PROGRAMS
The manual for the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment programs (referred to as the ASAT
Manual in this report) lists an array of direct treatment services to be provided by DOCS
171

Crits-Christoph et al., “Psychosocial Treatments for Cocaine Dependence,” 493-502.
Farabee et al., “Barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment programs.”
173
Miller, “Increasing Motivation for Change,” 67-80.
172

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treatment programs. These include audio/video presentations, lectures and seminars, group
discussion of educational material, group counseling/therapy, individual counseling, self-help
group participation, and group feedback and evaluation.
As detailed throughout this report, the structure and format of treatment sessions that we
observed varied considerably from program to program. Throughout our study, however, we
observed a limited amount of individual counseling provided to treatment participants.
In addition to the benefits of individual counseling that have been identified by research and
clinical practice, DOCS treatment programs stand to reap additional benefits. Almost all of the
programs we visited had large groups and a high ratio of participants to staff. Some treatment
staff with whom we spoke described their programs as “factories” that did not provide the
opportunity for a significant amount of individual counseling.
The ASAT Manual mentions individual counseling only under the heading “individual
counseling/treatment planning.” The Manual requires only monthly individual counseling “as
needed” to review treatment goals.174 The Manual fails to specify the duration of these sessions
and whether individual counseling sessions should be documented. This standard, which in
effect requires no individual counseling, does not meet the American Correctional Association’s
(ACA) performance-based standards for therapeutic communities, which specify that counselors
must meet individually with program participants at least twice each month in order to review
their progress.175
As discussed in Section 6, Overview of DOCS Treatment Programs, the ASAT program
conceives of the recovery process as occurring in stages: information, knowledge, discovery and
assessment, conceptualization, understanding, internalization, and actualization. Not all
treatment participants progress through these stages at the same pace and in the same manner. In
addition, DOCS substance abuse treatment programs are not closed programs, with group
participants beginning and ending with one another. Rather, the programs have rolling
admission, allowing new individuals to join the group at any point, adding to the variations
observed among treatment participants. It is difficult to imagine how, without more
comprehensive and routine individual counseling, treatment staff would be able to address these
tremendous variations and assist inmates in progressing through these stages.
9.3 IMPORTANCE OF INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING
Frequent and consistent individual counseling is widely considered critical to treatment
success.176 It is especially important with inmate populations, which typically have a wide
variety of substance abuse and treatment needs. One-on-one counseling can help address these
needs in a more targeted fashion, with the individualized support and insight that are difficult in
large, heterogeneous group sessions. Furthermore, inmates often struggle with sensitive issues
174

State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual, sec. VIII, A (1) (e). 33.
175
American Correctional Association. Performance Based Standards for Therapeutic Communities. 2005.
176
Robert Florentine and M. Douglas Anglin, “Does Increasing the Opportunity for Counseling Increase the
Effectiveness of Outpatient Drug Treatment?”

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such as trauma, abuse, and neglect, yet prison culture can discourage their open expression.
Individual counseling can provide a safe place to work on these issues. Also, individual
counseling can enhance and cement internal motivation early in the treatment process, which is
critical in the prison setting since inmates may not openly express their resistance and low
motivation.177
Though participating in a treatment program, the participants still remain incarcerated in a State
correctional facility. This brings valid concerns for many individuals of protecting their safety,
reducing the risk for being victimized and/or exploited, avoiding retaliation and protecting their
reputation. Many inmates we spoke with expressed reluctance to reveal personal information in
group sessions, as it may create a possibly dangerous situation for them in the prison
environment. Treatment participants may also be concerned that their peers might pass along
information to the general population that could make them vulnerable. Most DOCS treatment
programs are residential, and there is a perceived danger in sharing personal information with
individuals with whom one lives, especially as treatment staff leaves the facility in the afternoon.
To be sure, substance abuse treatment programs aim to create an environment of safety and
mutual support where confidentiality is highly regarded. Nonetheless, the fact remains that these
programs—and their participants— are housed in prison, with its powerful culture and persistent
threats of retaliation and ridicule. Individual counseling helps to address these issues in that
setting.
9.4 THE CA’S OBSERVATIONS AND TREATMENT PARTICIPANTS’ ASSESSMENT
OF INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING
During our site visits, the CA interviewed substance abuse treatment staff about their programs’
individual counseling. The most common response was that a member of the treatment team,
typically the program assistant, met individually with an inmate on a monthly basis. Consistent
with the ASAT Manual’s minimum requirement, the primary purpose of this session was for the
inmate to sign off on a monthly evaluation form. Both staff and inmates reported that these
meetings lasted from between five and fifteen minutes. In light of the very large group sizes we
observed, these individual sessions are likely to be a primary opportunity for staff to become
familiar with an inmate’s needs and strengths and discuss any challenges. It seems unlikely that
a single session is adequate for staff to acquire the full picture needed to plan treatment
effectively and discern when an inmate completes each stage of recovery in each competency.
We are also concerned that program assistants provided most of the individual counseling, rather
than correction counselors who are required to have more clinical training and experience.
In addition to the monthly sessions, treatment staff reported that they were available to meet
individually with inmates on request. According to staff, they met with some inmates daily or
weekly, but met with others only for monthly evaluations. Staff initiated individual sessions
primarily when inmates were noticeably slipping in program performance.
The CA commends the staff for their willingness to accommodate requests for individual
counseling. However, we remain concerned that treatment participants who do not have the
177

Welsh and McGrain, “Predictors of therapeutic engagement in prison-based drug treatment,” 271-280.

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insight or the self-confidence to make these requests did not have the same opportunity. It is
likely that program participants who could benefit the most from individual counseling may be
most hesitant to seek out the sessions.
The need for individual counseling is reinforced by our survey data, which demonstrates that
many program participants believe group discussions are not entirely safe for personal dialogue
and opinions that may be contrary to those shared by the majority of the group. Forty-four
percent of treatment participants who responded to our survey reported that it was mostly or very
true that people in their program who disagree with the majority were likely to have a hard time.
As illustrated in the Chart 9-1, participants in some prisons had much higher levels of concern
that contrary views could result in condemnation; specifically, programs with the highest
percentage of respondents who said this was mostly or very true were Lakeview Female (57%),
Willard Male (57%), Hale Creek (52%), and Franklin (51%). Prisons such as Shawangunk
(20%), Gouverneur (28%), Green Haven (33%) and Five Points (33%) reported lower
percentages for this question. Forty-four percent of those surveyed indicated that it was not true
or only somewhat true that their groups had frank and open conversations about their differences.
When program participants do not feel safe about open group discussions, they will need an
opportunity to raise concerns in private meetings with staff. Again, our data revealed that the
concern about the consequences of frank discussions was significantly higher within certain
programs. Prisons with high percentages of not true or somewhat true for this question were
Willard Female (75%), Willard Male (73%), Cayuga (65%), and Albion (57%).
Chart 9-1 Survey Respondents' Assessments about Communication in
Their Program Concerning Disagreements and Differences
80%

Percent of Respondents

70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%

A

A

lb
rth ion
u
A
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ill
B
a r II
e
H
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rn
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ve
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e
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e
M
ar
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id
st
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Si
Ta ng
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to
W
n
ill W e
ar
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de
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ill
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l
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M
W al
yo e
m
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g
To
ta
l

0%

Visited Prisons

Very/Mostly True-Those who disagree are likely to have a hard time

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Somewhat/Not True-We have open conversations about differences

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Understaffing also contributed to the lack of individual counseling sessions. Many staff reported
that they did not have adequate one-on-one time with inmates because they were overwhelmed
with paperwork and other responsibilities. For this reason, many treatment staff were wary of
the new role that OASAS will play in overseeing DOCS treatment programs. They were
concerned that OASAS may increase their paperwork while raising requirements for one-on-one
counseling, which staff felt may be “too much for us to handle.”
Perhaps most importantly, individual counseling is an excellent opportunity for treatment staff to
establish a trusting relationship with participants and increase participants’ feelings of ownership
in the program. As illustrated in Chart 9-2, 33% of survey respondents reported it was not true
that the people in the program were interested in helping them. When asked if they felt an
attachment and ownership of the program, 39% of all treatment participants similarly responded
this was not true. For these individuals, it will be important for the treatment staff to establish a
more effective therapeutic relationship and individual counseling is the best opportunity to
reestablish trust and engagement between treatment staff and participant. As with the other
elements we investigated, substantial differences exist in the level of staff mistrust and lack of
engagement.178
OASAS guidelines require that residential treatment programs provide individual counseling as
needed, but do not specify a minimum duration or frequency for these sessions. Some residential
TC treatment programs in the community with whom we spoke reported that they provide 45
minutes of weekly individual counseling for treatment participants. This was slightly more than
the American Correctional Association (ACA) recommendation of 45 minutes every two weeks,
and community treatment staff found such frequent individual counseling to be highly beneficial.
Many staff members of the community-based treatment programs we spoke with stated that
OASAS required 30 minutes of individual counseling every week, though we did not find this in
the regulation provided to us by OASAS. At the OASAS-licensed Willard Drug Treatment
Campus, the standards developed in 2009 require a monthly minimum of 30 minutes of
individual counseling.
9.5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING
Individual counseling in DOCS substance abuse treatment programs should follow community
standards set by OASAS and the prison standards set by ACA. It is clear that the current
practice of meeting with individuals monthly in order to complete a monthly evaluation is not
sufficient opportunity for individual counseling for this complex population. An increased
minimum amount and frequency of individual counseling should be formalized and built into all
treatment staff’s schedules.

178

Concerning the suspicion that staff do not believe in the participant, the programs with the highest not true
results were at Oneida, Gouverneur, Cayuga, Bare Hill, and Wende; those programs with the best results were at
Albion, Shawangunk, Taconic, Lakeview Female and Willard DTC Female.

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Chart 9-2 Survey Respondents' Perceptions of Attachment to Program and
Whether Staff Wants to Help Him
70%

Percentage Not True

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

A
A lbio
rt
hu n
A
rt r K
hu
i
r K ll
ill
B
ar II
e
H
C ill
ay
u
Ea ga
s
Fi
ve tern
Po
in
Fr ts
G an
ou kl
ve in
rn
e
G
ow ur
G
re an
en da
H
av
e
G n
r
La Ha een
ke le
e
C
vi
ew re
ek
La
F
ke em
vi
a
ew le
M
al
e
M
ar
c
M
id y
st
at
Sh On e
e
aw
id
an a
gu
Si
n
ng k
Si
T ng
W aco
as
n
hi ic
ng
to
W
n
ill We
ar
n
d
de
F
W em
ill
ar ale
d
M
a
W
yo le
m
in
g
To
ta
l

0%

Visited Prisons

Not True-Feel Attachment/Ownership In Program

Not True-Treatment Staff Wants to Help

It is clear that not every individual requires the same amount of individual counseling and that
some flexibility must be built into any policy, though a more frequent opportunity for individual
counseling should be available for every treatment participant. Treatment participants should
receive the type and frequency of counseling that reflects the severity of their substance abuse
and their motivation, along with a host of other factors that directly affect their participation in
treatment both in prison and after release. In addition, as specified in the ASAT Manual,
individual counseling should be used to create and maintain a meaningful treatment plan and
discharge plan.
Clearly, individual counseling can significantly improve treatment outcomes and should be an
integral component of every treatment program. We encourage DOCS and OASAS to develop
formalized policies regarding the amount and structure of individual counseling in DOCS
treatment programs. We believe that the highly varied and complex population of these
programs could greatly benefit from individualized attention, and it is our view that a brief
monthly session does not achieve this purpose. Treatment inside New York State correctional
facilities should mirror the standards for the community treatment programs, if not surpass them.

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10. TREATMENT PARTICIPANTS WITH
LIMITED ENGLISH SKILLS
FINDINGS
At most prisons, treatment services for participants with limited English skills are
inadequate. These inmates are unable to effectively participate in treatment.
Bilingual treatment participants are often required to translate for their monolingual
peers, depriving them of the benefit of the treatment as well.
Very limited materials are available in Spanish.

DISCUSSION
10.1 LIMITED ENGLISH SPEAKERS IN DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
PROGRAMS
Language barriers in health care have been found to have a negative impact on utilization,
satisfaction, and possibly adherence to treatment. This has led to an emphasis on what the
literature terms “language concordance,” hiring personnel who are bilingual. Bilingual ability
allows clinicians and patients to communicate more clearly about health problems, health beliefs,
and treatment options.179
Approximately 6% of the State’s inmates have limited English skills.180 Few DOCS substance
abuse treatment staff are fluent in both Spanish and English. Minimal to no treatment
programming is conducted in Spanish. Thus, DOCS staff turn to bilingual treatment participants
to translate for their peers. Inmate translators receive no training in this difficult, tiring function,
nor are they otherwise compensated for their work. Furthermore, these individuals have
themselves been designated as in need of substance abuse treatment. If any significant portion of
their treatment time is spent acting as a translator, their own treatment is compromised. As we
observed, these ad hoc translation efforts are also distracting to other inmates in sessions, in
addition to reinforcing the impression and the effect of the sessions as educational rather than
psychodynamic. Furthermore, the inmate with limited literacy in English cannot take advantage
of the therapeutic milieu that is a core element of the therapeutic community (TC), remaining
isolated. DOCS’s inability to communicate with treatment participants thus has a ripple effect
that can disrupt the entire treatment program.
It was previously thought that behavior change was a function of program participation, but a
growing body of research is beginning to show that it is the quality of the therapeutic
179

Campbell and Alexander, “Culturally competent treatment practices and ancillary service use in outpatient
substance abuse treatment,” 109-119.
180
NYS Department of Correctional Services, Under Custody Report: Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody
on January 1, 2009.

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relationship, along with participation in treatment activities, that facilitates an individual’s
developing new social and coping skills and making cognitive and behavioral changes. In fact,
all treatment services hinge on effective engagement; the treatment relationship is the foundation
of effective care and all clinical and nonclinical treatment support services.181 Inmates with
limited English cannot engage with staff or other treatment participants.
DOCS officially identifies 0.4% of the inmate population as speakers of another primary
language, other than English or Spanish. Throughout the study, we occasionally came across
individuals participating in substance abuse treatment programs who spoke neither Spanish nor
English and who appeared significantly disengaged from the program. Though we have little
information or data identifying how serious a problem this presents, we are concerned that there
are even fewer mechanisms in place to support these individuals who would not have easy access
to inmate translators. We urge the Department to consider this population when developing new
policies and procedures to accommodate limited English speakers.
10.2 LIMITED ENGLISH SPEAKERS’ ASSESSMENT OF TREATMENT PROGRAMS
It was clear through our observations and discussions with both treatment staff and inmates that
limited English speakers were often unable to participate meaningfully in the programs. Equally
evident was their inability to participate in many of the written activities or readings because at
many prisons there were very few materials available in Spanish. Finally, most substance abuse
staff cannot read Spanish, so it is unclear to what extent they are able to review materials
prepared by Spanish language-dominant program participants.
Though our survey for treatment participants was available in Spanish, our response rate for
limited English speakers was only 10%, significantly less than our overall response rate of
between 20 and 45%. It is difficult to draw conclusions from this limited sample, but some of
the information gathered was informative. Not surprisingly, limited English survey respondents
were more dissatisfied with their involvement in the treatment process: 29% of these respondents
said they were very dissatisfied with the program, compared with the systemwide average of 8%
for all respondents. In addition, compared with 72% systemwide, a lower percentage of limited
English speakers, 60%, felt that it was mostly or very true that they understood and accepted the
program rules, structure and philosophy. However, they also expressed a slightly greater
satisfaction with other aspects of the program. The limited English speakers surveyed felt that
staff often asked them (50%) for their opinions and suggestions about treatment issues, which is
considerably higher than the 29% average we saw system-wide. They also seemed to view the
treatment staff more positively, with 31% saying they believe it is very true that people in the
program are trying to do what is best for them, compared with 14% system-wide.
As described in previous sections, we also analyzed the responses to all the staff-related
questions to develop an overall assessment of individuals’ views of staff. The responses from
limited English speakers regarding a composite assessment of staff (44%) was slightly higher
than the system-wide percentage of 39%, supporting the above results from individual questions
indicating that limited English speakers demonstrated higher satisfaction with staff than English
181

White, Schwartz, and Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services, The Role
of Clinical Supervision in Recovery-oriented Systems of Behavioral Healthcare.

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speakers. There was significant variation from facility to facility, such as Gouverneur’s
composite staffing results for limited English speakers of 9%, compared with Hale Creek’s 95%.
Due to the limited number of responses we received from limited English speakers at each
prison, it would be imprudent to attempt to make more specific finding about the experiences of
limited English speakers at each of the visited prisons.
Though it is difficult to draw conclusions from such a limited sample of surveys, some additional
observations are warranted based upon our conversations with treatment staff and limited
English speakers during our site visits. Limited English speakers frequently missed out on many
aspects of the treatment experience during the program, but it was equally clear that treatment
staff make an effort to work with limited English speakers through inmate translators when
possible. We commend staff for their efforts, but remain concerned that limited English speakers
are not able to make best use of the treatment program and adequately address their substance
abuse needs.
For more than 10 years, the health care field—including substance abuse treatment providers—
has been striving to enhance its cultural competence (the capacity to work effectively with a
variety of ethnic and racial groups). The CA strongly urges DOCS to make this issue a priority
in its work with OASAS in the months and years to come. We believe that increasing the number
of Spanish-speaking treatment staff, and expanding the Spanish language materials and other
resources, could greatly improve treatment services for this population. In addition, we would
urge DOCS to explore piloting a small treatment program solely for participants with limited
English skills. We also encourage DOCS to consider the use of inmate translators trained as
Inmate Program Assistants (IPAs), who are not current, but past, program participants and who
have received some translator specific training. Finally, we recommend that DOCS keep a
centralized list of all bilingual treatment staff working in DOCS facilities and make all possible
attempts to prioritize placement of limited English speakers requiring substance abuse treatment
programs at those facilities.

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11. TREATMENT PROGRAM COMPLETIONS
AND REMOVALS
FINDINGS
DOCS facilities vary significantly in the policies and procedures for removing participants
from substance abuse treatment programs on the grounds of discipline or poor
performance.
DOCS facilities vary widely in the number and proportion of participants who do not
successfully complete substance abuse treatment on the grounds of discipline or poor
performance.

DISCUSSION
11.1 INTRODUCTION
Successful completion is one of the soundest predictors of positive outcomes of treatment.182
Better outcomes are also associated with treatment that lasts at least 90 days, even if treatment is
not completed.183 In community-based programs, removal or ejection from a program is the
ultimate sanction, usually reserved for acts of aggression such as violence and other major
disruption of the therapeutic environment. In the therapeutic community (TC) model, the
community itself is the therapeutic method, so the community responds to noncompliance, such
as disrupting a group, with confrontation and encouragement of appropriate behavior. The
community can implement meaningful, powerful sanctions both formally (such as demotion in
the hierarchy) and informally (such as exclusion from social interactions).184
In the prison setting, however, program noncompliance is often met with a correctional—rather
than a therapeutic—response.185 Removal, suspension or other institutional discipline can be
suggested as a therapeutic response. However, our observations indicate that DOCS treatment
staff and officers often implement disciplinary sanctions rather than relying on the power of the
therapeutic process. There is often a failure to distinguish between sanctions for “poor program
performance” (such as slow progress in completing assignments or demonstrating insight) and
noncompliance with program rules (such as failure to keep one’s living area tidy or repeated
absences). The resulting pattern is ultimately counterproductive for the facility, staff and
inmates, as individuals with a need for substance use treatment may remain untreated if removed
early from the program.

182

Price, “What we know and what we actually do: Best practices and their prevalence in substance abuse
treatment,” 125-155.
183
Fletcher and Chandler, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide.
184
De Leon, “Therapeutic communities for addictions,” 1603-1645.
185
Farabee et al., “Barriers to implementing effective correctional drug treatment programs,” 150-162.

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Removal for positive urinalysis is a more complicated problem. Inmates are admitted to
treatment because they have a chronic condition with the primary symptom of inability to abstain
from or limit the use of substances despite negative consequences. Thus, program participants
are often ejected—and further punished—for the symptom that generated their need for
treatment. The skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to abstain from illicit substances
comprise the desired outcome of treatment. Simultaneously, we understand the need from the
perspective of prison security to respond quickly to drug use and trade inside the facility.
As pointed out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), there is no other chronic health
problem where symptom manifestation is punished by terminating the treatment, even for
conditions with major behavioral components, such as diabetes or hypertension, that have similar
relapse rates to substance use disorders.186 For these medical conditions, setbacks are considered
confirmation of the diagnosis or a signal to reassess treatment strategy.
A national conversation is under way in the substance abuse treatment field about treatment
strategies for the minority of individuals with substance use disorders who chronically relapse or
act out in other ways such as profanity, untidiness, and tardiness. While the latter behaviors can
be disruptive, they are often most effectively dealt with clinically, as part of the treatment
process, rather than as a disciplinary issue that might lead to removal.187
In recent years, a host of practices have emerged through research, consensus, and clinical
experience for responding to inmates who make slow progress in treatment and act out along the
way. These are discussed in brief in the final part of this section.
11.2 PROGRAM COMPLETION
The DOCS ASAT Manual outlines the criteria for successful completion of treatment
(“graduation”): the inmate completes at least six months in treatment and demonstrates a
“functional understanding of addiction,” skills, attitudes, and knowledge needed for a drug-freelifestyle; and a satisfactory rating on the ASAT discharge evaluation.188
“Unsatisfactory termination” (“removal”) can be imposed under one or more of these conditions:
the inmate is sentenced to keeplock for 30 days or more; “disruptive behavior that cannot be
managed within the program structure;” “failure to meet the criteria for successful participation;”
or violation of “essential rules basic to substance abuse treatment programs;” (violence or threat
of violence) use or possession of drugs, alcohol, or a weapon; theft; or sexual misconduct. When
an inmate “appears to be moving in the direction of” one of these conditions, the ASAT Manual
requires that treatment staff conduct a formal counseling session with the inmate.189
“Administrative termination” can occur when the participant is removed “through no personal
fault but to meet Departmental or facility needs,” or when ASAT staff determine that “it is not in
186

McLellan et al., “Drug Dependence, a Chronic Medical Illness,” 1689-1695.
White et al., “It’s time to stop kicking people out of addiction treatment.”
188
State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual, 35.
189
Ibid.
187

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the best interest of the participant to continue, e.g., new medical condition, new program
assignment, psychological problem, administrative segregation, involuntary protective custody,
etc.” 190
11.3 REMOVALS FROM TREATMENT PROGRAMS VISITED BY THE CA
The ASAT programs visited by the CA varied widely in their policies and procedures related to
removal, and in their rates of satisfactory completions and removals. Some programs we visited
removed nearly as many participants as they graduated, while others had significantly higher
graduation rates. These differences cannot be explained solely by differences in the inmate
population. Some former treatment participants asserted that they were removed for minor
violations of program rules and that greater emphasis was placed upon rigid requirements of
order and cleanliness in the residential area than on progress in treatment.
Most of the treatment programs the CA visited divided removals into three types: poor program
performance, disciplinary, and administrative.
11.3.1 Removal for Poor Program Performance
Participants removed for poor program
performance had usually received repeated
warnings or infractions for violating program
rules. Violations of program rules can result in a
negative monthly evaluation, and repeated
negative monthly evaluations can lead to program
removal. Examples of these violations include
failure to maintain order in one’s cubicle area or
disruptive behavior during group sessions. This
category of program removal is directly related to
an individual’s performance in the treatment
program.

The details are also a major problem. For
miniscule reasons, such as: bed wrinkled, shoes
unaligned, locker unlocked, etc. we as inmates are
given details. These details, for some reason,
effect our evaluations monthly and our overall
release dates (merit, conditional release, etc.).
How can we be discharged from the program for
minor “details,” when we are not using drugs
and/or creating major problems?
Anonymous Inmate (Washington C.F.)

11.3.2 Removal on Disciplinary Grounds
Individuals removed for disciplinary reasons may have engaged in behavior deemed
“inappropriate” by treatment or security staff—either in the program area or in another area of
the prison—generating a misbehavior report. Some inmates described incidents of violence that
prompted their removal from the program. Others expressed the view that they were removed or
“set up” by treatment or security staff who had negative feelings toward them. Former treatment
participants also expressed frustration that they had been removed from the program because of
incidents in the yard or other prison areas, despite making progress in the treatment program.
Another troubling cause for disciplinary removal was positive urinalysis for drug use. Many
inmates removed on this ground reported they were immediately removed from the program and
190

In many community-based treatment programs, “administrative termination” is a sanction or disciplinary
measure, also called “discharge for cause;” here it has a neutral connotation.

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sent to the “box” or SHU (Special Housing Unit) cells.
To be sure, swift response to drug use can be critical for the facility’s safety and security, but we
are concerned that these individuals are also those most in need of substance abuse treatment.
We are not suggesting that a positive drug test be ignored, but believe a more effective and
appropriate response could be implemented. These individuals could be subject to a reduced
disciplinary response, following which they could be prioritized for more intensive substance
abuse treatment services, including focused relapse prevention groups and increased individual
counseling.
11.3.3 Administrative Removals
The CA observed programs with an extraordinary number of administrative removals. These
usually occurred when an inmate was transferred to another facility as a result of a transfer
request, security declassification, or need for services not offered at the current facility, such as
medical or mental health care.
Many inmates reported that they were transferred after completing up to five months of a
treatment program but required to start the program from the beginning at the new facility,
receiving no credit for any previous treatment completion. DOCS policy should provide that
appropriate credit be given for treatment participation short of completion in this situation and
that individuals transferred between facilities résumé treatment without a lengthy delay.
Administrative transfers disrupt not only the personal treatment process but also the group
process, according to many inmates we spoke with.
Unusual circumstances may justify an immediate transfer for safety or security reasons. If
possible, however, inmates who have started treatment should have a hold placed on transfers in
order to allow them to complete the program before they are moved for programmatic or
classification reasons.
11.4 PROCESS OF REMOVAL FROM TREATMENT PROGRAMS
The process for removing an inmate from a substance abuse treatment program varied greatly
among the facilities we visited. Approximately half of the programs utilized a review process
with a program retention or review committee (PRC) comprising the treatment staff and often
including members of the executive or security staff. The PRC reviews the case of any
individual who has received one or two negative evaluations (depending on the facility) or whose
behavior is such that it could lead to eventual removal. At most facilities, the PRC meets with
the individual in question, though policies differ from facility to facility. An inmate whose case
is brought to a PRC may be given a therapeutic sanction (such as a “learning experience”) or an
educational assignment. Alternatively or in addition, these inmates may be asked to sign a
behavior contract outlining the changes they must make in order to remain in the program.
Finally, the PRC can determine that the inmate should receive a program extension of one to two
months or be removed from the program.

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Treatment staff described the PRC’s objective as providing a creative, preventive response to
behavior that is therapeutic rather than punitive. Ten of the facilities we visited utilized a PRC
structure, although the procedures differed significantly among the facilities. For instance, staff
at Eastern recently altered the PRC structure in hopes of lowering the removal rate (although it is
already relatively low). Under the new policy, the committee sees inmates after one “failed
evaluation” rather than two as previously. Some facilities have only recently implemented a
PRC to address the issue of high removal rates, although the utilization of a PRC does not
correlate with lower removal numbers.
In contrast to this structured system, some programs had no formal process in place and the
practices regarding removals were ambiguous and sometimes highly discretionary. In some
programs, the program assistant (PA) met with the inmate to discuss problems, followed by the
PA’s recommendation of removal if the inmate’s behavior did not improve. These
recommendations were rarely disputed by higher DOCS officials, and the inmate had no formal
opportunity to challenge them. Five Points, a facility with a high removal rates, utilizes a
removal process similar to the one just described. Shortly before our visit, Cayuga had been
informed by the Central Office that it needed to formalize and document its removal process.
The discretionary nature of the removal process raises serious concerns regarding fairness and
impartiality, because program removals carry serious consequences. For instance, at Bare Hill,
counselors may remove a program participant who has spent ten days in the SHU, although at
most facilities (and in the ASAT Manual) only 30-day SHU sentences warrant automatic
removal. At Green Haven, on the other hand, testing positive for drugs does not automatically
lead to removal; the decision to remove the participant is made at a disciplinary hearing. At
Shawangunk, there were no removals for poor performance from 2005 through 2009.
Participants in the treatment programs we visited expressed anxiety about high removal rates. At
many programs, participants felt that they could be removed from the program solely because a
staff member did not like them or if they did not properly make their beds. These sentiments
were often validated through our observations and conversations with treatment staff, especially
at facilities with extremely high removal rates.191 Indeed, staff at Washington mentioned that
repeated incidents of messy living areas could trigger a meeting with the program review
committee. This consistently high anxiety level is unlikely to create a therapeutic environment.
11.5 RATES AND PATTERNS OF REMOVALS AT DOCS FACILITIES
Survey respondents commonly reported removals. In our survey of more than 1,100 inmates not
currently in treatment, 22% said they had been removed from a substance abuse treatment
program at their current facility, and 19% reported removal from a treatment program at another
DOCS facility. Although many inmates reported having been removed from a DOCS substance
abuse treatment program, certain facilities and programs had much higher removal rates than
others. Facilities such as Five Points (58%), Washington (58%), Greene (48%) and Mid-State
(41%) had significantly high removal rates for their ASAT programs. The removal rates at
RSAT programs at Greene (48%) and Marcy (58%) were also alarmingly high.
191

Removal rate represents how many of originally admitted participants are subject to unsatisfactory termination.

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The CA was alarmed by the removal rate at Five Points: in 2007, more participants were
removed (261) than graduated (176) from the program. A similar pattern was seen at Greene in
2008, when 160 participants completed the ASAT program and 204 were removed.
In stark contrast, relatively low removal rates were seen in 2008 at Wyoming (13%), Taconic
(14%), Wende (15%), Eastern (21%) and Franklin (21%). In 2008, 105 women completed the
Taconic ASAT program and only 18 were removed.
Removal rates did not correlate with overall program satisfaction, either positively or negatively.
For instance, removal rates at Franklin were relatively low (21%), although its overall program
satisfaction was one of the lowest, with only 19% of treatment participants reporting it was very
true that they were satisfied with their treatment.
Table 11-1 Total Graduation and Removal Numbers for Facilities Visited
Prison
Albion

Total Graduations
(by year)

Removals (by year)*

2006
0
2005
N/A
30
N/A

2007
0
2006
11
66
2

2008
13
2007
10
7
5

2006
N/A
2005
N/A
5
N/A

2007
N/A
2006
1
16
2

2008
0
2007
1
3
2

2007
81
0
4
10

2008
86
43
7
14

2009
43
26
4
2

2007
20 (10,5,5)
0
14 (5,1,5)
1 (0,0,1)

2008
18 (9,6,3)
6 (3,1,2)
9 (6,1,2)
2 (1,0,1)

2009
7 (5,1,1)
5 (2,1,2)
4 (1,2,2)
1 (0,0,1)

2006
360
2006
150
2005
20

2007
396
2007
149
2006
106

2008
153
2008
83
2007
39

2006
119 (72, 11, N/A)
2006
111 (50, 24, N/A)
2005
5 (N/A)

2007
109 (72, 22, N/A)
2007
98 (52, 18, N/A)
2006
26 (N/A)

2008
68 (42, 14, N/A)
2008
48 (15, 10, N/A)
2007
13 (N/A)

Franklin

2006
166
N/A

2007
176
N/A

2008
77
N/A

2006
175 (76, 58, 41)
N/A

2007
261 (113, 60, 88)
N/A

2008
222 (75, 51, 96)
N/A

Gouverneur

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Gowanda
ASAT
DWI
Green Haven
ASAT

2006
92
293
2004
138

2007
163
424
2005
126

2008
148
394
2006
34

2006
49 (24, 3, 22)
9 (8, 9, 39)
2004
126

2007
90 (28, 27, 35)
6 (26, 6, 31)
2005
152

2008
108 (36, 22, 50)
12 (21, 12, 28)
2006
41

Arthur Kill
2007
SNU/ ASAT
CASAT
MICA
Arthur Kill
2009
CASAT
ASAT
MICA
SNU ASAT
Bare Hill
Cayuga
Eastern
ASAT and
SDU
Five Points

* Removals are designated by: total number of removals (number of disciplinary removals, number of program
performance removals, number of administrative removals)

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Table 11-1 Total Graduation and Removal Numbers for Facilities Visited (continued)

Prison
Greene
ASAT
RSAT
Hale Creek

Total Graduations
(by year)

Marcy
CASAT
ASAT
RSAT

2005
285
187
0

2007
271
122
2007
849
2006
Males
908
Female
s
182
2006
N/A
192
395

Mid-State

2007
247

2008
251

2009
62

2007
71 (N/A, N/A, 83)

2008
64 (N/A, N/A, 69)

Oneida

2005
122
2007
62
2007
136
2006
51
86

2006
184
2008
27
2008
97
2007
63
107

2007
10
2009
18
2009
33
2008
105
111

2005
50 (N/A)
2007
22 (10, 0, 12)
2007
278 (30, 42, 203)
2006
5 (8, N/A, N/A)
4 (N/A, 4, N/A)

2006
102 (N/A)
2008
21 (11, 0, 10)
2008
224 (30, 19, 174)
2007
9 (9, N/A, N/A)
5 (N/A, 5, N/A)

Willard DTC

2007
185
2006
70
N/A

2008
195
2007
73
N/A

2009
47
2008
81
N/A

2007
389 (10, 73, 91)
2006
14 (6, 4, 4)
N/A

2008
483 (12, 59, 225)
2007
15 (7, 3, 5)
N/A

2008
204 (105,25, 74)
77 (33, 13, 31)
2008
42 (29, 12,1)
2007
Males
141 (132, 9,
N/A)
Females
9 (5, 4, N/A)
2007
N/A
115 (N/A, N/A,
11)
212 (N/A, N/A,
24)
2009
15 (N/A, N/A,
21)
2007
4 (N/A)
2009
4 (3, 0, 1)
2009
35 (9, 5, 41)
2008
18 (18, N/A,
N/A)
10 (N/A, 10,
N/A)
2009
149 (4, 23, 59)
2008
16 (8, 5, 3)
N/A

Wyoming
ASAT
CASAT

2005
262
127

2006
331
114

2007
55
51

2005
43 (N/A)
8 (N/A)

2006
36(N/A)
7 (N/A)

2007
9 (N/A)
6 (N/A)

Lakeview
Shock

Shawangunk
Sing Sing
Taconic
ASAT
CASAT
Washington
Wende

2006
230
31
2006
710
2005
Males
1027
Females
147

Removals (by year)*

2008
160
100
2008
662
2007
Males
607
Females
141

2006
213 (81,17,115)
30 (17, 3, 10)
2006
65 (58,7,0)
2005
Males
117 (90,17, N/A)
Females
19 (17, 2, N/A)

2007
218 (100, 25, 93)
134 (67, 13, 54)
2007
49 (35, 14,0)
2006
Males
146(127, 19, N/A)
Females
25 (22, 3, N/A)

2007
N/A
189
392

2005
37 (N/A, N/A, 113)
105 (N/A, N/A, 12)
37 (N/A, N/A, 9)

2006
N/A
112 (N/A, N/A, 13
215 (N/A, N/A, 21)

* Removals are designated by: total number of removals (number of disciplinary removals, number of program
performance removals, number of administrative removals)

Removal rates for specialized programs, such as CASAT and DWI, were lower than those in the
ASAT and RSAT programs. The highest removal rates at a CASAT program were at Marcy
(34%) and Arthur Kill 2009 (17%), while the lowest were at Taconic (6%), Hale Creek (7%) and
Wyoming (7%). The DWI program at Gowanda had a 13% removal rate; the Albion DWI

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program had only a 3% removal rate. The staff-to-participant ratio was often lower in these
specialized programs, so that treatment participants may have received slightly more individual
attention. As discussed in Section 8, Treatment Programming and Materials, the increase in
individualized treatment and smaller group size allow treatment staff to work more closely and
effectively with participants who need more intensive treatment, accounting for the lower
removal numbers.
Examination of individual facility removals that were due to program performance or discipline
reveals another important pattern. We observed several programs with low numbers of overall
removals but a high percentage of removals due to disciplinary actions. For example, Hale
Creek CASAT (79% of removals were due to discipline), Lakeview Female (84%), Lakeview
Male (88%), Franklin (94%) and Taconic (100%) had the highest percentage of overall removals
on disciplinary grounds. At these facilities, an extremely low percentage of overall removals
resulted from poor program performance. This may indicate that treatment staff worked
effectively with program participants to assist them if they were struggling within the program
and that removals, when they did occur, resulted from disciplinary issues outside the treatment
program’s purview. Disciplinary removals represented the highest category of removals from
the facilities we visited, with the average percentage of individuals removed for disciplinary
reasons between 35 and 50%. Some specialty programs, however, had particularly low
disciplinary removals; for example, the Arthur Kill SNU ASAT rate was only 17%.
Wende had the highest percentage of program performance removals at 31% of all removals,
whereas Shawangunk (0%) and Franklin (6%) had the lowest. Program performance removals,
though significant, ranked after both disciplinary and administrative removals in terms of
frequency.
At facilities with high numbers of program performance removals, we saw lower program
satisfaction among participants, and inmates’ perception of treatment staff was lower. For
example, 29% of the treatment participants surveyed at Wende (the facility with the highest
percentage of program performance removals) reported that it was mostly or very true that the
treatment staff was sincere in wanting to help them, compared with 67% at Shawangunk, the
facility with the fewest program performance removals. Similarly, 33% of respondents from
Wende stated it was mostly or very true that they were satisfied with their treatment as opposed
to 61% from Shawangunk.
Administrative removals, though not related to behavior or performance, represent the second
most common reason for removal systemwide. They were the highest at Washington (65%) and
Mid-State ASAT (53%), as well as in the specialized programs at Arthur Kill SNU ASAT
(83%), Mid-State ICP ASAT (69%) and Taconic CASAT (100%).
Treatment is most effective when delivered in a manner that allows participants to engage and
build trust with staff and peers while they acquire the skills and attitudes that support a drug-free
lifestyle.192 This is especially critical in the TC model utilized by DOCS, where the community
itself is the therapy. Transfers and removals are disruptive to this process for the individual as
192

Fletcher and Chandler, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide.

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well as the rest of the community. Furthermore, a substantial body of research shows that
treatment of less than 90 days is ineffective, so these interruptions waste the inmates’ time and
the State’s rapidly dwindling resources.
11.6 STRATEGIES FOR RESPONDING TO POOR PROGRAM PERFORMANCE AND
NONCOMPLIANCE
The CA commends the DOCS treatment programs we visited that worked creatively and
collaboratively with participants to help them remain in the program, responding to
noncompliance with nonpunitive therapeutic interventions whenever appropriate.
Our concern in this area is threefold: (1) the lack of formal written policies and procedures in
some facilities regarding removals; (2) the extreme variations in removal processes among
facilities; and (3) the puzzlingly high rates of removals at some facilities.
The lack of formal policies and procedures can be addressed by sharing of “best practices”
within DOCS. Some facilities we visited have detailed removal processes in place that have
functioned well. If other facilities adopt these, it would reduce the stress on inmates and staff
resulting from ambiguity in procedures. Consistency among facilities would also allow inmates
who are transferred to familiarize themselves with, and settle into, new programs.
As for the high rates of removals, staff and management have access to many tools and strategies
that are strongly grounded in practice as well as research, many of them customized for criminal
justice settings. We urge DOCS to explore these and integrate them as appropriate into ASAT
policies, supported by training for staff and management. As discussed in Section 8, Treatment
Programming and Materials, most of the facilities we visited would benefit from a focused
effort in this area.
A primary strategy that is extensively used to increase retention in all settings is motivational
enhancement, an approach to treatment that helps participants resolve ambivalence about
recovery and treatment rather than punishing them for expressing mixed feelings.193 It can also
help them identify and cope with inmates’ self-defeating styles of relating to professional
helpers, which may be strongly entrenched in individuals who have cycled through the treatment
and justice systems many times—in other words, “learning how to be helped.”194
The Texas Institute for Behavioral Research at Texas Christian University has developed and
widely tested a program for motional enhancement in criminal justice settings.195 This
manualized program is in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. TCU has an extensive array of evidence-based,
193

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
194
White et al., “It’s time to stop kicking people out of addiction treatment.”
195
Bartholomew, Dansereau, and Simpson, “Getting motivated to change: A collection of materials for leading
motivation groups with substance abuse clients in criminal justice setting.”

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practice-tested materials available for all phases of treatment, much of it customized for criminal
justice settings and all of it available for download and use at no charge (http://www.ibr.tcu.edu).
To reduce removals on both “performance” and disciplinary grounds, the Center for Substance
Abuse Treatment (CSAT) strongly recommends an emphasis on relapse prevention programming
that is matched to inmate needs: those with higher-severity substance abuse, who may be at risk
of acting out or violating program rules, should be placed in more intensive, highly structured
relapse prevention programming, with individual counseling and small-group work.196
Other strategies for reducing removals include:
a. Increase inmate participation in setting treatment goals and treatment planning.
b. Increase options for treatment matching, even if only internally, such as with higherintensity groups.
c. Review assessment and treatment planning processes to maximize their accuracy and
thus their utility to treatment.
d. Minimize “rules” that can set up unnecessary and unproductive conflicts, shifting the
focus from control as much as possible, given the limitations of the prison setting.
e. Increase emphasis on peer guidance, such as matching senior inmates with
newcomers to help familiarize them with culture and unspoken rules—shifting to “it
has been our experience that…” from “thou shalt not.”
f. Continue to assess changes in clinical status on an ongoing basis, rather than
relegating assessment to intake only, promoting early intervention before relapse or
other acting-out.
g. Use medication-assisted therapy when appropriate to address cravings and impulses
that can lead to relapse.
h. Increase clinical supervision to help treatment staff avoid burnout and cope with
countertransference—the counselor’s emotional reaction to the participant, which can
be affected by the counselor’s own recovery process or family history.
Many more are available from both clinicians and researchers. The systems and tools provided
by the Texas Institute of Behavioral Research at TCU are especially well regarded and often
recommended.
The feature shared by these tools is that they are all actions to be taken by the program in
collaboration with the participant. They allow the community to do its work as the core of the
treatment, so participants develop genuine interpersonal, pro-social skills that will serve them
well after completing treatment, both in the facility and after release.
The unfortunate truth is that the most challenging treatment participants are often those who
most need the treatment in order to build a drug-free lifestyle. Programs best serve public health
and public safety when they provide this population with effective treatment, with the requisite
demands for high levels of skill, nuanced treatment strategies, and great patience on the part of
the facility and the system.

196

Gorski and Kelley, Counselor's Manual for Relapse Prevention with Chemically Dependent Criminal Offenders.

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12. DRUG USE AND TESTING IN DOCS
FACILITIES
FINDINGS
The frequency of positive tests for illicit substances varies significantly among the DOCS
facilities we visited.
Inmates who test positive for illicit substances are frequently sent to the Special Housing
Unit (SHU), where little to no substance abuse treatment is offered.

DISCUSSION
12.1 INTRODUCTION
Drug possession, use, and trade in correctional facilities pose both safety and health risks. Sale
of drugs inside a prison may have a range of negative consequences, including strengthening
prison gangs and increasing both inmate-on-inmate violence and inmate-on-staff assaults.197
Furthermore, drug use inside prisons can pose a serious risk to the health of the drug user and
increase the risk of transmitting infections such as HIV and hepatitis C.198
Correctional facilities across the country have devised a variety of drug-use-reduction strategies,
some of which have proven extremely effective. For example, from 1995 to 1998, Pennsylvania
implemented a strategy that resulted in a 41% reduction in drug finds, a 57% decrease in inmateon-staff assault, and a 70% decrease in inmate-on-inmate violence.199 Central to these strategies
is drug testing such as random urinalysis. Throughout this project, we asked executive and
treatment staff, as well as inmates, about their perceptions of drug use inside the facilities; DOCS
drug-testing policies and procedures; and the impact of drug use on prison life.
12.2 DRUG USE AND POSSESSION WITHIN DOCS
Table 12-1 shows misbehavior reports issued in 2008 for drug use and possession in the DOCS
facilities we visited. These data were provided by the DOCS Central Office in response to a CA
request under the State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). To facilitate comparison among
facilities with differing populations, we calculated a rated number of disciplinary actions per 100
inmates. The information reveals significant variations in terms of misbehavior reports issued
for drug use and possession from facility to facility. Some maximum-security facilities, such as
Five Points, Sing Sing and Wende, had higher rates of both use and possession, while other
maximum-security facilities, such as Green Haven and Eastern, showed lower rates.
Shawangunk, another maximum-security facility, had low rates of drug possession, but some of

197

Prendergast et al., “Reducing Substance Use in Prison,” 84; 265.
Strang et al., “Persistence of drug use during imprisonment.”
199
Prendergast et al., “Reducing Substance Use in Prison,” 84; 265.
198

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Table 12-1: Disciplinary Actions for Drug Possession and Use by Facility, 2008*
Prison
(total population at
time of visit)

Drug Possession
Reports

Rate of Drug
Possession (per
100 inmates)

Drug Use
Reports

Rate of Drug
Use (per 100
inmates)

Albion (1052)

4

0.41

1

0.10

Arthur Kill (964)

10

1.04

39

4.06

Bare Hill (1691)

14

0.84

51

3.06

Cayuga (1015)

6

0.71

9

1.06

Eastern (1009)

19

1.90

46

4.60

Five Points (1386)

36

2.63

87

6.36

Franklin

9

0.54

26

1.55

Gouverneur (1012)

4

0.48

30

3.57

Gowanda (1625)

15

0.89

17

1.01

Green Haven (2139)

27

1.32

48

2.34

Greene (1754)

22

1.46

22

1.46

Hale Creek (459)

0

0

2

0.43

Lakeview Shock (496)

0

0

0

0

Marcy (1093)

24

2.16

36

3.24

Mid-State (1434)

9

0.70

20

1.56

Oneida (1173)

19

1.72

31

2.81

Shawangunk (547)

3

0.56

70

12.96

Sing Sing (1730)

36

2.03

142

8.00

Taconic (320)

0

0

1

0.30

Washington (868)

9

0.97

23

2.48

Wende (914)

20

2.27

84

9.51

Willard DTC

0

0

1

0.13

Wyoming (1684)

21

1.26

135

8.09

* Data relates to the time of the CA visit

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the highest rates of drug use. Similar trends were seen in the medium-security facilities, with
Wyoming at the highest end of drug use and Gowanda at the lowest. Dedicated treatment
facilities, such as Lakeview Shock, Willard DTC and Hale Creek, had low numbers of both drug
use and possession. It is unclear whether these data indicate low levels of drug use/possession in
the facility or low levels of detection and enforcement.
As discussed in detail in Section 3.3.1 on project methodology, the CA surveyed inmates not
currently in treatment as well as those in treatment. Only the nontreatment surveys asked about
drug use and trafficking by inmates at the prison and whether this activity was a significant
source of violence there. The use of contraband drugs by individuals was common, according to
our survey results and inmate impressions, with 42% of individuals from all facilities stating that
contraband drug use was very common and 31% reporting it as somewhat common. Only 14% of
inmates said drug use in their prison was very rare or did not happen at all. According to our
survey, drug use was most common at Eastern, Green Haven, Marcy, Sing Sing, and Wende.
Sing Sing had the highest perceived drug use, with 73% of individuals reporting it as very
common. Chart 12-1 illustrates survey responses for this question from all facilities,
distinguishing between survey respondents who reported contraband drug use as very common
and those who reported it as very rare.
Chart 12-1 Contraband Drug Use (Non-program Survey Q71)

Percentage of Very Common and Very Rare Responses

80%

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

A
rt
hu
rK
A
rt
ill
hu
rK
ill
II
B
ar
e
H
ill
C
ay
ug
a
Ea
st
er
Fi
n
ve
Po
in
ts
Fr
an
kl
G
ou
in
ve
rn
eu
G
r
ow
an
G
re
da
en
H
av
en
G
re
en
e
M
ar
cy
M
id
-S
ta
te
O
ne
Sh
aw ida
an
gu
nk
Si
ng
Si
ng
Ta
co
W
ni
as
c
hi
ng
to
n
W
en
de
W
yo
m
in
g

0%

Visited Prisons

Percent Very Common

Percent Very Rare

We are concerned that a facility such as Eastern, which had relatively few misbehavior reports
for drug use or possession, had a high number of inmates (65%) reporting drug use as very
common. Similarly, inmates did not view drug use as a serious problem at Shawangunk (29%),

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but this facility had the highest reported rate of infractions for drug use among all the facilities
system-wide.
Though these data are based on inmate perceptions of drug use and do not translate into an
objective standard, they do indicate that at many facilities, misbehavior reports for drug use or
possession, as well as staff impressions, may not always accurately represent actual prison drug
use. There is not a clear correlation between inmate perception of drug use inside correctional
facilities and the disciplinary data as provided by the Department.
The survey also asked inmates for their perceptions of how much, if at all, staff were involved in
drug trafficking. Twelve percent of respondents reported that staff were involved a lot in
trafficking in their prison, and 15% thought staff were involved somewhat. Even though over
half (52%) of respondents thought staff were not at all involved, we are concerned that staff
involvement in drug possession and sales appears to be a serious problem in some facilities.
Surveys from Green Haven, Marcy, and Sing Sing reported the highest numbers for staff
involvement. In these facilities, inmates perceived staff as involved a lot or somewhat in drug
trafficking (50%, 36%, and 55%, respectively).
Correctional officials and inmates agree that drug use and sale in correctional facilities can result
in higher levels of violence for inmates and staff. Seventeen percent of inmates we surveyed
believed drugs contributed a lot to violence, and 23% said they contributed somewhat. The
remaining 60% said they contributed a little or not at all. The ratios differed slightly among
facilities, with more individuals from Green Haven, Marcy, and Sing Sing noting that drugs
contributed a lot to violence (31, 39 and 28%, respectively). Sing Sing stood out, with only 36%
of respondents believing that drugs contributed very little or not at all to violence (compared
with the DOCS-wide average of 60%). If individuals entering prison are accurately identified
with current or recent substance abuse and appropriately treated, the treatment and management
of substance users in prisons could be strengthened and safety risks greatly reduced.200
12.3 DOCS DIRECTIVE ON DRUG TESTING
DOCS Directive 4937 on “Urinalysis Testing” outlines the drug testing procedures for all
facilities. It lists nine situations when an inmate should be tested, although correctional staff
emphasized only a few of these situations in our meetings with them. Most staff commented that
urine tests are done either when an inmate’s name comes up in a randomly generated list from
Central Office, or when an inmate is suspected for some reason of using drugs.
According to the directive, there are three main types of testing: routine, suspicion, and random.
Routine testing procedures are applied in special situations, such as when inmates return from
family reunion programs or work release in the community. Suspicion-based testing can be
provoked by several conditions, including: (1) the inmate is alleged to have been involved in a
case of violent misconduct; (2) the inmate is found to be in possession of suspected illicit
substances or associated paraphernalia; (3) the inmate is alleged to be under the influence of an
illicit substance; or (4) the inmate is observed to be in possession of illegal substances and
correctional staff are unable to obtain a sample of the suspected illegal substance. Random
200

Strang et al., “Persistence of drug use during imprisonment.”

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urinalysis occurs regularly, and is done as part of one of three actions: (1) a random facilitywide
test; (2) a random test for inmates who have tested positive at some time during the previous two
years; or (3) a random test for an identifiable program area, unit of the facility, or “identifiable
group of inmates.” These types of tests can be initiated by a watch commander or higher
authority, but “shall not be used for the purpose of harassing or intimidating any inmate.”201
In practice, drug testing appears to differ widely across facilities, with some facilities suggesting
they use random testing much less than others. Most individuals (69%) we surveyed had
undergone at least one drug screening during their current sentence, and 50% had undergone
more than one screening. Of those who were screened, more than three-quarters (79%) tested
negative. Of those who tested positive, 13% tested positive once, and 8% tested positive more
than once. Only 41% of all tests, regardless of the results, were random, which correlates with
staff reports from many facilities that they emphasize suspicion-based testing more than random
testing.
Chart 12-2 illustrates the variations among facilities with regard to drug testing. It is clear that
at some facilities, a considerable number of individuals have never been tested for drug use.
Chart 12-2 Individuals Never Tested for Drug Use (Non-program Survey Q27)
60%

Perecentage of Never Responses

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

A
rt
hu
rK
A
rt
ill
hu
rK
ill
II
B
ar
e
H
ill
C
ay
ug
a
Ea
st
er
Fi
n
ve
Po
in
ts
Fr
an
kl
G
ou
in
ve
rn
eu
G
r
ow
an
G
re
da
en
H
av
en
G
re
en
e
M
ar
cy
M
id
-S
ta
te
O
n
Sh
e
aw ida
an
gu
nk
Si
ng
Si
ng
Ta
co
W
ni
as
c
hi
ng
to
n
W
en
de
W
yo
m
in
g

0%

Visited Prisons

Never had urine screen

All facilities responded harshly to positive test results, almost always resulting in a SHU
sentence. 202 According to our surveys, 87% of individuals with a positive urine test were
201
202

State of New York Department of Correctional Services, “Urinalysis Testing (Directive 4937),” 1.
SHU or Special Housing Units are areas for disciplinary confinement and consist of 23 hours of lockdown.

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disciplined, and 86% received an SHU sentence. Of the individuals disciplined for drugs or
alcohol, about half (54%) of them were disciplined only once, 23% were disciplined twice and
23% had been disciplined three or more times. The last segment of the population is of greatest
concern.
12.4 IMPACT OF SHU SENTENCES FOR DRUG USE AND POSSESSION
The CA understands the impact drug use has on prison safety for inmates and staff, and the need
for a disciplinary response. We are
“I’ve been incarcerated in NYS DOCS since 1998
concerned, however, that inmates with
and I’ve been dealing with a marijuana addiction
the most severe substance abuse—and
for the duration of my incarceration. Just
thus most in need of treatment—are
recently I was given 12 months SHU, 24 months
apt to acquire multiple SHU sentences,
loss of good time and a host of other penalties for
where they cannot obtain treatment for
testing positive for marijuana use. This is my 11th
that disorder. According to our
such drug conviction. I’ve done almost my entire
survey, over 72% of individuals sent
prison sentence in SHU and keeplock due to my
to the SHU for drug use remained
struggle with this addiction. With all due respect,
there for three months or longer. The
if the last ten disciplinary sanctions didn’t help
median SHU sentence for this
me to kick the habit, then I obviously need some
population is five months. Only 14%
type of treatment and I should be given such
of individuals in the SHU for drug use
treatment.”
or possession received any kind of
substance abuse treatment during their
Anonymous Inmate (Orleans, C.F.)
SHU sentence, though 70% of these
individuals had been in substance
abuse treatment programs at other facilities during their incarceration. Research shows that
individuals with the greatest severity of substance abuse also have the greatest motivation.203
The SHU, then, presents an excellent opportunity to provide effective treatment and enhance the
safety of all in the facility. At a minimum, they should be offered the SHU Pre-Treatment
Workbook while serving their SHU sentence.
Finally, we are concerned that treatment program participants who test positive for drug use are
almost always removed from the program and not immediately returned to the program once
their disciplinary sanction is completed. As mentioned in Section 11, Treatment Program
Completions and Removals, a cardinal DOCS rule mandates that any inmate with a SHU
sentence of 30 days or more is to be removed from his/her treatment program. Based on our
survey, only 3.4% of individuals with positive urine samples receive fewer than four weeks in
the SHU. This would imply that the vast majority of people sent to SHU (~95%) for a positive
drug test are subsequently removed from their substance abuse treatment program. While we
understand that drug use in prison is a serious issue and often requires some type of disciplinary
action, this exclusive reliance on a punitive strategy is counterproductive. We recommend that
DOCS explores alternative policies for this population, including reducing the duration of the
disciplinary sanction for inmates who test positive for drugs and then prioritizing those inmates
for intensive treatment as soon as they are released from the SHU.
203

Hiller et al., “Problem Severity and Motivation for Treatment in Incarcerated Substance Abusers,” 28-41.

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Human Rights Watch released a report entitled Barred from Treatment: Punishment of Drug
Users in New York State Prisons in March 2009.204 This report argues against a punitive
response for substance users that includes the denial of treatment for individuals found to have
used drugs in prisons. One key recommendation of the report is the use of medication-assisted
therapy for individuals with opioid dependence. Studies have shown that individuals with opioid
dependence have a significantly more challenging time remaining abstinent in prison if not
provided appropriate and effective treatment. It is our view that the evidence-based medicationassisted therapy could not only provide the necessary treatment to a population in considerable
need, but could also simultaneously contribute to a decrease in drug trafficking and increase in
prison safety. We are encouraged that OASAS has included a recommendation in its December
2009 DOCS Addiction Services Report to explore the use of medication-assisted therapy in
DOCS treatment programs, and we urge DOCS to collaborate with OASAS on a pilot project in
2010–2011 fiscal year.

204

Human Rights Watch, “Barred from Treatment.”

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13. CLINICAL CASE RECORDS
FINDINGS
Forms utilized by CASAT programs gathered and presented more comprehensive
information than those used by ASAT programs.
DOCS forms and procedures as found in the ASAT Manual do not encourage collaboration
between inmate and counselor in the development of critical treatment elements such as
treatment and discharge plans.
DOCS case files did not include information that was collected from the substance abuse
screening instruments at reception. This information is important because based on these
instruments, the inmate was designated as “needing substance abuse treatment.”
Clinical records were often not individualized and did not present a holistic or
comprehensive view of the individual, his/her experiences or history.
No clear process exists for clinical supervisors to regularly review and ensure the quality
and content of treatment records.

DISCUSSION
13.1 INTRODUCTION
Timely, clear, complete clinical records are critical to every type and dimension of health care
treatment, from the dentist’s office to open-heart surgery to psychodynamic therapy. Sound
record-keeping policies and practices perform critical functions that cannot be addressed any
other way, so they are indispensable to effective treatment.
The primary function of case records in substance abuse treatment is to support provision of the
highest quality of care in several ways. First, documentation is critical to continuity of care
within the prison system, such as prisons and jails, especially in settings that are often
understaffed, have high staff turnover or treat transient populations. Documentation provides an
excellent source for supervision as well as feedback from peers. Sound clinical records can also
provide invaluable insight and supporting material to community-based aftercare providers who
will serve inmates after their release to the community.205
Clinical documentation serves additional purposes from the perspective of management and
administration. Case files and other records can provide critical back-up and detailed
information for reviews related to licensing, accountability and risk management. For directservice staff and supervisors, clinical records are a way to document job performance and
compliance with credentialing requirements. Well-maintained records can provide data for
205

Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice. Technical
Assistance Publication (TAP) Series 21. 2008.

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important research and help facility and agency management make a case for increased
resources.206
Just as important for today’s substance abuse counselors, case files can serve as a guide through
the treatment process. The field of substance abuse treatment is advancing every day as new
scientific findings are tested and transformed into clinical practice. Counselors are continually
urged to use evidence-based practices about which they receive little or no training. They can
use curricula to do this in the group setting, and need similar support and guidance when
working with individual treatment participants, not just in individual counseling sessions but in
the planning and review that happens between sessions. The case file can help provide guidance
for those processes, encouraging consistency and quality.207 Treatment records thus ensure that
individuals engaged in treatment are receiving appropriate, quality and adequate care.208
The CA reviewed 78 treatment records from 14 DOCS correctional facilities, using an
instrument that drew on a review of the scholarly literature in the area and input from clinicians
and experts such as the Project’s Advisory Committee. We also sought to identify standards for
record keeping that are utilized by other jurisdictions and by community-based treatment
providers.
Each DOCS facility creates its own forms and record-keeping system, usually using or adapting
those in the ASAT Program Operations Manual. Thus, a major aim of our review was to identify
best practices that could be shared around the DOCS system. We also sought to determine
whether the records we obtained complied with the standards set by DOCS, both in terms of the
forms that were used by individual facilities and how they were maintained by staff.
Although this report notes some differences among facilities, we were unable to conduct a
comprehensive comparison of facility records, given the limited number of records we received
from each facility. As detailed in this report, inconsistency was a dominant theme in the CA’s
review of DOCS substance abuse treatment. Improving clinical case records holds great promise
as a powerful tool to address this deficiency.
13.2 STANDARDS AND PRACTICES
The key to useful case records is connection: each component relates to all the others, telling the
same story from different perspectives at different points in time.209 The “arc” of treatment
starts before admission, with screening and assessment. Data collected during assessment
provide the foundation for treatment planning. Movement toward the goals and objectives set
out in the treatment plan is documented and assessed in progress notes. Refinement and
adjustment of the treatment plan, documented in reviews and updates, reflect needs and strengths
that emerge as the treatment process unfolds. Services are documented, as well as the client’s

206

Yates, “Measuring and improving cost, cost-effectiveness, and cost-benefit for substance abuse treatment
programs.”
207
Dansereau, Joe, and Simpson, “Node-link mapping.”
208
Harris et al., “Are Clinical Records Really That Important?.”
209
Baird, The Internship, Practicum, and Field Placement Handbook.

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response to services and staff impressions and insight. Throughout the process, starting at
admission, all this information is considered in the development of a final discharge plan.
These principles are reflected in the standards that have been set by several highly regarded
sources. A guide to addiction counseling competencies from the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
(U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), devotes an entire section to the knowledge,
skills and attitudes that contribute to effective client record management.210 For its work in
accrediting health care providers, JCAHO, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations, has developed its own standards for clinical records in behavioral health care.211
As in most states, treatment providers licensed by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) must meet detailed, comprehensive requirements regarding
case records.212
All these regulations and guidelines have several common threads to identify quality. These
became the foundation of our record review—case records must be complete, legible, timely,
accurate and authenticated (clearly signed/initialed). Data for treatment records should be
gathered using questions that are appropriate for the patient and sensitive to his/her age,
developmental level, culture, gender and communication needs. All sources we consulted
emphasized that case records must be organized in a manner that facilitates access and review.
They should be continually monitored and audited, both to maintain the quality of the records
over time and to identify situations that require increased supervision or other interventions.
13.3 DOCS FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS
The DOCS Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) Program Operations Manual sets
out standards for case files and include some forms. Although it is not specified in the ASAT
Manual, our review of treatment records seemed to suggest that each facility is free to create its
own forms. This would comport with the DOCS policy that facilities are free to “define the
primary and, if available, secondary treatment strategy in operation at the facility.”213 In fact,
some non-ASAT programs utilized ASAT forms.
There appeared to be wide inconsistency in the forms used by facilities and the manner in which
they were used, with most forms in treatment records being specific to certain programs such as
ASAT. Although differentiation is helpful, and even necessary in some areas (e.g., program
rules and regulations), many forms would benefit from standardization. This is especially true
with respect to the intake form used for initial assessment for the treatment program, which is
one of the forms that varied most among programs and facilities.

210

Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice. Technical
Assistance Publication (TAP) Series 21. 2008.
211
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Behavioral Health Care Accreditation
Program, 2009 Chapter: Record of Care, Treatment, and Services.
212
OASAS, “Operating Regulations Part 819.5.”
213
State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual, 6.

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13.3.1 Intake (Assessment)
Assessment is “an ongoing process through which the counselor collaborates with the client and
others to gather and interpret information necessary for planning treatment and evaluating client
progress.”214 The goal of assessment is to determine the nature and extent of an individual’s
drug problems, establish whether problems exist in other areas that may affect recovery and
enable the formulation of an appropriate treatment plan.215
The data collected for assessment typically include basic demographic information such as name,
date of birth, sex and preferred language. Assessment should also address physical and mental
health, cognitive and behavioral functioning, educational and vocational status and history,
spirituality, legal history, housing and parenting. A detailed history of substance use should
include: current level of use; type of substance(s) used; quantity, frequency and duration of use
of each; age at first use for each; difficulties related to health, mental health, legal issues, and
social interactions resulting from substance use, as well as the impact of these difficulties; and
substance-related treatment history, including outcomes and duration of periods of abstinence.216
The professional conducting the assessment should include his or her impressions of the client’s
mental status and readiness for treatment, among other factors.217
In the DOCS records we reviewed, assessment on admission to treatment was conducted using
the form “ASAT Intake.” DOCS does not provide treatment staff with copies of the screening
that was administered when the inmate entered the DOCS system and which led to the
designation as “in need of substance abuse treatment.” This initial treatment assessment
document could be very helpful to treatment program staff. The ASAT Manual specifically
states that staff “should not spend excessive time in screening activities.” Providing the
screening information from reception would help them achieve that goal. See Section 5,
Screening, Assessment, and Designation as In Need of Treatment, for a complete discussion
of DOCS screening and assessment practices.
No intake forms in the treatment records we reviewed provided basic demographic information
such as date of birth, age, gender, race, ethnicity or marital status. Although DOCS retains much
of this information electronically, it was not clear whether this data is available to staff who
utilize the case file to guide and document treatment.
The intake forms in DOCS treatment records present background information through short
(often one sentence or one word) responses to open- and closed-ended questions. Although these
forms ask about the inmate’s reported medical problems and mental health history, they do not
record any relevant medical care, psychiatric diagnosis, mental health treatment, or family
214

Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice. Technical
Assistance Publication (TAP) Series 21. 2008.
215
Fletcher and Chandler, Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based
Guide.
216
Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice. Technical
Assistance Publication (TAP) Series 21. 2008.
217
Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.

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medical history. Furthermore, the forms ask about criminal history, but not legal history;
educational history, but not current educational or vocational activities; and family relationships,
but not personal ones. Finally, some intake forms, such as the CASAT intake form, provide a
specific and structured format to capture information about each family member’s alcohol and
drug use history. The ASAT form, however, merely provides a blank space to note “family drug
history,” often resulting in vague or incomplete responses (e.g., the name of a family member
without the corresponding history of substance abuse).
Most of the intake forms we observed are generally not structured in a way that is conducive to
gathering comprehensive and clear information. The ASAT intake form, for example, asks “Has
the person been sober/drug free and experienced relapse, or has person never attained recovery?”
followed by a blank space. A clear understanding of the information that is sought here could be
helpful to treatment staff. However, if read literally, the question asks for a “yes” or “no”
answer. There is no prompt for details about the duration and dates of any periods of
relapse/abstinence (see Example 13-1). Common responses to this question included “Yes,”
“Relapse,” “Has been sober for X years” or simply a date. Consequently, the information
provided by treatment staff about past substance abuse programs was often vague or incomplete.
The same form provides a spot for “primary drug” (followed by a blank line) and “secondary
drug.” Two items down is a line for “reported frequency and quantity of drug used during
highest drug use period” without differentiating between primary and secondary substances. The
form does not solicit information about the duration of drug use—while it asks for age of onset,
it does not ask for date of last use (see Example 13-2). Most often, staff entered “daily” or “a
couple of times a month,” with several writing in a dollar amount.
Example 13-1 ASAT question regarding relapse/abstinence and past treatment
- Has person been sober/drug free and experienced relapse, or has person never attained recovery?
________________________________________________
Example 13-2 ASAT question regarding frequency and quantity of drug use
- Reported frequency and quantity of drug use during highest drug period:
________________________________________________

More important, where the form does include appropriate prompts, such as the question
regarding current relationships with family members, most responses did not adequately provide
the requested information. Instead, they listed only a family relationship (e.g., “brother”) or
relationship qualifier (e.g., “better now”), neither of which is useful in understanding current and
potential support systems (see Examples 13-3 and 13-4).
Intake forms that specifically request information about family relationships include more
comprehensive information. For example, some intake forms at Gouverneur Correctional
Facility prompt counselors to check “good,” “bad,” or “deceased,” to describe relationships with
mother, father, brothers and sisters.
Example 13-3 Standard ASAT question regarding family member relationships
- Current family relationships (parents, siblings, significant others, children):
________________________________________________

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Example 13-4 Gouverneur C.F. question regarding family member relationships
- What is your current relationship with your parents, brothers, and sisters?
Mother
__Good
__Bad
__Deceased
Father
__Good
__Bad
__Deceased
Brothers
__Good
__Bad
__Deceased
Sisters
__Good
__Bad
__Deceased

This same pattern is apparent with respect to questions about treatment history. The ASAT
form, for example, asks for treatment history (see Example 13-5) in very general and
unstructured terms (i.e., as an open-ended prompt that provided a single blank line for a
response). Perhaps as a result, many answers to this question were vague (e.g., “yes” or
“ASAT”), providing no further information about prior treatment episodes such as date(s),
duration, modality and outcome.
In contrast, the CASAT intake form specifically asks the evaluator to mark, check, or fill in the
answers to a series of structured questions about treatment history that inquire about and
differentiate between treatment episodes prior to and during incarceration, the treatment modality
for each, duration of treatment, and outcome of each episode (e.g., treatment complete)
(Example 13-6).
In general, the CASAT treatment records provide much more comprehensive information about
treatment history. This suggests that the commonly used ASAT intake form could generate more
helpful information if it were structured differently, and that current staff members have not been
trained to use the ASAT forms.
Example 13-5 ASAT question regarding substance abuse treatment history
- Reported substance abuse treatment history (A.S.A.T., Inpatient, Outpatient, Methadone, etc.):
________________________________________________
Example 13-6 CASAT question regarding substance abuse treatment history
Prior to this incarceration
While incarcerated (this offense)
TYPE
MONTHS
TYPE
MONTHS
Outpatient ________
Residential ASAT
________
Residential ________
Non Residential
________
AA/NA
________
AA/NA
________
_________ ________
_____________
________
(other)
(other)

Completed
□ yes □ no
□ yes □ no
□ yes □ no
□ yes □ no
□ yes □ no

13.3.2 Treatment Plan
Treatment planning creates a road map for the client’s recovery that flows directly from the
assessment. As with most other clinical documents, there are many different formats for
treatment plans. Standard practice calls for treatment goals and objectives to be agreed upon,
realistic, explicit, measurable and individualized.218 The ASAT Manual provides a form titled
“ASAT Treatment Plan Initial Planning Session” and states that “program staff are responsible
for . . . providing each participant with an individualized treatment plan and periodic evaluation
218

Wiger, The Clinical Documentation Sourcebook.

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of strengths and weaknesses in achieving program goals and objectives.”219 It is important to
note that effective treatment planning is widely considered to require collaboration between the
counselor and client.220 The directions provided in the ASAT Manual for treatment planning
quoted above, however, do not encourage this collaboration; neither do the initial treatment plan
form or the treatment plan update form.
The treatment plan forms (both the initial and the update) omit critical information. The most
commonly used treatment plan form, designed for ASAT initial planning sessions, requires the
identification of short- and long-term goals, but does not explicitly ask for clear, measurable
criteria pertaining to the goals or a specified timeline for monitoring and evaluating progress
towards goals.
The ASAT program is structured around nine competencies that inmates are required to master
in order to graduate from the program. The initial planning session form includes a numerical
scale for staff to assess inmate understanding and skills in each competency area. However, it
does not provide a space for the staff to explain the scores or how they were derived.
Individualization is widely regarded as indispensable to effective treatment planning. The
format described above, however, encourages use of generic and generalizable goals (e.g.,
“maintain abstinence”). It does not encourage the evaluator to refer back to the initial
assessment, which would support defining goals appropriate for the individual.
In fact, at some facilities, such as Arthur Kill and Taconic, three of the four comments sections
referring to short-term and long-term goals had clearly been completed in advance, with
standardized responses, and the forms photocopied. For example, every participant was
provided with the goals “learn and abide by all ASAT group and facility rules” and “learn how
chemical dependency affects all areas of life.” “Complete ASAT” was also commonly entered
as a goal or an “agreed-upon means to achieve” a goal, despite the fact that “attending,”
“completing” or “participating” in a program are widely considered unacceptable “goals” for
attending, completing or participating in the program.
Examples of short-term goals in the records we reviewed included: “Accomplish GED,” “Work
on open communication in group” or “Work on managing self-anger feelings.” Long-term goals
included: “Make amends with family,” “Establish a sober support network” or “Increase
spirituality.” Staff could likely benefit from training in formulating appropriate goals and
objectives. The initial treatment plan form also includes a question about the “agreed upon
means to achieve short and long term goals” followed by three lines to be completed by staff.
Responses to this question were often vague and rarely individualized (e.g., “participate in
ASAT sessions” or “Journal”).

219

State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual.
220
Zuckerman, E. Clinician's Thesaurus, 6th Edition: The Guide to Conducting Interviews and Writing
Psychological Reports. Sixth Edition. The Guilford Press, 2005.

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Staff should be prompted to note throughout the record, where applicable, other prison programs
and services in which the treatment participant is enrolled (e.g., educational and vocational
programs). Although substance abuse treatment staff are not responsible for identifying or
operating these programs, noting the individual’s participation results in more holistic and
comprehensive recordkeeping.

13.3.3 Treatment Plan Updates
Treatment plans should be regularly assessed and adjusted as needed to ensure that goals and
objectives remain practical and relevant to the individual’s shifting conditions during treatment.
The ASAT Manual calls for two forms of update and evaluation. It provides that “the treatment
plan will be updated after two months with subsequent updates if necessary using the Update of
Initial Treatment Plan” form. 221 This requirement provides inadequate guidance to staff about
when an update is “necessary” and results in considerable variation. Also included is a form
titled “Monthly Evaluation by ASAT Staff Member.”
The treatment plan update forms do not require the documentation or identification of specific
skills that the inmate has acquired, although the first item of the form asks for a description of
“participant progress in addressing ASAT program competency areas.” The CASAT treatment
plan update form specifically requests a review of short-term and long-term goals and provides
separate opportunities for redefining both. The ASAT form, however, requires evaluation of the
individual’s progress in achieving only short-term goals, not long-term ones, and conversely
provides an opportunity to revise only long-term goals, not short-term ones (Examples 13-7 and
13-8). Staff members may evaluate long-term goals as well, but the language in the prompt
suggests it is not necessary. Perhaps as a result, in many of the records we reviewed this area
was left blank or filled with “N/A.”
Furthermore, questions on the treatment plan update forms regarding goal revisions or
redefinitions do not require that they be expressed in measurable behavioral terms that clearly
communicate what is expected of the inmate, nor do the forms include clear evaluation criteria
and a specified timeline for monitoring/evaluating progress towards these goals. Instead,
responses were commonly vague, such as “maintain long-term recovery plan” (without defining
such a plan or referencing a previously stated one), “continue to work towards goals” or
“complete competencies.”
Finally, the treatment plan update form appears to serve as the only documentation of updates or
adjustments to treatment plans, which is not sufficient to document any revisions that may be
needed over time. Short-term goals, in particular, may change over several months (adjusted,
deleted or added), yet there is no additional place to indicate and explain changes. The ASAT
Program Operations Manual states that all treatment plans are to be updated two months after the
221

“The treatment plan will be updated after two months with subsequent updates if necessary using the Update of
Initial Treatment Plan.” (State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Treatment (ASAT) Program Operations Manual, 29.).

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completion of the initial treatment plan if necessary, but some treatment records did not meet
even this minimum requirement. Alternatively, a few records included more than one update,
exceeding the expected standard.

Example 13-7 CASAT treatment plan update questions
- Review of former short-term goals:
________________________________________________
- Review of former long-term goals:
________________________________________________
- Redefinition of problem areas:
________________________________________________
- Redefinition of short-term goals:
________________________________________________
- Redefinition of long-term goals:
________________________________________________
- New procedure:
________________________________________________

Example 13-8 ASAT treatment plan update questions
- Staff feedback and comments regarding participant progress in addressing A.S.A.T. program
competency areas:
________________________________________________
- Evaluate participant progress in achieving short-term goals:
________________________________________________
- Evaluate and revise, if necessary, long-term goals:
________________________________________________
- Define participant’s strengths and weakness in addressing program goals:
________________________________________________
- If necessary, list and define program expectations and participant responsibilities:
________________________________________________
- Agreed-upon new procedure:
________________________________________________

13.3.4 Monthly Evaluations
Monthly evaluations present an opportunity to evaluate treatment progress using the same
indicators each month. These forms were fairly consistent in format among facilities and were
by far the most common form found in the files.
In our review, however, we found that these forms provide little information about how the
individual was faring in treatment. It was unclear, for example, whether the monthly evaluations
are intended to measure progress solely in that particular month, or to be cumulative. Many of
the scores remained identical from month to month and were rarely accompanied by written
comments to contextualize their interpretation. These scores also failed to give a sense of what
the inmate had accomplished or needed to improve. When an area of weakness was identified by

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a low rating, it was rarely addressed or expanded on in the comments section or elsewhere on the
form.
We recommend, therefore, that the forms be revised so that staff comments accompany
checkmarks for each indicator—for example, by creating a space next to each indicator with
instructions to provide an example of the behavior that prompted the rating and to specify how
the inmate can improve in that area, especially in areas with low scores.
Additionally, we were surprised that competency levels were estimated during the initial
treatment planning session but not again until time of discharge. With the exception of Wende,
the items measured in the monthly evaluation were completely different from the competencies
rated at intake. (Example 13-9 and 13-10) (They were also different from the items rated on
other forms in the ASAT Manual, evaluations by “dorm officer/work supervisor” and “academic
teacher/vocational instructor,” which were not included in the case files we reviewed.) This
illustrates that monthly evaluations and progress notes are often completely disconnected from
each other, the individual’s needs and strengths, the evaluation criteria used at intake (the
competencies) and treatment planning. Furthermore, the ratings for the treatment planning
session are on a five-point scale, while the ASAT Manual and the discharge form contains a
seven-point scale, making it difficult to compare progress at these different points.
Using the monthly evaluations to measure progress in the nine competencies would provide
consistency throughout treatment and help monitor progress between intake and discharge.
Adding the competencies to the monthly evaluation form, however, would require significant
review and staff training; although Wende’s monthly evaluation form includes an additional
column for competencies, entries were often incomplete or unclear about how individuals were
evaluated or what the scores meant.
The comments section at the bottom of the monthly evaluation form does not explicitly require
that notes relate directly to the inmate’s treatment plan, which would help ensure that comments
were more specific, individualized and integrated. Consequently, many staff comments in this
space were limited to “doing OK” and similar nonspecific comments or assessments. There was
rarely a discussion of the individual’s progress in treatment or ideas to adjust treatment
interventions to reflect change.
At some facilities, such as Arthur Kill, several treatment records included very similar comments
on each monthly evaluation, such as “Inmate continues to demonstrate positive attitude towards
CASAT program,” with no additional information or details.
Finally, the forms for the monthly evaluations we examined did not include a space for inmate or
staff signatures, which are important to ensure accountability, encourage inmate buy-in and
facilitate professional review.

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Example 13-9 Competency areas evaluated on “Treatment Plan Initial Treatment Planning Session”
form (Ranked on a 5-point scale, with 1 = very limited and 5 = exceptional)
- Drug use/abuse and consequences
- Dynamics of self and others
- Dynamics of criminal thinking
- Decision making and communication skills
- The process of addiction
- The thinking and actions associated with recovery
- The many problems associated with alcoholism/addiction
- Relapse prevention and how it works
- How to maintain a drug-free lifestyle

Example 13-10 Criteria used in monthly evaluations (Checked as “above average,” “satisfactory” or
“unsatisfactory”)
- Level of understanding of didactic material
- Level of engagement
- Personal insight into addiction/recovery
- Accept criticism
- Speaks positively
- Supportive of peers and staff
- Makes realistic comments regarding addiction/recovery
- Sets goals—Takes steps to accomplish goals
- Displays appropriate group behavior
- Follows group/facility rules and instructions

13.3.5 Progress Notes
If the treatment plan is the road map to recovery, then progress notes are the reports of
movement on the map. There are many formats for progress notes, with several points emerging
as common to most. One widely used structure uses the acronym “SOAP” to guide the
counselor in covering all the bases in the notes: the counselor’s Subjective reaction to the
session; Objective information on progress and significant events; Analysis of the implications of
the subjective and objective material (especially how the session relates to treatment goals); and
Plans for activities, tasks or assignments until the next session.222 OASAS regulations require
that progress notes provide “a chronology of the resident’s progress related to the goals
established in the treatment/service plan and be sufficient to delineate the course and results of
treatment/services. The progress notes shall indicate the resident's participation in all significant
services that are provided.”223 OASAS further requires that progress notes must be written,
signed and dated by the responsible clinical staff member at least once a week.
Progress notes in DOCS treatment records were inconsistent within and among programs. Many
records contained no progress notes. The progress notes that were present varied widely in
content and form. This presents a clear opportunity for improvement through standardization.
Because many DOCS treatment staff have experience at other treatment facilities, this may be
relatively easy to accomplish.

222
223

Cameron and turtle-song, “Learning to write case notes using the SOAP format,” 286-292.
OASAS, “Operating Regulations Part 819.5.”

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The forms in the records we reviewed provide little guidance or structure for progress notes, and
are often limited to just a column for dates and blank lines. This likely contributes to the wide
variations we observed.
Some progress notes we reviewed included only one or two entries. Others did not record any
substantive information at all and instead acted as a log for completion of treatment forms; for
example, “4/08: intake completed”; “5/08: monthly evaluation.” Others incorporated a
qualitative assessment of interactions, such as “12/08: fourth eval; adjusting well with staff and
peers, needs aftercare plan before next evaluation.”
Shawangunk Correctional Facility was among those with the most comprehensive progress
notes, insofar as they provided additional information about the individual’s attitude and
engagement in treatment. Facilities with treatment records that contained no progress notes
included Cayuga and Gouverneur. At some facilities, such as Albion and Taconic, some case
files included progress notes while others did not. This serves as another illustration of some of
the inconsistencies we observed both within and among facilities.
Progress notes were often entered irregularly, sometimes with months between notes. If there is
no individual contact with a treatment participant for an extended time, it would be appropriate
to enter a brief note as to the reason. We believe that the OASAS standard of a weekly entry
would be appropriate.
To ensure that progress notes are both substantive and useful, we recommend that they be
reviewed by a supervisor on a regular basis. Few of the records we reviewed had any indication
of such review, which may be attributable to the absence of a format requiring such review.
More importantly, there was no protocol for supervisory review of treatment records.
13.3.6 Discharge Plan
A discharge plan provides the bridge from residential (or prison-based) treatment to the
community. The discharge plan is not identical to the discharge form. An effective discharge
plan is more than a document—it is a relapse prevention plan, a reminder of support systems and
a network of connections and referrals.224 A strong, detailed discharge plan is especially
important for those who have been disconnected from their communities for some time, as most
inmates have.225 In community-based programs, the discharge plan can serve as a valuable
resource for providers of continuing care and aftercare.
OASAS regulations for community-based treatment programs require that discharge planning
commence as soon as the client is admitted, that it be conducted in collaboration with the client
and continue throughout treatment.226 OASAS further requires that discharge plans include a
relapse prevention plan and a specific plan for continuing care, complete with referrals and initial
appointments. Finally, OASAS requires that discharge plans be reviewed by a clinical
224

Baron et al., “Best Practices Manual for Discharge Planning: Mental Health & Substance Abuse Facilities,
Hospitals, Foster Care, Prison and Jails.”
225
Rose, Clear, and Ryder, “Drugs, incarceration and neighborhood life.”
226
OASAS, “Operating Regulations Part 819.5.”

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supervisor before the client is discharged. A discharge summary provides an overview of a
treatment participant’s progress in treatment: the starting point; challenges and how they were
overcome; and recommendations for sustaining abstinence and continuing recovery.
The ASAT “Evaluation, Referral and Discharge Form” (Example 13-11) serves as the discharge
form for most treatment records we reviewed. The ASAT Manual states that “when a participant
is discharged under one of the categories specified above (satisfactory, unsatisfactory, or
administrative) the ASAT Evaluation/Discharge Form will be completed.” See Section 11,
Treatment Program Completions and Removals, for a complete discussion of DOCS
treatment completions and removals.
The standard discharge form used in ASAT programs consists primarily of a grid where staff are
asked to rate the treatment participant’s “status and progress in achieving stages of recovery” in
each of the nine competency areas. The recovery stages are defined in the ASAT Manual and
include “the information stage,” “the body of knowledge stage” and “the actualization stage.”
However, a staff person without the ASAT Manual in hand would be hard-pressed to complete
the form accurately, since there were no prompts or directions. Thus, while some staff merely
checked an appropriate box indicating status, others initialed it, while still others entered a date.
The form does not include a space for a discharge plan or a discharge summary, nor does it ask
for suggestions for the inmate’s continuing recovery or possible areas of improvement.
The standard form, as included in the ASAT Manual, contains several lines for comments, but
the accompanying directions suggest that explanations are necessary only when the inmate
receives an unsatisfactory discharge. Even in the cases of unsatisfactory removals, however, the
form often provided limited “explanation” and little if any information about the reasons for the
discharge (tickets, testing positive for illicit substances, etc.), circumstances precipitating the
incident/behavior or how/when substance abuse treatment services or support would be available
following the inmate’s removal from the program.
With regard to discharge planning, the discharge form does not designate a space to list referrals
or recommendations to community-based services, such as continuing substance abuse treatment,
housing or employment. Some facilities and programs, such as Taconic’s CASAT program, use
another form to supplement or replace the standard ASAT discharge form, that provides the
“Phase II/Community Reintegration and Continuity of Care Plan.” This form includes several
items that are missing in the standard ASAT discharge form and could be easily incorporated,
including staff recommendations for treatment, employment and residence upon release.

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13.3.7 Other Forms and Documents
Additional documents in treatment records we reviewed included program rules and regulations,
inmate counseling notifications, treatment program materials (e.g., homework or in-class
assignments and exercises, and self-assessments), program checklists, authorizations for release
of records, counselor referral forms and inmate correspondence. Greene Correctional Facility
records often included a graded “Final Exam.” This form of post-test could provide a muchneeded objective measure of progress in treatment, supplementing (not replacing) staff
impressions and others standards.
The inmate assignments and extremely few self-assessments we saw enhanced the understanding
of an inmate’s participation in treatment and stage of recovery. Given that treatment
participants’ input is not captured elsewhere in DOCS treatment records, these documents
provide rare opportunities for reviewers to gain insight into the inmate’s perspective. These
demonstrate the value of treatment participant input into creating and maintaining a meaningful
case record that provides a comprehensive picture to anyone reviewing the chart, whether an
outside reviewer, clinical supervisor or counselor new to the facility.
Most case files included program guidelines or rules, as well as treatment “contracts” (consent
for treatment). These varied considerably from facility to facility and some did not include a
place for the inmate’s signature. In most of the treatment contracts, the language was stilted and
legalistic.
13.4 GENERAL FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
The treatment records we reviewed significantly lacked critical detail and substantive
information. Forms often contained vague and incomplete responses (including items left blank
or answered in one or two words). When complete responses were provided, they were often
based on deficits rather than focused on solutions. The majority of the records we reviewed did
not provide the quality or quantity of information that would allow current and future staff to
track an inmate’s progress in treatment. The manner in which the forms were utilized, as well as
the way they were completed, created a lack of individualization and a pattern of generic
treatment goals and updates, resulting in records that did not convey a helpful sense of the
individual’s background, needs and progress in treatment.
DOCS treatment records diverged considerably from current standards in the field by a complete
absence of documents related to any treatment other than the current episode. This leaves
treatment staff at a considerable disadvantage, and would seem unnecessary, at least with regard
to previous treatment in DOCS facilities.
There was minimal to no continuity or integration among the elements of the treatment records,
from assessment through treatment planning, progress notes and discharge. An inmate’s
problems and weaknesses identified at intake, for example, were rarely addressed in the initial
treatment plan, treatment plan update, monthly evaluations or progress notes. Also, the files
included little or no mention of other services or programs in which the inmate was involved,
suggesting that either the treatment program staff were unaware of these programs and services

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or that they knew of them and did not see the need to document them. References to elements of
the therapeutic community (DOCS’s dominant treatment modality), such as hierarchy status,
sanctions (pull-ups, thinking reports, etc.) and presentations were also noticeably absent from
most treatment record content.
With regard to the organization of the records, several were completely missing standard
documents. This was particularly the case with missing monthly evaluations. Other files had
multiple versions of the same document (e.g., both ASAT and CASAT intake forms, each filled
out differently, or two initial treatment plans). Some records contained several undated forms.
Nearly every form lacked signature by a clinical supervisor, suggesting a lack of oversight and
review.
There was significant variation among staff and facilities with regard to both the forms
themselves and how they were completed and used. For example, the program participation
guidelines in case records at the Wende Correctional Facility were clearer and more concise than
those at Taconic. The intake forms for CASAT and for Gouverneur Correctional Facility asked
more-focused questions about history of substance abuse and treatment than the standard ASAT
intake form. Several records at Five Points Correctional Facility used the treatment plan update
forms more than once, which is good practice but rarely done at other facilities.
Records at Wende were missing some important documents, such as initial treatment plans.
Most Wende records contained identical answers under “agreed-upon means to achieve shortand long-term goals.” No facilities appeared to have a model case file that laid out the elements
considered essential for a complete file at that particular facility. This is a “best practice”
standard in the community that all facilities should emulate, which could address many of the
issues identified in this report.
As for clinical staff, some wrote several sentences in the comments section of each monthly
evaluation, whereas others left the monthly evaluations section completely blank. Revising the
forms and providing appropriate training would help clinicians comply with requirements and
tap the full extent of their experience and skills. Regular review by a qualified clinical
supervisor would also help to address these concerns.
We recommend that OASAS work with DOCS treatment staff to design forms that are concise,
intuitive and comprehensive, and that build upon and relate to one another. This is integral to
ensuring that the goals and needs of the treatment participant that were identified at intake to the
program are tracked and updated throughout the program and that progress with the
competencies and in addressing stated short- and long-term goals are clearly documented. In
addition, these forms and the instructions for completing them should better promote and
encourage inmate participation in the treatment and discharge planning process, which reflects
widely accepted practice in the field. Items included in the more comprehensive CASAT forms
can assist in providing language and design to improve the ASAT forms.
In addition, we strongly recommend that staff be prompted to note throughout the record, where
applicable, other prison programs and services in which the treatment participant is enrolled

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(e.g., educational and vocational programs) in order to present a more holistic view of the
individual and his/her needs.
DOCS should consider including in each clinical record a fact sheet (or “cheat sheet”) containing
demographics such as age, marital status, etc., that are probably in the central DOCS database
but would be useful for treatment staff to have readily available.
Finally, it is also important that the program contracts and other forms be revised to ensure the
language is accessible to those with all literacy levels.

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14. OVERSIGHT AND SUPERVISION OF DOCS
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS
FINDINGS
Limited formal protocols and procedures are in place for facility management oversight of
DOCS substance abuse treatment programs. The little oversight that does take place is
often provided by prison staff with limited qualifications.
The DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (OSATS) visits programs once
or twice a year. The resulting reports are not standardized and corrective plans are not
required.
Many facilities do not provide clinical supervision on a regular basis for direct-service
treatment program staff.
There has been minimal outside monitoring of DOCS substance abuse treatment programs,
with the exception of Willard Drug Treatment Campus and Edgecombe Correctional
Facility.

DISCUSSION
14.1 INTRODUCTION
Program monitoring is an integral component of effective programs. It allows for strengths and
weaknesses within a program to be identified, holds staff and administrators accountable for
program quality and serves as the foundation upon which future program changes are built.227
Monitoring can be conducted on various levels: individually, as part of clinical supervision;
programmatically, as part of review and supervision by program staff; and on a systemwide
organizational level through site visits, outcomes monitoring and other methods. Additionally,
most substance abuse treatment programs in the community are evaluated regularly by an outside
agency to ensure they are providing consistent quality of care services and are holding to stateor nationwide community standards.
The Substance Abuse Treatment Project looked at three types of oversight and supervision of
DOCS substance abuse treatment programs: clinical, administrative, and institutional. Clinical
supervision focuses on improving the effectiveness and counseling skills of the supervised staff
by attending to their personal and professional needs as they affect the treatment participant.
With administrative supervision, facility supervisors and managers seek to encourage
compliance with policies and procedures of the program and the institution, helping the
supervisee function as part of the organization. Institutional supervision is provided by outside
227

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.

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licensing and government entities to ensure that regulatory standards are maintained. In most
settings, supervisors must balance clinical and administrative supervisory tasks.
14.2 CLINICAL SUPERVISION, GENERALLY
Clinical supervision is an ongoing interactive process involving direct-service staff and moreexperienced clinical staff, which aims to constantly improve the quality of client care.228 In
substance abuse treatment, clinical supervision is the primary method of ensuring quality of care.
Good clinical supervision mitigates staff burnout, enhances workforce retention, reduces
turnover, and improves and maintains morale.229 Clinical supervision helps counselors transform
their training and education into practical skills and is widely acknowledged as an essential part
of all clinical programs. In addition, appropriate clinical supervision can help staff members
achieve and maintain credentials or licenses, further contributing to workforce retention.
One-on-one discussions are the primary model of interaction between supervisors and
counselors, with group clinical supervision second. A recent study of clinical supervision
nationally found that the primary tools of supervision include observing individual counseling
sessions; observing group counseling sessions; reviewing case notes; reviewing audio/video
tapes; and listening to case reviews/presentations by counselors.230 The clinical supervisor
carrying a caseload is also common, and letting the student “watch” the supervisor work can be a
very effective teaching strategy.231
In community-based programs, if a supervisor oversees the work of one to five counselors,
supervision tasks typically require two to three hours per week. This entails relying on group
clinical supervision and direct observation through audio- or videotaping or live supervision.
Supervisors might need to provide additional time for close supervision of trainees, interns or
counselors needing specific attention.232
14.3 CLINICAL SUPERVISION IN DOCS SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
PROGRAMS
The ASAT Manual specifies that treatment teams are to comprise one correction counselor (CC)
and two program assistants (PAs). Facilities with more than two teams qualify for the addition
of an ASAT supervising correction counselor (ASAT SCC). If there is no ASAT SCC position,
as in the majority of programs we visited, a general SCC is responsible for providing supervision
to the CC and other treatment staff. The SCC is the main link to the deputy superintendent of
programs (DSP), who in turn reports to the facility superintendent and the executive team about
treatment program issues as appropriate. See Section 7, Staffing, for job descriptions,
qualifications, and other details of staffing patterns.
228

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Clinical Supervision and Professional Development of the
Substance Abuse Counselor, 5.
229
Powell and Brodsky, Clinical supervision in alcohol and drug abuse counseling.
230
Eby et al., “Motivational bases of affective organizational commitment,” 463-483.
231
Powell and Brodsky, Clinical supervision in alcohol and drug abuse counseling, 16.
232
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Clinical Supervision and Professional Development of the
Substance Abuse Counselor, 82; Washington State Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, “Clinical Supervisor
Skill Standard.”

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We did not observe any formal clinical supervision on our visits, nor was any such supervision
frequently reported to us in our interviews of staff or management. OSATS does not have
written policies requiring the provision of routine clinical supervision. If more formal and
consistent supervision were established for treatment staff, it is a concern that very few treatment
staff members currently meet the qualifications for a clinical supervisor outlined by OASAS.
The absence of routine clinical supervision can impact the effectiveness of treatment services,
create an unsupportive environment for treatment staff, contribute to a lack of accountability for
treatment staff and result in inconsistent treatment programs.
In most DOCS treatment programs the CC supervises the PAs, but as mentioned above, regular
time is not set aside for formal case reviews or other forms of clinical supervision. Similarly,
SCCs provide only administrative supervision to CCs. With the limited number of experienced
clinicians in management or supervision, a CC who encounters a crisis or other challenging
clinical situation would be unable to obtain clinical support. The same holds true for the DSP.
At some facilities we visited, treatment staff reported frequent contact with the DOCS OSATS
for help with questions and challenges. However, these seemed to be primarily logistical issues
rather than clinical questions.
As DOCS collaborates with OASAS to monitor and improve treatment in the State’s prisons,
phasing in a well-planned system for clinical supervision (by trained, experienced staff) will be
invaluable. It is noteworthy that OASAS has adopted a detailed clinical “supervision vision
statement” that highlights the invaluable role of clinical supervision in effective treatment and in
moving the field forward.233 Furthermore, OASAS regulations for chemical dependence
residential services require clinical supervision on a routine basis by a “qualified health
professional” with a minimum of three years of both administrative and clinical experience in a
residential substance abuse treatment program.234 Similar requirements are in place for
outpatient programs.
Throughout our study, the CA observed significant variations from program to program, and at
times within a program from session to session. This lack of standardization was evident from
clinical content, program structure and staff quality. Regular clinical supervision could address
these issues, holding treatment staff accountable for service quality and effectiveness while
providing them with support and skills to do so. In addition, clinical supervision may help
increase treatment staff’s satisfaction and thus reduce the high staff turnover common in DOCS
substance abuse treatment programs.
In order to ensure treatment staff are effectively carrying out their responsibilities, accurately
keeping documentation and running engaging and appropriate treatment sessions, processes need
to be established to monitor their work. OASAS guidelines for community-based residential
treatment programs require a clinical supervisor to sign off on the initial comprehensive client
assessment, treatment plan and discharge plan. When reviewing treatment records of inmates in
DOCS treatment programs, the discharge plan is the only document we observed that required a
233

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Clinical Supervision and Professional Development of the
Substance Abuse Counselor, 135.
234
OASAS, “Operating Regulations Part 819.7.”

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supervisor’s signature. This lack of oversight and supervision likely contributes to the many
incomplete and inadequate intake documents and treatment plans we found in inmates’ records.
DOCS has made substantial strides in reorienting its institutional culture from a staff-dominated
12-step-based model to the participant-centered TC model. Clinical supervision will be a critical
tool in continuing and expanding these shifts, helping staff focus on strengths, support and
engagement in conditions that are often frustrating and stressful.235 A wide variety of tools and
supports are available to help with this process, many of them at low or no cost.236
14.4 TREATMENT PARTICIPANT PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR TREATMENT
Research has shown that substance abuse treatment program effectiveness decreases as
participant ownership diminishes.237 Similarly, measuring participants’ satisfaction is an
important element of program monitoring and has been shown to be predictive of both program
completion and, more importantly, reduction in relapse.238 Asking for feedback from program
participants can increase their sense of ownership of the program, provide a mechanism for
monitoring program effectiveness, and assist the program to better respond to the needs of the
population.
The Multimodality Quality Assurance Scales (MQA) survey sought participants’ assessment of
their satisfaction with their treatment and several components of the treatment program. Section
7, Staffing and Section 8, Treatment Programming and Materials, detail the results of the
survey respondents’ answers. Overall, these data reflected mixed reviews of the programs,
ranging from high levels of satisfaction at certain programs to very low levels at other
institutions. For example, concerning staffing, overall 58% of survey respondents felt it was
mostly or very true that they were satisfied with the counseling process, but the percentages
ranged from a low of 31% at Bare Hill to a high of 96% at the Lakeview Female program. If
such data were routinely sought from all programs, it would be invaluable to the Department in
assessing their programs and determining where additional supervision and training are needed.
The MQA survey also sought program participants’ assessment of their program attachment and
ownership. Specifically, it asked on a four-point scale from not true to very true whether the
program participant felt “an attachment and ownership in the program” (see MQA Q17(c),
Appendix B). Thirty-nine percent of the survey respondents replied that it was not true that they
had such attachment/ownership and only approximately one-third (36%) responded that it was
mostly or very true that they felt such ownership. Chart 14-1 illustrates the responses of mostly
or very true for each prison and the assessment of all respondents listed under the last column
labeled Total.

235

White, Schwartz, and Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services, The Role
of Clinical Supervision in Recovery-oriented Systems of Behavioral Healthcare.
236
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Competencies for Substance Abuse Treatment Clinical
Supervisors”; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Clinical Supervision and Professional Development
of the Substance Abuse Counselor.
237
Wanberg and Milkman, Criminal conduct & substance abuse treatment.
238
Melnick, Hawke, and Wexler, “Client Perceptions Of Prison-Based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment
Programs,” 124-25.

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Chart 14-1 Survey Respondents' Assessment of Attachment and
Ownership in Program as Mostly or Very True (MQA Q17c)
70%

Percentage of Survey Respondents

60%

50%

40%

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Visted Prisons

We are very concerned that nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents did not express
significant attachment to their treatment program. Moreover, at certain facilities (Bare Hill,
Gouverneur and Oneida) less than 20% of the respondents felt substantial attachment. If the
prisons had a mechanism to gauge program participants’ assessment of their program, it would
be more likely that such levels of dissatisfaction would be revealed both to supervisory officials
at the facility and OSATS, and some corrective action could be taken to improve program
engagement.
Related to the concept of a participant’s attachment to and ownership in his/her treatment
program is the participant’s ability to have some influence on what is occurring and the staff’s
receptivity to his/her opinions and suggestions. The results of the MQA survey demonstrate that
many program participants did not believe that staff sought their input, nor did they feel that they
had much influence on what happened within the program. Sixty-one percent of the individuals
we surveyed reported that they have no or very little influence as to what happens in the program.
Only 12% of survey respondents reported having a great deal of influence. Along with
perceptions of influence, surveyed individuals were asked about how much input they are asked
to give about the program by treatment staff. According to 48% of these individuals, treatment
staff rarely or never ask them for their opinions or suggestions regarding treatment issues.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents reported that they are asked to provide input often. Chart
14-2 illustrates the perceptions of inmates who believe they had no influence in the program and
were never asked for input into their substance abuse treatment programs.

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Chart 14-2 Survey Respondents' Assessment of Their Input into and Influence
on Their Treatment Program (MQA Q8 & Q9)

Percent of Inmate Responses

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

A
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0%

Visited Prisons

No influence on Program

Never asked for input

As with the other measurements of participants’ evaluation of their treatment program, there was
a high degree of variability of perceived influence and input among treatment programs.239 The
willingness of staff to seek input from their program participants is another indication of how
well they are engaging the inmates in their program. Such information should be sought in a
program monitoring effort to identify how to improve motivation and engagement, and thereby
enhance program outcomes.
14.5 MONITORING BY DOCS
Every DOCS substance abuse treatment program is required to submit monthly reports to
OSATS. These reports primarily consist of statistical information, including waiting list,
screenings, admissions, caseloads, graduations and removals. The ASAT Manual indicates that
these reports should describe program accomplishments, staff issues or any other needs or
changes in the program, but the reports contain little qualitative or descriptive information. It is
unclear what happens to these reports or how they are used by OSATS. Facility staff did not
frequently report receiving any feedback from these monthly reports. Additionally, the ASAT
Manual requires each program to develop a weekly schedule of its activities, indicating the name
239

The facilities with the highest percentage of inmates saying they have no influence in their treatment program
include Oneida (54%), Willard Male (44%), Cayuga (43%), Arthur Kill (39%), Mid-State (36%) and Bare Hill
(35%). The facilities with the highest rates of inmates who had never been asked for their opinions or suggestions
about the treatment programs were Cayuga (48%), Oneida (46%), Arthur Kill (38%), Bare Hill (37%) and Mid-State
(34%).

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of the session, facilitator and the time/location. The schedule is to be posted in the group room.
We observed that some programs do not generate these schedules, and some programs responded
to our FOIL request stating that such a schedule does not exist. We also observed that many of
the site visit reports issued by Central Office include posting of the schedule as one of their
recommendations. Though many programs we visited did have accurate and up-to-date program
schedules, these inconsistencies from program to program could be addressed through more
comprehensive and consistent monitoring.
OASAS guidelines require that community-based residential substance abuse treatment
programs submit an annual report to facilitate monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of the
programs (Appendix E). These standards currently do not apply to DOCS treatment programs
with the exceptions of Willard DTC and Edgecombe C.F. Both the CASAT program and the
Lakeview Shock program are required by legislative mandate to produce an annual report
providing an overview of program activities and charting any changes or trends in the population
or programming.240 These annual reports include some outcome data. It is our understanding
that no other DOCS substance abuse treatment program produces similar reports. OASAS
guidelines also require community-based residential substance abuse treatment programs to
develop and implement utilization review and quality improvement plans. These help to
guarantee program integrity and ensure that services are appropriate and effective, and create an
important mechanism for future program improvement. OSATS does not require programs to
develop these plans, and we did not observe them in any treatment program.
14.6 DOCS CENTRAL OFFICE SITE VISITS
DOCS substance abuse treatment programs are administered under the supervision of the DOCS
Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, which visits each program once or twice every
year. During these visits, OSATS staff meet with the facility treatment staff and executive team,
and tour the program and housing areas. Areas reviewed during these visits include program
capacity, staffing patterns, staff involvement, review of treatment records, adherence to treatment
guidelines and TC procedures, aftercare and caseload overview. Some visits, but not all, include
observation of a treatment session. A written site visit report incorporates findings and
recommendations and is forwarded to the facility’s superintendent.
The structure of reports issued before 2009 follow a roughly standardized model, as the
categorized sections of information remain somewhat consistent through reports. However, a
sampling of site visit reports from facilities we observed indicates significant variation in the
content and length of these reports.241 Some reports were extremely brief and general, while
others included detailed information. The amount of detail included in the reports varied
according to who was conducting the site visits. Some monitors appear concerned with the
quality of the programs, while other reports reflect little critical analysis and review. Time
constraints often resulted in the omission of review of important areas, such as evaluations of
treatment records or observations about terminations/completions. Under the subdivision for
review of treatment records, reports often simply stated that the records’ contents were “in
240

NYS Department of Correctional Services, The Nineteenth Annual Shock Legislative Report; NYS Department of
Correctional Services, The Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program: 2008.
241
Site visit reports requested by the CA and provided by DOCS as a result to a FOIL request dated May 12, 2009.

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compliance” with ASAT standards. When a more thorough review was completed, the reports
listed the contents of the treatment records; some even referenced specific inmate’s files.
Most discrepancies found in treatment records dealt with missing contents, such as treatment
plan updates (TPUs) and aftercare planning. Central Office also often recommended that TPUs
and aftercare planning be made more “inmate-specific.” While such recommendations could be
easily followed up on during the next visit, the reports did not indicate who was responsible for
enacting any changes and therefore did not provide a clear mechanism of accountability.
Reporting on other program components, such as terminations and completions, often simply
stated that the completions were “in compliance,” or that the “removals are appropriate.” There
was no numerical data concerning the number of inmates being removed from, or completing,
the program in any of the site reports. However, suggestions regarding the removal section often
included the creation of a treatment plan review committee, an implementation that would
improve the quality of ASAT. A section of the site visit report refers to “Security/Program
Interaction.” In some reports, this section contained details about correction officers who had
completed training on the TC modality, while most reports stated only, “positive and
supportive.” Recommendations often lacked details or failed to assign responsibility for
corrective actions.
Many reports—though not all—included a follow-up of the previous report’s recommendations.
They sometimes noted that the schedule was now being posted in an easily accessible program
area, or that treatment records had begun including inmate-specific aftercare planning, but such
follow-ups failed to include a more detailed inquiry into the process by which such changes were
enacted. They only revealed how closely the program was adhering to structural ASAT
guidelines, but did not detail the steps taken to arrive at the improved procedures. During our
meetings with executive staff at each facility, we inquired about recent recommendations given
by Central Office. They reported that recommendations ranged from extremely broad, such as
“create more hierarchy” and “incorporate more TC into your overall structure,” to more specific
suggestions, such as changing a policy to allow photos in cubicles. Central Office’s site visit
reports that we received in response to our FOIL request support the facilities’ claims that
recommendations range from broad to specific. It became clear through the type of
recommendations made that most facilities needed assistance complying with therapeutic
community guidelines, and the reports were mainly concerned with checking that all areas of the
program appear to be in adherence. The result was that timelines and corrective plans were not
provided, and little was revealed about the quality of the programs. However, not all
recommendations appeared vague or insufficient. For example, the recommendation issued in a
February 2, 2007 report at Cayuga urged that “there should be high level of consistency in Fblock residential ASAT.” The monitor noted that the two modules of the program were being
run in different manners, and that consistent treatment across both modules would strengthen the
efficiency of the program. While we were pleased to find such details being noted by Central
Office, it was disappointing to discover that the next report, issued April 3, 2008 simply noted
“all recommendations completed” and did not provide more detailed follow-up on the important
issue of program consistency.
In addition to finding many recommendations lacking in specificity, we were unable to
determine what happens to the information in the site visit reports, and whether facilities are held

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accountable for deficits or for developing and implementing corrective plans. Several staff
members we interviewed struggled to recall recent recommendations by Central Office,
suggesting that the impact of these visits varies greatly from facility to facility. Furthermore, it
seems that the written report is shared with program staff only at the discretion of the facility’s
executive team.
The CA was concerned to hear in early 2010 about proposals to revise the site visit policy due to
budget constraints. Previously, OSATS representatives visited a facility with the sole purpose of
evaluating the substance abuse treatment program. The proposed—and currently implemented—
changes call for annual site visits by a small team of individuals from DOCS Central Office who
would evaluate all DOCS programs at the facility, including substance abuse treatment
programs, educational programs, vocational programs, etc. The site visitors would be
“generalists,” with no requirement for the special training and expertise needed to accurately and
productively evaluate clinical programs. We believe that this change would unacceptably reduce
both the time and expertise invested in reviewing substance abuse treatment programs. Such
concerns are supported by the contents of site reports issued in 2009 that were provided to the
CA. Consistent with DOCS’s description of the new review process for all prison programs by
Central Office staff, the review of ASAT programs in these 2009 reports was included as a small
section in a review of all programs. These reports strayed from the standardized model of their
predecessors, forfeiting a great deal of substantive content. Unlike most previous reports, which
noted the date of the previous visit, program capacity and staffing patterns, most of the newformat reports lacked this crucial information. The paragraph-long descriptions of the treatment
program presented in most of these new reports contained little evaluative narrative and failed to
reflect an effort to identify program strengths and weaknesses or provide guidance on how to
improve the treatment provided. To address this concern, OSATS has stated that if problems are
identified on a visit, the office would send staff to conduct a comprehensive evaluation. Though
we appreciate this step, we remain concerned that generalist site visit teams may be unqualified
to make even preliminary identifications of problems with substance abuse treatment
programming.
Along with quality site visits, it is important that DOCS Central Office maintain open
communication with staff at facilities. Some staff lauded OSATS for its helpful and timely
advice, while others reported that clear communication was lacking. It may be that the executive
teams at some facilities have easier access to DOCS Central Office than do PAs or CCs.
14.7 OASAS OVERSIGHT
Before April 2009, the only external oversight of DOCS substance abuse treatment services was
provided at Willard Drug Treatment Campus and Edgecombe Correctional Facility, both of
which are certified by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
(OASAS). Though OASAS certifies all substance abuse treatment programs in the community,
it has historically played no role in monitoring DOCS programs. This changed in early April
2009, with reform of the Rockefeller drug laws, which now require OASAS to monitor care and
treatment of inmates in New York State prisons, develop guidelines for prison-based substance
abuse treatment programs, and produce a yearly report on these programs.242 OASAS has now
242

A156-B Budget Chapter 56.

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designed and started to implement a plan to develop initial recommendations to comply with the
legislative mandates, and released its first report in December 2009.
Treatment staff we spoke with held disparate views about the new OASAS role with DOCS
treatment programs. Many expressed concern that additional, unnecessary paperwork could
detract from clinical time. There was also fear that OASAS would impose standards that ASAT
programs would struggle to meet due to inadequate resources. Much of this results from DOCS
treatment staff concerns that OASAS management and staff are unfamiliar with the culture and
constraints of the prison setting and might make unreasonable demands. On the other hand,
others anticipated that OASAS involvement could bring additional training and resources, which
would be welcome additions.
The CA looks forward to the new role OASAS will play in monitoring DOCS substance abuse
treatment programs. We encourage OASAS to establish detailed reviewing instruments and
clear protocols regarding their visits to DOCS facilities, and urge OASAS to meet confidentially
with treatment staff and participants, and to review case records and observe group counseling
and educational sessions. We are concerned that OASAS may not have adequate staff and
appropriate resources for this substantial task. The extreme variability among programs that we
observed means that OASAS cannot assume that any programs are representative of others,
requiring site visits to a wide selection of programs. We encourage the State legislature and
executive to address this issue and provide OASAS with the necessary staffing and other
resources needed to accomplish this new role.
It is beyond the scope of this report to offer guidance for DOCS and OASAS as they address the
organizational and cultural shifts that are likely to result from the addition of OASAS oversight
and the changes we recommend. A special 2009 issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol
Dependence243 looks at some of these complex issues using data from the National Criminal
Justice Treatment Practices survey. A great deal of other material has been developed in the last
several years to help with organizational and programmatic change in substance abuse treatment
programming, both in and outside prisons.
14.8

OASAS UPDATE

The Correctional Association provided both OASAS and DOCS with an opportunity to review a
draft of Treatment Behind Bars: Substance Abuse Treatment in New York Prisons, 2007-2010
and share any additional information, clarifications or comments with staff. Though DOCS
declined to meet and discuss the report, CA staff was able to meet with an OASAS
representative on October 6, 2010. This meeting allowed CA staff to better understand some of
the steps that have been initiated by DOCS and OASAS to enhance New York’s prison
substance abuse treatment programs. We were pleased to note that several of the CA’s
observations and findings were on the radar of both agencies, and that there appeared to be a
shared objective to improve various areas in DOCS treatment programs including, screening and
assessment, supervision and aftercare planning. The meeting with OASAS also provided the CA
with limited information about the agency’s future plans with regard to DOCS’ treatment
programs.
243

“Drug and Alcohol Dependence.”

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The CA was pleased to learn that OASAS, in response to a DOCS request, is evaluating DOCS’s
screening process for determining substance abuse treatment needs and is considering
recommending new screening and assessment instruments. The CA’s report clearly lays out the
shortfalls of the current screening process and recommends the use of matching individuals to
appropriate levels of treatment based upon treatment needs. Again, we were happy to learn from
OASAS that the idea of developing several levels of care within the DOCS system was under
consideration, and we urge DOCS and OASAS to move forward with this concept. Quality
screening instruments clearly contribute to the effectiveness of the process, but the way these
instruments are administered also impacts the outcome. We understand that DOCS and OASAS
plan to train staff in motivational interviewing techniques to be better able to solicit more
comprehensive information while simultaneously enhancing the individual’s motivation for
treatment; we commend both agencies for this effort.
In addition to the increased training in motivational interviewing techniques, OASAS appeared
interested in exploring the idea of establishing best practice training centers in the future for
DOCS treatment staff. The CA strongly supports this idea as a way to ensure all treatment staff
receive appropriate and consistent training and to reduce some of the many variations in quality
across programs we observed. We are slightly concerned that OASAS appears to have no
current plans to address what we believe to be a vague and somewhat ineffective curriculum, and
encourage them to consider closely evaluating the curriculum in the future.
OASAS has recently certified five DOCS substance abuse treatment programs and has plans to
attempt to visit all of the treatment programs within the next four years. We are also under the
impression that the regulations produced by OASAS contain a minimum level of requirements
from DOCS’ treatment programs, but a gold standard initiative will be established as a reward
system to encourage treatment staff and programs to go above and beyond the regulations. The
CA’s report specifically discusses the substance abuse treatment services offered to individuals
with mental illness and outlines several shortcomings. OASAS will not currently focus on
treatment services for such special populations, but is committed to assessing this area in the
future.
In December 2010, OASAS released its second annual report on NYS DOCS Addiction
Services. The annual report included new draft operational guidelines for DOCS treatment
programs that have been introduced to five pilot facilities. We were pleased with the inclusion
in the guidelines specific requirements for enhanced program oversight, clinical supervision,
documentation and staff training. Though the new guidelines discussed the development of more
comprehensive assessments for individuals entering DOCS treatment programs, we were very
concerned with the complete absence from the report of any steps OASAS would be
recommending DOCS to take to address the overall screening process for individuals entering
DOCS custody. During reception processing, individuals are first identified as needing
treatment, and we concluded during our study that the lack of comprehensive assessments prior
to treatment enrollment resulted in inadequate evaluation of treatment needs and inappropriate
program assignment for some participants.. Additionally, the recent OASAS report omitted any
mention of matching individuals to varying levels of care or formalizing a removal policy for
individuals in the treatment programs, both areas we strongly encourage OASAS and DOCS to
address. As with any guidelines, the success lies with the implementation and we urge OASAS

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to offer training and continued guidance to DOCS treatment staff to ensure appropriate
implementation.
It was clear from our meeting with OASAS that many positive steps to address the quality of
DOCS treatment programs are being considered, though formal policies have not yet been
established. We hope to see these ideas move towards full implementation in the coming years.
One area where it appears the state agencies have taken concrete actions to improve treatment for
individuals incarcerated in New York prisons is with regard to aftercare and reentry. The New
York’s Transition from Prison to the Community (NYTPC) Model has been developed to serve
as what the agencies describe as an ideal reentry system for New York State, though it has yet to
be implemented. We believe the model will first be piloted and understand that it will require
long-term commitment from various agencies to fully operationalize.
As the result of a FOIL request, the CA has had access to some preliminary documents
describing NYTPC and is pleased to see a focus on increased assessments, client-centered
approach, evidence-based programming and monitoring and evaluation of programs in order to
monitor success. The NYTPC calls for individuals involved in the criminal justice system to
develop a Transitional Accountability Plan (TAP), which would begin with probation conducting
an initial risk and needs assessment. This assessment will then be passed to DOCS who will
conduct further periodic assessments to allow them to appropriately prioritize programming and
treatment resources. The TAP will be developed with input from the individual and will be
continuously updated. In addition, the NYTPC calls for DOCS staff (and Parole staff) to be
trained in motivational interviewing techniques and that DOCS programs be evidence-based and
more closely monitored and evaluated. Once an individual has been released from prison, the
TAP will be provided to Parole who will also conduct further risk and needs assessments and
will continue to support the goals outlined in the plan. Supervision levels will be determined
based on risk, and resources will be targeted to those most in need. The NYTPC also calls for
Parole to use a system of graduated responses based on the risk and needs assessment to respond
to parole violators. This new model relies heavily on effective collaborations and calls for the
Office of Mental Health (OMH), OASAS, and other human service providers to work
collaboratively in order to facilitate prompt access to public benefits and other basic needs for
individuals being released back to their communities.
We thank OASAS for their review of the CA’s report and look forward to working together to
improve substance abuse treatment services for this often overlooked population.

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15. AFTERCARE, CONTINUING CARE AND
REENTRY SUPPORT
FINDINGS
Most treatment programs make little effort to develop specific in-prison and post-release
aftercare recommendations for program graduates.
Discharge planning is minimal, and many of the Department staff responsible for this task
lack the expertise and resources to execute it effectively. The treatment staff who have
worked with the inmates for a minimum of six months and are in the best position to assess
an individual’s readiness for, and make recommendations to, appropriate communitybased treatment programs are not charged with the responsibility of developing a detailed
discharge plan. In practice at most facilities, the treatment staff provide little to no support
or assistance to inmates who have graduated prison-based substance abuse treatment and
are being released.

DISCUSSION
15.1 AFTERCARE AND REENTRY, GENERALLY
Continuing care, both inside prison and post-release, plays a major role in reducing relapse and
recidivism after the conclusion of primary treatment, according to a well-established consensus
of researchers, experts and clinicians. This is especially true for those returning to the
community from prison, as they face major shifts in their environment that may challenge their
recovery—reduced structure, increased decision-making, and potential relapse triggers they have
not faced in years. Continuing care is also critical for those who complete residential treatment in
prison and return to the general population, with its lack of emphasis on recovery, possible
access to drugs, and increased stressors.244
There is increasing evidence that the prison-based component of treatment may serve primarily
as an orientation or transitional phase to the community-based component. Inmates participating
in prison treatment only (i.e., without aftercare) often have long-term post-treatment outcomes
similar to those receiving no treatment at all.245

244

Belenko, “Assessing released inmates for substance-abuse-related service needs,” 94-113; Soyez and Broekaert,
“How do substance abusers and their significant others experience the re-entry phase of therapeutic community
treatment,” 211-220; Wexler et al., “The Amity Prison TC Evaluation,” 147-167; WEXLER et al., “Three-Year
Reincarceration Outcomes for Amity In-Prison Therapeutic Community and Aftercare in California,” 321-336;
Inciardi, Martin, and Butzin, “Five-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment of drug-involved offenders
after release from prison,” 88-107; Knight, Simpson, and Hiller, “Three-year reincarceration outcomes for in-prison
therapeutic community treatment in Texas,” 337-351; “Three-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment for
drug-involved offenders in Delaware,” 294-320; Butzin, Martin, and Inciardi, “Treatment during transition from
prison to community and subsequent illicit drug use,” 351-358.
245
Lowe, Wexler, and Peters, The RJ Donovan in-prison and community substance abuse program.

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Participation in treatment during the critical transition from prison to community has been shown
to be particularly effective, such as a therapeutic community for inmates in work release or
similar programming.246 These benefits are seen even for reentering inmates with an extensive
criminal history, low rates of marital bonds and substantial unemployment.247
Thus, there is growing consensus that the most effective strategy for inmates with substance
abuse problems is a seamless continuum with three elements: an in-prison therapeutic
community (TC); a transitional TC during work release or similar programming; and, when
appropriate to the individual’s needs and resources, lower-intensity care that can include
outpatient counseling and group therapy.248 In this final phase, individuals should be encouraged
to continue their connections with the transitional TC, returning for “refresher” or reinforcement
sessions, attending groups and seeing their counselors on a regular basis.249
This multistage model has been operating in the Delaware correctional system since the mid1990s. Positive outcomes have been identified for former inmates at 18 months, 42 months, and
60 months after release.250 Significantly, both the 18- and 42-month follow-up studies reflect a
lack of substantial long-term effects for in-prison treatment alone.251 The DOCS CASAT
program also provides a similar continuum of services beginning with a six-month intensive
residential treatment program, followed by work release with outpatient treatment and
enrollment in community-based treatment services after release. Men who completed all three
phases of CASAT had a 22% recidivism rate and women a 21% rate after a three-year postrelease follow-up, compared with 41% of men and 31% of women who did not participate in the
three phase program.252
Many people with substance abuse, including those returning to the community from
incarceration, have a panoply of additional problems and needs: psychiatric, medical,
employment, family and social. Identifying and addressing these needs is critical to the
maintenance of a drug- and crime-free lifestyle, considerably expanding the definition of
“continuing care.” In order to prevent the often piecemeal variety of services frequently
available for inmates returning to their communities, there is currently a movement toward a
recovery-oriented integrated system (ROIS). This approach allows for coordination between
treatment, correction and social services to better meet both the reentry and recovery needs of
individuals returning from prison. All agencies and individuals within this system will have a

246

Butzin, Martin, and Inciardi, “Evaluating component effects of a prison-based treatment continuum,” 63-69.
Butzin, Martin, and Inciardi, “Treatment during transition from prison to community and subsequent illicit drug
use,” 351-358.
248
Taxman, “Reducing recidivism through a seamless system of care.”
249
Inciardi, Martin, and Butzin, “Five-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment of drug-involved
offenders after release from prison,” 88-107.
250
Ibid.
251
Martin, Butzin, and Inciardi, “Assessment of a multistage therapeutic community for drug-involved offenders.,”
109-116; Martin et al., “Three-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment for drug-involved offenders in
Delaware,” 294-320.
252
DOCS Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Program Legislative Report, 2008.
http://www.docs.state.ny.us/Research/Reports/2009/CASAT_Report_2008.pdf
247

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common vernacular, established procedures for communication and uniform assessment tools for
referrals and tracking progress.253
It should be noted, however, that some researchers point out that it is extremely challenging to
study community-based treatment for individuals under criminal justice supervision because of
the difficulty of disentangling the effects of the supervision from those of the treatment.254 A
related consideration is that in the field of substance abuse treatment, “aftercare” is defined as
lower-intensity treatment (e.g., outpatient) that follows an initial episode of higher-intensity
treatment (e.g., inpatient or residential). In the criminal justice literature, “aftercare” often refers
to any post-release treatment. Most research on care after prison, however, looks at services
provided in transitional TCs—often called “halfway houses”—which are intensive.255
15.2 DOCS TRANSITIONAL SERVICES
Despite the well-established benefits of referral to transitional and post-release care for substance
abuse, the CA found that the systems and staff at DOCS facilities are not structured to make the
necessary referrals and connections. Staff at some facilities, such as Lakeview, appear to better
able assist participants with reentry, and suggested their programs are more effective because
they place a strong focus on “going home.” In addition, the Lakeview Shock program also
requires that all individuals who have completed a shock program be transferred to the Division
of Parole supervision program, which consists of more intense supervision and smaller
caseloads. Shock inmates returning to New York City are also enrolled in an “After Shock”
parole program that provides specialized employment, vocational and relapse prevention
services.
Inmates are often released from DOCS facilities without active Medicaid coverage, rendering
them unable to enroll in most community-based treatment programs. The Department is making
some effort to address this extremely important issue; the CA looks forward to its continued
progress.
The main effort by DOCS to facilitate reentry is Transitional Services (TS), a three-phase
program that aims to orient inmates to life in prison and help them prepare for return to the
community.256 Phase I, the orientation/introductory phase, is provided to every inmate entering
the State correctional system and generally lasts from one to two weeks. As described by DOCS,
Phase II (the core phase) assists inmates in “developing the basic skills necessary to live a
productive, crime free life in society.” Most Phase II programs are half-day group sessions run
by inmate facilitators during a two- to three-month period. There is no standard time for when
this program is offered to inmates, but most participants are enrolled during the middle to latter
half of their sentences. Not every prison conducts Phase II programming, and many inmates do
not participate in the program as it is not widely available. Phase III, the transitional phase, is
“the final preparation for community reentry,” according to DOCS. It lasts for up to three
253

De Leon, “Therapeutic Community Treatment in Correctional Settings: Towards a Recovery-Oriented Integrated
System (ROIS).”
254
Pelissier and Cadigan, “Interagency Priorities at the Crossroads.”
255
Ibid.
256
NYS Department of Correctional Services, “Program Services - Transitional Services Program.”

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months, and includes activities such as résumé preparation and mock interviewing. According to
DOCS policies, every inmate should be enrolled in Phase III shortly before release.
Phase III is the most critical for successful reentry. During this time, inmates can contact
community-based organizations in order to identify resources such as housing and employment.
Individuals not participating in Transitional Services may write to the TS staff to request
information or assistance with identifying appropriate community-based programs. The extent
of assistance provided varies
among facilities, depending on
Much of the information that they have is outdated, and
available resources and facility
what resources they do have, are underfunded and
policies about the services they
understaffed, many of them having moved away a long
will provide general population
time ago. I never found these services to be helpful at
inmates not enrolled in Phase III
all simply because most of them only exist on paper, and
of Transitional Services.
are not actual contacts with people who are in positions
to really offer a helping hand.
The TS program is supervised
Anonymous Inmate (Oneida C.F.)
by a full-time transitional
services counselor, but in most prisons the program is led by inmates with counselors
supervising all three phases of the program and at times offering individual assistance. In some
facilities, we observed an array of up-to-date resources, sometimes—though rarely—maintained
with computer assistance. One resource is Connections: A guide for formerly incarcerated
people to information sources in New York City, published by the New York Public Library’s
Correctional Services Program; it includes a job-search guide as well as a directory.257 The
volume is regularly updated and published annually online as well as in print. Though it is
provided free of charge to correctional facilities and community-based organizations that serve
formerly incarcerated people, several of the DOCS facilities we visited had editions that were out
of date.
Of the 1,186 surveys received from current treatment participants, 16% stated that they were
currently participating in TS Phase III. Twenty-nine percent of the 1,162 respondents not in
treatment stated that they were currently or previously enrolled in TS Phase III. Of these survey
respondents currently or previously enrolled in Phase III, 38% reported that they had not
received services or assistance in identifying and connecting with community-based substance
abuse treatment programs, while 62% stated they did receive such assistance. More than half
(58%) of these survey respondents stated that the TS staff were not at all or only slightly helpful,
even though 48% of the survey respondents expressed being moderately, considerably or
extremely interested in entering substance abuse treatment after release.
15.3 CONNECTING WITH OUTSIDE SERVICE PROVIDERS
At most of the facilities we visited, inmates received little assistance from DOCS staff in
contacting community-based organizations to request post-release support. However,
Transitional Services and treatment staff at some facilities (such as Bare Hill, Greene, Hale
Creek and Marcy) stated they made calls to outside treatment providers on behalf of inmates.
Inmates reported that they often wrote to service providers on their own, rarely receiving a
257

The New York Public Library, “Correctional Services Program | The New York Public Library.”

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response. Inmates may receive a more positive response from community-based treatment
programs if prison-based clinical staff initiated and were more involved in the referral process.
Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents who had been in the treatment program for longer
than 90 days said there were no meetings between aftercare providers and participants while they
were in the program. As with other features of DOCS programming discussed throughout this
report, considerable variation existed among programs. A significant percentage of treatment
participants responding to our survey at several prisons reported no such meetings, including
those at Marcy (100% of survey respondents), Shawangunk (100%), Gouverneur (94%), Wende
(91%) and Cayuga (89%). Survey respondents at other facilities, however, described meeting
with outside providers at least once during their treatment, including participants at Sing Sing
(60% of respondents), Lakeview Female (60%), Lakeview Male (44%), Washington (42%) and
Mid-State (39%).
With regard to discharge planning, 53% of surveyed treatment participants who had been in the
program for more than 90 days stated that there was no discharge plan for inmates on completing
the program. However, the ASAT Manual258calls for completion of the “ASAT
Evaluation/Discharge Form” when an inmate is discharged from treatment for any reason.259
This response by program participants indicated that the discharge planning process was limited
to completion of the form, and that participants were rarely involved in discharge planning in any
meaningful way. A higher percentage of treatment participants who had been in the program for
longer than 90 days reported that there was no discharge plan for inmates upon completion of the
program, including respondents at Wende (91% of respondents), Bare Hill (85%), Taconic
(82%), Franklin (82%) and Gouverneur (79%). In contrast, a substantial percentage of survey
respondents from other treatment programs said that a discharge plan was completed for each
individual before completing the program, including those from Hale Creek (87% of survey
respondents), Lakeview Female (86%), Lakeview Male (85%), Washington (75%) and Albion
(67%). Similarly, at Willard DTC, 88% of treatment participants who had been in the program
more than 60 days (Willard DTC is a 90-day program) reported that a discharge plan was in
place for every inmate completing the program. See Chart 15-1 for detailed information from
all facilities we visited.

258

State of New York Department of Correctional Services, Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT)
Program Operations Manual, sec. VIII. E. 36.
259
The form included in the ASAT Manual as Attachment E is titled “ASAT Program Evaluation, Referral and
Discharge Form.”

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Chart 15-1 Survey Respondents' Assessment of Aftercare Planning
(MQA Q5 & Q6)
100%
90%

Percent Responding No

80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%

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Si un
ng k
Si
n
Ta g
co
W
as
n
hi ic
ng
to
W n
en
W
d
yo e
m
in
g
To
ta
l

0%

Visited Prisons

% Responding No to Existence of Discharge Plan

% Responding No to Meetings with Aftercare Providers

15.4 DOCS IN-PRISON AFTERCARE
Inmates under DOCS custody are
“I am satisfied with the 6 month ASAT program,
prioritized for admission to substance abuse
although I wish there was a follow-up program.”
treatment based on proximity to their
release date. Nonetheless, for a variety of
Anonymous Inmate (Five Points, C.F.)
reasons, inmates may face considerable
time in prison after completing treatment.
Whether they have six months, one year or five years remaining on their sentence, moving from
a residential therapeutic community back to the prison’s general population is a major transition
that can test newly acquired skills and attitudes without the support that was readily available
from the program. In treatment, inmates are encouraged to share openly about their histories and
emotions, giving and receiving peer support, while survival in the general population can require
a guarded, impersonal manner.
In most of the facilities visited for the Substance Abuse Treatment Project, treatment staff
consistently and enthusiastically expressed the desire for continuing care programming and
services inside the prison, such as a dedicated aftercare dorm. Although staff would not conduct
treatment sessions in this area, treatment graduates could maintain a therapeutic community with
community meetings and other TC components. Treatment staff also believed that graduates of
in-prison treatment could benefit significantly from checking in with counselors periodically to
update their relapse prevention plans and refresh the skills they acquired in treatment. We were

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pleased to discover an aftercare dorm for substance abuse treatment graduates at Mid-State
Correctional Facility, and encourage the Department to expand these dorms to other facilities.
The CA recommends that DOCS explore providing formalized continuing care for inmates who
complete treatment and are awaiting release.
15.5 12-STEP PROGRAMS IN PRISON
Historically, substance abuse treatment in New York’s prisons (as in most other settings) was
based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).260 In 1996, however, New York State’s
highest court found in favor of an inmate who contended that 12-step programs are religious in
nature, so that DOCS requirements that he participate in the program violated his First
Amendment rights.261 Since then, federal courts in New York and around the country have held
similarly, so that several jurisdictions have been forced to eliminate their reliance on the 12-steps
for their clinical programming.
In New York, DOCS developed the ASAT manual and chose the therapeutic community (TC) to
replace the 12-step approach as its preferred modality, and commenced the process of converting
its treatment programs to this model. This process continues today, with varying degrees of
progress. See Section 8, Treatment Programming and Materials, for more information on
this transition and its consequences for inmates and staff.
Twelve-step meetings continue in DOCS facilities, however, as approved voluntary programs
after program hours. The meetings are organized and led by inmates or by members of local 12step groups and vary in size and frequency of sessions among facilities. Twelve-step literature,
such as books and pamphlets, are sometimes provided at no charge by local groups in the area or
national offices. The DOCS facilities provide space, but no other resources, including staff or
any other supervision or observation.
These programs serve an essential function in New York’s prisons. DOCS prioritizes inmates
for treatment based upon proximity to release, so many individuals may spend years in prison
before entering a treatment program. Inmates entering the prison system with substance abuse
problems are thus at risk for continued substance abuse or relapse. These independent programs,
managed and run by volunteers, thus provide the only recovery support for inmates awaiting
treatment. Similarly, after individuals graduate from in-prison treatment, the 12-step programs
offer the only opportunity for inmates to maintain their recovery with support and assistance
from their peers.
In most facilities, volunteers from local 12-step groups are required to conduct the meetings.
Many of New York’s prisons are in extremely remote locations, however, far from population
centers that can support an adequate corps of volunteers.
Generally, the prisons we visited reported that it is more difficult to recruit NA volunteers than
AA volunteers. This reflects the historically slower growth of Narcotics Anonymous in New
260
261

White, Slaying the Dragon, 163 ff.
Griffin v. Coughlin.

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York State, which is commonly attributed to fears that the Rockefeller drug laws would consider
NA meetings as illegal fraternizing with fellow addicts.262 Furthermore, many NA members
may be forbidden to enter DOCS facilities as conditions of parole or other restrictions. DOCS
reported that as of March 3, 2009, there were 342 individuals listed as outside volunteers for AA
meetings in prison, compared with only 51 volunteers for NA.
Thirty-three percent of respondents to our survey for individuals not currently in treatment
reported participating in a voluntary substance abuse program such as AA or NA. Of these, 55%
stated they were satisfied with the program.
As previously mentioned, participation in and frequency of AA and NA meetings differed among
facilities. At Gowanda, Cayuga, and Green Haven, meetings were held the most frequently and
had the highest attendance, while those at Five Points, Wende and Wyoming had lower
participation rates. Some facilities reported that they no longer hosted AA or NA meetings
because of construction or lack of space (Eastern); lack of volunteers (Shawangunk); low
attendance (NA at Albion); or lack of inmates with “the right credentials” (Gouverneur). Arthur
Kill was the only facility where a Spanish-speaking group (AA) met regularly. Inmates at
facilities such as Franklin, Hale Creek and Wende were able to run their own programs when
volunteers were not available. As of March 2009, the Department listed 57 facilities with AA
meetings and 15 facilities with NA meetings.
Even after release, 12-step groups and meetings may be the primary support for former inmates
as they await admission to treatment programs and long after they complete formal treatment—at
no charge. Thus, although DOCS treatment programs must take care to clarify that participation
in 12-step groups is not required, inmates should be educated about the programs: how they
work, what they offer and how to locate meetings. They should also be educated about
alternative peer support groups, such as SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery, SOS and others
that are available in the returning inmate’s community.
We found, however, that some prison treatment programs did not provide this education, nor did
they encourage inmates to attend the meetings in the facilities to become familiar with them.
Twenty-four percent of all the treatment participants we surveyed reported that discussion and
explanation of the 12-step programs were not an important part of their program. As with all our
findings, a tremendous amount of variation existed from facility to facility. See Chart 15-2.

262

White, Slaying the Dragon, 239.

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Chart 15-2 Survey Respondents' Assessment of Whether 12-Step Program
Goals Were Explained (MQA Q15(a))
Percent Not Important or Very Important Responses

80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%

A
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rt
on
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La H ree
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0%

Visited Prisons

Percent Not Important

Percent Very Important

Chart 15-2 illustrates that familiarity with the 12-step programs appears to be an integral
component of treatment in some facilities, such as Lakeview Male/Female (where 68% reported
it was very important), Green Haven (60%), Willard DTC Female (56%) and Hale Creek (50%).
The 12-step approach was considerably less prominent in programs at Oneida (56% reported it
was not important), Mid-State (46%), Bare Hill (43%), Arthur Kill 2009 (36%) and Gowanda
(33%). Treatment participants were also asked whether explanation of how to work the 12 steps
was an important part of their treatment. Similar to the data presented above, 25% of survey
respondents reported that it was not an important part of their program, with comparable
variation among facilities.
15.6 DOCS SUPPORT FOR POST-RELEASE SERVICES
An average length of stay in DOCS substance abuse treatment is six months, providing ample
opportunity for treatment staff to become familiar with the needs and strengths of program
participants. Staff are thus well positioned to help inmates plan their reentry and reintegration
into the community, especially their continuing treatment for substance use problems. For the
most part, however, current procedures do not take advantage of this rich resource.
When an inmate is discharged from a substance abuse treatment program, DOCS treatment staff
complete the “ASAT Program: Evaluation, Referral and Discharge Form.” This one-page
document includes neither recommendations for further treatment (if any) nor a summary of
individual needs. The form features a confusing grid that lists “Status and Progress in Achieving

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Stages of Recovery” on one axis and the nine competency areas of ASAT on the other. The staff
person completing the form is instructed to initial or date the grid to reflect the inmate’s
progress. The bottom of the form includes a space to check off if the discharge is satisfactory,
unsatisfactory or administrative. See Section 11, Treatment Program Completions and
Removals for more information. If “not satisfactory,” an explanation is required in the area
marked “comments.” Otherwise, no narrative or clinical comments of any kind are requested.
Some facilities have modified the form to add lines for signatures of the staff and participant,
though these do not appear in the template provided by the ASAT Manual.
The CA reviewed hundreds of DOCS substance abuse treatment case records after obtaining the
necessary consent from treatment participants. We found that these forms contained limited
substantive information about the program participant.263 In most of the records we reviewed,
any “comments” stated that the individual had completed the program. Notwithstanding the
form’s title, no referrals were mentioned. In addition, though treatment staff reported that
inmates developed relapse prevention plans as part of their treatment program, these plans were
not evident in most treatment records, nor were other clinical documents. Staff from the DOCS
Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services frequently made similar observations about the
lack of specificity in the records during their prison site visits, as discussed in Section 14,
Oversight and Supervision of DOCS Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.
As Willard DTC is only a 90-day program, we analyzed the responses to the aftercare/discharge
questions for individuals who had been enrolled in the Willard program for more than 60 days.
Seventy-eight percent of men and 100% of women reported no meetings with aftercare
providers, and 11% of men and 20% of women reported no discharge plan.
One of the keys to effective reentry planning is the existence of a variety of services to help
ensure continuity of care. Discharge plans and meetings with aftercare providers are both
integral components necessary to ensure this successful reentry. The considerable number of
treatment participants reporting no such services is of concern, but equally alarming is the
amount of variation within a single program concerning the full scope of reentry services
provided. Few program participants reported both having discharge plans and meeting with
aftercare providers. Rather, some programs, such as Hale Creek, Lakeview Male, and Willard
DTC Male/Female, had a high number of participants who described having the more general
discharge plans described above in place, but no meetings with aftercare providers.
At in-prison Parole Board hearings, community-based substance abuse treatment is sometimes
made a condition of parole. Usually, however, parole officers in the community have the
discretion to determine the treatment modality and length of stay for the parolees they supervise.
Thus, according to staff and current and former inmates we interviewed, some inmates conduct
extensive research to identify and contact community-based programs, only to be ordered to
another program by their parole officers

263

For more information about the discharge forms and case records, see Section 13, Treatment Records.

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15.7 COLLABORATING WITH PAROLE
Most DOCS treatment staff reported that their relationships with the Parole staff in their facilities
were minimal or nonexistent. DOCS treatment staff rarely collaborated with parole officers to
plan an inmate’s transition to the community. Treatment staff with whom we spoke did not feel
that Parole staff were interested in their diagnostic impressions. As treatment staff are in the best
position to make a recommendation and inform Parole of an individual’s needs, we encourage
better and more consistent coordination among treatment staff, transitional service staff and
Parole.
In addition, we recommend that DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services develop a
comprehensive discharge planning system, including a final assessment tool and specific
recommendations for post-release treatment, if any. We strongly recommend that DOCS and the
Division of Parole utilize standardized instruments to facilitate cross-disciplinary cooperation
and communication, including involvement of Transitional Services.264 We suggest that DOCS
draw on the extensive array of such instruments that have already been developed, validated and
implemented widely, all designed specifically for prison-based substance abuse treatment. These
include the tools, manuals, workbooks and instruments developed by the Texas Institute of
Behavioral Health at TCU265 and the Inmate Pre-release Assessment (IPASS) for Reentry
Planning.266 Considering the gaps, variations, inconsistencies and errors that we observed in
case records, policies and procedures, we believe that adapting and implementing these and other
practices will improve productivity, program integrity and morale.
A key to successful planning for post-release support is collaboration among all service
providers. The CA was therefore pleased to learn that DOCS is collaborating with the Division
of Parole to develop the Transitional Accountability Plan (TAP). This document will attempt to
identify and track the needs and resources available to each inmate, incorporating components
such as housing, substance abuse, mental health and employment. All treatment staff will be
trained in how to use the form and the plan effectively. DOCS reported that the TAP will be
piloted during 2010.
Work on the TAP will begin at the onset of each inmate’s incarceration. It will be a live
document that will be updated and amended throughout the individual’s incarceration to reflect
progress in treatment and changes in health, family and other areas. Parole and other agencies
will have access to the information in the document when the inmate is released. It is our
understanding that a version of this document will be passed to community-based organizations
serving the former inmate after addressing confidentiality concerns by redacting or removing
material such as pre-sentence reports.
We strongly encourage DOCS and Parole to formalize the plans for managing this system
through the reentry process and beyond. Studies show that management by a single individual,
acting as a kind of case manager, is critical to successful discharge and reentry planning.267
264

Belenko, “Assessing released inmates for substance-abuse-related service needs,” 94-113.
“IBR -- Projects -- Criminal Justice Projects.”
266
Farabee et al., “The inmate prerelease assessment for reentry planning,” 1188-1197.
267
Field, Continuity of Offender Treatment for Substance Use Disorders from Institution to Community.
265

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One aspect that appears to set this plan apart from previous attempts at enhanced discharge
planning is that DOCS is describing TAP as the inmate’s plan and is focusing on incorporating
more information on the inmate’s interests and needs. All staff working on the TAP will be
trained in motivational interviewing, a counseling technique that can enhance the inmate’s buyin and commitment to the plan.
DOCS has also reported that it is piloting new assessment instruments that are gender informed
and more comprehensive than the current tools. The CA looks forward to the implementation of
these much-needed additions and enhancements and, again, we suggest that DOCS explore the
many tools that have been developed and implemented in the field. We look forward to
observing the impact this new document has on an inmate’s experience with the reentry process.
15.8 POST-RELEASE SUPPORT
In Phase Two of the Substance Abuse Treatment Project, the CA interviewed several people who
were formerly incarcerated and had completed DOCS prison-based treatment programs. Almost
all reported that any connections they made with community-based treatment while incarcerated
were the results of their own efforts. When asked what they found most helpful in their reentry
process, most spoke of assistance received from other inmates who were familiar with programs.
Many of these formerly incarcerated individuals described facing challenges with housing and
being released to shelters where crime and drug use were rampant. They stated that the stress
associated with being released without housing, employment or support services made it very
difficult to focus on maintaining their recovery. As discussed in Section 15.2, DOCS
Transitional Services, many reported that they did not have active Medicaid coverage at the
time of their release, so they could not be admitted to a community-based treatment program.
We also convened several small focus groups on these issues. The focus group participants
reported that their parole officers often directed them to substance abuse treatment programs
without considering the parolee’s needs, resources, previous treatment and or contacts they made
with community agencies during their incarceration. They added that parole officers were often
unwilling or unable to offer the supportive services necessary for successful reentry.

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16. SPECIAL POPULATIONS
Findings
Gender appropriate topics and materials for substance abuse treatment programs in
DOCS facilities housing women varied significantly.
Inmates with both substance abuse problems and mental health needs do not consistently
receive appropriate substance abuse treatment.
Overview
The current general substance abuse treatment programs employed by DOCS could be enhanced
to better meet the needs of all individuals identified as in need of substance abuse treatment. The
needs of special populations, such as women and individuals with mental health issues, warrant
more specific treatment services requiring special attention and accommodation. Of the 58,378
inmates in New York State on January 1, 2010, a total of 2,480 were women and 8,600 were
reportedly on the OMH caseload as of January 2008.268 Consequently, this section of the report
is dedicated to identifying the specialized needs of these two subpopulations under DOCS
custody, describing the current services available for these populations and recommending
appropriate and effective substance abuse treatment components the Department could employ to
improve these services.
16.1 SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT SERVICES FOR WOMEN
In New York State, a greater percentage of female inmates than male inmates are identified as in
need of substance abuse treatment (88% compared to 82% in 2007) and committed for drugrelated offenses (30% compared to 19% in 2009).269 The proportion of women identified as
“substance users” among the total female inmate population has steadily increased over time
(from 81% in 1998 to 88% in 2007). While this may be attributed in large part to DOCS’
evolving methods of identifying inmates in need of substance abuse treatment, as discussed in
Section 4, Population Designated as In Need of Treatment, the large percentage of female
inmates in NYS with substance abuse treatment needs is also reflective of a national increase of
women in the criminal justice system throughout the United States who report having used illicit
substances. Unfortunately, the expanding rate of incarcerated women entering substance abuse
treatment throughout the United States has not been met with a similar increase in genderspecific treatment designs in correctional settings, and nearly all standardized national prison
treatment modalities remain “male dominated in content and structure.”270
Several studies have shown that female inmates who use substances have needs that differ from
their male counterparts and merit the development of specialized treatment programs. Female
268

NYS Department of Correctional Services, Under Custody Report: Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody
on January 1, 2009.
269
NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007; NYS Department of Correctional
Services, Under Custody Report: Profile of Inmate Population Under Custody on January 1, 2009.
270
Baletka and Shearer, “Assessing Program Needs of Female Offenders Who Abuse Substances.”

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inmates in need of substance abuse treatment, for example, are more likely than males to have
severe patterns and histories of drug abuse, as measured by their greater frequency of use, higher
rates of polydrug use and stronger preference for “harder drugs” such as crack, heroin, and
cocaine.271 The high frequency of use among this population is likely facilitated by many female
inmates’ relationships with substance-using friends, family members and intimate partners, as
incarcerated women identified as in need of substance abuse treatment are more likely than
males to have been raised in households with active substance use. Incarcerated women in need
of substance abuse treatment are also nearly seven times more likely than men to have been
married to a substance abuser.272 This act of maintaining and developing relationships with
substance-using individuals ultimately hinders female inmates’ recovery from addiction and
should be adequately addressed by substance abuse treatment programs.
The underlying reasons contributing to the general substance abuse of women in correctional
settings also varies from that of men. Women, for example, are more likely than men to abuse
substances as a coping mechanism to alleviate emotional pain, stress or trauma correlated with
psychological, physical and sexual abuse.273 Not only are women who commit criminal offenses
and abuse substances seven times more likely than men to report physical or sexual childhood
abuse, but they also experience higher rates of lifetime depression, suicidal behavior and
psychiatric disorders than their male counterparts.274 To best meet the needs of female inmates
with substance abuse histories, it is therefore recommended that correctional treatment programs
offer individual therapy on a regular (preferably weekly) basis, provided by mental health
professionals who are familiar with, and sensitive to, the large extent to which trauma and
psychological distress contribute to women’s motivation for using substances. 275
Although group therapy is an effective treatment method for men in correctional settings, several
questions have been raised about the effectiveness of group therapy for women identified as in
need of substance abuse treatment.276 It may be helpful, therefore, to readjust the time allotted
for group therapy in substance abuse treatment programs to allow for the provision of more
individual sessions with female inmates. In “Assessing Program Needs of Female Offenders
Who Abuse Substances,” Baletka and Shearer also note the importance of limiting the use of
confrontational models in substance abuse treatment programs, as confrontational approaches are
unintentionally perceived as threatening to women survivors of abuse and consequently inhibit
271

Langan and Pelissier, “Gender differences among prisoners in drug treatment”; Hall et al., “Treating drugabusing women prisoners”; Peters et al., “Treatment of substance-abusing jail inmates: Examination of gender
differences”; NYS Department of Correctional Services, Identified Substance Abusers 2007; Kassebaum et al.,
“Substance abuse treatment for women offenders.”
272
Langan and Pelissier, “Gender differences among prisoners in drug treatment”; Baletka and Shearer, “Assessing
Program Needs of Female Offenders Who Abuse Substances”; Kassebaum et al., “Substance abuse treatment for
women offenders.”
273
Langan and Pelissier, “Gender differences among prisoners in drug treatment”; Baletka and Shearer, “Assessing
Program Needs of Female Offenders Who Abuse Substances”; Kassebaum et al., “Substance abuse treatment for
women offenders”; Peters et al., “Treatment of substance-abusing jail inmates: Examination of gender differences.”
274
Hall et al., “Treating drug-abusing women prisoners”; Langan and Pelissier, “Gender differences among
prisoners in drug treatment.”
275
Farkas and Hrouda, “Co-occurring disorders among female jail detainees.”
276
Kelly and Kropp, “The Association of Program-Related Variables to Length of Sobriety: A Pilot Study of
Chemically Dependent Women”; Ramsey, “GENESIS: A Therapeutic Community Model for Incarcerated Female
Drug Offenders”; Baletka and Shearer, “Assessing Program Needs of Female Offenders Who Abuse Substances.”

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them in the process of identifying and addressing the underlying causes of their addiction.
Similarly, treatment approaches that emphasize the harm that substance abuse has on users and
their families have been found to have an adverse effect on women who exhibit feelings of guilt,
self-blame and low self-esteem, despite their typical effectiveness in programs for men.277
Incarcerated women in need of substance abuse treatment are also confronted with more
difficulties than men with regard to employment opportunities, housing stability and educational
attainment. Female inmates in need of substance abuse treatment, for example, are less likely
than men to have completed high school or obtained a GED, thus exacerbating the employment
obstacles they already encounter as a result of having fewer marketable skills/trades, less work
experience overall and lower earnings than men when employed. A holistic approach to
treatment that involves the coordination of other services and programs within the prison, as well
as linkages to resources in the discharge planning and reentry process, would therefore be
helpful.278 Such coordination could be facilitated by an accurate assessment of all the needs of
female inmates in substance abuse treatment programs during the initial screening process.
Apart from vocational and educational preparation, parenting training has also been identified as
a highly effective treatment component for women in correctional settings, both because they
tend to be the primary caretakers of their children and recognize its importance, and also because
substance abuse is so heavily correlated with substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect.279
Nationally, eight out of every 10 women entering the criminal justice system are parents, and
approximately two-thirds of all women in prison have children who are under the age of 18.280
For many incarcerated women, losing custody of their children as a result of their incarceration
may heighten the guilt and self-blame they already feel and motivate them to participate in
treatment. As a result, parenting training that focuses on the relationship between substance
abuse and family relationships could be particularly helpful for women identified as in need of
substance abuse treatment. SAMSHA recommends that programs working with females who
commit offenses use initial screening and assessment instruments that incorporate information
related to parenting and the individual’s custody of children to capture information that is
relevant to women. Although very few women-focused instruments exist, some (such as TCUDS
II), have been reported to have “good reliability with both genders,” while others (TWEAK)
having been specifically designed for women.281
Finally, treatment-seeking female inmates, particularly those who report intravenous drug-use,
are more susceptible to sexual and reproductive health risks than males, as they are more likely
to engage in high-risk sex with other partners, share needles and exchange sex for money or
drugs. These behaviors, in turn, result in a heightened chance of contracting a Sexually
Transmitted Infection (STI), which, if untreated, can lead to significant health complications
such as cervical cancer, infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and increased rates of HIV
277

Baletka and Shearer, “Assessing Program Needs of Female Offenders Who Abuse Substances.”
Langan and Pelissier, “Gender differences among prisoners in drug treatment”; Alemagno, “Women in jail.”
279
Baletka and Shearer, “Assessing Program Needs of Female Offenders Who Abuse Substances.”
280
Kassebaum et al., “Substance abuse treatment for women offenders.”
281
Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf, 38; Kassebaum et al., “Substance abuse treatment for women offenders.”
TWEAK is an acronym for Tolerance, Worried, Eye-opener, Amnesia, and K/Cut down on alcohol consumption.
278

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transmission.282 It is important, therefore, that correctional substance abuse treatment programs
for women include a safe-sex education component encompassing HIV education and prevention
to help offset and minimize the risks that women encounter in these areas.
As part of our Substance Abuse Treatment Project, the Correctional Association visited a number
of substance abuse treatment programs, two of which were exclusively women’s facilities
(Albion and Taconic) and two of which offered women’s substance abuse treatment programs
(Lakeview and Willard Drug Treatment Campus) in facilities treating both men and women in
separate programs. At first glance, the data we collected from both male and female inmates in
substance abuse treatment programs suggested that women had higher satisfaction rates across a
number of treatment components, as well as higher levels of overall engagement. For example,
women (25%) strongly agreed that the people in the program were trying to do what was best for
them more often than men (12%). Similarly, women (39%) felt that staff believed in them at
higher levels than men (16%). Finally, women rated both their participation in (88%) and
commitment to (82%) the program more positively than men (69% and 62%, respectively).
Though seemingly more positive, women also reported experiencing slightly greater hesitation
about participating in treatment when compared to men, with 53% of female respondents and
44% of male respondents stating that treatment program participants were mostly or very afraid
to speak up for fear of ridicule or retaliation.
However, upon observing inmate responses on a facility-by-facility basis, we noticed significant
variability in satisfaction and engagement levels among different women facilities. Taconic and
Lakeview were two facilities that had higher rates of satisfaction and engagement in a number of
areas and consequently influenced the higher satisfaction and engagement levels reported by
women as a whole. As an example of this variation, (56%) of Taconic inmates reported that it
was mostly or very true that the people in their program were “trying to do what’s best” for them,
but only 26% of Albion inmates reported feeling the same way. The low percentage of women
from Albion who responded positively to this particular prompt was even less than the 27% of
the total male respondents who also reported that it was mostly or very true that their programs
were acting in their best interests. Similarly, when asked about their engagement levels, 64% of
Lakeview female inmates reported feeling that it was mostly or very true that they feel an
attachment to and ownership of their program, a percentage that was significantly more than that
of Albion inmates (39%), who had more positive responses than male inmates overall (35%).
When visiting Taconic, we were pleased to find that the substance abuse treatment program staff
members were making a number of efforts to incorporate gender-specific treatment components
into their curriculum, such as discussions regarding the impact of substance abuse on the female
reproductive system and a “Wellness Day” for ASAT and CASAT program participants. ASAT
staff also appeared sensitive to the fact that the current ASAT and CASAT curriculum did not
adequately address the extensive trauma, especially domestic violence, that many of their
program participants had experienced. To supplement the DOCS ASAT curriculum outlined in
the ASAT Program Operations Manual, ASAT staff reported using spirituality, stress
management and self-assessment planning exercises from SAMHSA and Hazelden materials.
The effort to incorporate more gender-specific material into the program at Taconic likely
influenced some of the high satisfaction and engagement rates reported, and we encourage the
282

Baletka and Shearer, “Assessing Program Needs of Female Offenders Who Abuse Substances.”

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Department to develop a women-centered curriculum for all DOCS treatment programs serving
women.
16.2 TREATMENT SERVICES FOR INMATES WITH CO-OCCURRING DISORDERS
Individuals with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders represent another significant
sector of the prison population with specialized treatment needs. Nation-wide, it is estimated
that co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (COD) are more prevalent among
individuals involved in the criminal justice system than in the general population, with
approximately 75% of inmates in state prisons in need of substance abuse treatment identified as
also having a mental health condition.283 While it is currently unclear how many inmates in New
York State are actually dually-diagnosed with both substance abuse and mental health disorders,
it is surely greater than the approximately 4% of treatment beds currently designated for inmates
with co-occurring disorders in NYS DOCS correctional facilities. An accurate determination of
the real need of treatment beds and programs, however, would require an adequate assessment of
the prevalence of co-occurring mental and substance use disorders in the New York State inmate
population, though a 2007 Office of Mental Health (OMH) report estimates that 30.2% of 8,400
DOCS inmates on the OMH caseload have a primary or secondary diagnosis of substance
abuse.284
16.2.1 Community Treatment Standards for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental and
Substance Use Disorders
Nationally, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) states
that the identification of one disorder (either mental health or substance use) should
automatically trigger a screening for the other type of disorder given the high rates of cooccurring disorders among individuals involved in the criminal justice system. 285 In the
assessment process, SAMSHA further suggests that a skilled evaluator conduct a joint, rather
than separate, assessment of mental health and substance use disorders and examine the
interaction between symptoms of both to determine whether the individual’s mental health
condition is present independent of his/her substance use, whether it is contingent on that
person’s use of a controlled substance or whether the individual’s substance use is merely
mimicking symptoms of a mental disorder.286 It is also possible that mental health conditions
previously masked by an inmate’s use emerge only after he/she attains abstinence, or that an
individual experiences heightened depression or anxiety in the early stages of recovery as a result
of his/her withdrawal. For these reasons, mental health assessments of individuals identified as
in need of substance abuse treatment should occur regularly throughout the treatment process,
not just during the initial screening period.

283

Rothbard et al., “Effectiveness of a jail-based treatment program for individuals with co-occurring disorders”;
Taxman et al., “COD services in community correctional settings.”
284
NYS Office of Mental Health, Central New York Psychiatric Center, “CNYPC Patient Demographic and
Diagnostic Profile - Year 2007.”
285
Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
286
Ibid.

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There are numerous tools and instruments that can be used during the screening and assessment
process to determine the severity of an individual’s mental health and substance abuse issues.
Several commonly used screening instruments that focus on both substance use and mental
disorders include the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), the Global Appraisal of Needs (GAIN) –
Short Screener and the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). These
instruments were reviewed by a joint Co-Occurring Center for Excellence (COCE)/Co-Occurring
State Incentive Grants (COSIG) Workgroup and found to be reliable, internally consistent and
valid.287 Although the actual criteria for determining whether an individual has a co-occurring
disorder varies considerably and encompasses multiple substance-related and mental health
diagnoses, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and
National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) developed a
conceptual framework that classifies individuals into four quadrants based on the relative
severity of their substance abuse and mental disorders: (I) less severe mental disorder/less severe
substance disorder, (II) more severe mental disorder/less severe substance disorder, (III) less
severe mental disorder/more severe substance disorder, and (IV) more severe mental
disorder/more severe substance disorder.288 Each quadrant in the model corresponds to an
appropriate level of care, ranging from primary care settings or intermediate outpatient settings
for either mental health or substance use programs to intensive, comprehensive and highly
integrated programs that address both mental health and substance abuse issues.289
In describing the treatment needs of inmates with co-occurring mental and substance use
disorders (hereafter referred to as COD), it is important to emphasize that individuals with dualdiagnoses are not a homogenous group and have many different mental health and substance use
needs that will inevitably influence the effectiveness of any given treatment modality or
approach. Some variation among inmates with COD may be attributed to gender differences
between males and females in need of substance abuse treatment (e.g., women are more likely
than men to be diagnosed with PTSD or depression).290 Although there is substantial literature
that indicates the usefulness of targeted interventions for specific populations (e.g., Dialectical
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has been found to be particularly effective in treating duallydiagnosed individuals with borderline personality disorder, while Seeking Safety has shown
promise among dually-diagnosed women suffering from PTSD),291 it is beyond the scope of this
section to make diagnosis-specific recommendations for treatment. Instead, we will speak
broadly of the general treatment needs and possible treatment approaches for individuals with
co-occurring disorders.
Individuals with COD have been referred to generally as “a particularly vulnerable subgroup
with complex service and treatment needs”292 that merit special attention in the provision of
substance abuse treatment programs. As a whole, they are less likely to receive both mental
287

SAMHSA's Co-Occuring Center for Excellence (COCE), “Screening: Technical Assistance (TA) Report for the
Co-Occuring State Incentive Grants (COSIGSs).”
288
SAMHSA's Co-Occuring Center for Excellence (COCE), “Definitions and Terms Relating to Co-Occuring
Disorders Overview Paper 1.”
289
SAMHSA's Co-Occuring Center for Excellence (COCE), “Overarching Principles to Address the Needs of
Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders Overview Paper 3.”
290
Farkas and Hrouda, “Co-occurring disorders among female jail detainees.”
291
Taxman et al., “COD services in community correctional settings.”
292
Tsai et al., “Integrated dual disorders treatment.”

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health and substance abuse treatment and more likely to have poorer outcomes in treatment
(including low engagement levels and early termination) when they receive care in only mental
health or substance use. Without treatment in both areas, individuals with COD are at a greater
risk of relapse, suicide, HIV infection, unemployment and poor interpersonal relationships than
the general population.293 Dually-diagnosed individuals involved in the criminal justice system
are also particularly susceptible to incarceration or re-incarceration, similar to the way that
individuals with co-occurring disorders who are not involved in the criminal justice system are
vulnerable to hospitalization or re-hospitalization in the absence of treatment.294 Studies have
additionally shown that individuals with co-occurring disorders who have committed offenses
are at greater risk of acting violently than individuals with mental health disorders alone, with the
rate of violent acts increasing proportionate to substance use, thus emphasizing the importance of
providing concurrent substance abuse treatment.295
Some components of traditional substance abuse treatment programs (e.g., intense encounters)
are not conducive to the recovery of individuals with serious mental disorders and may
contribute to some of the previously referenced poor treatment outcomes (e.g., low engagement,
early termination, etc.) observed among individuals with dual-diagnoses. Confrontational
services and the rigidity of many traditional substance abuse treatment services, for example,
have been found to be overly harsh or impose too many undue restrictions for individuals with
mental health diagnoses and can lead to decompensation in some cases.296
Instead, treatment programs that appropriately implement a modified therapeutic community
(MTC) approach have been found to be useful in correctional settings for individuals with cooccurring disorders, in part because they can provide increased flexibility of programming and a
decreased intensity of interpersonal interactions.297 When paired with an integrated aftercare
component, the modified therapeutic community model has been shown to produce significantly
better outcomes as compared to a comparison group on measures of re-incarceration298 and
substance use.299 Additionally, there exists a substantial evidence base for Integrated Dual
Disorder Treatment (IDDT) as community-based treatment for individuals with serious mental
disorders co-occurring with substance use disorders.
In general, there is a clinical consensus that integrated mental health and substance abuse
treatment provides effective ways to produce optimal outcomes for individuals with co-occurring
disorders (See, for example SAMHSA TIP 42). Integrated treatment refers broadly to any
mechanism by which treatment interventions for co-occurring disorders are combined within the
context of a primary treatment relationship or service setting. Integrated treatment is a means of
actively combining interventions intended to address substance use and mental disorders in order

293

Hawkins, “A Tale of Two Systems”; Taxman et al., “COD services in community correctional settings.”
Cropsey et al., “Specialized prisons and services”; Taxman et al., “COD services in community correctional
settings.”
295
Cropsey et al., “Specialized prisons and services.”
296
DiNitto, Webb, and Rubin, “The effectiveness of an integrated treatment approach for clients with dual
diagnoses.”
297
Sacks, Sacks, and Stommel, “Modified TC for MICA Inmates in Correctional Settings: A Program Description.”
298
Sacks et al., “Modified TC for MICA offenders.”
299
Sullivan et al., “Modified Therapeutic Community Treatment for Offenders with MICA Disorders.”
294

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to treat both disorders, related problems and the whole person more effectively.300 The settings
in which integrated services can be delivered vary from a single provider who identifies and
treats an individual’s substance abuse and mental health needs through direct contact, to several
programs or teams of providers who collaborate to deliver mental health and substance abuse
services. Integrated services should be offered to individuals with co-occurring disorders during
the screening, assessment, treatment planning, treatment delivery and continuing care phases of
any given program. Individuals with co-occurring disorders who receive integrated care in the
community are not only more likely to be engaged in their treatment and adhere to their
treatment plan, but are also more likely to attend/complete their program and have better posttreatment outcomes.301
16.2.2 DOCS Programs for Individuals with Co-Occurring Mental and
Substance Use Disorders
The Office of Mental Health (OMH) provides all mental health treatment services in New York
State prisons and each correctional facility is assigned an OMH level from 1 to 6, with OMH
level 1 facilities housing individuals with the most intensive mental health treatment needs and
OMH level 6 facilities having no mental health treatment programs or staff on site. Fourteen of
the OMH level 1 correctional facilities in New York State operate a residential Intermediate Care
Program (ICP) for individuals with mental health disorders who are unable to manage in the
general prison population. Most of these ICP units offer a variety of program and treatment
services including substance abuse treatment programs run by DOCS, and were previously
referred to as ICP ASAT programs (the name has recently been changed to ICP IDDT).
Individuals housed in the ICP may be required to participate in an ICP IDDT program if
identified as having a co-occurring substance use disorder.
In addition to treatment programs in the ICP, individuals with co-occurring mental and substance
use disorders may receive some level of substance abuse treatment in the Behavioral Housing
Unit (BHU) or Special Treatment Program (STP), both programs for individuals in disciplinary
housing with mental health disorders. (See Section 16.2.4) We commend both DOCS and OMH
for the strong commitment they have made to providing adequate mental health services for
individuals residing in the ICP and disciplinary housing units, and have observed that many
inmates in these units report higher rates of satisfaction and feelings of safety and support than
their counterparts in general population.
With more than 8,600 inmates on the DOCS OMH caseload and only 589 residing in ICP units,
the majority of individuals with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders are housed in
general population (GP) and only three DOCS facilities operate ASAT programs for general
population COD inmates, previously referred to as MICA ASAT and now named IDDT GP.
As of August 2009, DOCS reported that IDDT programs (e.g., programs for ICP, STP, BHU,
and general population inmates) had a combined capacity of 379 inmates (Table 16-1). As
300

Sacks, Ries, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with CoOccurring Disorders: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 42 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement
Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
301
Rothbard et al., “Effectiveness of a jail-based treatment program for individuals with co-occurring disorders.”

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previously discussed, these substance abuse treatment programs are offered to individuals with
co-occurring mental and substance use disorders in disciplinary, residential mental health and
general population settings.302
TABLE 16-1 Substance Abuse Treatment Programs in DOCS Special Housing Units
Program and Prisons Offered

Unit Capacity

Unit Census
July 2009

SA Program
Capacity

Albion
Attica
Auburn
Clinton
Elmira
Fishkill
Five Points
Great Meadow
Mid-State
Sing Sing
Wende
TOTAL

38
78
50
60
56
24
22
102
20
64
38
552

19
73
49
60
57
23
21
66
20
62
32
589

17
17
17
17
9
9
10
17
10
17
17
157

Mid-State
Arthur Kill
Bedford Hills
TOTAL

1,187
969
856
3,012

1,116
911
717
2,744

42
17
50
109

Five Points STP

50

46

7

Great Meadow
(cell study only)
Sullivan
TOTAL

38

39

38

64
102

23
62

60
98

IDDT ICP

IDDT GP

STP ASAT
BHU ASAT

Although the DOCS’ Intermediate Care Program (ICP) manual outlines the admissions criteria
for the ICP housing unit, it does not present the criteria used to select which ICP inmates are
eligible for substance abuse programming while housed in the ICP unit. During a visit to
Downstate Reception Facility in November 2009, Correctional Association staff members
inquired about the substance abuse and mental health screening process for all inmates entering
DOCS custody, but were unable to ascertain the instruments used to make this assessment, the
302

In addition to these programs, DOCS offers a Special Needs Unit ASAT program for inmates with developmental
disabilities. These operate in at least two facilities and offer twenty treatment slots. These programs are not covered
in this report because PVP did not observe or gather specific data from these programs during the course of the
study.

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point at which the decision is made to place an individual into any specialized treatment
programs for individuals with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders nor the individual
or agency (DOCS or OMH) responsible for making the determination. Though we believe OMH
may be conducting their own evaluation and diagnosis of substance abuse, our best estimate is
that DOCS is responsible for identifying and placing inmates into these specialized substance
abuse treatment programs. It is evident that inmates in New York State prisons do not undergo a
joint mental health and substance abuse screening process, but rather, are assessed for mental
health conditions separately from being screened for substance abuse. As mental health and
corrections counselors conduct separate screenings with inmates, it is unclear if there is any
process for communicating information between the two groups.
16.2.3 Treatment for Inmates with Co-occurring Disorders in Residential Mental
Health Programs
The ICP IDDT program, offered at 11 facilities, only serves individuals identified by OMH as
having an Axis I and/or Axis II DSM-IV303 mental health diagnosis. Of the various substance
abuse treatment programs offered to inmates with mental health issues, the ICP IDDT programs
are by far the most integrated and appropriate for individuals with co-occurring disorders. ICP
IDDT programs involve collaboration between OMH staff and substance abuse corrections
counselors and do not use confrontational models, hierarchy, pushups/pull-ups, or impose strict
time limits for program completion. Additionally, OMH provides inmates with mental health
conditions in specialized substance abuse treatment programs with additional discharge planning
services. Though DOCS has reported that an updated IDDT program curriculum is used for
these programs, the CA has been unable to access a copy and is therefore unable to comment on
how comprehensive or effective the program content is.
The 11 ICP IDDT programs have a capacity to serve 157 participants among the total ICP
population that can reach a maximum of 781 patients if all units are at full capacity. Most of the
ICP IDDT programs we visited were not filled to capacity, and these facilities reported no
waiting list for the program, suggesting that the needs of most co-occurring ICP inmates were
being met at these prisons.
16.2.4 Treatment for Inmates with Co-occurring Disorders in Disciplinary
Confinement
Modified ASAT programs are offered to Behavioral Health Unit (BHU)304 inmates at Great
Meadow and Sullivan Correctional Facilities, and to Specialized Treatment Program (STP)305
inmates housed in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at Five Points. The substance abuse
treatment offered to inmates in the above disciplinary settings is extremely limited and primarily
consists of a cell-study program guided by a substance abuse treatment-readiness workbook,
303

As detailed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), Fourth Edition, Axis I diagnoses includes clinical
syndromes such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar whereas Axis II diagnosis refer to both developmental and
personality disorders.
304
The BHU is a DOCS residential program for inmates with mental illness or serious behavior problems who are
serving lengthy disciplinary sentences.
305
The STP is a DOCS program for SHU inmates with mental illness that offers five hours per week of group
counseling.

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with the exception of Sullivan’s BHU ASAT program.306 This workbook is solely focused on
substance use and does not clearly address the mental health needs of this population.
With approximately 5,000 disciplinary confinement (SHU) beds in the system and a population
of 4,350 inmates housed in these units as of 2009, there is a need to develop treatment programs
for disciplinary inmates who are not allowed to participate in the general population treatment
programs while they are in the SHU. The CA has visited many disciplinary units, and the
percentage of these inmates suffering from mental health problems is even greater than the 14%
of the entire prison population on the OMH caseload. For example, at some disciplinary units
we have visited, 20% to 50% of the disciplinary inmates are actively receiving mental health
care. Similarly, many of the disciplinary inmates also have substance abuse problems, including
some of whom have been disciplined for using drugs in the prison. The only treatment program
for disciplinary inmates involving regular sessions with a treatment staff occurs at Sullivan’s
BHU program, a 60-bed program for disciplinary inmates with serious mental health problems.
The remainder of DOCS disciplinary inmates either have no access to any substance abuse
treatment services or can use the treatment-readiness workbook. A more comprehensive program
and support system is needed, especially for SHU inmates (who often have intense substance
abuse and mental health needs).
16.2.5 Treatment for Inmates with Co-occurring Disorders in General Population
Given that residential substance abuse treatment options for individuals with co-occurring mental
and substance use disorders are offered at only a limited number of facilities and only serve
individuals with serious mental illness, the majority of inmates with more moderate mental
health needs are placed in regular, non-IDDT substance abuse treatment programs. Anecdotally,
treatment staff in general population substance abuse treatment programs have informed the CA
on our visits that addressing the mental health issues of these inmates is one of the greatest
challenges they face in their substance abuse treatment programs. There are only two male
(Arthur Kill, capacity of 17 and Mid-State, capacity of 42) and one female (Bedford Hills,
capacity of 50) prisons that have specialized IDDT programs for general population inmates.
The general population IDDT programs at these three facilities have a combined capacity for
only 109 participants, an amount clearly insufficient to meet the needs of the inmate population
with co-occurring disorders residing in general population. With 8,600 DOCS inmates on the
OMH caseload in 2009, including estimates of 2,360 to 3,000 DOCS inmates with serious
mental illness, the Department has an extremely large population of individuals who require
significant mental health services. The total capacity of the Department’s residential mental
health programs for non-disciplinary inmates with serious mental illness is approximately 1,030
beds, well below the number of inmates with serious mental illness. Consequently, 1,300 to
2,000 inmates with serious mental illness live in general population, and many of these
individuals have substance abuse histories, given the Department’s estimate that 83% of all
inmates are identified substance abusers. DOCS’ 109 general population IDDT program slots
cannot meet this need and most inmates with serious mental illness in general population are
306

Sullivan Correctional Facility is an exception, as it is the only place where substance abuse treatment programs
offered to inmates in the BHU can be applied towards merit time eligibility. However, the Correctional Association
did not visit Sullivan C.F. as part of our study.

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either assigned to a regular substance treatment program or prohibited from participating in the
many prisons substance abuse treatment programs for general population inmates that do not
accept individuals with serious mental illness. One barrier that exists to expanding IDDT
programs in general population is the need for greater coordination between OMH and DOCS.
The Office of Mental Health operates independently from DOCS and has their own staff and
budget to provide mental health services for inmates in New York State prisons. In order to run
effective IDDT programs in general population, certain OMH resources (e.g., staff) are required.
As DOCS does not control these limited resources, they would have to work intensively with
OMH to identify available resources and programs for COD inmates in general population.
Whereas the specialized DOCS IDDT substance abuse treatment programs in general population
have been reportedly designed to be adjusted to meet the needs of inmates with co-occurring
mental and substance use disorders,307 inmates with mental health conditions who participate in
general population substance abuse treatment programs, not general population IDDT, do not
receive the same level of integrated treatment (e.g., trained OMH staff or a curriculum
specifically designed for individuals with dual diagnoses). It is well documented that COD
individuals involved in the criminal justice system who are placed in general substance abuse
treatment programs forgo many benefits of integrated care identified by experts, including
reduced substance use and improved abstinence, improved mental health symptoms (including
fewer suicidal thoughts), and reduced rates of hospitalization, re-incarceration and arrest.308
Individuals with COD in general population in New York prisons should be provided with more
opportunities and programs for integrated treatment services as well as a program facilitated by
qualified, mental health and substance abuse counselors or program assistants.
Furthermore, dually-diagnosed participants in general population IDDT programs often lack an
extensive aftercare component critical to their success and recovery. A reoccurring theme
among inmates in IDDT general population programs at Arthur Kill Correctional Facility was
that they received inadequate discharge planning services or none at all. One inmate survey
respondent stated that he “had to contact other treatment agencies myself” and had “no help from
staff for outpatient counseling.” Yet discharge planning in correctional settings, which can be
even more challenging for dually-diagnosed inmates than for inmates with mental health needs,
remains an essential element in adequately preparing inmates with co-occurring disorders for
their return to the community.309 Some jail-based programs have adopted an integrated approach
to service coordination and community referrals, including a treatment team comprised of
corrections counselors, community treatment providers, forensic case managers and probation
officers (where applicable) that communicates regularly with a re-entry liaison to plan a duallydiagnosed inmate’s transition back into the community.310
307

The IDDT programs in general population reportedly utilize the previously mentioned newly updated IDDT
curriculum/manual that we have been unable to assess.
308
Rothbard et al., “Effectiveness of a jail-based treatment program for individuals with co-occurring disorders”;
Drake, O'Neal, and Wallach, “A systematic review of psychosocial research on psychosocial interventions for
people with co-occurring severe mental and substance use disorders”; Smith, Sawyer, and Way, “Central New York
psychiatric center”; Sacks, Ries, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for
Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 42 -- SAMHSA/CSAT
Treatment Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf.
309
Smith, Sawyer, and Way, “Central New York psychiatric center.”
310
Rothbard et al., “Effectiveness of a jail-based treatment program for individuals with co-occurring disorders.”

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16.2.6 Survey Participants Assessment of IDDT Services
Over the course of the project, the Correctional Association visited four IDDT programs (both
ICP/IDDT and GP/IDDT) with a combined capacity of 103 inmates. We sent out 70 surveys to
treatment participants in these programs and received 26 surveys in return: Arthur Kill (11),
Mid-State (11), Sing Sing (3), and Wende (1). In addition, we were able to conduct short
interviews with IDDT treatment participants during the visit.
While we realize that the project does not have sufficient data to conduct a significant
quantitative analysis, many inmate comments and survey responses still merit consideration.
Several inmates in IDDT programs who communicated with the CA reported feeling dissatisfied
and disengaged with their treatment due to their lack of involvement in their own treatment
process. Some participants noted that they either did not have a treatment plan or were not
consulted in the development of their treatment plan, and felt as though their goals were preestablished by program staff rather than by their personal treatment needs and objectives.
Alternately, inmates in ICP/IDDT programs, administered by both OMH and DOCS staff,
reported that staff were more engaged and provided more individual attention to inmates than
general population substance abuse treatment program staff. The ICP/IDDT survey participants
also expressed greater satisfaction with their treatment program and had more positive
assessments of the effectiveness of communication within their program than the responses from
general population treatment program participants.
Regardless of the treatment setting (residential, disciplinary, or general population), we
recommend that staff members implementing substance abuse treatment programs are required
to undergo and provided with considerable mental health training. Staff members operating the
specialized IDDT substance abuse treatment programs, whether in the ICP or general population,
in particular should be mental health professionals cross-trained in both substance abuse and
mental health practices.

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17. MODEL PROGRAMS
In order to effectively and accurately make recommendations for improving substance abuse
treatment services in New York State prisons, we researched best-practice models already in
place throughout the United States. These prison-based substance abuse treatment programs
helped us to understand the components necessary for prison-based treatment programs to be
effective. Many of the research articles we reviewed during our literature were for studies and
outcomes that were slightly out of date. After consultation with our advisory committee, we
identified the main vendor companies providing prison-based treatment services and enquired
about their most stable and effective programs. We spoke with representatives from WestCare
Foundation Inc., Community Education Centers, Inc. (CEC) and Gateway Foundation Inc. and
were provided various recommendations, some of which were included in our literature search.
The following is a brief description of the programs for which we were able to have one- to twohour telephone interviews, as well as three programs in New Jersey that we visited in person.
The summaries below are based on the descriptions provided to us by the various programs, and
are not a result of any assessment done by the Correctional Association of New York.
17.1 SHERIDAN CORRECTIONAL CENTER: SHERIDAN, ILLINOIS
The Sheridan program is one of the largest prison-based treatment programs in the country and is
run by WestCare. The treatment program at Sheridan began in 2004 as a result of extensive
work by the governor’s office, Illinois Department of Corrections, treatment providers and other
experts to create a program based on best practices that would effectively serve both the inmate
population and community at large. It currently has 950 treatment beds and 430 beds for pretreatment programming. Sheridan utilizes a therapeutic community model integrating education,
job preparation, counseling, clinical reentry management services and community reintegration.
Treatment staff employ what they describe as “enhanced best practice cognitive- behavioral
programming,” a specialized Young Adult Aggression Management component, and integrate
12-step programming. As a TC program, Sheridan employs a hierarchy that allows individuals
to work their way up into positions of greater leadership. In addition, individuals at Sheridan take
part in a daily, 30-minute morning meeting.
Participants at Sheridan cannot be mandated into the program. If they refuse to participate or
withdraw from the program, they must complete their sentence at a regular correctional facility.
The program at Sheridan lasts from nine to 24 months, though the average participant will
complete it in 11 months. The completion rate for the Sheridan program is 80%, and no
individuals are removed from the program for poor program performance. Individuals not
performing well are given more specialized treatment, and staff work closely to monitor and
assist them to succeed. Individuals can be removed for disciplinary or administrative reasons,
though prior to this point, a process is established that requires all individuals facing removal to
attend a meeting with DOC officers and treatment staff. Though Sheridan is an extremely large
program, the staff-to-participant ratio is 1:20. Treatment staff are at the facility until 7:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday, and a limited number treatment staff are present during the weekend
hours.

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Fifty percent of all treatment staff were certified drug counselors at the time of our interview,
though the remaining staff were all in the process of obtaining their certification. Illinois law
requires that an individual can only work as a substance abuse counselor for two years before
getting certified. Treatment staff are given one full day per month of training, and the program
focuses on providing clinical supervision. The individuals with whom we spoke believe that one
of the many reasons that Sheridan is successful is that the warden and assistant warden both have
substance abuse training and experience. In addition, the program employs many recovering
staff and formerly incarcerated individuals who, they believe, are better able to connect with the
participants.
Individuals at Sheridan are programmed into group sessions in the morning or afternoon. When
they are not participating in these groups, they are attending vocational or educational training,
employment readiness programming or reentry case management. Prior to launching the
program, the individuals involved in creating the Sheridan program performed a labor market
analysis to get a better understanding of in-demand jobs. As a result, the vocational programs
offered at Sheridan directly relate to opportunities in the community. Sheridan has focused on
working closely with community members and groups in order to ensure a positive transition
after release. Community-based organizations come to the prison and speak with treatment
participants; in addition, post-release case management services are offered as well as housing
assistance. By working closely with an array of outside organizations, treatment staff report
being able to make recommendations based on an individual’s level of care need and other risk
factors, and can help participants connect to vocational and aftercare treatment services.
Participants at Sheridan are provided a minimum of one hour per month of individual
counseling. The program is licensed by the Illinois Department of Alcohol and Substance Abuse
(DASA). An outside researcher from Loyola University has been involved in conducting
ongoing evaluations of the program’s effectiveness. He has found that, after controlling for the
influence of age, race, education level, marital status, number of children, committing county,
gang membership, conviction offense, felony crime class, total prior arrests, prior arrests for drug
law violations and violent crimes, time served in prison and prior prison sentences, Sheridan
graduates had a 20% lower likelihood of being reincarcerated than the statistically similar
comparison group. Furthermore, the likelihood of reincarceration for those Sheridan graduates
who complete aftercare is 52% lower than the comparison group.311 In addition, treatment
records are regularly reviewed by clinical supervisors and they report that problems are
addressed immediately.
17.2 OZARK CORRECTIONAL CENTER: FORDLAND, MISSOURI
The 650-bed dedicated treatment facility, operated by Gateway Foundation Inc. Corrections
Division, is a therapeutic community program lasting approximately 12 months and running 24
hours per day, seven days per week. The program is divided into three phases. Phase I is the
“orientation” phase, lasting three to three and a half weeks in length with a participant population
of between 75 and 85 men. This phase consists of a tightly structured schedule, beginning at
6:30 a.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m., made up of small groups, classes, community meetings,
311

Olson, Rozhon, and Powers, “Enhancing prisoner reentry through access to prison-based and post-incarceration
aftercare treatment.”

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encounter sessions and recreation and hygiene time. Phase II is referred to as the “intensive
treatment” phase and generally runs for five to six months with a participant population of
between 270 and 280 men. During this phase, individuals participate in a half day of treatment
programming and a half day of working in the facility. Phase III, the “relapse prevention/
reentry” phase, lasts approximately five months and has a participant population of about 320
men. During this phase, participants attend fewer classes than in Phase II; they may have fulltime jobs during the day and attend treatment groups at night. In addition to the three phases
described above, Ozark Correction Center (OCC) also operates a Phase IV program for chronic
offenders where the focus is on DWI education and advanced relapse prevention.
OCC has 31 treatment staff comprised of 15 “counselor 1” positions (individuals not required to
be certified), nine “counselor 2” positions (staff certified or qualified), and three “counselor 3”
positions (staff certified with advanced degree). In addition, there are two clinical supervisors,
one clinical director and one program director. Only the certified/qualified counselors facilitate
the small group sessions and conduct individual counseling, while the remaining counselors offer
support, monitoring and educational lecturing. Though the facility is contractually obligated to
provide 20 hours of training per year, they usually offer more than 40 hours per year of training
focused on the core competency areas and working with dual diagnosis individuals. Security
staff tend to be supportive of the treatment and may participate by writing pull-ups and push-ups,
staffing and selecting members for the hierarchy structure. TC training for security staff was a
past requirement, but since many of the current security staff have been at the facility for some
time, the majority have received some type of TC training. OCC staff are also all exposed to
reality therapy training.
The Missouri Department of Correction staff determines eligibility and exclusion for the OCC
program. In order to be eligible, individuals must have four years or more on their sentence and
a history of chronic substance use.312 The program accepts individuals with co-occurring
disorders, but not individuals who need protective custody. Individuals with co-occurring
disorders work closely with mental health staff who will have joint meetings with treatment staff
on a monthly basis. These individuals participate in regular programming and receive any
additional mental health support on an individual basis. Also, chronic/repeat offenders who have
received more than a two-year prison sentence and are court mandated to treatment can be sent to
the facility. Currently, many of the decisions made at the diagnostic center are based more on
security risk than on the severity of an individual’s substance abuse problem, though individuals
from OCC and MDOC are working with Texas Christian University (TCU) to develop a
treatment matching protocol. If an individual decides to decline to participate in the program at
OCC, he must serve the remainder of his sentence in another facility. If an individual has
received a longer sentence from a judge but graduates from the OCC treatment program before
his sentence is complete, a judge will make a final decision as to whether or not to grant that
individual early release. If early release is given, the individual will be placed on probation for
the remainder of his sentence.
Though the program uses the TC model as the primary treatment modality, it also relies heavily
on cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and the 12-step program. Treatment
312

The term “chronic” as applied at Ozark Correctional Center is a generic identifier for offenders who have been
sentenced to two years of treatment for DWI-specific charges.

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participants are required to attend AA/NA groups two to three times per week. Every day begins
with a morning meeting lasting 30 minutes and concludes with an encounter or confrontation
group, followed by a “wrap-up” session that allows the day to end in a more positive and
motivational manner. There is a full hierarchy in place, though some modifications have been
made to the exact role of the inmate within that structure. In addition to the encounter groups
that run five nights a week for 45 minutes per session, the program utilizes a therapeutic peer
review (TPR) to address specific participant behavior. The TPR group, comprising senior
hierarchy members, meets up to three times per day, and sessions primarily involve the use of
pull-ups and push-ups. An individual who has been directed to report to the TPR panel at the
evening meeting will report at the designated time and either admit or deny the actions stated on
the pull-up. If the individual denies the behavior, he will be required to provide three witnesses
on his behalf and an investigation will ensue. If the behavior is admitted, the individual must
follow the TPR script, listen to the panel members without offering an explanation or defense
and conclude by saying “Thank you for your responsible concern.”
Ozark Correctional Center uses Gateway’s curriculum for their didactic classes, as well as the
Change Companies’ Relapse Prevention and Reentry Programs curriculum. Though the basic
curriculum is provided to all treatment staff, it is left to individual staff members to decide on
how they want to present the information. Small groups consist of around 12 individuals and the
larger classes have approximately 25 participants. Most of the material is presented by
counselors or, at times, inmate facilitators, but only Phase III participants may play the facilitator
role. In addition to the various groups, classes and meetings offered, treatment participants are
provided one hour of individual counseling per month. Crisis counseling is offered any time,
according to need. Individuals in Phase I may attend school if such programming is required and
individuals in Phase II or III may either attend school or work when not in groups; vocational
classes are not available. DOC classification staff also participate and teach classes such as life
skills, anger management and a “dad’s class.” Gateway and DOCS staff have also initiated a
collaborative effort and co-facilitate a “pathway to change” class for treatment participants.
As a part of discharge planning, treatment staff will complete a case evaluation for each
participant, which is then sent to parole or probation. The inmate and counselor will work
together to develop an aftercare plan, including a list of specific aftercare providers. Though the
treatment staff work closely with the participants to prepare for their release, they do not have
any real input in the final decision about which community-based program the individual will be
referred to. These decisions are made by individuals in parole or probation field offices, with
whom treatment staff have little to no contact.
At the time of our phone call in the fall of 2009, OCC reported in the past seven months a 4.8%
removal rate for disciplinary reasons, 11.2% removal rate for program performance reasons and
1.2% for administrative reasons. The program has established a program review committee
(PRC), which evaluates every discharge, though the warden has final review. Disciplinary
discharge tends to result from a violation of one of the cardinal rules, and most often is initiated
by classification or security staff. Individuals removed for program performance have usually
been through various stages (e.g. peer interventions, treatment interventions, learning
experiences, behavior contracts, etc.) prior to removal. Before meeting with the PRC, another
DOC committee called the “offender management team” will meet first and try to come up with

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a problem-solving activity for the individual. This team is composed of DOC staff, classification
staff, treatment staff and peer leaders. The PRC may recommend program extension or restart
rather than program removal.
The program at OCC has in place various levels of monitoring and supervision. Clinical
supervision is provided in a few different ways. The certified counselor 2s and 3s mentor
noncertified staff, and counselor 3s facilitate team meetings four times per week to discuss cases
or clinical problems. The counselor supervisor provides supervision to all counselor 3s, and oneon-one clinical supervision is provided monthly to all treatment staff, though individual
supervision can occur more frequently depending on need. In addition, OCC must meet the
Missouri Department of Mental Health standards for running a substance abuse treatment
program and receive an annual audit from the department. The program is also monitored by a
division of DOC that conducts monthly and quarterly oversight. There is an annual audit in
place, monthly reporting of quality assurance and other outcomes, as well as quarterly site visits
by DOC. Gateway also utilizes its own audit instrument to assess the program’s effectiveness.
The quality assurance plan at OCC requires counselor supervisors to review a portion of
treatment records each month, and to audit all treatment records at the end of each phase and at
10 months. Clinical and program directors will also audit a percentage of treatment records each
month.
Ozark Correctional Center believes the program’s effectiveness lies in its focus on model
fidelity. In addition, staff reported a very positive relationship with DOC, resulting in a great
deal of cooperation. They credit aspects of this positive relationship to the amount of substance
abuse treatment experience and training within the DOC administration.
17.3 ESTELLE UNIT: HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS
This special needs unit located in Huntsville, Texas serves up to 212 men with disabilities
ranging from mild psychological issues, to schizophrenia, to chronic conditions managed by
medication. The unit is operated by Gateway Foundation Inc. Corrections Division and uses a
therapeutic community model, including a structured hierarchy and the use of pull-ups and pushups, as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Estelle has no separate curriculum geared
specifically for individuals with co-occurring disorders. Most of the participants in the Estelle
program are mandated to treatment by the court, and the majority of participants are
probationers. Individuals go through a diagnostics screening and must meet certain criteria,
including having some type of co-occurring disorder, having pled guilty or having deferred
adjudication. Prior to arriving at Estelle, most individuals will have spent three to six months in
county jail before going to diagnostics and being screened for the program. A second assessment
is done 30 days after arrival at Estelle, though it is rare that at this point someone is deemed
inappropriate for the program. Participation in the program at Estelle is voluntary, and an
individual can choose between participating in the program or serving regular prison time.
The Estelle program runs for approximately nine months, though individuals can be legally held
for up to one year. The program is divided into three phases: orientation (Phase I); chemical
dependency education (Phase II); and relapse prevention (Phase III). The orientation phase of
the program allows individuals to learn the protocols and regulations of the unit, utilizing CBT

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and REBT (rational emotive behavior therapy) curricula and thinking reports. During this phase,
treatment participants are assigned an inmate orientation liaison and a big brother. Phase I lasts
between 35 and 45 days and has about 50 participants. Individuals attend classes seven days a
week, consisting of mostly didactic work. The chemical dependency education phase of the
program is both formal and informal. It is a much more interactive phase, with more written
assignments, thinking reports and continuing CBT treatment. In addition, participants learn and
complete journaling and mapping exercises from Texas Christian University. This phase lasts
about four months. In Phase III the emphasis is placed on creating a transition from the treatment
environment to the outside community. This phase lasts four months, and inmates work with
staff to identify appropriate community referrals and to develop both a comprehensive
continuum of care and relapse prevention plan.
In order to move through the various phases, participants must complete an exit exam to measure
their progress. Approximately 20 to 23 hours of indirect group time per week is facilitated by
inmate hierarchy members, and staff co-facilitates all direct service groups (20 to 26 hours per
week). Only six hours of all group time is phase specific. During the remaining time of weekly
programming, all participants, regardless of phase, attend the same groups. There is also a
reentry program, which is utilized as a fast track for individuals who had previously completed
the program and relapsed. This program lasts for five months. On the weekends, trainings are
held where the whole community comes together to participate. In addition to the scheduled
treatment groups, the Estelle unit offers GED, life skills, anger management, leadership training
and physical education.
Monthly individual counseling is required for 50 minutes, though often treatment staff will see
individuals more frequently as a result of their special needs. Mental health components of the
program are provided separately and are overseen by a PhD-level member of the treatment team.
Large groups run between 35 and 50 participants, though often they are divided up to work in
smaller groups.
At the Estelle Unit there is one counselor for every 16 participants. The treatment staff consists
of a program director, two clinical supervisors, one transitional coordinator, one counselor 3, five
counselor 2s and four counselor interns. All counselors have received specific mental health
training and must be licensed substance abuse treatment counselors. Some of the treatment staff
at Estelle are themselves recovering substance users, which both treatment staff and participants
report as very helpful. Gateway provides continuing education for all treatment staff and mental
health training is provided on a yearly basis. Thirty days of training is provided to all new hires,
in addition to the 90 days of required TC correctional training. Sixty hours of biannual training
is offered to all treatment staff on different subject areas, dependent on emerging needs.
Treatment staff describe security staff as “seasoned” and “very pro-treatment.” Security staff are
able to attend TC trainings, but it is not a requirement. All security staff working on the unit are
handpicked; they do not participate directly in the treatment of individuals. They must report all
behavior to treatment staff and cannot assign learning experiences or participate in community
meetings.
Approximately 90 to 95% of all treatment participants complete the program. The Estelle Unit
uses a system of alternative programming (AP), which functions as a graduated sanctions process

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with peers holding each other accountable. Therapeutic counseling is also provided for
individuals who may be struggling in the program. Individuals who continue to be challenged
may be removed and sent to another behavioral unit, though in 90% of cases, treatment staff
agree to allow the individual to return. Any individual who tests positive in a drug test is
automatically removed from the program.
All treatment participants at Estelle are released into aftercare programs or transitional care
facilities providing 90 days of transitional services. Treatment staff prepare a discharge packet
using an addiction severity index to help identify problem areas or needs. Any arising behavioral
issues or specific ongoing needs are described in the discharge packet, which includes specific
recommendations for the type of treatment needed in the community.
Every few weeks, treatment staff meetings are held with the University of Texas medical branch,
which provides mental health services in Texas prisons. Each clinical supervisor is in charge of
a treatment team and will hold monthly meetings with the team as a whole, as well as with
individual staff members. The Estelle Unit uses a quality improvement plan, and uses only
recognized, evidence-based curricula approved by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s
Rehabilitations Program Division. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) conducts
yearly audits of the program and Gateway utilizes its own internal audits to measure program
effectiveness.
17.4 INDIAN CREEK CORRECTIONAL CENTER: CHESAPEAKE, VIRGINIA
This Virginia DOC run facility contracted CEC to operate a 984-bed dedicated treatment
program lasting between 12 and 28 months (average stay is 15.5 months). All participants in the
program must have a maladaptive pattern of substance use noted by one or more of the
following: interferes with responsibilities, interferes with safety, causes legal problems or causes
social and interpersonal problems. Individuals convicted of predatory sex offenses are not
eligible to enroll in the program, and all treatment participants must have more than 18 and not
more than 28 months until their expected release. All inmates entering Virginia DOC are
reviewed by Central Classification Services and are screened using the ASI and Texas Christian
University Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment (TCU CEST) instruments. Individuals
determined to be in need of the Indian Creek Correctional Center/CEC program will first spend
30 days in the program’s screening unit to determine if they are appropriate candidates (only 5%
of individuals are determined to be ineligible at this time). Although the facility does not
currently match individuals to programs according to level of need, the program is attempting to
develop a treatment matching approach. At present, the facility has operationalized a more
intensive training unit for individuals in need of greater services (less than 5% of overall
population). Consequently, this measure has increased the ability to lower hostility while
increasing motivation. Inmates are then successfully integrated (approximately 60% of the 5%
mentioned above) into the multiphase treatment program.
The program at Indian Creek is divided into four phases. Individuals begin in the Screening,
Evaluation and Assessment Unit (SEA) before moving into Phase I. SEA individuals are
grouped together throughout the day and do not participate in any outside jobs or activities. SEA
individuals are eligible to move on to Phase I when they demonstrate an understanding of the TC

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approach. SEA runs for approximately 14 to 30 days. In Phase I of the program, they are
oriented through a variety of interactive skills training where they learn to practice skills,
challenge each other and role play. Phase II is the largest phase and runs for approximately six
to nine months with around 500 participants. During this phase, individuals participate in halfday group sessions and spend the remainder of the day at other activities. This phase utilizes a
curriculum based on their stage of change and is comprised of more than 58 different
topic/interactive groups. Phase III treatment participants are able to get higher-paying jobs
within the facility and are allowed to enroll in certain Department of Corrections education
classes and enterprise classes, such as forklift training and vocational courses (e.g. carpentry,
small engine repair, upholstery, etc.). A different set of topic/interactive skills training groups
are covered in this phase, and individuals begin to participate in offender seminars. Treatment
participants can co-facilitate groups with treatment staff during this phase. Phase III is a
minimum of six months in length and generally consists of 150 to 200 participants. Phase IV is
the reentry phase, which individuals can only participate in when they have six months or less
remaining on their sentence. Group sessions in this phase are initiated by counselors, with some
peer facilitation by treatment participants.
Indian Creek uses a TC approach closely integrating CBT and motivational enhancement
elements into their program. In addition, the program utilizes the TCU/IBR313 curriculum for
high hostility, criminal thinking and low motivation as identified by the TCU/IBR CEST and
Criminal Thinking Scales. Community or development meetings are held every morning and
afternoon for 30 minutes on each unit, whereas encounter sessions or therapeutic awareness are
conducted on a weekly basis. Treatment staff estimate that approximately 2,000 awareness slips
or written push-ups are issued each month and that eight times per month, peer awareness panels,
made up of four inmates from the cadre, are held. The peer awareness panels allow participants’
peers to address any arising behavioral problems and facilitate the signing of behavioral
agreements. A structured hierarchy is in place at Indian Creek Correctional Center, and every
individual in the facility plays a role in the hierarchy. Monthly individual counseling is provided
for all treatment participants for 15 to 45 minutes and focuses on reviewing an individual’s
progress and other arising needs. Treatment staff describe the individual counseling as an open
dialogue. If individuals require more immediate staff attention, they can complete a
communication form requesting additional individual counseling.
Treatment participants spend about 30% of their time working in large groups of approximately
40 participants and 70% in small groups comprised of between 12 and 15 participants. Groups
usually run for 50 minutes followed by a 15-minute break and then another 50-minute session,
which allows treatment staff to cover two topic areas. After Phase I, in addition to the group
sessions, individuals can participate in other classes, such as GED, small engine repair, carpentry
and special needs. Participants with mental health problems are accepted into the program at
Indian Creek if treatment staff believe they are manageable and may benefit from the treatment
structure. If these individuals are on any psychotropic medication, they will have continuous
contact with the clinical psychologist. The psychologist will work with all treatment staff to
support individuals with mental health problems and enters his/her notes in the computer-based
data system. This allows for all treatment staff to be informed about an individual’s current
mental status.
313

Substance abuse curriculum developed by the Texas Christian University’s Institute of Behavioral Research.

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The treatment staff is made up of a master’s level program director (licensed), a master’s level
clinical operations coordinator (licensed), six clinical supervisors (certified counselors; a
majority are master’s level), thirty counselors (certified), three transition specialists, a data entry
worker and an administrative assistant. According to DOC policy, any counselor who does not
have certification when beginning employment has two years from his/her start date to receive it.
There is approximately one member of the treatment staff for every 30 participants. Indian
Creek Correctional Center has its own on-site 40-hour block of training that it offers once a
quarter to assist individuals in getting their certification. Treatment staff get an additional 40
hours of off-site training per year. All security staff in the facility have completed TC training as
well as community building training, as required by DOC for all staff including administrative.
In Phase IV’s Reentry Unit, treatment participants spend time writing résumés and discussing
housing, employment and other key reentry areas with more than 25 to 30 outside stakeholders
who come in to do presentations and answer questions. There are also smaller reentry
preparation groups that require each individual to create a 12-page reentry document.
Representatives from Probation come to the program on a monthly basis to answer questions and
help prepare an individual for his release. Every individual leaving the program has a reentry
discharge plan sent out to Probation two weeks prior to his release, including a two-page
document with a reentry summary and description of what treatment the individual completed
and how he progressed in treatment. The state also requires every inmate to have home plans in
place prior to release, completed by the institutional correction counselors. Transition
specialists, counselors and clinical supervisors working in Phase IV all have received specific
training about reentry. Treatment staff estimate that 20% of individuals completing the program
will move on to community-based treatment programs (both mandatorily and voluntarily), with
15 to 20% of these moving into residential programs.
Indian Creek staff reported a 16% removal rate for disciplinary/program noncompliance reasons,
a 1% removal rate for medical/psychological reasons and a less than 1% removal rate for
institutional infractions. If an individual is moved to the more intensive training unit three times,
he has to appear before the joint clinical assessment team to determine whether he should be
removed from the program. This team includes a nurse, doctor, psychologist and treatment staff.
The program has increased using more learning experiences (LE), which has greatly reduced the
removals and disciplinary responses to problem behavior. The new policy requires security staff
to complete the top part of the LE form describing the behavior, but allows treatment staff to
decide on the appropriate response.
In addition to directly observing group sessions, clinical supervisors utilize observation rooms to
watch counselors facilitating groups. Once a supervisor has completed an observation, he/she
completes an observation facilitation form, which is used to provide feedback to the counselor.
Every treatment staff member undergoes quarterly evaluations based on his/her performance and
individualized supervision plan. New staff at Indian Creek Correctional Center are given
orientation packets and are unable to facilitate any groups alone until their orientation checklists
have been signed off by a supervisor. Supervisors prepare an evaluation every 30 days during
the first three months of employment for all new staff. Team meetings are also held on a regular
basis to allow staff to present difficult cases or arising challenges. The program director
conducts monthly town hall meetings with counselors only.

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The program at Indian Creek Correctional Center is monitored by Virginia DOC, which conducts
monthly site visits. Every week, the facility executive team performs a weekly inspection of
some of the units and generates a weekly report. They evaluate areas such as cleanliness, TC
elements, groups, hierarchy board and other essential program functions. The weekly reports go
out to the entire institution, and by the end of the month, all units have been visited and the
executive team awards flags to the top three units. These scores represent overall sanitation,
number of disciplinary charges, attendance and how many individuals have graduated to a new
phase. The top three units receive certain privileges, and the treatment team believes this system
has helped to increase both staff and participant motivation. The program at Indian Creek
produces an annual report detailing program outcomes and specifying areas in need of
improvement. The computer data system, CADMUS, used by the facility allows all staff to enter
their notes and results of any assessment tools directly into the computer. This information is
accessible to all staff and allows counselors to better keep track of an individual’s progress. It
also has greatly helped the facility track data and outcomes for their own internal review process.
17.5 CEC PENN PAVILION: NEW BRIGHTON, PENNSYLVANIA
CEC Penn Pavilion, or the Community Recovery Academy, is a halfway house providing
comprehensive substance abuse treatment to reduce chronic recidivism. The structure, content
and methods utilized in the program are informed by empirically proven methods of effective
programming and continuous evaluation of program effectiveness. Penn Pavilion has 45
inpatient beds and 30 outpatient slots. Approximately half of the participants in the program
have previously completed a prison-based substance abuse treatment program. Individuals who
have received a street referral complete a 45-day inpatient program whereas State Intermediate
Punishment (SIP) individuals complete 60 days of inpatient and Back on Track (BOTO)
individuals complete 90 days. The SIP program provides a sentencing option for individuals
who have substance abuse issues, whose offense was motivated by these issues or is a less
serious offense, or who would have received a sentence of 30 months or more. Most individuals
qualifying for SIP are people with multiple DUIs and their sentence will include six months in
prison followed by 60 days of community corrections and outpatient treatment. Back on Track
individuals are generally parolees who have experienced difficulties under parole supervision
and have committed multiple violations. A portion of their BOTO program is received in the
correctional institution and the remaining 90 days in community corrections. The program
provides an alternative to remaining in the state correctional facility.
Individuals are screened into the program at the prison level and must have a history of substance
abuse and/or crimes related to drug use. Residents are all assessed utilizing the Texas Christian
University Drug Screen II (TCU-DSII), Salient Factor Score, Criminal Sentiments SurveyModified (CSS-M) and Level of Services Inventory-Revised (LSI-R) to ensure appropriate
placement in available programming. The CSS-M is also used as a post test instrument at the
conclusion of treatment. In addition to these instruments, the Hostile Interpretations
Questionnaire (HIQ) is also administered as a pretest instrument for residents entering the
Violence Prevention Program. The classification committee designates individuals for inpatient
or outpatient programming, and will identify all individuals with mental health problems for
appropriate program placement. All residents must have a demonstrated maladaptive pattern of
substance use noted by one or more of the following: interferes with responsibilities; interferes

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with safety; causes legal problems; or causes social and interpersonal problems. The program
does not accept any individuals convicted of a sex offense or arson, and will not admit anyone
convicted of a severely violent act. Participants are given the right to decline the program, but if
they choose to do so, they must return to DOC custody.
The inpatient program runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and begins with work details followed by
medication and a morning meeting. Groups are held in the morning and afternoon for one and a
half hours per session. The outpatient program is comprised of weekly one-hour individual
sessions and two-hour group sessions. Penn Pavilion uses a modified TC model, including pullups and push-ups, but does not employ a structure hierarchy for the participants. The program
also uses the TCU/IBR curriculum for high hostility, criminal thinking and low motivation for
treatment. This curriculum is used with all residents in the inpatient and outpatient treatment
programs, but is varied, both in time and content, based on the resident’s individual treatment
plan. AA/NA groups are offered every Friday. In addition to the treatment group sessions,
additional groups are offered, including: batterers intervention, violence prevention, victim
awareness, transitional services, life skills and thinking for change.
The treatment staff at the program comprise a center director (licensed), chief of programs
(licensed), and lead counselor, all of whom are required to have a master’s degree, and a facility
compliance manager and a bachelor’s level counselor. The team has recently been cut back and
the current staff-to-participant ratio for the inpatient program is 1:8 and for the outpatient
program is 1:30. Treatment staff are required to attend 25 hours of specific substance abuse
training by the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs (BDAP). CEC requires a total of 58 hours
of annual training, though they report staff getting up to 100 hours of training per year. Security
staff also receive substance abuse training in order to better understand the treatment approach
and experiences of the individuals in the programs.
Much of the reentry planning activities occur in individual meetings and group sessions, and
focuses on preparing individuals to find employment, interviewing techniques, résumé
preparation and obtaining necessary documents. The local community-based employment office
for Career Links visits the program and works closely with community businesses to assist
individuals in finding employment opportunities. While in the program, participants will prepare
a home plan and begin saving money. From the money they earn during work release or other
jobs, 40% is set aside for housing, 10% to cover court costs, 20% goes back to the state and 10%
is placed in their savings account. The local housing authority directly assists individuals find
placements in the community, and treatment staff have also developed close working
relationships with the housing authority, supportive housing programs, local rental agents and
social security offices. Counselors take on a case management role in helping individuals
prepare for their release, and all participants must have an aftercare plan in place before leaving,
including having identified community treatment providers. Treatment staff at Penn Pavilion
have also developed close ties with other community-based organizations that can offer
assistance, such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Big Brothers, Department of Transportation,
Family Services, Professional Outfitters of New Brighton, the Veterans Administration (VA) and
Gateway Rehab.

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Treatment participants having difficulty in the program are first approached at the counselor
level and any inappropriate behavior is properly documented. The next step is to develop a
behavioral plan, and if the problem persists, the individual attends a conference with the
treatment team. If the behavior still continues after this conference, another conference is held
with the treatment team, staff from the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (PBPP) and
DOC staff. Penn Pavilion reports a 3% removal rate for disciplinary or program noncompliance
reasons.
The chief of programs provides clinical supervision, including both weekly individual and group
supervision. He/she will also review treatment files with the counselors and address any
problem areas. All files are subject to monthly file review, and no treatment file can be closed
until it has been reviewed. The program is audited twice per year by DOC, including additional
file reviews and review of policies and procedures. The treatment staff meet regularly at
treatment team meetings, and a utilization review plan is in place to ensure the effectiveness of
the program. Penn Pavilion is ACA-accredited and receives an ACA audit every three years. In
addition, the Department of Health (DOH) conducts yearly site visits and publishes a report on
its findings.
17.6 NORTHERN STATE PRISON: NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
Though Northern State Prison in Newark, New Jersey is a maximum security prison, it also has a
minimum security annex housing a substance abuse treatment program run by Gateway
Foundation Inc. Corrections Division. This 192-bed capacity treatment program uses a modified
therapeutic community approach, while also integrating many cognitive-behavioral elements.
The program at Northern State provides a structured schedule with seven days a week of
programming. Participants are up at 7:00 a.m. and have various activities scheduled until
approximately 7:00 p.m. Following their morning wake-up, individuals participate in a 30minute morning meeting and then attend various group sessions ranging from encounter,
didactic, cognitive restructuring or peer groups. Following lunch, participants attend additional
group sessions, and after 3:00 p.m., they perform their TC work assignments. Dinner is followed
with a meeting to recap what was learned during the day and to begin to prepare for the day to
come. A small number of participants attend education programs in the morning or afternoon.
Similar to other TC programs, the program is divided into three phases: orientation (lasting 60 to
90 days), primary treatment (four to six months) and reentry/transition (three to six months).
The average total time spent in the program ranges from 12 to 13 months, though treatment
length is determined by progress, not by a set time limit. Apart from having to fulfill the
eligibility requirements to qualify for a minimum security facility, individuals must have at most
40 months left until their release. Treatment staff reported that it is very rare for an individual to
complete the program and then return to general population, as most people transition on to area
assessment centers. Individuals who have been convicted of a sex offense or arson are unable to
participate in the treatment program, and screening for the program is conducted by DOC at a
classification/reception facility using the ASI instrument.
In addition to community meetings and encounter groups, the participants are part of a structured
hierarchy. The elders in the hierarchy have additional responsibilities, including facilitating one

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group per week, monitoring the housing coordinators and meeting regularly with clinical staff.
Treatment participants frequently facilitate peer seminars to discuss various topics, and pull-ups
and push-ups are used throughout the program. Some hierarchy members, along with treatment
staff, constitute a treatment progress review (TPR) committee, which meets with individuals
exhibiting problematic behaviors. A meeting with the TPR automatically occurs if an individual
has received two pull-ups from their peers. All treatment participants are required to meet with
their counselors once per month for a minimum of 30 minutes for individual counseling.
The treatment staff at Northern State is composed of seven counselors and two supervisors.
Though not all counselors are certified substance abuse counselors, they are all in the process of
working toward their certification. All new staff are told during the hiring process that they must
attain their certification within two years of beginning employment, and staff are required to
write a detailed educational plan proposing how they will achieve this certification. At least two
members of the treatment team are formerly incarcerated and bring significant insight and
experience into the program. The security staff are not integrated into the treatment program and
function in a more independent fashion.
Every treatment participant completes a monthly self-assessment covering 14 different areas.
Treatment staff complete similar assessments on participants every 60 days, and then meet with
participants to compare results and discuss any discrepancies. Prior to completing a phase,
participants will also retake the TCU screening instrument so their progress, or lack thereof, can
be properly documented. Participants work on their reentry plan with their counselors
individually. The program at Northern State has recently joined a project developing a recoveryoriented integrated system (ROIS), which could greatly impact and increase the effectiveness of
their reentry and aftercare planning. This system encourages all stakeholders, from communitybased organizations, social service providers, Parole/Probation, prison staff and the courts to the
treatment participant, family and community, to work in collaboration to ensure the most
effective reentry process for the individual. New Jersey DOC is responsible for monitoring the
program and conducts monthly site visits and yearly audits. Gateway gives DOC monthly
reports including performance measures and also does their own internal audits to monitor
program effectiveness and outcomes.
17.7 TALBOT HALL: NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
This 500-bed assessment center run by CEC is designed to provide services to individuals with
substance abuse treatment needs and those without a substance problem, though approximately
70% of all residents have substance abuse issues, and facility staff estimate that 50% to 60% of
all residents have more serious substance abuse treatment needs. Individuals incarcerated in
New Jersey prisons apply to participate in this voluntary program when they are within 18
months of their first parole eligibility. Individuals accepted into Talbot Hall will participate in
the program for 60 to 70 days before moving on to a halfway house.
Fifty to 60 new residents arrive each week at Talbot Hall and, after being cleared by medical
staff, move to the assessment center at the facility. At this time, treatment staff conduct a
comprehensive assessment looking at level of risk, mental health needs, substance abuse needs
(using the TCU CEST instrument), personality tests and a test to determine work-related IQ. In

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addition, staff check work readiness, complete a bio-psychosocial assessment and ask questions
regarding the individual’s outside support systems. At the conclusion of the assessment,
treatment staff will determine whether an individual requires intensive, moderate or minimum
treatment. Staff will report all of their findings to the resident, who is then given an opportunity
to respond or voice objections.
Following the assessment process, the resident will complete 10 days of orientation on his
assigned unit and must pass a test in order to transition to the next phase and begin to participate
in wider programming. The day at Talbot Hall is very structured, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and
running until 10:00 p.m. All residents participate in a 50-minute didactic session in the main
lecture hall and are then placed in smaller groups during the day to discuss the information
presented during the lecture. Any residents requiring extra attention are assigned a big brother
from the unit to support them. House meetings are held every morning and evening, and resident
seminars occur regularly on the weekends. Talbot Hall also has an additional relapse track,
separated from the other units, for 20 to 40 individuals who may have relapsed at the halfway
house and need more intensive substance abuse treatment services.
Daily programming also includes GED and computer classes, as well as anger management and
parenting groups. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous are
held at the facility, and some individuals may be required to attend these programs as part of
their treatment plans. Talbot Hall has an active family program and encourages family members
to become oriented with the program curriculum during visits. The program at Talbot Hall uses
an eight-week curriculum developed by CEC and based on the Federal Bureau of Prisons
treatment programs. Though a modified TC with community meetings, pull-ups, push-ups and a
structured hierarchy, the program also utilizes a strengths-based approach and a great deal of
REBT therapy.
Generally, all residents will move on to a halfway house prior to being released, but staff at
Talbot Hall still work with individuals to create résumés and prepare financial aid package
applications for community colleges. CEC has developed an alumni association for any resident
who has completed a CEC program anywhere in the country. This association is a resource that
assists with housing, referrals, employment and volunteer work. They have monthly alumni
association meetings and will help every individual create an action plan and set up appointments
on the outside with various organizations or businesses. Alumni association staff are always on
call and can be called at any time of crisis for support or advice after an individual’s release.
This service provides a great continuity of care for individuals as they begin their transition back
to their communities.
The treatment staff at Talbot Hall consists of seven senior counselors, five unit counselors, two
unit supervisors and one unit manager. Treatment staff are scheduled seven days a week, 24
hours a day. CEC provides their own certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC) training,
therefore all staff who are not certified counselors can work toward certification. New treatment
staff attend seven days of training prior to beginning at Talbot Hall, followed by five days of onthe-job training. All established employees participate in 40 hours of training annually, though
clinical staff also have specific clinical training offered twice per month. Individual counseling
is offered to all residents every 14 days for 30 to 40 minutes. Treatment staff utilize a

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computerized system that allows staff to communicate with each other and keep informed on the
progress of every resident.
Facility staff reported 56 disciplinary removals against 2,600 successful graduations. Residents
may receive merits or demerits on a daily basis. Every time a merit or demerit is issued, the
resident appears before the clinical intervention committee. If the resident has received a merit,
he may earn certain privileges. Demerits may lead to extra assignments, such as thinking reports
or essays. In addition to the clinical intervention committee, each unit has a peer intervention
committee (PIC) that meets with residents to discuss any problematic behaviors. If an individual
appears to refuse to take responsibility for his behavior, he will be required to attend a
responsibility group meeting four days per week for one week. At the end of the week, the
senior counselor decides whether to allow the individual to exit the group or retake the course.
The formal removals process begins with a case conference if an individual has received various
demerits, or following a significant incident. The next step in the process is for the individual to
be asked to sign a 30-day manager’s contract. The final step is an administrative review, at
which point treatment staff decide whether to remove the individual from the program.
Senior treatment staff will observe sessions of other counselors on a regular basis and offer
feedback. Case conference meetings are also held on a weekly basis to discuss difficult cases.
Treatment charts, individual counseling notes and treatment plans are also regularly audited.
Staff at Talbot Hall conduct peer review research to track the program’s outcomes and have
found a considerable reduction in recidivism for individuals who have completed both the
program at Talbot Hall and the halfway house. The Office of Community Programs visits the
program weekly to address any issues, and reviews charts on an annual basis. Treatment staff
produce monthly reports and the treatment leadership committee (TLC) from Central Office
conducts internal audits of the program. Talbot Hall also has a quality management committee
that meets on a monthly basis to assess staff performance, program quality and resident morale.
In addition to the above monitoring, the state sends in contract monitors to inspect the program,
and ACA conducts a major inspection every three years.
17.8 TULLY HOUSE: NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
Tully House is a 315-bed halfway house run by CEC, located in Newark, New Jersey. Most of
the individuals transferred to Tully House come from two area assessment centers and are often
the hardest-to-place individuals. The typical stay for most residents is between six and nine
months. Tully House accepts adult offenders, excluding those convicted of arson and/or a sex
offense, who are within 18 months of parole eligibility. All new residents are screened using the
TABE (Test for Adult Basic Education) test.
The three-phase program at Tully House begins with an intensive supervision phase lasting from
three to four months and consisting of two hours of morning lectures and two hours of afternoon
activities every day. Prior to beginning Phase I and within 24 hours of arrival at Tully House,
individuals are each assigned a big brother and must complete a 10- to 15-day orientation period
from which they must test out to transition to the next phase. During Phase I, an individual does
not participate in any programming in the community. Once he moves into Phase II and
completes a two-week blackout period during which time he has no contact with individuals

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outside the facility, he is eligible to exit the facility, but only on escorted trips. When an
individual is ready to move on from Phase II, he submits a request slip to his counselor to be
allowed to participate in the six-week intensive Pre-Phase III period, also referred to as a “job
readiness program.” Weekly case conferences are made up of a panel of five individuals,
including residents, to determine which individuals are ready to move into this phase. Every
resident applying for entry into Phase III must fulfill certain requirements. They must have a
relapse and criminality plan in place, a résumé, birth certificate and Social Security card. In
addition, these individuals must have acquired a pair of dress pants, shoes, shirts and a tie. Once
Pre-Phase III is completed, an individual can move on to Phase III, in which participants are
involved in more active community work or school, while attending a daily one-hour lecture,
five days per week.
In addition to the above programming, Tully House has a specialized domestic violence program
consisting of a 10-week intensive curriculum with approximately 145 participants. The other
specialty of the facility is substance abuse treatment. For most individuals the day begins at 9:15
a.m. and runs until 10:00 p.m. A separate relapse prevention curriculum for 45 minutes, five
days per week, lasting three months, is also a requirement for all residents. Every resident who
is not participating in work release must complete approximately 120 to 130 treatment hours,
compared with 40 hours for those in work release. The majority of the residents at Tully House
end up participating in vocational school, college or work, though work release is becoming
increasingly difficult to find. Tully House also offers a six- to 12-week parenting course,
AA/NA groups, criminality groups, GED services and a family services program. The AA/NA
meetings and criminality group are held seven days per week and high-risk residents must attend
one group or the other.
The program at Tully House is a modified TC that uses traditional TC aspects, such as a
structured hierarchy, community meetings and pull-ups and push-ups. In addition, the treatment
staff utilize CBT and REBT treatment approaches and focus on offering praises and merits rather
than criticism. Role playing is a large part of the program and helps to prepare the residents for
transitioning back to the community. All of the substance abuse treatment curriculum used at
Tully House is based on the treatment programs at the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
The treatment staff rely on the use of MSW graduate students, and at the time of our visit, had
seven such students who were the primary providers of individual counseling. The staff view the
reentry process as a wstep-down process and make sure that every resident has completed the
three phases prior to their release. Treatment staff assist eligible individuals with SSI disability
applications and VA payment applications. They also help residents enroll in vocational or
school programs prior to be being paroled.
All residents at Tully House are given monthly evaluations and individuals may lose certain
privileges for behavior such as cursing or smoking in the bathroom. Staff estimate that 10 to
15% of all removals are for program failures such as positive urine tests.

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17.9 NEW YORK STATE DOCS
While reviewing several substance abuse treatment programs throughout the country, it was
evident that it would be difficult to find a program that uniquely fits the population and
organization of New York DOCS. All of the programs presented above—and, it appears, the
most successful prison-based substance abuse treatment programs—are provided by outside
vendor companies, whereas in New York, substance abuse treatment programs are run by the
Department of Correctional Services. Though outside vendors have provided treatment services
in New York prisons in the past, we have not been able to include a significant sample of data
from treatment participants in programs run by outside providers to enable us to draw any
definitive conclusions. It is unclear why DOCS decided to end their contracts with previous
outside treatment providers who performed treatment services in New York State prisons, like
Stay’n Out and Phoenix House, when they had proven and documented success rates. Based on
our various interviews of model programs, it is clear that outside providers likely possess a
greater level of clinical expertise and experience, and are better positioned to take advantage of
various outside resources.
After conversations with a wide range of programs, ranging from dedicated prison-based
treatment programs to community corrections to halfway houses, a few components of effective
programs became more apparent, and their distinction from substance abuse treatment programs
offered in New York State prisons more clear.
Most of the above programs have formal individual counseling requirements exceeding what is
offered in New York. They also appeared to have more detailed and structured curricula
allowing individuals to move through phases as their treatment progresses. The staff at the
facilities we reached out to also appeared to have a greater percentage of certified and/or licensed
staff and more strict requirements for gaining certification while employed. The training offered
to staff also appeared more comprehensive and specific to substance abuse treatment and issues.
The five in-prison TC programs (excluding halfway houses and community treatment) had
programs ranging from nine to 28 months, considerably longer than the NYS ASAT program. In
addition, many of the programs we interviewed had more aftercare treatment programs available
as well as more coordinated and supportive reentry support. Finally and most clearly different,
these programs all seemed to have more formal internal and external monitoring processes in
place, including quality assurance plans, more frequent audits and treatment record reviews, as
well as more intensive clinical supervision.

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18. RECOMMENDATIONS
Screening/Assessment
A.

Develop and implement a more comprehensive, standardized assessment process and
instrument that enables the guidance/reception staff to distinguish between type and
severity of need for substance abuse treatment, as well as criminal risk, and to
distinguish between substance use, substance abuse and substance dependence. The
initial screening completed at DOCS reception facilities indicates that a specific problem
with substance use might exist, but is insufficient in its ability to identify an inmate’s level
of need and an appropriate program placement. The addition of a more comprehensive
assessment tool for use on individuals who screened positive (1) under the MAST or SSI
tests, (2) as a result of reviewing the pre-sentence reports, or (3) during interviews with
correction staff, would reduce the number of individuals being inappropriately placed into
treatment programs. This would ensure that individuals were being placed into the
programs that most accurately reflect their level of need, make the best use of limited
staffing and financial resources and be most effective in reducing risk of relapse and
recidivism due to drug use. DOCS should also investigate the use of alternative, wellregarded screening instruments such as AUDIT,314 ADS315 and TCUDS.316

B.

Develop written guidelines for identifying who should be designated as in need of
substance abuse treatment. These should take into account and clearly define the
severity of the substance abuse problem, the risk of relapse and the risk for future
criminal behavior. Without a clear definition of what constitutes substance abuse and a
need for treatment, there will consistently be tremendous variation among treatment
participants and their levels of substance abuse severity. Formal definitions and guidelines
will allow for greater consistency in the screening process, as well as needed guidance for
all correction staff involved in making this determination.
C. Require staff conducting any further assessments regarding substance use to be
trained to administer the standardized assessment instrument. Decisions regarding
appropriate placements for substance abuse treatment programs are more effective when
done by trained professional staff. A degree of understanding about the different levels
of severity regarding substance abuse, the type of prison-based programs available and
the program that best suits individual’s needs can reduce inappropriate referrals and
increase treatment effectiveness. Specialized training covering basic counseling
techniques, essential mental health terms, relationship building and reflective listening
should be offered to counselors administering screening and assessment instruments.

D.

Develop clear policies and procedures, in coordination with the Office of Mental of
Mental Health (OMH), for identifying individuals in need of treatment programs for
co-occurring disorders or special needs. OMH staff should work in coordination with

314

Babor et al., “The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for Use in Primary Care.”
Allen and Columbus, “Alcohol Dependence Scale (ADS).”
316
“IBR -- Projects -- TCU Drug Screen Evaluation.”
315

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counselors assessing inmates for substance abuse treatment, sharing mental health
information as needed and collaborating when necessary to make an appropriate
recommendation for substance abuse treatment services for individuals with mental health
problems or those with special needs.
E.

Require treatment staff to conduct a reassessment for individuals entering a treatment
program as circumstances may have changed from the time an individual enters
DOCS to when he/she begins a treatment program. Since DOCS treatment programs are
offered near the end of an inmate’s sentence, many individuals do not begin treatment until
they have spent a significant amount of time in prison. During this time their level of need,
severity and risk may have changed, and individuals should be reassessed to ensure they are
placed into appropriate programs.

F.

Develop a variety of treatment and educational programs for individuals with varying
needs and match individuals who have been identified as needing substance abuse
treatment to appropriate programs based on their individual needs and severity of
substance abuse. Matching programs to individual needs greatly increases the chance that
an individual will be successful in his/her treatment placement. Treatment matching after
determining appropriate level of care requires that a continuum of services be available,
ranging in levels of intensity, length, treatment modality and location (residential or
outpatient). In order to create a successful therapeutic environment, inmates with similar
type and severity of substance abuse issues should be placed together to maximize the
effectiveness of their treatment and make best use of the treatment staff resources.
Correctional facilities in Colorado and Maine have had success with treatment matching and
these programs could serve as models for a similar approach in New York State.

G. Allow for prioritization of substance abuse treatment programs according to need and
severity of substance abuse problem for inmates demonstrating circumstances such as
active substance dependence when entering prison and drug use inside prison. The
current policy of prioritizing individuals for treatment based on proximity to release is not
appropriate for every inmate. Inmates with a significant need for substance abuse treatment
at admission to DOCS, or who repeatedly receive disciplinary sanctions for drug use inside
of prison, should be prioritized for substance abuse treatment services regardless of the
length of their prison sentence. DOCS should explore the creation of a completely
voluntary substance abuse treatment program for individuals entering the prison system
who feel they need treatment services more urgently. This option should also be available
for inmates who receive a misbehavior report for use or possession of drugs while
incarcerated. We agree with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA) that inmates with significant substance abuse needs and high
recidivism risk should be prioritized for initial placement into a substance abuse treatment
program.

Treatment Program, Processes, Content and Structure
H. Standardize program content and material using evidence-based, up-to-date
workbooks, handouts and videos. The DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment

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Services should provide a more detailed curriculum for treatment programs, including
handouts and videos to be used in the program. We encourage treatment staff with
community-based treatment experience to introduce relevant materials they believe would
add value to the program, but such materials should be reviewed by OSATS staff during
their routine monitoring of the programs to ensure the appropriateness of such materials,
and to identify useful materials that could be distributed to all treatment programs.
Centralization of materials and program content can assist in making certain that materials
and content are up-to-date and inclusive of new evidence-based practices and approaches.
I.

Provide a more detailed curriculum for each treatment modality and type of program,
clearly indicating where modification by facilities and programs is permissible.
Ensure that curricula consist of clinical services as well as drug education, and focus
on learning and practicing new skills, rather than only discussions. With such a large
number of DOCS correctional facilities offering substance abuse treatment programs and a
treatment staff consisting of individuals with various training and experiences, it is
challenging to provide standardized, consistently effective treatment services without
detailed, comprehensive curricula. Not only should the curricula provide more specific
guidance to treatment staff, but they should also include handouts and activity suggestions
for each topic, ensuring that regardless of where an inmate receives treatment services, they
are effective and consistent with DOCS and community standards.

J.

Develop alternative ways to individualize treatment for individuals with varying
degrees of substance abuse severity and motivation. Some variation with treatment
program participants is expected, even if the Department were to institute a more
comprehensive assessment and treatment matching policy. In order to appropriately address
every individual’s needs, DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services should
develop formal methods for addressing them. This could include increased individual
counseling or the creation of subgroups within programs for individuals with low
motivation or who are close to completing the program and ready to focus more intensely
on reentry and relapse prevention planning.

K. Decrease large group session size and increase frequency of small group session use.
Large group sessions are conducive to didactic instruction, but do not create an appropriate
environment for open communication, sharing and discussion. Group sizes should be
limited in order to ensure best clinical effectiveness, and groups should routinely break into
smaller groups that can facilitate greater interaction, dialogue and support among peers.
L.

Improve fidelity to therapeutic community and cognitive-behavioral principles.
Efforts should be taken to ensure that key elements of therapeutic communities and the
cognitive-behavioral approach are more fully integrated into the program. These efforts
include increased focus on role playing and skills development, as well as use of incentives
and privileges in the community.

M. Increase frequency and length of individual counseling sessions. Individual counseling
in a setting with such a diverse population and large group sessions allows inmates to
address more sensitive issues that they might be hesitant to disclose in a group setting.

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Additionally, individual counseling sessions facilitate the creation of therapeutic
relationships between inmates and treatment staff and provide the opportunity for treatment
staff to more directly attend to an individual’s unique needs and circumstances. Individual
counseling sessions in DOCS substance abuse treatment programs should be offered in
accordance with OASAS and ACA standards for community- and prison-based programs,
and an increased amount and frequency of individual counseling should be formalized and
built into treatment staff’s schedules. Treatment participants should receive the type and
frequency of individual counseling that reflects the severity of their substance abuse and
motivation. It is also essential that treatment staff ensure the confidentiality of such
individual sessions and accurately document their duration and content.

Program Climate
N.

Create more incentives to encourage inmates to participate in substance abuse
treatment programs and decrease coercive elements of the program. Mechanisms and
policies should be developed that assist inmates in being able to complete the treatment
program. Treatment staff should be encouraged to look at incidents of rule infraction as a
learning opportunity rather than justification for an individual’s removal from the program.
Individuals who are positively contributing to and progressing through the program should
be provided certain privileges to encourage and empower individuals toward success.

Reentry/Aftercare
O. Increase aftercare services available in prison for inmates completing programs and
returning to general population, including possibly an aftercare dorm. Research has
shown that aftercare in the community is essential to prevent relapse and recidivism. Many
inmates participating in prison-based treatment program will not be returning immediately
to the community, and for these inmates, the availability of aftercare programs within prison
is essential. Returning to general population from an intensive residential therapeutic
community can produce substantial stress and lead to a return to habitual and survival
tendencies, and thus contribute to relapse. Though AA and NA support programs are
available in many prisons, we found that many inmates were not encouraged to participate
and did not engage in these programs. Many treatment staff also expressed a desire to have
a process that would enable them to check in with graduates of the program about their
relapse prevention plans and any challenges they are facing. The creation of an aftercare
dorm for inmates completing residential substance abuse treatment programs, more formal
and diverse aftercare services and continuity of services from treatment staff are important
elements to reducing recidivism and relapse, as well as adding an incentive for inmates to
complete the program.
P.

Develop a more comprehensive, coordinated and integrated discharge planning policy,
including recommendations from treatment staff on the types of programs that would
best suit individuals’ substance abuse treatment needs in the community. Widespread
research has shown that the provision of aftercare services and some continuum of
treatment support greatly reduce incidents of recidivism and relapse. Treatment staff have
worked with individuals in their program for months and are in the best position to make an

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informed recommendation as to what services are most appropriate upon completion of the
program and when the individual is released to the community. In order to promote
successful reentry from prison for individuals graduating from prison-based substance abuse
treatment programs, there must be a prison-based reentry-oriented integrated process that
includes input from, and coordination with, treatment staff, Parole and community-based
organizations. A comprehensive discharge plan should be created that includes specific
recommendations for the type and length of treatment program or services that would most
benefit the individual, as well as important information about his/her medical, psychiatric,
employment, family and social needs. In addition, every individual leaving prison should
be provided with documentation from the treatment staff outlining the treatment services
he/she received while incarcerated. This information would enable community-based
treatment staff to provide a more effective and appropriate continuity of services.
Q. Information about 12-steps and other alternative, free recovery support services
should be explained during DOCS substance abuse treatment programs. As a result of
past litigation, 12-steps can no longer be used as a treatment modality in DOCS treatment
programs, but that does not prohibit treatment staff from fully explaining the program and
its structure to treatment participants. Often 12-steps or similar alternative programming
are the most readily available and affordable option for many individuals being released
from State prison. A familiarity with the program can assist individuals in their recovery
process and provide some continuity of care in the reentry process.
R.

Enhance relationships with Parole and Transitional Services staff in order to further
collaborate on discharge and reentry planning. Phase III Transitional Services staff are
tasked with assisting inmates with reentry. In addition, Parole makes important decisions
regarding a formerly incarcerated individual’s treatment services in the community.
Historically these decisions have been reached with little or no discussion with prison
treatment staff and counselors. We were pleased to learn that Parole and DOCS have been
working together to create a Transitional Accountability Plan (TAP), a discharge planning
document created as soon as an individual enters the DOCS system that is passed to Parole
as he/she is released. DOCS staff reported that TAP will be piloted soon, and we encourage
DOCS and Parole to continue to work together in a more formalized way in order to ensure
that inmates being released from State prisons are provided appropriate and effective
continuity of care for substance abuse treatment.

Staffing
S.

Require initial and ongoing training on the therapeutic community (TC) treatment
approach for all correction officers (CO) working in TC substance abuse treatment
program housing units or in treatment programs, including relief officers. The TC
model is based upon a concept of creating a 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-a-week treatment
environment where the community takes the role of therapeutic agent. Correction officers
are assigned to TC dorms and are present during community meetings and group sessions.
Consequently, they become members of the therapeutic community and are the only staff
support available when the treatment staff leave the prison for the evening and on
weekends. A large part of the effectiveness of the TC model is that learning and modeling

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behavior takes place not only within the formal group sessions, but in all activities
throughout the morning, afternoon and night. The general training given to COs focuses on
maintaining security and discipline, rather than in supporting individuals in their recovery
process. Requiring TC training for all COs working in, or with, substance abuse treatment
programs will assist the inmates and treatment staff in ensuring a more effective and
consistent treatment environment.
T.

Increase substance abuse treatment staffing numbers. State policy makers should take
action to ensure that authorized DOCS treatment staff positions are promptly filled. Staffto-treatment-participant ratios should be in accordance with OASAS community
regulations.

U.

Increase qualifications and skills necessary for treatment staff. Treatment staff should
meet the necessary requirements and qualifications as outlined by OASAS.

V.

Provide more comprehensive and frequent training for treatment staff covering topics
such as evidence-based counseling approaches used in substance abuse treatment,
working within the criminal justice setting and working with special populations.
Though some of the treatment staff with whom we spoke were highly trained and
knowledgeable in their field, many would greatly benefit from increased training on new
approaches and theories in the field. With increased training, staff could develop new
counseling and treatment participant engagement strategies and learn more information on
working with specific populations such as individuals with special needs, mental health
needs and sex offenders. The Department should develop additional training sessions and
encourage greater participation in training by providing monetary support, approved
absences and other incentives to enhance the skills of the treatment staff. Training for all
DOCS substance abuse treatment programs should be offered by a consistent set of trainers
able to inspect treatment plans and observe programs in order to best identify needed areas
for training. We encourage the Department to explore the creation of a “model training
program” where all new staff can receive training prior to placement at a permanent facility.

Clinical Case Records
W. Work with the Office of Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to design new treatment
record forms that are concise, individualized, intuitive and comprehensive. OASAS
has the expertise and experience to assist DOCS in developing forms that more effectively
capture the information necessary to offer the highest quality of services to treatment
participants. They may also be able to offer training or assistance in developing training for
treatment staff on completing these forms in a manner that is both individualized and
concrete. DOCS should take advantage of the existing resources and work with OASAS
towards improving these forms.
X.

Promote better inmate participation in the treatment and discharge planning process.
Treatment staff should be encouraged to involve treatment participants in developing their
treatment and discharge plans in order to increase ownership and investment in the program
and their recovery. This collaboration should be documented in the treatment records, and

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

should be viewed as an important learning experience for the participant and an opportunity
to engage them in important therapeutic conversations.
Y.

Develop formal process for regular review of treatment records by a clinical
supervisor. Without a process in place to ensure accountability, the most comprehensive
forms can become ineffective. Proper auditing and supervision of treatment records and
their content not only provides this accountability, but allows treatment staff to develop
their professional skills while increasing the quality of services beings offered to treatment
participants.

Monitoring/Oversight
Z.

Develop and implement written policies and procedures on how individual facilities
and DOCS Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services provide clinical supervision
and oversight to treatment staff. All individual treatment plans and records should be
regularly monitored by a clinical supervisor. Clinical supervision should be provided to all
treatment staff by a qualified clinical supervisor in accordance with OASAS community
standards. If a qualified clinical supervisor is not available at the prison, DOCS should
employ a consultant to offer clinical supervision to treatment staff two to four times per
month. In order to ensure staff accountability, procedures should be formally developed to
monitor staff performance, including the use of participant satisfaction surveys;
performance should be documented and include specific necessary steps for improvement.

AA. Develop written policies and procedures for OASAS oversight and evaluation of
DOCS substance abuse treatment programs. To mitigate the significant variation we
observed among programs, formal policies requiring quality assurance and utilization
review plans should be established. In addition, documents should be developed for
monitoring purposes to comprehensively rate treatment plans and records, program sessions
and participant satisfaction and to track outcomes. Monitoring documents should also
address participant placement in treatment and aftercare, response to participant's special
needs and integration of mental health and medical services where necessary.

Special Populations
BB. Increase collaboration with the Office of Mental Health (OMH) in providing support
and expertise in substance abuse treatment programs serving inmates with mental
health issues. Though we applaud the Department’s efforts to increase the number of
substance abuse treatment programs for inmates with mental health needs, we are concerned
by the lack of mental health training and expertise of many of the treatment staff. Group
treatment sessions can often trigger an emotional situation that would require mental health
intervention. OMH staff should frequently participate in treatment sessions of the IDDT
programs for both general population inmates and individuals in residential mental health
programs. Weekly treatment meetings should be scheduled with OMH staff and treatment
staff working in those programs to address the special needs of this population, including
specific discharge planning needs.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

CC. Increase the number of Integrated Dual Diagnosed Treatment Programs available in
general population. DOCS and OMH have been able to collaboratively develop what
appears to be generally successful integrated treatment programs for individuals with cooccurring mental health and substance abuse problems (COD) housed in both disciplinary
and residential mental health programs. Thousands of inmates with mental health disorders,
many of them seriously mentally ill, reside in general population and therefore, DOCS and
OMH should perform a comprehensive assessment of the treatment needs of general
population COD inmates and then significantly increase the number of general population
IDDT programs beyond the three current general population IDDT programs to meet those
identified needs.
DD. Increase the number of resources available for limited English speakers and the
number of bi-lingual treatment staff. Conduct a needs assessment for limited English
speakers in need of substance abuse treatment and determine if a Spanish-language
substance abuse treatment program should be piloted at one facility. Treatment staff
should be able to provide limited English speakers with information and materials in their
native language. All materials and information made available to the group should also be
available to limited English speakers whose treatment services should not be reduced
simply because of their inability to speak English. Prison administrators should make a
strong effort to recruit more bilingual treatment staff, offering pay differentials where
necessary. The Department should explore the possibility of creating at least one Spanishonly treatment program, to allow individuals with limited English skills to participate more
fully in their recovery. In addition, if inmate translators are to be used, they should be used
as a paid position of adequately trained individuals who are not currently in treatment.
EE. Incorporate gender-appropriate topics and curriculum into the substance abuse
treatment programs offered in prisons that house women. Gender-specific programs
should address issues of maintaining and developing healthy relationships, trauma,
parenting and health education. The Department should explore the use of gender-specific
screening and assessment instruments such as TCUDS II or TWEAK.317

Program Removals
FF. Standardize the removals process for all prison-based substance abuse treatment
programs and develop program retention committees at all treatment programs with
the aim of working creatively with individuals to engage them in treatment and
decrease the number of inmates being removed from the program. Substance abuse
and dependence are chronic, reoccurring conditions of which relapse, acting out,
noncompliance and multiple experiences with treatment programs are extremely typical and
expected. Many inmates resist being forced into treatment and may act out in various ways,
and it is up to treatment staff of such programs to find ways to engage these participants in
the recovery process. Too often we observed inmates being removed from programs for
minor infractions, and staff not committed to working with inmates who are disengaged or
317

Peters, Wexler, and Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (U.S.), Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the
Criminal Justice System: Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 44 -- SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment
Improvement Protocols -- NCBI Bookshelf, 38.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

resistant to treatment. Every substance abuse treatment program in DOCS should develop
program retention committees, whose policies should be targeted at working resourcefully
with individuals who demonstrate problems in the program, and using removals as a very
last resort.

Drug Use and Testing
GG. Institute less punitive responses to drug usage inside the prison and develop
appropriate programs for this population. We recognize that drug use inside prisons can
impact the safety of inmates and staff and must be regarded seriously. Individuals testing
positive for drug use inside the prisons are often the inmates most in need of intensive
treatment services. Disciplinary responses for these individuals should be reduced, not
eliminated, and efforts should be made to guarantee that individuals placed in disciplinary
housing as a result of a positive urine test are offered some sort of treatment preparation or
services during this confinement. In addition, once a disciplinary sentence is completed,
these individuals should be prioritized for intensive substance abuse treatment services.

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Correctional Association of New York

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GLOSSARY
Administrative Removal: When an inmate is transferred to another facility as a result of a
transfer request, change in security classification or need for services not offered at the current
facility, such as medical or mental health care.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT): A six-month substance abuse treatment
program operated in most medium- and maximum-security DOCS facilities, totaling 56 prisons,
that aims to provide education and counseling through a competency-based curriculum
consisting of nine subject areas.
American Correctional Association Standards (ACA): The ACA, a private correctional
association, provides services that include the development and promulgation of new standards,
revision of existing standards, coordination of the accreditation process for all correctional
components of the criminal justice system, semi-annual accreditation hearings and technical
assistance to correctional agencies and training for consultants who are involved in the
accreditation process.
ASAT Manual: The DOCS ASAT Manual outlines the basic structure, process and curriculum
of the treatment program.
Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT): A residential intensive
three-phase substance abuse treatment program offered at four correctional facilities: Arthur Kill,
Hale Creek, Taconic and Wyoming.
CASAT Phase 1: The first phase of this treatment program is comprised of a six-month
residential treatment program, based on the ASAT curriculum.
CASAT Phase 2: Second phase focuses on community reintegration and involves participants in
work release and treatment programs in a prison or community-based treatment program prior to
parole supervision. The program is designed to occur within four to 18 months of an inmate’s
earliest release date.
CASAT Phase 3: Phase three includes aftercare for participants who have been released on
parole and are enrolled in community-based treatment.
Central New York Psychiatric Center (CNYPC): This Office of Mental Health (OMH) center
located in Marcy, NY consists of a 226 bed maximum security inpatient facility which provides
comprehensive mental health service to persons incarcerated in the New York State and county
correctional system. OMH staff at CNYPC also coordinate and monitor mental health services
provided in all state prisons.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): A psychotherapeutic approach that aims to address
problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented,
systematic procedure that emphasizes the substitution of desirable thinking patterns for
maladaptive ones.
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Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASAC): A credentialing
system administered by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
(OASAS). CASAC standards require that candidates complete a minimum of 6,000 hours
(approximately three years) of supervised, full-time-equivalent experience in “an approved work
setting” (usually an OASAS-licensed treatment program, though exceptions can be granted).
Counselors who have fulfilled a substantial portion of the credentialing requirements are
designated CASAC-T (CASAC Trainee).
Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (CJDATS): A multisite, cooperative
research program that aims to explore the complex issues related to the treatment of individuals
involved with the criminal justice system who have substance use disorders.
Department of Correctional Services (DOCS): The New York State Department of
Correctional Services is responsible for the confinement and habilitation of approximately
59,000 inmates held at 67 state correctional facilities plus the 916-bed Willard Drug Treatment
Campus.
Deputy Supervisor of Programs (DSP): He/she is responsible for all facility programs, and
reports to the facility superintendent and the executive team about treatment program issues.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM): The standard classification of
mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States. It is intended to be
applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different
orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal,
family/systems).
Dual Diagnosis/ Co-occurring Disorders (COD): Individuals diagnosed with both mental
health and substance abuse disorders.
Earned Eligibility Program (EEP): The goal of the Earned Eligibility Program is to increase
the rate of safe releases for inmates who have demonstrated an overall pattern of progress in
prescribed programs while serving their required minimum sentence. Prior to an inmate’s initial
Parole Board hearing, the Earned Eligibility Program provides for a review of treatment and
disciplinary records to determine whether the case is certifiable and whether an Earned
Eligibility Certificate should be issued or denied. Evaluation results are provided to the Parole
Board to be used in deciding whether to release the inmate or to deny parole. This program of
standards and review is available to inmates serving indeterminate sentences with minimum
sentences of eight years or less.
Four-point Likert scale: A psychometric scale commonly used in questionnaires, and is the
most widely used scale in survey research. When responding to a Likert questionnaire item,
respondents specify their level of agreement to a statement such as whether the statement is not
true, somewhat true, mostly true or very true.

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Good Time: Good time is credit for time served on good behavior, and it is used to reduce
sentence length. Inmates earn good time by participating in certain vocational and educational
programs.
Guidance System (KGNC): Identifies inmates who have a need for substance abuse treatment
based on interviews and evaluations conducted by facility program counselors.
Hierarchy: System used in Therapeutic Community programs in which every individual is
assigned a role in the hierarchy structure. Individuals move up through the hierarchy as they
demonstrate improvements in attitudes and behavior as well as clinical progress. An increase in
privileges and responsibilities is common as individuals progress through the structure.
Inmate Payroll System (KIPY): A system used to record inmate pay for work or other prisonrelated activities. This system has been used to screen and document inmates who are actively
participating in substance abuse treatment programs, in order to identify all individuals who have
already been designated as in need of treatment.
Integrated Dual Diagnosed Treatment (IDDT): The IDDT programs combine the ASAT
competencies with a specialized treatment curriculum tailored to meet the individual needs of
participants with mental health problems. The program length is a minimum of nine months,
with generally one half-day module, five days per week.
Intermediate Care Program (ICP): An ICP is a segregated supportive living/treatment
program that provides 24-hour “care and custody” for inmates with serious and persistent mental
illness. ICPs are jointly operated by DOCS and the New York State Office of Mental Health
(OMH), which has statutory responsibility for providing a continuum of mental health services to
inmates in DOCS care.
Mentally Ill, Chemically Addicted (MICA): A type of ASAT program for individuals who
suffer from mental illness as well as substance abuse; recently these programs have been
renamed IDDT.
Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST): A self-administered paper-and-pencil screening
test that comprises 25 items regarding social, vocational, family and other problems resulting
from alcohol use. DOCS considers a MAST score above 4 to be indicative of alcohol abuse and
of the need for substance abuse treatment.
Modified Therapeutic Community: Modified version of the therapeutic community (TC)
model which increasingly integrates aspects of other approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral
treatment and social learning techniques, and adjusts program aspects in response to the setting.
Multimodality Quality Assurance Scales (MQA) Participant Survey: An instrument
developed by the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., (NDRI) to evaluate
participant assessment of substance abuse treatment programs. The MQA was developed to
study the modified prison-based treatment programs that often employ multiple treatment
modalities.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS): The New York State agency
that licenses drug treatment programs in New York.
Office of Mental Health (OMH): New York State’s primary agency for the regulation and
oversight of mental health care services, which has a statutory responsibility for providing a
continuum of mental health services to inmates.
Office of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (OSATS): Within DOCS, the office
responsible for providing and monitoring substance abuse treatment programs in state prisons.
Program Assistant (PA): Core staff members in the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment
(ASAT) program generally responsible for the majority of the frontline work, including group
session facilitation, individual counseling and monthly evaluations. At a typical ASAT facility,
two PAs are supervised by one ASAT correction counselor.
Program Retention Committee/Program Review Committee (PRC): A type of oversight
committee in some prison substance abuse treatment programs responsible for assessing
treatment participants’ program performance. The PRC can recommend removal from a
treatment program or other therapeutic interventions to improve program performance. The PRC
generally strives to work resourcefully with individuals who demonstrate problems in a given
program and use removals as a very last resort.
Push-ups/Pull-ups: Within a therapeutic community (TC), a pull-up is a verbal reprimand given
by participants or staff to a participant who is seen as inappropriately handling emotions,
behaviors or tasks. Push-ups, in contrast, are positive acknowledgements of self or other
participants. Some facilities referred to these as “regressions” and “progressions.”
Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT): A federally funded substance abuse
treatment program, established by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,
that requires treatment participants to be housed together. RSAT uses the same curriculum as the
ASAT program.
Rockefeller Drug Law Reforms: Legislation passed in April 2009 that among many things,
requires the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to monitor prisonbased substance abuse treatment programs, develop guidelines for the operation of these
programs and release an annual report assessing the effectiveness of such programs.
Supervising Correction Counselor, ASAT (SCC): Senior staff members in the Alcohol and
Substance Abuse Treatment (ASAT) program. These staff members generally supervise larger
treatment programs, and are required to have had some experience (minimum of one year) in a
prison-based substance abuse treatment program and one year as a Correction Counselor (CC).
Shock Incarceration Programs: An intensive, voluntary, boot camp–style treatment program
that emphasizes substance abuse treatment, military-style discipline, physical labor and fitness, a
variety of life skills and education in a Therapeutic Community (TC) setting.

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Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Simple Screening Instrument for Alcohol and other Drug Use (SSI-AOD): A standardized
self-report screening instrument used by DOCS during the reception process to identify
individuals as in need of substance abuse treatment.
Special Housing Unit (SHU): Disciplinary confinement area where inmates are sent for
violating prison rules, including infractions related to substance use, and are kept on daily 23hour lockdown.
Special Needs Unit (SNU): Housing area for inmates who are developmentally disabled.
Therapeutic Community (TC): Substance abuse treatment model that is highly structured and
hierarchical. It views substance abuse as a problem of the whole person and focuses its
treatment approach on the entire individual. TC programs are commonly used in the prison
setting.
Transitional Services (TS): A three-phase program, run by DOCS and staffed by counselors
and inmates, that aims to orient inmates to life in prison and help them prepare for return to the
community.
TS Phase I: The orientation/introductory phase provided to every inmate entering the New York
State correctional system and generally lasting from one to two weeks.
TS Phase II: The core phase, which consists of half-day group sessions run by inmate facilitators
during a two- to three-month period and helps inmates to develop basic life skills.
TS Phase III: The transitional phase, which lasts up to three months, includes activities related to
job preparedness such as résumé preparation and mock interviewing, and enrolls inmates shortly
before their release date.
Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP): One of a series of best practice documents for
substance abuse treatment put together by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
under the auspices of the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA).
Unsatisfactory Completion: Removal from an ASAT program because of disruptive behavior
or other program performance issues.
Work Release: As a part of certain inmates’ transition back to the community, part-time release
for specifically sanctioned employment.

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Correctional Association of New York

246

Appendix

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Treatment Behind Bars: Substance Abuse Treatment in
New York Prisons, 2007–2010
APPENDIX
Appendix A - Map of DOCS Facilities
Appendix B - Correctional Association MQA Survey
Appendix C - Correctional Association Non-Program Survey
Appendix D - Summary of Diagnoses of Substance Abuse and Substance Dependency
Appendix E – Overview of OASAS Standards
Appendix F – Summary of MQA Survey Responses by Prison

Correctional Association of New York

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Appendix

Correctional Association of New York

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

248

APPENDIX A

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WATERTOWN
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GREEN HAVEN (ANNEX)
SHAWANGUNK
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APPENDIX B

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

MULTIMODALITY QUALITY
ASSURANCE SCALES (MQA) ©
PARTICIPANT SURVEY

PRISON SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
PROGRAMS

Prison Visiting Project
Correctional Association of NY

Gerald Melnick, Ph.D.
Frank Pearson, Ph.D
National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.
71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor,
New York, NY 10010

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

MULTIMODALITY QUALITY ASSURANCE SCALES
(MQA)
GUIDE TO THE MQA FOR PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
PURPOSE: We ask that you complete the following questionnaire concerning your substance
abuse treatment program. Our goal is to improve the quality of substance abuse treatment.
The purpose of this questionnaire is to learn what is happening in substance abuse treatment
programs throughout the state. We want to find out exactly what programs are doing and how
satisfied people are with the services. The questions that you answer, and other questions
that we are asking the administration and staff, will help us provide feedback on how to
improve the substance abuse treatment programs.
CONFIDENTIALITY: Your answers to the questionnaire are confidential. The research is
being conducted by Correctional Association of New York (CA) with the assistance from the
National Development & Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI), both not-for-profit organizations
that conduct research in substance abuse treatment and prison issues. The CA and NDRI are
separate from the treatment program and the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS).
All of the information is grouped together at CA and only the grouped information is available
to people outside the CA and NDRI. All questionnaires are destroyed after the information is
entered into the CA database.
COMPLETENESS: Missing information makes any results questionable. Therefore, we hope
you will answer each of the questions.
QUESTIONS: If you have any questions (or if you have any comments), please feel free to
contact: Jack Beck from the CA at (212) 254-5700, or by mail: Jack Beck, Director, Prison
Visiting Project, Correctional Association of NY, 2090 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, New York,
New York 10027.
SURVEY INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Use “9” if you don’t know the answer to a question.
2. You may check more than one response for items describing facts about the
program.

NOTE: Please do not skip over any items unless you decide you do not wish to
answer the question! Completeness is very important for us to understand your
opinion of the program!

2

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

Name of Program

ID Number (CA Staff will fill in)

Name of Facility

Housing Area

Today’s Date

-

Program

-

Month - Day - Year

Counselor/PA Name

Gender: Male

Female

Race/Ethnicity:
White and Hispanic/Latino
White

African-American and Hispanic/Latino

Asian/Pacific Islander

Native American

I have been in this program for: 1-30 days

Other

31-60 days

Latino

African-American

(explain)___________________

61-90 days

More than 90 days

I have been in this prison for: Years: ________ Months: ________
My earliest possible release date is: ______________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE.
1. Have you been in another prison substance abuse treatment program during your current incarceration?

____

YES
if YES, how many:
NO
If YES, identify the most recent prison where you were in a substance abuse treatment program: ____________,
the date you started the program:__________ and whether you successfully completed it: YES

NO

If you did not complete the program, why did you leave the program early?
Removed for a ticket .0.

Removed for not participating .1.

Transferred to another facility .2.

Withdrew from Program .3.

Other 5 (explain)________________

2. Were you ever in a substance abuse treatment program before your current incarceration?
YES

NO

3. Using the following scale, rate the area of the building where your substance abuse treatment program is
conducted on the qualities listed below:
Very Poor Inadequate Adequate Very Good
0
1
2
3
a. Lighting
.0.
.1.
.2.
.3.
b. Ventilation

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. State of repair

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. Cleanliness/odor

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. General quality

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

TREATMENT AND DISCHARGE PLANNING IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM
4. Do inmates participate in updating their treatment plan? YES

NO

DON’T KNOW

5. Is there a discharge plan for inmates upon completing this substance abuse treatment program?
YES

NO

DON’T KNOW

6. Are there meetings between aftercare providers and participants while participants are still in your
substance abuse treatment program?
No
Yes: Once
Yes: More than once
Don’t know
IF YES, what percent of your fellow participants scheduled to be discharged meet with an aftercare
provider?

%

DON’T KNOW

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH THE TREATMENT PLAN IN YOUR
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM: (Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1,explain:________________________________________________________________________

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH THE DISCHARGE PLANNING IN YOUR
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM? (Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1,explain:________________________________________________________________________

7. Are you in Transitional Services Phase III? YES

NO

If YES, have you received discharge planning for your substance abuse treatment needs from the
Transitional Services program? YES

NO

8. How often does the substance abuse treatment staff ask for your opinions and suggestions?
(Check One)
0
1
2
3
Never
Rarely
Sometimes
Often
4

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

9. In general, how much influence do you feel you have on what actually happens in the substance abuse
treatment program? (Check One)
0
None

1
Very Little

2
Moderate Amount

3
Great Deal

SAFETY OF PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
10. How often, if ever, do physical confrontations between inmates occur in your substance abuse
program?
0
1
2
3
Never
Rarely
Sometimes
Often
HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WITH YOUR SAFETY IN YOUR SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAM?
(Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain: ________________________________________________________________________

LIST OF SERVICES
Indicate whether you are currently enrolled in any of the following educational or vocational
programs or if you have already completed them at this prison or at another prison.
Currently Enrolled Completed at
Completed at
Program
this Prison
other Prison
a. G.E.D. classes
b. Other basic educational classes
(ABE, ESL, etc.)
c. Vocational training
d. Other
(specify)______________________
HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WITH THE EDUCATIONAL AND VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS AT THIS
PRISON?: (Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : _____________________________________________________________________

5

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

11. Have you received the following SOCIAL SKILLS training in your current substance abuse
treatment program and/or in another program at this prison?
In Another Program
SOCIAL SKILLS
In this Program
at this prison
a. Communication skills
b. Personal hygiene skills
c. Parenting skills
d. Leisure time activities skills
e. Stress management
f. Anger management
g. Money management
h. Other (specify)________________________
HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH THE SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING AT THIS
PRISON, LISTED ABOVE IN QUESTION 11?: (Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : ________________________________________________________________________
12. Have you received the following SERVICES in your current substance abuse treatment program
and/or in another program at this prison?
This
Another
SERVICE
Program
Program at
this prison
a. Vocational assessment (finding out what job skills you have)
b. Job placement
c. Family planning and/or sex education
d. Basic health education
e. Substance abuse education
f. AIDS prevention
g. Location of housing
h. Assistance with government benefits or entitlements
i. Legal assistance
j. Other (specify)_______________________________
6

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH THE SERVICES AT THIS PRISON, LISTED
ABOVE IN QUESTION 12: (Please Check One)
.0
Very
Dissatisfied

1
Somewhat
Dissatisfied

2
Somewhat
Satisfied

3
Very
Satisfied

9.
Unknown
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain: ____________________________________________________________________
TREATMENT TECHNIQUES
13. How important is each of these to your substance abuse treatment program?
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important
MENU A
0
1
2
3
a. Staff members confront unacceptable behavior outside of
.0.
.1.
.2.
.3.
individual and group counseling
b. Participants frequently help each other

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. Participants who violate the program norms receive a penalty or
punishment

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. Work is used as part of the therapeutic program

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

g. Senior participants serve as role models for newer participants

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

h. The program involves increasing privileges as participants advance

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. DOCS substance abuse treatment staff serve as role models for the
participants
f. Inmate substance abuse treatment staff serve as role models for the
participants

HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WITH THE PROGRAM TECHNIQUES LISTED ABOVE IN MENU “A”?
(Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : ____________________________________________________________________

7

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

14. How important is each of these to your substance abuse treatment program?
Not
Important
0

Somewhat
Important
1

Mostly
Important
2

Very
Important
3

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. Emphasizes problem solving techniques to deal with frustration

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. Helps participants to recognize errors in thinking

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

MENU B
a. Helps participants to identify “trigger” situations for taking drugs
b. Encourages participants to find pleasure in other things besides
drugs or alcohol
c. Encourages participants to communicate with others in an
assertive, but polite way

HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WITH THE PROGRAM TECHNIQUES LISTED ABOVE IN MENU “B”?
(Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : ____________________________________________________________________

15. How important is each of these to your substance abuse treatment program?
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important
0
1
2
3

MENU C
a. The goals of the 12-Step program are discussed and explained

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

b. How to work the 12-Steps is explained

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. The reasons why the 12-Steps succeed are explained

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. Discusses the nature of the “sponsoring relationship”

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. Discusses the barriers to affiliation with the 12-Step program

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU WITH THE PROGRAM TECHNIQUES LISTED ABOVE IN MENU “C”?
(Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : _____________________________________________________________________

8

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

16. Please respond to the following statements in terms of how you feel about the substance abuse
treatment program.
Not
True
0

Somewhat Mostly
True
True
1
2

Very
True
3

a. I really feel like a part of something

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

b. I feel that people in this program are interested in helping me

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. I think that the people in the program are trying to do what is best for me

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. I think that the program is well organized (runs smoothly)

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. I think that the staff believes in me

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

17. Please respond to the following statements in terms of your involvement in the substance abuse
treatment process:
Not
True
0

Somewhat
True
1

Mostly
True
2

Very
True
3

a. I understand and accept the program rules, philosophy and structure

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

b. I enthusiastically participate in program activities

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. I feel an attachment and ownership in the program

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. My behavior and attitude set a good example for other members of the
program

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH YOUR OWN INVOLVEMENT IN YOUR
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM? (Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : _____________________________________________________________________

9

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

18. Please respond to the following statements in terms of your relationship with the substance abuse
treatment program:
Not
True
0

Somewhat
True
1

Mostly
True
2

Very
True
3

a. The substance abuse treatment staff supports my goals

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

b. The substance abuse treatment staff is sincere in wanting to help me

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. I work well with my substance abuse treatment staff

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. I am satisfied with my treatment

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. This treatment meets or exceeds my expectations

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH THE COUNSELING PROCESS IN YOUR
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAM? (Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : _____________________________________________________________________

19. Please respond to the following statements in terms of your commitment to treatment:
Not
True
0

Somewhat
True
1

Mostly
True
2

Very
True
3

a. I feel good about my progress working on my problems

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

b. I feel that I am working on my problems

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. I am attempting to change

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. Although not always successful, I am at least doing something about
my problem

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. I accept responsibility for my problems

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH YOU COMMITMENT TO YOUR
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT? (Please Check One)
.0
1
2
3
9.
Very
Somewhat
Somewhat
Very
Unknown
Dissatisfied
Dissatisfied
Satisfied
Satisfied
I have no information
about this
IF 0 or 1, explain : _____________________________________________________________________

10

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

COMMUNICATION SCALE
20. Using the scale below, please rate how strongly you agree with each of the following statements about
participant communication at this substance abuse treatment program:
Not
True
0

Somewhat
True
1

Mostly
True
2

Very
True
3

a. We have open and frank discussions about our
differences

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

b. Disagreements are generally resolved fairly

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

c. The participants are divided into small groups or
cliques that do not communicate well

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

d. We actively seek out a variety of opinions

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

e. Most viewpoints are given serious consideration

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

f. People are afraid to talk for fear of being made fun of

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

g. We are not afraid to disagree with other participants

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

h. We learn a lot from considering each others’ opinions

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

i. Individuals who disagree with the majority are likely to
have a hard time

.0.

.1.

.2.

.3.

11

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

BLANK PAGE

12

Appendix B

Sample MQA Survey

Name

DIN #

ID Number (CA Staff will fill in)

Reminder: All of your responses to the questions are important,
so please check through the questionnaire
to see that no questions have been skipped.

13

APPENDIX C

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

Name: ___________________________
Date: ________________________

Facility: ______________DIN: _________
Housing Area: _________Cell/dorm/SHU

Correctional Association Inmate Survey About Substance Abuse Needs
TO BE USED FOR INMATES OUTSIDE OF SATx PROGRAM AREA
This is a survey from the Correctional Association of NY, an independent, non-profit organization that visits New
York State prisons. We are not part of DOCS, and we have legislative authority to monitor prison conditions. During our
visits to your prison and in correspondence with inmates there, we attempt to gather as much information as possible to
obtain an accurate picture about conditions within New York State prisons. We will use the information we gather to write
a report which we will send to NYS legislators, the Superintendent, the Commissioner of DOCS, inmates (including the
ILC), and members of the public. We also do follow-up advocacy aimed at improving the conditions at the prisons that we
visit.
We are currently investigating how the Department treats inmates with a substance abuse problem. We will use this
information to develop suggestions on how to improve substance abuse treatment.
The survey asks questions about your experiences in DOCS and activities prior to your incarceration. We will not
share your answers with anyone outside our organization. We are gathering surveys from about 100 inmates at the prison,
so our report will be based on many inmates' experiences and will not specifically reveal what you told us. You don't have
to answer any question you don't want to, and if you don't know the answer to a question, just say "I don't know." Also,
you can stop the survey at any time. There is no penalty for not participating in the survey. This survey will take about 20
minutes of your time.

No. Question

Response

GENERAL
1 How long have you been in this facility?

Estimate #_______ Months/Years (circle one)

2 How long have you been in DOCS custody during
your current bid?

Estimate #_______ Months/Years (circle one)

PROGRAMS and SERVICES
3 Do you have a job or are you in a program, such as
school or a vocational or treatment program?

1
2

Yes
No (Go to #5)

4 Describe you assignment: ______________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
1
Yes
5 Are you currently on a waiting list for a program?
2
No (Go to #7)
Identify: __________________
6 If so, how long have you been waiting for this
1
Estimate # _____ Days/Weeks/Months
program?
(Circle one)
N/A or Don't Know
99
Yes
7 If you are currently in an educational program or if 1
you have been in one in the past year, are you/were 2
Sometimes or Somewhat
you satisfied with your educational program?
No
3
Identify completed program: _____________
N/A
4
Yes
8 If you are currently in a vocational program or if
1
you have been in one in the past year, are you/were 2
Sometimes or Somewhat
you satisfied with your vocational program?
No
3
Identify completed program: _____________
N/A
4

-1-

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

Yes
9 If you currently have a job or if you have had a job in 1
the past year, are/were you satisfied with your job
Sometimes or Somewhat
2
assignment?
No
3
Identify completed program: _____________
N/A
4
10 Describe what you like or dislike about your current program or job: _____________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
EXPERIENCE WITH, NEED FOR, OR INTEREST IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
11 Are you or have you ever been in a substance abuse
treatment program in this prison ?

1 Yes, I am currently in program: ___________
2 Yes, but was removed /When:________
3 Yes, I completed the program:
When: _______ Program: ___________

4 No (Go to #13)
1 Yes
S1 If you are currently enrolled in a substance abuse
treatment program in this prison and/or completed 2 No
a substance abuse treatment program in this prison ,
may we send you an additional survey about your
experiences in the program?
12 Are/were you satisfied with your substance abuse
treatment program at this prison?

13 Are you interested in enrolling in a substance abuse
treatment program before you are released or once
you return to the community?
14 How important is it for you to get drug treatment
while you are incarcerated?

15 Are you on a waiting list for a substance abuse
treatment program at this prison? If yes, how long
have you been waiting for the program?
16 Have you ever been in a substance abuse treatment
program at another prisons?

1
2
3
4
1
2

Yes
Sometimes or Somewhat
No
N/A
Yes
No

1
2
3
4
5
1
2

Not at all
Slightly
Moderately
Considerably
Extremely
Yes / How may:_______ Weeks/Months
No

1
2

Yes
No (if No, go to # 22)
Number of treatment programs: _____

17 How many substance abuse treatment programs have
you been enrolled in during this incarceration?
18 What was the most recent substance abuse treatment
program; what prison were you in; and when did you
receive this treatment?
19 Did you complete this program?

1
2
-2-

Program Name:_____________________
Prison __________________
When _________________
Yes (Go to # 22)
No

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

1 Removed for a ticket
2 Removed for not participating
3 Transferred to another facility
4 Released
5 Withdrew from program
6 Other
21 Please Explain why you did not complete this treatment program: ________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
Yes / How may:_______ Weeks/Months
22 Were you ever on a waiting list for a substance abuse 1
treatment program at another prison? If yes, which
No
2
prison were you in when you were most recently on a
Prison: ____________________________
list and how long were you on the list?
DOCS SCREENING FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS
Yes
23 Have you ever been told during intake to DOCS, or 1
at any time during your incarceration, that you should 2
No (Go to #25)
enroll in a substance abuse treatment program?

20 If you did not complete this program, why did you
leave the program early?

24 Who informed you that you should enroll in a
substance abuse treatment program; what prison were
you in; and when did this occur?
25 During your admission process to DOCS at the
reception facility, were you asked questions about
your experiences with drugs and alcohol?
26 During your admission process did you report abuse
of any of drugs and/or alcohol?

DRUG TESTING BY DOCS
27 How many times, if any, have you had your urine
screened by DOCS for drugs during this
incarceration? If more than once, indicate how many
times.
28 How many, if any, of these samples were found to be
positive? If more than one, indicate the number.
29 Were any of these drug tests NOT a random test
ordered by DOCS' Central Office?
30 When did you have your most recent drug test in
DOCS; what prison were you in; and what were the
results of the test, including the identified substance?

-3-

Person Who Told You: __________________
Prison: ____________________________
When: ______________________
1
Yes
2
No (Go to #27)
1
2
3
4

No substance abuse
Alcohol abuse only
Drug abuse only
Drug and alcohol abuse

1
2

Never (Go to #31)
Once

3

More than once, # of Times _____

1
2
3
1
2

None
One
More than one, # of positive results ____
Yes
No
When: ________________
Prison: ____________________
Results of test: Negative Positive (circle one)
Substance Identified: _________________

Appendix C

31
32

33

34

Sample Non-Prog Survey

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS DUE TO DRUG POSSESSION OR USE
1
Yes
Have you ever been disciplined during you current
incarceration for having or using drugs or alcohol?
2
No (Go to #40)
Once
How many times have you been disciplined for
1
having or using drugs or alcohol?
Two times
2
Three to five times
3
More than five times, # of times: ____
4
Prison: ________________________
What prison were you in when you were most
recently disciplined for this conduct, when did this
When: ______________________
happen and what was your disciplinary sanction?
Disciplinary Sanction: ___________________
How much total time have you spent in SHU or
1 No SHU time
keeplock during your current incarceration due to
2 How may:_______ Weeks/Months in SHU
disciplinary sanctions for having or using drugs or
and/or Keeplock
alcohol?

35 Explain what substances you have been disciplined for using while incarcerated:
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
36 Did you receive any substance abuse treatment,
1
Yes
including a cell study program, while you were in
2
No (Go to #40)
SHU or keeplock?
37 What prison were you in when you participated in
this SHU/keeplock treatment program and when did
you receive this treatment?

Prison __________________
When _________________

38 Please describe what treatment you received: _______________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
39 Were you satisfied with the substance abuse program 1
Yes
you received while in SHU or keeplock?
Sometimes or Somewhat
2
No
3
VOLUNTEER AND OTHER SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS
40 Have you participated in any voluntary substance
1
Yes
abuse treatment programs such as Narcotics
2
No (Go to #43)
Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous during this
incarceration?
41 Identify the most recent program; what prison you
Program Name:________________________
were in at the time; and when you were in this
Prison __________________
program?
When _________________
42 Were you satisfied with this volunteer substance
Yes
1
abuse program you received while in DOCS?
Sometimes or Somewhat
2
No
3
43 Explain any other experiences you had with substance abuse treatment during this incarceration that you
have not already indicated above:
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
-4-

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

SUBSTANCE USE (DRUGS OR ALCOHOL) PRIOR TO BEING INCARCERATED
THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS REFER ONLY TO YOUR USE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL
DURING THE TWELVE MONTHS BEFORE YOU WERE INCARCERATED AND NOT TO YOUR
ACTIVITIES IN PRISON.

44 Did you use larger amounts of drugs or alcohol or
use them for a longer time than you had planned or
intended?

1
2

Yes
No

45 Did you try to cut down on your drug or alcohol use
but were unable to do it?

1
2
1
2
1
2

Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No

1
2

Yes
No

1
2
Did your drug or alcohol use cause emotional or
1
psychological problems?
2
Did your drug or alcohol use cause problems with
1
family, friends, work or police?
2
Did your drug or alcohol use cause physical health or 1
medical problems?
2
Did you increase the amount of a drug or alcohol you 1
were taking so that you could get the same effects as 2
before?
Did you ever keep taking a drug or alcohol to avoid 1
withdrawal or keep from getting sick?
2
1
Did you ever inject drugs with a needle?
2
How serious do you think your drug or alcohol
1
problems are?
2

Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
No

46 Did you spend a lot of time getting drugs or alcohol,
using them, or recovering from their use?
47 Did you get so high or sick from drugs or alcohol
that it kept you from doing work, going to school or
caring for children?
48 Did you get so high or sick from drugs or alcohol
that it caused an accident or put you or others in
danger?
49 Did you spend less time at work, school or with
friends so that you could use drugs or alcohol?
50
51
52
53

54
55
56

3
4
5

-5-

Yes
No
Yes
No
Not at all
Slightly
Moderately
Considerably
Extremely

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

57 How often did you use each type of drug during the
12 months before this incarcertion?(Mark with an X)

Only a 1-3 times 1-5 times About
Never few times a month a week every day

a. Alcohol
____
____
____
____
b. Marijuana/Hashish
____
____
____
____
c. Hallucinogens/LSD/Psychedelics/PCP/
____
____
____
____
mushrooms/Peyote
d. Crack/Freebase
____
____
____
____
e. Heroine and Cocaine (mixed together as speedball)
____
____
____
____
f. Cocaine (by itself)
____
____
____
____
g. Heroine (by itself)
____
____
____
____
h. Street Methadone (non-prescription)
____
____
____
____
i. Other Opiates/Opium/Morphine/Dermerol
____
____
____
____
j. Methamphetamine/Speed/Ice (Uppers)
____
____
____
____
k. Tranquilizers/Barbituarates/Sedatives
____
____
____
____
l. Other (specify) __________________
____
____
____
____
TRANSITIONAL SERVICES/DISCHARGE PLANNING
58 What is your earliest possible release date?
Date: ____________________
59 How interested are you in participating in a substance 1
abuse treatment program after you are released?
2
3
4
5
60 Has any department employee or prison volunteer
1
assisted you to prepare for accessing a community2
based substance abuse treatment program when you
are released?

Not at all
Slightly
Moderately
Considerably
Extremely
Yes
No

61 Who assisted you; what job were they performing;
what prison were you in; and when did you receive
this assistance?

Person: ______________________
Person's Job: ___________________
Prison __________________
When _________________
Not at all
Slightly
Moderately
Considerably
Extremely

62 How helpful was this person in assisting you in your
efforts to identify a community-based substance
abuse treatment program?

-6-

1
2
3
4
5

____
____
____
____
____
____
____
____
____
____
____
____

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

PHASE III TRANSITIONAL SERVICES
63 Are you now, or have you been during this
incarceration, enrolled in Phase III of Transitional
Services?

1
2

64 What prison were you in when you were in Phase III
of Transitional Services and when did this occur?
65 Did Transitional Services provide you with any help 1
or materials about community-based substance abuse 2
treatment programs?

Yes
No (Go to #68)
Prison __________________
When _________________
Yes
No

66 Describe what assistance or materials were provided: _________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________
67 How helpful has the staff of Transitional Services
Not at all
1
been in your efforts to identify a community-based
Slightly
2
substance abuse treatment program?
Moderately
3
Considerably
4
Extremely
5
COMMUNITY-BASED SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS CONTACTED
68 Have you had any contact with a community-based
1
Yes
substance abuse treatment program during this
2
No
incarceration?
69 What program have you contacted; who did you
contact at that program and when did you have this
contact?
70

71

72

73

Program Name:
Name of Contact: _____________________
When: __________________
Identify any other treatment programs with whom you have been in contact:
___________________________________________________________________________________
GENERAL DRUG USE IN PRISON
How common is contraband drug use by inmates at 1 Very Common
this prison?
2 Somewhat Common
3 Somewhat Rare
4 Very Rare
5 None
6 Don't Know
1 Much More
Compared to other prisons you've been in, how
would you compare the level of drug use by inmates 2 Somewhat More
3 Average or About the Same
here as compared to drug use at other facilities?
4 Somewhat Less
5 Much Less
6 Don't know
1 A Lot
How much, if at all, is drug use and drug trafficking
by inmates a significant source of the violence in the 2 Somewhat
3 Very Little
prison?
4 Not at All

-7-

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

74 How much, if at all, are staff involved in drug
trafficking in this prison?

1
2
3
4

A Lot
Somewhat
Very Little
Not at All

FUTURE CONTACT
75 Would you agree to speak with us in the legal visiting 1
room or correspond with us further about the abuse 2
situation at this prison?

Yes
No

Our address is:
Prison Visiting Project, Correctional Association of New York
2090 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, Ste 200
New York, NY 10027

-8-

Appendix C

Sample Non-Prog Survey

Name ____________________________________
DIN ____________________________________
Survey ID ________________________________
(CA Staff will fill in)

-9-

APPENDIX D

Appendix D

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Definition of Substance Dependence and Substance Abuse
From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 4th Edition (DSM-IVTR, 2000)
Substance Dependence
Features
The essential feature of Substance Dependence is a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and
physiological symptoms indicating that the individual continues use of the substance despite
significant substance-related problems. There is a pattern of repeated self-administration that can
result in tolerance, withdrawal, and compulsive drug-taking behavior. A diagnosis of Substance
Dependence can be applied to every class of substances except caffeine. The symptoms of
Dependence are similar across the various categories of substances, but for certain classes some
symptoms are less salient, and in a few instances not all symptoms apply (e.g., withdrawal
symptoms are not specified for Hallucinogen Dependence). Although not specifically listed as a
criterion item, "craving" (a strong subjective drive to use the substance) is likely to be
experienced by most (if not all) individuals with Substance Dependence. Dependence is defined
as a cluster of three or more of the symptoms listed below occurring at any time in the same 12month period.
Tolerance (Criterion 1) is the need for greatly increased amounts of the substance to achieve
intoxication (or the desired effect) or a markedly diminished effect with continued use of the
same amount of the substance. The degree to which tolerance develops varies greatly across
substances. Furthermore, for a specific drug, varied degrees of tolerance may develop for its
different central nervous system effects. For example, for opioids, tolerance to respiratory
depression and tolerance to analgesia develop at different rates. Individuals with heavy use of
opioids and stimulants can develop substantial (e.g., 10-fold) levels of tolerance, often to a
dosage that would be lethal to a nonuser. Alcohol tolerance can also be pronounced, but is
usually less extreme than for amphetamine. Many individuals who smoke cigarettes consume
more than 20 cigarettes a day, an amount that would have produced symptoms of toxicity when
they first started smoking. Individuals with heavy use of cannabis or phencyclidine (PCP) are
generally not aware of having developed tolerance (although it has been demonstrated in animal
studies and in some individuals). Tolerance may be difficult to determine by history alone when
the substance used is illegal and perhaps mixed with various diluents or with other substances. In
such situations, laboratory tests may be helpful (e.g., high blood levels of the substance coupled
with little evidence of intoxication suggest that tolerance is likely). Tolerance must also be
distinguished from individual variability in the initial sensitivity to the effects of particular
substances. For example, some first-time drinkers show very little evidence of intoxication with
three or four drinks, whereas others of similar weight and drinking histories have slurred speech
and incoordination.
Withdrawal (Criterion 2a) is a maladaptive behavioral change, with physiological and cognitive
concomitants, that occurs when blood or tissue concentrations of a substance decline in an
individual who had maintained prolonged heavy use of the substance. After developing
unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, the person is likely to take the substance to relieve or to avoid
Correctional Association of New York

1

Appendix D

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

those symptoms (Criterion 2b), typically using the substance throughout the day beginning soon
after awakening. Withdrawal symptoms, which are generally the opposite of the acute effects of
the substance, vary greatly across the classes of substances, and separate criteria sets for
Withdrawal are provided for most of the classes. Marked and generally easily measured
physiological signs of withdrawal are common with alcohol, opioids, and sedatives, hypnotics,
and anxiolytics. Withdrawal signs and symptoms are often present, but may be less apparent,
with stimulants such as amphetamines and cocaine, as well as with nicotine and cannabis. No
significant withdrawal is seen even after repeated use of hallucinogens. Withdrawal from
phencyclidine and related substances has not yet been described in humans (although it has been
demonstrated in animals). Neither tolerance nor withdrawal is necessary or sufficient for a
diagnosis of Substance Dependence. However, for most classes of substances, a past history of
tolerance or withdrawal is associated with a more severe clinical course (i.e., an earlier onset of
Dependence, higher levels of substance intake, and a greater number of substance-related
problems). Some individuals (e.g., those with Cannabis Dependence) show a pattern of
compulsive use without obvious signs of tolerance or withdrawal. Conversely, some general
medical and postsurgical patients without Opioid Dependence may develop a tolerance to
prescribed opioids and experience withdrawal symptoms without showing any signs of
compulsive use. The specifiers With Physiological Dependence and Without Physiological
Dependence are provided to indicate the resence or absence of tolerance or withdrawal.
The following items describe the pattern of compulsive substance use that is characteristic of
Dependence. The individual may take the substance in larger amounts or over a longer period
than was originally intended (e.g., continuing to drink until severely intoxicated despite having
set a limit of only one drink) (Criterion 3). The individual may express a persistent desire to cut
down or regulate substance use. Often, there have been many unsuccessful efforts to decrease or
discontinue use (Criterion 4). The individual may spend a great deal of time obtaining the
substance, using the substance, or recovering from its effects (Criterion 5). In some instances of
Substance Dependence, virtually all of the person's daily activities revolve around the substance.
Important social, occupational, or recreational activities may be given up or reduced because of
substance use (Criterion 6). The individual may withdraw from family activities and hobbies in
order to use the substance in private or to spend more time with substance-using friends. Despite
recognizing the contributing role of the substance to a psychological or physical problem (e.g.,
severe depressive symptoms or damage to organ systems), the person continues to use the
substance (Criterion 7). The key issue in evaluating this criterion is not the existence of the
problem, but rather the individual's failure to abstain from using the substance despite having
evidence of the difficulty it is causing.
Criteria for Substance Dependence
A maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress,
as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month
period:
(1) tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
(a) a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired
effect
(b) markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance
Correctional Association of New York

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Appendix D

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

(2) withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
(a) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance (refer to Criteria A and B of the
criteria sets for Withdrawal from the specific substances)
(b) the same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms
(3) the substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended
(4) there is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use
(5) a great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g., visiting
multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance (e.g., chain-smoking), or recover
from its effects
(6) important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of
substance use
(7) the substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical
or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance (e.g.,
current cocaine use despite recognition of cocaine-induced depression, or continued drinking
despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption)
Substance Abuse
Features
The essential feature of Substance Abuse is a maladaptive pattern of substance use manifested by
recurrent and significant adverse consequences related to the repeated use of substances. In order
for an Abuse criterion to be met, the substance-related problem must have occurred repeatedly
during the same 12-month period or been persistent. There may be repeated failure to fulfill
major role obligations, repeated use in situations in which it is physically hazardous, multiple
legal problems, and recurrent social and interpersonal problems (Criterion A). Unlike the criteria
for Substance Dependence, the criteria for Substance Abuse do not include tolerance,
withdrawal, or a pattern of compulsive use and instead include only the harmful consequences of
repeated use. A diagnosis of Substance Abuse is preempted by the diagnosis of Substance
Dependence if the individual's pattern of substance use has ever met the criteria for Dependence
for that class of substances (Criterion B). Although a diagnosis of Substance Abuse is more
likely in individuals who have only recently started taking the substance, some individuals
continue to have substance-related adverse social consequences over a long period of time
without developing evidence of Substance Dependence. The category of Substance Abuse does
not apply to caffeine and nicotine. The term abuse should be applied only to a pattern of
substance use that meets the criteria for this disorder; the term should not be used as a synonym
for "use," "misuse," or "hazardous use."
The individual may repeatedly demonstrate intoxication or other substance-related symptoms
when expected to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (Criterion A1). There
may be repeated absences or poor work performance related to recurrent hangovers. A student
might have substance-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school. While
intoxicated, the individual may neglect children or household duties. The person may repeatedly
be intoxicated in situations that are physically hazardous (e.g., while driving a car, operating
machinery, or engaging in risky recreational behavior such as swimming or rock climbing)
(Criterion A2). There may be recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for
Correctional Association of New York

3

Appendix D

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

disorderly conduct, assault and battery, driving under the influence) (Criterion A3). The person
may continue to use the substance despite a history of undesirable persistent or recurrent social
or interpersonal consequences (e.g., marital difficulties or divorce, verbal or physical fights)
(Criterion A4).
Criteria for Substance Abuse
A. A maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or
distress, as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
(1) recurrent substance use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school,
or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to substance use; substancerelated absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household)
(2) recurrent substance use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an
automobile or operating a machine when impaired by substance use)
(3) recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for substance-related disorderly
conduct)
(4) continued substance use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal
problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of the substance (e.g., arguments with spouse
about consequences of intoxication, physical fights)
B. The symptoms have never met the criteria for Substance Dependence for this class of
substance.
 

Correctional Association of New York

4

APPENDIX E

Appendix E

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

OASAS Regulations for Chemical Dependence Residential Services
The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) is the state agency responsible
for regulating and developing the state’s system of chemical dependence agencies. OASAS not
only directly operates twelve Addiction Treatment Centers in New York State, it also licenses and
oversees approximately 1,300 community-based, substance abuse treatment programs. In addition
to ensuring the quality of care of community treatment programs and making certain all
community-based treatment programs are in compliance with state and national standards,
OASAS also administers the credentialing of alcoholism and substance abuse counselors.
As recognized experts in the field of substance abuse treatment services, OASAS has developed
operating regulations in order to standardize best practice across community agencies. Some of
these regulations for chemical dependence residential services include group therapy sessions of
no more than 12 individuals and a client/staff ratio of one to fifteen. Though OASAS supports the
use of peer facilitation as a potentially important component of effective treatment programs, it
requires these sessions to be directly supervised by a clinical staff member in attendance.
OASAS has also developed a Level of Care for Alcohol and Drug Treatment Referral Protocol
(LOCADTR) in order to assure that all individuals found to be in need of substance abuse
treatment services are able to be placed in the least restrictive, but most clinically appropriate,
level of care available. Levels of care include crisis services, non-intensive outpatient services,
intensive outpatient services and intensive residential programs. Individuals are matched into
appropriate programs upon completion of a level of care determination by a clinical staff member.
In addition to matching individuals to appropriate treatment services, OASAS regulations call for
the completion of a comprehensive evaluation, which results in a determination of whether or not
an individual has a diagnosis of alcohol-related or substance-related use disorder. This evaluation
must be completed no later than 14 days following admission and must include substance use
history, treatment history and a full psychosocial assessment covering areas such as medical,
family, education and mental health. Though the completed comprehensive evaluation is
conducted by a member of the clinical staff, it must be signed by a qualified health profession.
OASAS defines qualified health professional (QHP) as an individual who is in good standing with
the appropriate licensing or certifying authority and has a minimum of one year of experience in
the substance abuse treatment field. A QHP may be a current credentialed alcoholism and
substance abuse counselor, a certified social worker or a licensed psychologist.1 OASAS
regulations require that a minimum of 25% of all clinical staff be qualified health professionals.
According to OASAS regulations, treatment plans should include specific goals for each problem
identified, specific objectives to be achieved while in the treatment program that measure progress
towards the above goals, schedules for the provision of services, and the diagnosis for which the
individual is being treated. Similar to the comprehensive evaluation, the treatment plan must be
approved and signed by the clinical staff’s supervisor. Included in the treatment records are
progress notes completed weekly by clinical staff, which should provide observations of an
1

QHPs may also include certified nurse practitioners, licensed occupational therapists, physicians or physician
assistants, registered professional nurses, certified rehabilitation counselors, AAMFT accredited family therapists or a
therapeutic recreation therapist.

Correctional Association of New York

1

Appendix E

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

individual’s progress towards their goals, as well as indicate an individual’s engagement or
participation in the program.
The regulations provided by OASAS offer significant instructions regarding discharge planning.
The discharge plan should be developed in collaboration with the individual and must identify
what, if any, continuing substance abuse or other treatment services are recommended, identify
specific providers or community-based treatment organizations who provide these services, and
give specific referrals and initial appointments in order to access these services. The discharge
plan must also be reviewed by the clinical supervisor prior to an individual leaving the program.
OASAS-certified residential chemical dependence programs must also establish and implement
both a quality improvement plan, as well as a utilization review plan. Utilization review plans
should monitor admissions, retention and discharge data and ensure that they are appropriate.
Quality improvement plans should be designed to guarantee the program is operating based on
professionally recognized standards of care, and self-evaluations should be completed quarterly.
OASAS also recommends the use of peer reviews and client satisfaction surveys. An annual
report must be completed, illustrating the effectiveness of the treatment programs, as well as areas
for improvement.
OASAS also offers specific regulations regarding staffing. All clinical staff should receive regular
training in substance abuse, individual/group therapy, communicable diseases, infectious control
procedures, role of clinical supervision, and quality improvement. In addition, each program must
have a designated clinical supervisor responsible for day-to-day operations and providing clinical
supervision to clinical staff. This clinical supervisor must be a qualified health professional with a
minimum of three years of administrative and clinical experience. OASAS stresses the
importance that all clinical staff must be provided with appropriate clinical supervision and
continuing training opportunities.

Correctional Association of New York

2

APPENDIX F

Appendix F

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

Appendix F: Summary of MQA Survey Responses by Prison

The following tables summarize survey responses for the Correctional Association
MQA Survey (see Appendix B for an example of this survey). The tables include data from
the 23 facilities visited, listed using the abbreviations designated below:
AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY

Correctional Association of New York

Albion
Arthur Kill
Arthur Kill II
Bare Hill
Cayuga
Eastern
Five Points
Franklin
Gouverneur
Gowanda
Green Haven
Greene
Hale Creek
Lakeview Female
Lakeview Male
Marcy
Midstate
Oneida
Shawangunk
Sing Sing
Taconic
Washington
Wende
Willard DTC Female
Willard DTC Male
Wyoming

1

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Correctional Association of NY

23.8%
27.5%
26.8%

17.4%
26.5%
42.1%
43.6%
45.9%
13.2%
16.7%
36.3%
36.8%
19.2%
20.0%
36.1%
7.7%
4.3%
2.7%
34.4%
30.4%
58.3%
20.7%
14.7%
17.4%
35.5%
31.3%

2.7%
13.1%
17.4%
19.4%
10.3%
17.6%
13.0%
9.7%
15.6%
44.4%
33.3%
11.8%
16.0%

13.0%
5.9%
10.5%
30.8%
13.5%
20.8%
22.2%
16.3%
15.8%
21.2%
20.0%
16.7%
9.0%

47.8%
47.1%
26.3%
21.8%
29.7%
39.6%
33.3%
33.8%
42.1%
44.2%
45.0%
36.1%
59.0%
56.5%
45.9%
32.8%
39.1%
11.1%
37.9%
32.4%
56.5%
38.7%
37.5%
33.3%
33.3%
43.1%
38.3%

Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

21.7%
20.6%
21.1%
3.8%
8.1%
26.4%
27.8%
13.8%
5.3%
15.4%
15.0%
11.1%
23.1%
39.1%
48.6%
19.7%
13.0%
11.1%
31.0%
35.3%
13.0%
16.1%
15.6%
22.2%
9.5%
17.6%
18.7%

38.9%
48.3%
57.9%
70.1%
37.0%
31.0%
36.4%
54.7%
55.6%
34.0%
64.3%
33.3%
17.9%
9.1%
20.7%
48.9%
44.4%
42.1%
22.2%
43.8%
35.7%
54.5%
12.5%
16.7%
34.9%
40.7%
38.9%
3.4%
17.0%
13.9%
21.1%
14.8%
6.3%
14.3%
22.7%
25.0%
33.3%
18.6%
15.1%
5.6%

5.6%
10.3%
5.3%
11.9%
29.6%
9.5%
13.6%
15.6%
22.2%
21.3%
7.1%
13.3%
16.1%

33.3%
24.1%
10.5%
13.4%
18.5%
38.1%
31.8%
14.1%
16.7%
38.3%
21.4%
46.7%
44.6%
54.5%
48.3%
27.7%
30.6%
26.3%
33.3%
18.8%
32.1%
18.2%
25.0%
38.9%
27.9%
28.9%
33.3%

Q10 Safety Satisfaction

22.2%
17.2%
26.3%
4.5%
14.8%
21.4%
18.2%
15.6%
5.6%
6.4%
7.1%
6.7%
21.4%
36.4%
27.6%
6.4%
11.1%
10.5%
29.6%
31.3%
17.9%
4.5%
37.5%
11.1%
18.6%
15.3%
22.2%
29.4%
15.0%
11.1%
21.7%
7.8%
12.7%

7.7%
10.0%
18.5%
27.0%
3.3%
8.3%

9.1%
19.4%
4.2%
21.5%
22.0%
9.7%
6.5%
13.3%
13.8%
16.0%
15.4%
14.6%
3.2%

2.8%
3.7%
8.8%
2.5%
11.1%
4.3%
13.7%
10.2%

20.0%
16.7%
18.9%

18.2%
8.3%
20.8%
12.7%
17.1%
3.2%
8.7%
14.4%
10.3%
6.0%
15.4%
9.8%
6.5%
3.8%

50.0%
36.1%
41.7%
50.6%
29.3%
35.5%
34.8%
33.3%
55.2%
32.0%
19.2%
39.0%
34.4%
15.4%
17.9%
47.1%
38.9%
37.8%
43.3%
44.4%
29.6%
44.1%
30.0%
22.2%
56.5%
21.6%
36.6%

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q6 Discharge Planning Satisfaction

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q6 Treatment Plan Satisfaction

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

22.7%
36.1%
33.3%
15.2%
31.7%
51.6%
50.0%
38.9%
20.7%
46.0%
50.0%
36.6%
54.8%
80.8%
74.4%
22.9%
25.9%
16.2%
53.3%
44.4%
66.7%
17.6%
52.5%
55.6%
17.4%
56.9%
40.4%

Very
Satisfied

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

2

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

10.0%
54.5%
56.0%
41.8%
23.3%
26.1%
14.6%
19.2%
17.4%
23.3%
33.3%
27.8%
14.1%
7.4%
11.4%
13.7%
21.7%
12.5%
26.7%
19.4%
45.0%
20.0%
50.0%
11.1%
27.3%
30.4%
25.3%

Correctional Association of NY

10.9%
13.2%

5.0%
18.2%
20.0%
16.5%
9.3%
17.4%
12.2%
13.7%
21.7%
4.7%
16.7%
22.2%
10.9%
3.7%
5.7%
5.9%
19.6%
9.4%
20.0%
19.4%
5.0%
10.0%
26.5%
11.1%

45.0%
24.2%
12.0%
25.3%
39.5%
32.6%
43.9%
31.5%
43.5%
48.8%
41.7%
11.1%
29.7%
22.2%
34.3%
37.3%
30.4%
50.0%
30.0%
19.4%
20.0%
40.0%
8.8%
22.2%
45.5%
30.4%
31.5%

Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

40.0%
3.0%
12.0%
16.5%
27.9%
23.9%
26.8%
35.6%
17.4%
23.3%
8.3%
38.9%
45.3%
66.7%
48.6%
43.1%
28.3%
28.1%
23.3%
41.7%
30.0%
30.0%
14.7%
55.6%
27.3%
28.3%
29.9%

4.3%
38.7%
30.4%
44.7%
44.4%
31.4%
32.6%
38.7%
28.6%
30.4%
26.1%
35.1%
18.4%
8.3%
12.8%
29.6%
13.8%
35.1%
28.1%
14.3%
15.4%
31.0%
42.9%
14.3%
36.4%
29.2%
28.8%

4.3%
6.5%
21.7%
21.1%
19.4%
17.6%
7.0%
12.0%
23.8%
21.7%
17.4%
8.1%
10.5%
8.3%
5.1%
22.2%
12.1%
16.2%
6.3%
11.4%
3.8%
10.3%
3.6%
28.6%
13.6%
10.4%
13.2%

69.6%
45.2%
21.7%
28.9%
19.4%
25.5%
44.2%
30.7%
33.3%
43.5%
52.2%
43.2%
57.9%
41.7%
43.6%
31.5%
56.9%
37.8%
28.1%
34.3%
38.5%
48.3%
39.3%
28.6%
40.9%
37.5%
39.4%

17.4%
9.7%
26.1%
5.3%
16.7%
25.5%
16.3%
18.7%
14.3%
4.3%
4.3%
13.5%
13.2%
41.7%
38.5%
16.7%
17.2%
10.8%
37.5%
40.0%
42.3%
10.3%
14.3%
28.6%
9.1%
22.9%
18.5%

13.6%
48.5%
41.7%
60.5%
32.5%
19.3%
34.0%
47.1%
36.0%
38.0%
43.5%
31.8%
17.0%
18.5%
22.0%
29.2%
29.3%
33.3%
20.0%
29.7%
18.5%
33.3%
42.9%
12.5%
26.1%
34.6%
32.9%

18.2%
9.1%
12.5%
19.7%
30.0%
21.1%
17.0%
12.6%
20.0%
12.0%
13.0%
22.7%
20.5%
7.4%
2.4%
23.1%
31.0%
16.7%
36.7%
24.3%
25.9%
3.0%
14.3%
50.0%
26.1%
13.5%
18.6%

54.5%
33.3%
29.2%
18.4%
32.5%
49.1%
42.6%
34.5%
44.0%
44.0%
43.5%
38.6%
51.1%
51.9%
41.5%
43.1%
32.8%
33.3%
30.0%
24.3%
51.9%
51.5%
34.3%
25.0%
47.8%
40.4%
39.1%

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q11 Social Skills Training Satisfaction Q12 Services Satisfaction

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q10 Edu./Voc. Programs Satisfaction

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

11.5%
9.5%

6.8%
11.4%
22.2%
34.1%
4.6%
6.9%
16.7%
13.3%
21.6%
3.7%
12.1%
8.6%
12.5%

6.0%

13.6%
9.1%
16.7%
1.3%
5.0%
10.5%
6.4%
5.7%

Very
Satisfied

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

3

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Correctional Association of NY

12.2%
13.0%
24.1%
41.7%
17.6%
19.4%
14.8%
15.2%
29.7%
22.2%
30.4%
18.9%
19.3%

9.5%
34.3%
20.8%
34.6%
26.8%
8.2%
4.4%
25.3%
18.5%
18.2%
23.1%
15.6%
7.5%

14.3%
14.3%
12.5%
16.7%
22.0%
9.8%
8.9%
14.3%
18.5%
5.5%
7.7%
13.3%
16.1%
7.1%
2.4%
21.7%
22.4%
27.8%
14.7%
8.3%
7.4%
12.1%
5.4%
11.1%
26.1%
5.7%
13.7%

52.4%
25.7%
29.2%
35.9%
31.7%
47.5%
64.4%
33.0%
48.1%
54.5%
38.5%
53.3%
57.0%
57.1%
48.8%
42.0%
43.1%
25.0%
29.4%
33.3%
44.4%
48.5%
37.8%
22.2%
43.5%
45.3%
43.1%

Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

30.2%
24.0%

23.8%
25.7%
37.5%
12.8%
19.5%
34.4%
22.2%
27.5%
14.8%
21.8%
30.8%
17.8%
19.4%
35.7%
36.6%
23.2%
10.3%
5.6%
38.2%
38.9%
33.3%
24.2%
27.0%
44.4%

4.8%
17.1%
12.0%
29.1%
26.8%
4.8%
8.7%
28.0%
17.9%
13.0%
3.7%
14.0%
4.3%
3.6%
2.4%
13.4%
13.6%
26.3%
14.3%
8.1%
11.5%
11.4%
12.8%
22.2%
9.1%
5.7%
13.7%
9.0%
15.3%
15.8%
11.4%
10.8%
3.8%
17.1%
7.7%
11.1%
22.7%
9.4%
9.6%

9.3%
3.7%
7.0%
5.4%
10.7%

4.8%
8.6%
16.0%
15.2%
4.9%
14.5%
4.3%
9.7%

47.6%
51.4%
40.0%
26.6%
34.1%
27.4%
26.1%
29.0%
35.7%
33.3%
37.0%
34.9%
26.1%
25.0%
24.4%
34.3%
42.4%
39.5%
17.1%
18.9%
26.9%
28.6%
20.5%
11.1%
40.9%
26.4%
30.7%

42.9%
22.9%
32.0%
29.1%
34.1%
53.2%
60.9%
33.3%
46.4%
44.4%
55.6%
41.9%
64.1%
60.7%
73.2%
43.3%
28.8%
18.4%
57.1%
62.2%
57.7%
42.9%
59.0%
55.6%
27.3%
58.5%
45.9%

27.3%
36.4%
25.9%
49.4%
40.0%
25.0%
13.5%
45.3%
25.0%
33.3%
18.5%
28.6%
11.1%
3.6%
2.4%
23.1%
37.0%
44.7%
9.4%
17.1%
32.0%
19.4%
28.9%
25.0%
9.1%
20.4%
26.7%

13.6%
12.1%
18.5%
14.3%
14.3%
12.5%
13.5%
8.1%
17.9%
18.5%
11.1%
16.7%
6.7%
7.1%
4.9%
15.4%
18.5%
15.8%
18.8%
20.0%
8.0%
12.9%
10.5%
12.5%
18.2%
11.1%
13.1%

27.3%
30.3%
33.3%
24.7%
34.3%
41.1%
51.4%
25.6%
32.1%
42.6%
37.0%
33.3%
43.3%
25.0%
39.0%
41.5%
24.1%
28.9%
28.1%
34.3%
20.0%
48.4%
18.4%
37.5%
54.5%
33.3%
34.1%

31.8%
21.2%
22.2%
11.7%
11.4%
21.4%
21.6%
20.9%
25.0%
5.6%
33.3%
21.4%
37.8%
64.3%
53.7%
20.0%
20.4%
10.5%
43.8%
28.6%
40.0%
19.4%
42.1%
25.0%
18.2%
35.2%
26.0%

Very
Satisfied

Q15 Menu C Techniques Satisfaction

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q14 Menu B Techniques Satisfaction

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q13 Menu A Techniques Satisfaction

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons
Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

4

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Correctional Association of NY

11.4%
12.8%
11.1%
21.7%
12.0%
8.3%

10.3%
5.7%
8.9%
23.1%
14.3%
8.1%

9.5%
2.1%

12.5%
4.7%
3.3%
8.5%
8.6%
3.8%
9.3%

4.3%
11.1%

8.7%
4.0%
7.1%

12.8%

5.7%
8.9%
20.5%
2.9%
8.1%
3.7%

3.8%
12.5%
7.0%
8.2%
4.3%
11.8%
15.4%
5.6%
7.4%
9.5%
4.3%
3.6%

43.5%
52.8%
46.2%
37.5%
39.5%
45.9%
48.9%
34.4%
38.5%
44.4%
33.3%
40.5%
52.1%
32.1%
33.3%
35.7%
48.2%
35.9%
31.4%
24.3%
37.0%
31.4%
30.8%
22.2%
56.5%
26.0%
39.4%

Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q17 Involvement Satisfaction
52.2%
36.1%
50.0%
37.5%
48.8%
42.6%
38.3%
45.2%
42.3%
40.7%
59.3%
40.5%
41.5%
64.3%
56.4%
52.9%
33.9%
20.5%
51.4%
59.5%
59.3%
57.1%
43.6%
66.7%
13.0%
58.0%
45.2%

19.0%
28.6%
29.2%
48.1%
47.6%
22.6%
23.3%
29.7%
36.0%
22.2%
29.6%
31.0%
6.3%
3.6%
10.5%
30.9%
21.4%
52.5%
17.1%
13.2%
15.4%
37.1%
34.2%
14.3%
31.8%
21.6%
26.5%
5.3%
13.2%
23.2%
15.0%
14.3%
13.2%
7.7%
5.7%
15.8%
28.6%
13.6%
27.5%
15.2%

20.8%
21.0%
19.0%
17.7%
9.3%
20.9%
24.0%
16.7%
14.8%
11.9%
9.5%

4.8%

42.9%
57.1%
20.8%
21.0%
19.0%
33.9%
39.5%
29.7%
32.0%
42.6%
37.0%
42.9%
50.5%
46.4%
34.2%
30.9%
42.9%
25.0%
28.6%
28.9%
26.9%
28.6%
26.3%
14.3%
45.5%
27.5%
33.7%

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q19 Commitment Satisfaction

33.3%
14.3%
29.2%
9.9%
14.3%
25.8%
27.9%
19.8%
8.0%
18.5%
18.5%
14.3%
33.7%
50.0%
50.0%
25.0%
12.5%
7.5%
40.0%
44.7%
50.0%
28.6%
23.7%
42.9%
9.1%
23.5%
24.6%
13.6%
11.3%
5.8%

3.8%
5.9%
10.3%

5.4%
17.1%
6.1%

4.0%
4.7%
4.3%

5.7%
4.0%
2.3%
3.2%

1.9%
3.6%

2.6%

1.4%
3.6%
2.4%
9.1%
2.6%

5.0%
5.7%
3.8%
10.0%
4.8%
5.0%
2.3%
5.6%

5.0%
5.7%
7.7%
12.5%
2.4%
5.0%
4.7%
9.0%

15.0%
25.7%
19.2%
32.5%
35.7%
28.3%
25.6%
30.3%
21.4%
39.6%
16.0%
41.9%
25.5%
18.5%
23.1%
24.3%
35.7%
26.8%
21.2%
15.8%
15.4%
20.6%
30.8%
11.1%
40.9%
30.2%
27.6%

Very
Very
Somewhat Somewhat
Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied Satisfied

Q18 Counseling Process Satisfaction

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

75.0%
62.9%
69.2%
45.0%
57.1%
61.7%
67.4%
55.1%
78.6%
54.7%
76.0%
51.2%
67.0%
81.5%
76.9%
74.3%
55.4%
53.7%
63.6%
81.6%
80.8%
73.5%
56.4%
88.9%
45.5%
56.6%
63.1%

Very
Satisfied

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

5

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Menu A (c): Violation Incurs Penalty

Correctional Association of NY

13.0%
15.1%
14.0%

9.1%
13.9%
8.0%
24.1%
14.3%
1.7%
14.0%
14.3%
22.2%
19.6%
7.4%
15.6%
8.5%
7.4%
7.7%
14.3%
10.7%
20.0%
18.2%
21.6%
3.7%
20.0%
24.3%

13.6%
19.4%
28.0%
24.1%
23.8%
11.9%
34.9%
17.6%
18.5%
27.5%
14.8%
26.7%
17.0%
18.5%
28.2%
27.1%
37.5%
27.5%
12.1%
18.9%
14.8%
14.3%
24.3%
12.5%
17.4%
15.1%
21.7%
43.5%
20.8%
20.2%

22.7%
19.4%
24.0%
15.2%
23.8%
27.1%
14.0%
12.1%
7.4%
25.5%
11.1%
15.6%
25.5%
22.2%
41.0%
25.7%
16.1%
17.5%
9.1%
27.0%
14.8%
17.1%
16.2%

54.5%
47.2%
40.0%
36.7%
38.1%
59.3%
37.2%
56.0%
51.9%
27.5%
66.7%
42.2%
48.9%
51.9%
23.1%
32.9%
35.7%
35.0%
60.6%
32.4%
66.7%
48.6%
35.1%
87.5%
26.1%
49.1%
44.0%
4.3%
3.7%
6.6%

8.3%
2.8%

4.4%
7.6%
6.9%
9.4%
3.8%
6.7%
2.1%
3.7%
2.4%
9.7%
8.8%
17.1%
8.8%
5.4%

13.0%
8.3%
3.8%
13.4%
7.0%

13.0%
25.0%
19.2%
17.1%
18.6%
18.0%
13.3%
17.4%
34.5%
24.5%
7.7%
26.7%
18.1%
11.1%
14.6%
12.5%
28.1%
36.6%
14.7%
13.5%
22.2%
11.1%
27.8%
11.1%
39.1%
9.3%
19.1%

17.4%
25.0%
19.2%
23.2%
37.2%
18.0%
44.4%
19.6%
6.9%
34.0%
15.4%
31.1%
21.3%
29.6%
26.8%
36.1%
21.1%
26.8%
17.6%
35.1%
37.0%
27.8%
30.6%
22.2%
21.7%
20.4%
25.8%

56.5%
41.7%
57.7%
46.3%
37.2%
63.9%
37.8%
55.4%
51.7%
32.1%
73.1%
35.6%
58.5%
55.6%
56.1%
41.7%
42.1%
19.5%
58.8%
45.9%
40.7%
52.8%
38.9%
66.7%
34.8%
66.7%
48.5%
17.8%
9.7%
14.3%
11.8%
3.7%
11.4%
7.4%
3.7%
7.5%
9.9%
1.7%
7.3%
8.8%
10.8%
3.7%
17.1%
22.2%
11.1%
4.3%
11.1%
9.3%

4.3%
5.9%
12.0%
12.3%
11.6%

29.4%
27.0%
22.2%
17.1%
25.0%
11.1%
30.4%
27.8%
22.6%

21.7%
11.8%
28.0%
25.9%
30.2%
21.3%
33.3%
23.7%
32.1%
21.6%
29.6%
22.7%
12.8%
22.2%
12.5%
26.8%
24.1%

26.1%
32.4%
24.0%
18.5%
18.6%
19.7%
17.8%
16.1%
17.9%
31.4%
11.1%
22.7%
27.7%
14.8%
37.5%
25.4%
27.6%
12.2%
14.7%
24.3%
14.8%
22.9%
27.8%
22.2%
34.8%
20.4%
22.4%

47.8%
50.0%
36.0%
43.2%
39.5%
59.0%
31.1%
50.5%
35.7%
35.3%
55.6%
43.2%
52.1%
59.3%
42.5%
38.0%
46.6%
80.5%
47.1%
37.8%
59.3%
42.9%
25.0%
55.6%
30.4%
40.7%
45.7%

Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important

Menu A (a): Staff Confronts Behavior Menu A (b): Participants Help

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons
Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

6

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Menu A (e): Staff Are Role Models

Menu A (f): Inmates Are Role Models

Correctional Association of NY

8.7%
16.7%
15.8%

8.7%
14.3%
16.0%
21.3%
14.0%
11.5%
26.1%
18.5%
10.3%
19.2%
7.7%
15.6%
7.4%
11.1%
12.5%
12.7%
12.1%
22.0%
21.2%
22.2%
14.8%
25.0%
25.7%

21.7%
17.1%
24.0%
23.8%
30.2%
18.0%
23.9%
15.2%
41.4%
28.8%
11.5%
26.7%
18.1%
22.2%
30.0%
19.7%
22.4%
14.6%
15.2%
33.3%
29.6%
13.9%
20.0%
12.5%
21.7%
16.7%
21.7%

26.1%
28.6%
20.0%
25.0%
14.0%
19.7%
19.6%
22.8%
3.4%
23.1%
15.4%
33.3%
24.5%
22.2%
10.0%
32.4%
22.4%
14.6%
21.2%
19.4%
14.8%
13.9%
28.6%
25.0%
26.1%
27.8%
22.1%

43.5%
40.0%
40.0%
30.0%
41.9%
50.8%
30.4%
43.5%
44.8%
28.8%
65.4%
24.4%
50.0%
44.4%
47.5%
35.2%
43.1%
48.8%
42.4%
25.0%
40.7%
47.2%
25.7%
62.5%
43.5%
38.9%
40.4%

8.7%
22.9%
16.0%
32.9%
27.9%
13.1%
26.7%
21.5%
31.0%
26.9%
7.4%
26.7%
14.9%
10.7%
17.5%
34.7%
22.4%
78.0%
9.1%
13.9%
3.7%
30.6%
23.7%
12.5%
13.0%
11.3%
22.9%

21.7%
25.7%
32.0%
14.6%
18.6%
11.5%
8.9%
12.9%
10.3%
23.1%
3.7%
17.8%
18.1%
14.3%
12.5%
13.9%
15.5%
14.6%
15.2%
13.9%
14.8%
16.7%
15.8%
12.5%
30.4%
24.5%
16.3%

21.7%
8.6%
20.0%
7.3%
14.0%
16.4%
13.3%
7.5%
20.7%
19.2%
14.8%
17.8%
23.4%
42.9%
20.0%
18.1%
19.0%
2.4%
15.2%
22.2%
25.9%
5.6%
15.8%
25.0%
13.0%
18.9%
16.2%

47.8%
42.9%
32.0%
45.1%
39.5%
59.0%
51.1%
58.1%
37.9%
30.8%
74.1%
37.8%
43.6%
32.1%
50.0%
33.3%
43.1%
4.9%
60.6%
50.0%
55.6%
47.2%
44.7%
50.0%
43.5%
45.3%
44.6%
17.6%
16.7%
14.8%
8.3%
26.3%
12.5%
34.8%
18.0%
17.7%

11.8%
13.9%
3.7%
13.9%
21.1%
13.0%
12.0%
15.4%

22.7%
22.2%
11.5%
13.4%
16.3%
15.0%
18.2%
10.0%
22.2%
23.1%
7.4%
28.9%
17.0%
11.5%
25.0%
18.3%
21.1%

9.1%
16.7%
15.4%
28.0%
25.6%
8.3%
15.9%
17.8%
14.8%
19.2%
7.4%
13.3%
7.4%
7.7%
15.0%
25.4%
14.0%

18.2%
22.2%
23.1%
17.1%
18.6%
21.7%
13.6%
11.1%
25.9%
25.0%
3.7%
17.8%
26.6%
38.5%
22.5%
16.9%
24.6%
100.0%
11.8%
25.0%
22.2%
25.0%
15.8%
37.5%
13.0%
22.0%
20.1%

58.8%
44.4%
59.3%
52.8%
36.8%
50.0%
39.1%
48.0%
46.8%

50.0%
38.9%
50.0%
41.5%
39.5%
55.0%
52.3%
61.1%
37.0%
32.7%
81.5%
40.0%
48.9%
42.3%
37.5%
39.4%
40.4%

Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important

Menu A (d): Work is Incorporated

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons
Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

7

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Menu A (h): Increasing Privileges

Menu B (a): Identify “Triggers”

Correctional Association of NY

8.7%
5.6%
9.8%

13.6%
4.2%
15.4%
7.3%
18.1%
8.6%
17.1%
15.2%
11.1%
7.4%
13.9%
10.8%

6.5%
9.7%
6.9%
11.5%

14.7%
8.0%
12.2%
18.6%

30.4%
20.6%
16.0%
18.3%
18.6%
18.0%
13.0%
14.0%
24.1%
23.1%
11.1%
15.9%
16.8%
7.7%
17.1%
16.7%
12.1%
43.9%
21.2%
16.7%
11.1%
2.8%
24.3%
25.0%
39.1%
11.1%
17.9%

26.1%
23.5%
32.0%
20.7%
16.3%
16.4%
23.9%
15.1%
20.7%
34.6%
14.8%
27.3%
17.9%
30.8%
26.8%
22.2%
27.6%
19.5%
9.1%
22.2%
22.2%
22.2%
32.4%
12.5%
13.0%
16.7%
21.6%

43.5%
41.2%
44.0%
48.8%
46.5%
65.6%
56.5%
61.3%
48.3%
30.8%
74.1%
43.2%
61.1%
46.2%
48.8%
43.1%
51.7%
19.5%
54.5%
50.0%
59.3%
61.1%
32.4%
62.5%
39.1%
66.7%
50.8%

14.3%
34.3%
32.0%
26.3%
18.6%
24.6%
27.3%
23.9%
35.7%
25.5%
18.5%
20.0%
20.4%
18.5%
15.4%
33.8%
42.1%
82.9%
38.2%
32.4%
11.1%
27.8%
30.6%
28.6%
21.7%
30.2%
28.4%
17.4%
11.3%
16.6%

38.1%
28.6%
12.0%
12.5%
30.2%
23.0%
11.4%
9.8%
14.3%
15.7%
22.2%
20.0%
19.4%
11.1%
15.4%
11.3%
10.5%
9.8%
17.6%
21.6%
33.3%
8.3%
22.2%

9.5%
11.4%
12.0%
20.0%
23.3%
21.3%
15.9%
8.7%
14.3%
17.6%
7.4%
33.3%
18.3%
25.9%
23.1%
14.1%
8.8%
7.3%
8.8%
18.9%
18.5%
25.0%
16.7%
14.3%
30.4%
22.6%
17.1%
35.3%
27.0%
37.0%
38.9%
30.6%
57.1%
30.4%
35.8%
37.9%

38.1%
25.7%
44.0%
41.3%
27.9%
31.1%
45.5%
57.6%
35.7%
41.2%
51.9%
26.7%
41.9%
44.4%
46.2%
40.8%
38.6%

8.7%
5.6%
7.0%

4.5%
3.2%
3.6%
2.4%
2.9%
5.2%
34.1%
2.9%
5.4%
3.8%
12.5%
2.6%

14.5%
9.1%
1.6%
6.7%
12.0%
6.9%
7.5%

11.4%

9.1%
14.3%
11.1%
12.0%
6.8%
4.9%
8.9%
8.7%
13.8%
7.5%
3.7%
13.6%
2.1%
3.6%
4.9%
14.3%
13.8%
31.7%
5.7%
8.1%
11.5%
9.4%
5.3%
11.1%
21.7%
7.4%
9.7%

8.7%
16.7%
18.6%

31.8%
20.0%
18.5%
18.1%
20.5%
19.7%
20.0%
21.7%
20.7%
22.6%
7.4%
22.7%
13.7%
28.6%
19.5%
24.3%
17.2%
14.6%
14.3%
16.2%
3.8%
18.8%
23.7%

59.1%
54.3%
70.4%
55.4%
63.6%
73.8%
64.4%
57.6%
58.6%
62.3%
88.9%
59.1%
81.1%
64.3%
73.2%
58.6%
63.8%
19.5%
77.1%
70.3%
80.8%
59.4%
68.4%
88.9%
60.9%
70.4%
64.6%

Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important

Menu A (g): Senior Role Models

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons
Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

8

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Menu B (c): Communicate Assertively Menu B (d): Problem Solving Tech.

Correctional Association of NY

8.7%
5.6%
7.0%

4.5%
3.2%
3.6%
2.4%
2.9%
5.2%
34.1%
2.9%
5.4%
3.8%
12.5%
2.6%

14.5%
9.1%
1.6%
6.7%
12.0%
6.9%
7.5%

11.4%

9.1%
14.3%
11.1%
12.0%
6.8%
4.9%
8.9%
8.7%
13.8%
7.5%
3.7%
13.6%
2.1%
3.6%
4.9%
14.3%
13.8%
31.7%
5.7%
8.1%
11.5%
9.4%
5.3%
11.1%
21.7%
7.4%
9.7%
8.7%
16.7%
18.6%

31.8%
20.0%
18.5%
18.1%
20.5%
19.7%
20.0%
21.7%
20.7%
22.6%
7.4%
22.7%
13.7%
28.6%
19.5%
24.3%
17.2%
14.6%
14.3%
16.2%
3.8%
18.8%
23.7%

59.1%
54.3%
70.4%
55.4%
63.6%
73.8%
64.4%
57.6%
58.6%
62.3%
88.9%
59.1%
81.1%
64.3%
73.2%
58.6%
63.8%
19.5%
77.1%
70.3%
80.8%
59.4%
68.4%
88.9%
60.9%
70.4%
64.6%
4.3%
7.4%
7.0%

2.4%
4.3%
5.3%
29.3%
5.7%
11.1%
7.4%
11.8%

9.1%
4.2%

4.4%
10.0%
6.9%
3.7%

15.5%
9.1%

4.5%
11.4%

8.5%

9.1%
17.1%
3.7%
4.8%
4.5%
3.2%
6.7%
7.8%
6.9%
13.0%
11.1%
11.4%
3.2%
3.7%
4.9%
17.1%
12.3%
36.6%
8.6%
2.8%
11.1%
5.9%
5.4%
11.1%
8.7%

18.2%
17.1%
18.5%
16.7%
15.9%
17.7%
13.3%
14.4%
24.1%
27.8%
7.4%
18.2%
11.6%
14.8%
12.2%
17.1%
17.5%
17.1%
2.9%
19.4%
3.7%
14.7%
27.0%
11.1%
26.1%
13.0%
16.1%

68.2%
54.3%
77.8%
63.1%
70.5%
79.0%
75.6%
67.8%
62.1%
55.6%
81.5%
61.4%
81.1%
81.5%
80.5%
61.4%
64.9%
17.1%
82.9%
66.7%
77.8%
67.6%
67.6%
77.8%
60.9%
79.6%
68.3%
4.3%
7.4%
7.0%

2.4%
4.3%
5.3%
29.3%
5.7%
11.1%
7.4%
11.8%

9.1%
4.2%

4.4%
10.0%
6.9%
3.7%

15.5%
9.1%

4.5%
11.4%

8.5%

9.1%
17.1%
3.7%
4.8%
4.5%
3.2%
6.7%
7.8%
6.9%
13.0%
11.1%
11.4%
3.2%
3.7%
4.9%
17.1%
12.3%
36.6%
8.6%
2.8%
11.1%
5.9%
5.4%
11.1%
8.7%

18.2%
17.1%
18.5%
16.7%
15.9%
17.7%
13.3%
14.4%
24.1%
27.8%
7.4%
18.2%
11.6%
14.8%
12.2%
17.1%
17.5%
17.1%
2.9%
19.4%
3.7%
14.7%
27.0%
11.1%
26.1%
13.0%
16.1%

68.2%
54.3%
77.8%
63.1%
70.5%
79.0%
75.6%
67.8%
62.1%
55.6%
81.5%
61.4%
81.1%
81.5%
80.5%
61.4%
64.9%
17.1%
82.9%
66.7%
77.8%
67.6%
67.6%
77.8%
60.9%
79.6%
68.3%

Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important

Menu B (b): Find Other Enjoyment

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons
Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

9

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Menu C (b): How to Work 12-Steps

Correctional Association of NY

8.7%
5.6%
6.6%

2.4%
4.3%
6.9%
22.0%
2.9%
8.3%
7.7%
5.7%

2.2%
10.0%
10.3%
9.3%
3.7%
6.8%
2.1%

16.9%
9.1%

11.1%

13.0%
3.7%
10.3%

9.1%
11.1%
14.8%
7.2%
4.5%
5.0%
11.1%
6.7%
6.9%
11.1%
3.7%
18.2%
5.3%
3.6%
7.3%
20.3%
10.3%
29.3%
11.4%
8.3%
15.4%
17.1%
15.8%

18.2%
25.0%
22.2%
20.5%
15.9%
13.3%
17.8%
16.7%
10.3%
20.4%
3.7%
20.5%
12.6%
14.3%
19.5%
20.3%
20.7%
22.0%
8.6%
22.2%
11.5%
8.6%
18.4%
11.1%
21.7%
20.4%
17.2%

72.7%
52.8%
63.0%
55.4%
70.5%
81.7%
68.9%
66.7%
72.4%
59.3%
88.9%
54.5%
80.0%
82.1%
70.7%
55.1%
62.1%
26.8%
77.1%
61.1%
65.4%
68.6%
65.8%
88.9%
56.5%
70.4%
65.9%
11.3%
24.3%

2.4%
28.6%
45.6%
56.1%
9.1%
25.7%
19.2%
31.3%
10.3%

18.2%
36.1%
22.2%
43.2%
30.2%
24.1%
31.0%
23.0%
28.6%
33.3%
16.0%
32.6%
5.4%

13.6%
33.3%
37.0%
21.0%
30.2%
24.1%
23.8%
11.5%
14.3%
31.4%
16.0%
18.6%
16.3%
7.1%
9.8%
15.7%
5.3%
19.5%
18.2%
28.6%
15.4%
34.4%
15.4%
11.1%
21.7%
18.9%
19.3%

22.7%
2.8%
7.4%
8.6%
14.0%
13.8%
16.7%
17.2%
21.4%
15.7%
8.0%
23.3%
28.3%
25.0%
19.5%
15.7%
17.5%
7.3%
33.3%
17.1%
34.6%
9.4%
25.6%
33.3%
39.1%
22.6%
18.3%

45.5%
27.8%
33.3%
27.2%
25.6%
37.9%
28.6%
48.3%
35.7%
19.6%
60.0%
25.6%
50.0%
67.9%
68.3%
40.0%
31.6%
17.1%
39.4%
28.6%
30.8%
25.0%
48.7%
55.6%
39.1%
47.2%
38.1%
4.3%
15.1%
24.8%

18.2%
38.9%
25.9%
43.2%
23.8%
25.9%
34.1%
21.8%
24.1%
34.0%
16.0%
30.2%
7.6%
3.6%
2.4%
27.9%
46.4%
53.7%
9.1%
30.3%
19.2%
36.4%
7.9%

22.7%
27.8%
29.6%
19.8%
26.2%
24.1%
12.2%
16.1%
17.2%
36.0%
16.0%
25.6%
10.9%
3.6%
12.2%
17.6%
3.6%
22.0%
21.2%
24.2%
15.4%
18.2%
15.8%
11.1%
30.4%
18.9%
18.7%

13.6%
8.3%
11.1%
9.9%
23.8%
17.2%
22.0%
12.6%
20.7%
12.0%
4.0%
16.3%
28.3%
25.0%
14.6%
14.7%
14.3%
4.9%
27.3%
15.2%
30.8%
15.2%
21.1%
33.3%
30.4%
20.8%
17.2%

45.5%
25.0%
33.3%
27.2%
26.2%
32.8%
31.7%
49.4%
37.9%
18.0%
64.0%
27.9%
53.3%
67.9%
70.7%
39.7%
35.7%
19.5%
42.4%
30.3%
34.6%
30.3%
55.3%
55.6%
34.8%
45.3%
39.2%

Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important

Menu B (e): Learn Errors in Thinking Menu C (a): 12-Step Goals Explained

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons
Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

10

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Correctional Association of NY

4.3%
17.0%
25.0%

2.4%
30.4%
48.2%
51.2%
9.1%
30.3%
19.2%
28.1%
10.5%

18.2%
37.1%
29.6%
46.3%
26.2%
26.3%
31.7%
24.1%
28.6%
30.6%
16.0%
31.0%
4.3%

18.2%
28.6%
25.9%
15.0%
26.2%
22.8%
14.6%
9.6%
10.7%
34.7%
12.0%
21.4%
9.8%
7.1%
9.8%
15.9%
3.6%
29.3%
21.2%
27.3%
15.4%
21.9%
15.8%
22.2%
21.7%
20.8%
17.6%

13.6%
11.4%
18.5%
11.3%
19.0%
15.8%
26.8%
15.7%
10.7%
18.4%
12.0%
19.0%
31.5%
28.6%
22.0%
15.9%
12.5%
4.9%
15.2%
18.2%
26.9%
15.6%
13.2%
11.1%
34.8%
22.6%
18.1%

50.0%
22.9%
25.9%
27.5%
28.6%
35.1%
26.8%
50.6%
50.0%
16.3%
60.0%
28.6%
53.3%
64.3%
65.9%
37.7%
35.7%
14.6%
54.5%
24.2%
38.5%
34.4%
60.5%
66.7%
39.1%
39.6%
39.3%
13.2%
20.1%

13.6%
34.3%
22.2%
33.3%
26.2%
15.5%
26.2%
18.6%
13.8%
26.5%
8.3%
27.9%
4.3%
3.6%
9.8%
21.7%
30.4%
58.5%
9.1%
20.6%
15.4%
18.2%
15.8%

18.2%
22.9%
22.2%
13.6%
16.7%
20.7%
21.4%
12.8%
20.7%
32.7%
12.5%
27.9%
12.0%
10.7%
12.2%
17.4%
8.9%
26.8%
18.2%
26.5%
19.2%
21.2%
10.5%
11.1%
21.7%
18.9%
17.9%

22.7%
11.4%
11.1%
16.0%
21.4%
17.2%
19.0%
19.8%
6.9%
14.3%
8.3%
14.0%
23.9%
25.0%
19.5%
18.8%
26.8%
4.9%
15.2%
23.5%
26.9%
15.2%
21.1%
22.2%
39.1%
24.5%
18.9%

45.5%
31.4%
44.4%
37.0%
35.7%
46.6%
33.3%
48.8%
58.6%
26.5%
70.8%
30.2%
59.8%
60.7%
58.5%
42.0%
33.9%
9.8%
57.6%
29.4%
38.5%
45.5%
52.6%
66.7%
39.1%
43.4%
43.2%
18.9%
25.6%

13.6%
35.3%
25.9%
42.5%
28.6%
28.1%
33.3%
23.3%
20.7%
28.0%
12.5%
32.6%
6.5%
3.6%
4.9%
30.4%
48.2%
61.0%
12.1%
32.4%
19.2%
30.3%
17.9%
11.1%

18.2%
23.5%
25.9%
13.8%
26.2%
21.1%
9.5%
12.8%
17.2%
42.0%
12.5%
25.6%
10.9%
17.9%
17.1%
18.8%
1.8%
17.1%
21.2%
26.5%
19.2%
21.2%
12.8%
11.1%
30.4%
20.8%
18.2%

22.7%
11.8%
14.8%
13.8%
21.4%
15.8%
31.0%
16.3%
24.1%
12.0%
12.5%
16.3%
26.1%
25.0%
24.4%
14.5%
19.6%
4.9%
15.2%
17.6%
26.9%
18.2%
20.5%
22.2%
34.8%
20.8%
18.8%

45.5%
29.4%
33.3%
30.0%
23.8%
35.1%
26.2%
47.7%
37.9%
18.0%
62.5%
25.6%
56.5%
53.6%
53.7%
36.2%
30.4%
17.1%
51.5%
23.5%
34.6%
30.3%
48.7%
55.6%
34.8%
39.6%
37.4%

Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Not
Somewhat Mostly
Very
Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important Important

Menu C (c): 12-Step Success Explained Menu C (d): Sponsoring Relationship Menu C (e): Barriers to Affiliation

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons
Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

11

47.8%
33.3%
40.7%
64.6%
59.5%
27.9%
37.0%
45.2%
39.3%
38.9%
29.6%
46.5%
20.8%
14.3%
17.5%
36.1%
48.3%
65.9%
34.3%
16.2%
14.8%
33.3%
48.7%
44.4%
43.5%
37.7%
38.7%

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

21.7%
25.0%
25.9%
24.4%
26.2%
31.1%
17.4%
30.1%
53.6%
31.5%
25.9%
34.9%
36.5%
28.6%
27.5%
31.9%
27.6%
14.6%
28.6%
35.1%
25.9%
33.3%
20.5%
22.2%
30.4%
22.6%
28.6%

Somewhat
Not True
True

Prison
13.0%
22.2%
18.5%
8.5%
2.4%
19.7%
30.4%
11.8%
3.6%
18.5%
11.1%
16.3%
22.9%
32.1%
25.0%
19.4%
12.1%
9.8%
14.3%
29.7%
22.2%
16.7%
17.9%
11.1%
13.0%
20.8%
17.1%

Mostly
True

17.4%
19.4%
14.8%
2.4%
11.9%
21.3%
15.2%
12.9%
3.6%
11.1%
33.3%
2.3%
19.8%
25.0%
30.0%
12.5%
12.1%
9.8%
22.9%
18.9%
37.0%
16.7%
12.8%
22.2%
13.0%
18.9%
15.6%

34.8%
34.3%
40.7%
67.5%
65.1%
29.5%
38.3%
50.5%
57.1%
35.2%
18.5%
46.5%
16.7%
7.1%
17.5%
43.1%
34.5%
73.2%
25.7%
29.7%
3.7%
47.2%
52.5%
11.1%
21.7%
39.6%
38.8%

43.5%
48.6%
29.6%
24.1%
16.3%
37.7%
29.8%
30.1%
39.3%
37.0%
33.3%
37.2%
31.3%
25.0%
32.5%
30.6%
41.4%
12.2%
34.3%
18.9%
48.1%
27.8%
20.0%
33.3%
56.5%
22.6%
31.2%

4.3%
8.6%
18.5%
6.0%
7.0%
19.7%
21.3%
8.6%
3.6%
16.7%
29.6%
14.0%
32.3%
32.1%
20.0%
15.3%
13.8%
7.3%
14.3%
29.7%
14.8%
13.9%
20.0%
11.1%
8.7%
15.1%
16.0%

Mostly
True

Correctional Association of NY
11.1%
18.5%
2.3%
19.8%
35.7%
30.0%
11.1%
10.3%
7.3%
25.7%
21.6%
33.3%
11.1%
7.5%
44.4%
13.0%
22.6%
14.0%

17.4%
8.6%
11.1%
2.4%
11.6%
13.1%
10.6%
10.8%

47.8%
33.3%
33.3%
74.7%
67.4%
37.1%
42.6%
61.1%
64.3%
37.7%
25.9%
60.5%
19.8%
10.7%
17.9%
48.6%
43.9%
78.0%
31.4%
21.6%
3.7%
52.8%
59.0%
11.1%
39.1%
39.6%
43.9%

26.1%
44.4%
37.0%
18.1%
16.3%
32.3%
29.8%
20.0%
28.6%
34.0%
33.3%
25.6%
32.3%
21.4%
23.1%
19.4%
33.3%
12.2%
28.6%
27.0%
40.7%
30.6%
15.4%
33.3%
34.8%
32.1%
27.0%

Somewhat
True

8.7%
11.1%
14.8%
6.0%
7.0%
21.0%
12.8%
10.5%
7.1%
17.0%
11.1%
7.0%
29.2%
28.6%
35.9%
16.7%
12.3%
7.3%
14.3%
29.7%
29.6%
8.3%
12.8%
11.1%
17.4%
13.2%
15.5%

Mostly
True

11.3%
29.6%
7.0%
18.8%
39.3%
23.1%
15.3%
10.5%
2.4%
25.7%
21.6%
25.9%
8.3%
12.8%
44.4%
8.7%
15.1%
13.5%

17.4%
11.1%
14.8%
1.2%
9.3%
9.7%
14.9%
8.4%

Very True

Q16(c) – Do What is Best for Me

Very True Not True

Q16(b) – Interested in Helping Me

Somewhat
Very True Not True
True

Q16(a) – Feel Part of Something

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

12

47.8%
48.6%
51.9%
75.9%
65.9%
33.9%
36.2%
61.3%
64.3%
48.1%
44.4%
55.8%
31.3%
17.9%
23.1%
43.1%
55.2%
70.0%
37.1%
24.3%
14.8%
44.4%
62.5%
44.4%
47.8%
30.2%
46.8%

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

30.4%
31.4%
14.8%
14.5%
20.5%
35.5%
21.3%
15.1%
35.7%
20.4%
37.0%
32.6%
31.3%
21.4%
17.9%
33.3%
34.5%
12.5%
28.6%
29.7%
44.4%
30.6%
2.5%
33.3%
43.5%
41.5%
26.4%

Somewhat
Not True
True

Prison
13.0%
11.4%
11.1%
2.4%
6.8%
14.5%
14.9%
14.0%
7.4%
11.1%
7.0%
15.6%
28.6%
25.6%
13.9%
3.4%
7.5%
14.3%
16.2%
18.5%
8.3%
7.5%
11.1%
4.3%
9.4%
11.3%

24.1%
7.4%
4.7%
21.9%
32.1%
33.3%
9.7%
6.9%
10.0%
20.0%
29.7%
22.2%
16.7%
27.5%
11.1%
4.3%
18.9%
15.5%

34.8%
36.1%
33.3%
70.7%
61.4%
29.5%
41.3%
40.9%
75.0%
43.4%
44.4%
52.4%
22.9%
21.4%
35.0%
44.4%
48.3%
73.2%
33.3%
28.9%
18.5%
55.6%
55.0%
22.2%
54.5%
43.4%
43.8%

13.0%
19.4%
44.4%
22.0%
9.1%
37.7%
21.7%
23.7%
17.9%
24.5%
29.6%
28.6%
37.5%
14.3%
25.0%
18.1%
29.3%
12.2%
27.3%
18.4%
18.5%
13.9%
22.5%
33.3%
31.8%
15.1%
23.8%

Correctional Association of NY
9.1%
15.1%
14.5%

26.1%
16.7%
3.7%
4.9%
11.4%
21.3%
8.7%
16.1%
7.1%
18.9%
3.7%
7.1%
19.8%
21.4%
17.5%
29.2%
13.8%
4.9%
12.1%
15.8%
22.2%
11.1%
12.5%

Mostly
True

Q16(e) – Staff Believes in Me

Somewhat
Very True Not True
True

8.7%
8.6%
22.2%
7.2%
6.8%
16.1%
27.7%
9.7%

Mostly
True

Q16(d) – Program is Well Organized

13.2%
22.2%
11.9%
19.8%
42.9%
22.5%
8.3%
8.6%
9.8%
27.3%
36.8%
40.7%
19.4%
10.0%
44.4%
4.5%
26.4%
17.8%

26.1%
27.8%
18.5%
2.4%
18.2%
11.5%
28.3%
19.4%

4.3%
9.6%
6.7%

5.6%
10.0%

5.6%
13.8%
19.5%
5.7%
2.8%

2.3%
3.2%
3.6%

10.9%

13.4%
4.7%
3.3%
8.7%
9.7%

13.0%
2.8%

Very True Not True

8.7%
38.9%
11.1%
26.8%
41.9%
19.7%
26.1%
16.1%
28.6%
18.2%
33.3%
16.3%
15.8%
7.1%
15.0%
22.2%
15.5%
31.7%
14.3%
30.6%
18.5%
11.1%
22.5%
11.1%
34.8%
23.1%
21.5%

Somewhat
True

34.8%
16.7%
48.1%
28.0%
16.3%
31.1%
26.1%
23.7%
35.7%
32.7%
33.3%
41.9%
30.5%
14.3%
22.5%
31.9%
36.2%
19.5%
22.9%
22.2%
22.2%
25.0%
32.5%
11.1%
21.7%
23.1%
27.8%

Mostly
True

43.5%
41.7%
40.7%
31.7%
37.2%
45.9%
39.1%
50.5%
35.7%
38.2%
33.3%
39.5%
50.5%
75.0%
62.5%
40.3%
34.5%
29.3%
57.1%
44.4%
59.3%
58.3%
35.0%
77.8%
39.1%
44.2%
44.0%

Very True

Q17(a) – Understand and Accept Rules

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

13

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

34.8%
13.5%
21.0%

11.1%
22.5%

13.0%
5.8%
8.1%

11.0%
7.0%
3.3%
10.6%
9.6%
3.6%
9.1%
7.4%
4.7%
5.3%
3.6%
7.5%
5.6%
10.3%
19.5%
11.4%
5.6%

13.0%
25.7%
18.5%
26.8%
27.9%
30.0%
19.1%
21.3%
35.7%
30.9%
18.5%
27.9%
13.7%
3.6%
10.0%
16.7%
22.4%
29.3%
22.9%
16.7%
22.2%
8.3%
20.0%

8.7%
5.7%

Somewhat
Not True
True

34.8%
25.7%
40.7%
32.9%
20.9%
26.7%
34.0%
30.9%
32.1%
25.5%
18.5%
27.9%
36.8%
39.3%
30.0%
31.9%
24.1%
29.3%
25.7%
38.9%
25.9%
19.4%
35.0%
44.4%
34.8%
38.5%
30.7%

Mostly
True

43.5%
42.9%
40.7%
29.3%
44.2%
40.0%
36.2%
38.3%
28.6%
34.5%
55.6%
39.5%
44.2%
53.6%
52.5%
45.8%
43.1%
22.0%
40.0%
38.9%
51.9%
61.1%
22.5%
55.6%
17.4%
42.3%
40.1%

43.5%
33.3%
37.0%
61.7%
56.8%
35.0%
38.3%
41.3%
60.7%
30.9%
37.0%
37.2%
23.2%
7.1%
17.5%
38.0%
50.9%
56.1%
42.9%
27.8%
14.8%
33.3%
55.0%
25.0%
34.8%
34.6%
38.6%

17.4%
30.6%
33.3%
18.5%
18.2%
26.7%
23.4%
22.8%
21.4%
32.7%
22.2%
32.6%
28.4%
28.6%
27.5%
25.4%
24.6%
26.8%
25.7%
22.2%
33.3%
27.8%
15.0%
37.5%
39.1%
21.2%
25.4%

17.4%
22.2%
18.5%
14.8%
11.4%
20.0%
10.6%
12.0%
10.7%
20.0%
18.5%
16.3%
31.6%
32.1%
20.0%
19.7%
10.5%
7.3%
8.6%
33.3%
14.8%
11.1%
17.5%
12.5%
17.4%
32.7%
18.2%

Mostly
True

21.7%
13.9%
11.1%
4.9%
13.6%
18.3%
27.7%
23.9%
7.1%
16.4%
22.2%
14.0%
16.8%
32.1%
35.0%
16.9%
14.0%
9.8%
22.9%
16.7%
37.0%
27.8%
12.5%
25.0%
8.7%
11.5%
17.7%

Correctional Association of NY
8.7%
5.8%
7.0%

15.7%
7.0%
5.0%
10.9%
3.2%
7.1%
7.3%
3.7%
4.7%
3.2%
3.8%
2.5%
5.6%
12.3%
12.5%
11.8%
8.3%
3.7%
5.7%
15.0%

8.3%

34.8%
19.4%
11.1%
31.3%
20.9%
23.3%
30.4%
21.3%
32.1%
29.1%
14.8%
20.9%
13.7%
15.4%
20.0%
19.4%
12.3%
27.5%
32.4%
16.7%
18.5%
22.9%
27.5%
33.3%
39.1%
21.2%
22.6%

Somewhat
True

13.0%
22.2%
44.4%
28.9%
25.6%
33.3%
19.6%
27.7%
25.0%
30.9%
11.1%
37.2%
35.8%
30.8%
20.0%
29.2%
36.8%
25.0%
17.6%
36.1%
25.9%
28.6%
25.0%
11.1%
30.4%
34.6%
28.7%

Mostly
True

Q17(d) – Set a Good Example

Very True Not True

Q17(c) – Feel Attachment/Ownership

Somewhat
Very True Not True
True

Q17(b) – Participate in Program

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

52.2%
50.0%
44.4%
24.1%
46.5%
38.3%
39.1%
47.9%
35.7%
32.7%
70.4%
37.2%
47.4%
50.0%
57.5%
45.8%
38.6%
35.0%
38.2%
38.9%
51.9%
42.9%
32.5%
55.6%
21.7%
38.5%
41.7%

Very True

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

14

19.0%
30.6%
34.6%
64.2%
52.3%
23.3%
43.2%
39.6%
51.7%
21.8%
22.2%
30.2%
10.4%
3.6%
10.5%
27.8%
38.6%
63.4%
25.7%
10.5%
7.7%
41.7%
47.5%
11.1%
34.8%
23.5%
32.0%

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

28.6%
30.6%
34.6%
23.5%
25.0%
38.3%
15.9%
26.4%
37.9%
40.0%
33.3%
48.8%
32.3%
14.3%
23.7%
26.4%
31.6%
22.0%
28.6%
28.9%
26.9%
25.0%
25.0%
22.2%
47.8%
31.4%
29.6%

Somewhat
Not True
True

Prison
23.8%
22.2%
26.9%
6.2%
13.6%
18.3%
9.1%
17.6%
3.4%
23.6%
14.8%
11.6%
34.4%
46.4%
21.1%
29.2%
17.5%
4.9%
14.3%
36.8%
23.1%
13.9%
10.0%
22.2%
13.0%
17.6%
19.2%

Mostly
True

28.6%
16.7%
3.8%
6.2%
9.1%
20.0%
31.8%
16.5%
6.9%
14.5%
29.6%
9.3%
22.9%
35.7%
44.7%
16.7%
12.3%
9.8%
31.4%
23.7%
42.3%
19.4%
17.5%
44.4%
4.3%
27.5%
19.3%

19.0%
33.3%
30.8%
57.3%
58.1%
17.7%
34.1%
43.6%
58.6%
34.5%
18.5%
32.6%
15.8%
3.6%
15.4%
36.1%
28.1%
65.0%
8.8%
16.2%
11.5%
44.4%
47.5%
11.1%
43.5%
30.8%
33.2%

19.0%
25.0%
34.6%
30.5%
14.0%
40.3%
29.5%
22.3%
27.6%
30.9%
37.0%
34.9%
26.3%
17.9%
20.5%
23.6%
36.8%
20.0%
32.4%
18.9%
19.2%
22.2%
22.5%
22.2%
34.8%
28.8%
27.0%

Correctional Association of NY
13.0%
11.5%
16.8%

33.3%
25.0%
19.2%
9.8%
11.6%
16.1%
9.1%
12.8%
6.9%
16.4%
14.8%
18.6%
28.4%
32.1%
23.1%
23.6%
19.3%
2.5%
23.5%
24.3%
15.4%
5.6%
10.0%

Mostly
True

Q18(b) – Staff is Sincere

Somewhat
Very True Not True
True

Q18(a) – Staff Supports My Goals
28.6%
16.7%
15.4%
2.4%
16.3%
25.8%
27.3%
21.3%
6.9%
18.2%
29.6%
14.0%
29.5%
46.4%
41.0%
16.7%
15.8%
12.5%
35.3%
40.5%
53.8%
27.8%
20.0%
66.7%
8.7%
28.8%
23.0%

10.0%
22.9%
18.5%
48.1%
38.6%
22.6%
22.7%
26.4%
20.7%
27.3%
11.1%
27.9%
9.6%
3.6%
7.7%
23.2%
26.3%
53.7%
5.7%
11.1%
15.4%
36.1%
25.0%
12.5%
34.8%
18.9%
23.9%

Very True Not True

25.0%
31.4%
22.2%
28.4%
27.3%
33.9%
27.3%
25.3%
44.8%
27.3%
44.4%
25.6%
25.5%
10.7%
25.6%
21.7%
28.1%
22.0%
37.1%
22.2%
15.4%
22.2%
32.5%
12.5%
39.1%
32.1%
27.5%

Somewhat
True

25.0%
11.4%
37.0%
17.3%
11.4%
21.0%
20.5%
23.1%
10.3%
29.1%
11.1%
20.9%
28.7%
42.9%
20.5%
23.2%
28.1%
12.2%
20.0%
27.8%
7.7%
11.1%
17.5%
12.5%
17.4%
18.9%
21.1%

Mostly
True

40.0%
34.3%
22.2%
6.2%
22.7%
22.6%
29.5%
25.3%
24.1%
16.4%
33.3%
25.6%
36.2%
42.9%
46.2%
31.9%
17.5%
12.2%
37.1%
38.9%
61.5%
30.6%
25.0%
62.5%
8.7%
30.2%
27.6%

Very True

Q18(c) – Work Well with Staff

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

15

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

25.0%
36.1%
33.3%
63.0%
47.7%
30.6%
34.1%
53.3%
35.7%
34.5%
30.8%
39.5%
13.7%
3.6%
10.3%
28.2%
40.4%
61.0%
31.4%
16.2%
16.0%
38.9%
48.8%
33.3%
34.8%
32.1%
35.3%

Not True

Correctional Association of NY

47.8%
18.9%
21.9%

20.0%
22.2%
25.9%
18.5%
25.0%
27.4%
15.9%
12.2%
28.6%
25.5%
26.9%
27.9%
26.3%
17.9%
23.1%
28.2%
22.8%
22.0%
14.3%
8.1%
16.0%
25.0%
17.1%

Somewhat
True

25.0%
25.0%
25.9%
12.3%
11.4%
19.4%
15.9%
18.9%
14.3%
32.7%
19.2%
14.0%
29.5%
35.7%
25.6%
23.9%
22.8%
7.3%
20.0%
45.9%
24.0%
11.1%
17.1%
22.2%
8.7%
26.4%
21.4%

Mostly
True

30.0%
16.7%
14.8%
6.2%
15.9%
22.6%
34.1%
15.6%
21.4%
7.3%
23.1%
18.6%
30.5%
42.9%
41.0%
19.7%
14.0%
9.8%
34.3%
29.7%
44.0%
25.0%
17.1%
44.4%
8.7%
22.6%
21.5%

25.0%
44.4%
48.1%
70.7%
65.9%
38.7%
43.2%
56.0%
71.4%
43.6%
40.7%
52.4%
20.8%
7.1%
15.4%
43.1%
59.6%
70.7%
28.6%
24.3%
30.8%
50.0%
55.0%
22.2%
47.8%
45.3%
45.0%

Very True Not True

40.0%
30.6%
22.2%
15.9%
13.6%
21.0%
20.5%
24.2%
17.9%
29.1%
25.9%
23.8%
32.3%
10.7%
23.1%
20.8%
19.3%
12.2%
28.6%
18.9%
15.4%
19.4%
17.5%
22.2%
47.8%
20.8%
22.5%

Somewhat
True

26.4%
17.1%

5.0%
16.7%
18.5%
12.2%
11.4%
25.8%
20.5%
7.7%
3.6%
20.0%
18.5%
19.0%
24.0%
39.3%
28.2%
15.3%
12.3%
9.8%
11.4%
32.4%
19.2%
5.6%
17.5%
22.2%

Mostly
True

30.0%
8.3%
11.1%
1.2%
9.1%
14.5%
15.9%
12.1%
7.1%
7.3%
14.8%
4.8%
22.9%
42.9%
33.3%
20.8%
8.8%
7.3%
31.4%
24.3%
34.6%
25.0%
10.0%
33.3%
4.3%
7.5%
15.3%
8.3%
23.1%
11.1%
4.3%
13.2%
11.3%

5.6%
17.9%
31.7%
11.8%
2.7%

11.1%
3.7%
14.0%
7.3%
3.6%

9.5%
22.2%
7.4%
19.5%
13.6%
6.5%
10.9%
14.0%

Very True Not True

9.5%
16.7%
11.1%
29.3%
20.5%
12.9%
8.7%
16.1%
24.1%
16.7%
11.1%
20.9%
8.3%
10.7%
15.4%
12.7%
21.4%
26.8%
11.8%
5.4%
18.5%
13.9%
7.7%
22.2%
21.7%
15.1%
15.8%

Somewhat
True

33.3%
19.4%
33.3%
15.9%
34.1%
33.9%
28.3%
24.7%
27.6%
35.2%
18.5%
32.6%
32.3%
21.4%
20.5%
33.8%
19.6%
14.6%
26.5%
29.7%
29.6%
25.0%
23.1%
11.1%
39.1%
28.3%
27.0%

Mostly
True

47.6%
41.7%
48.1%
35.4%
31.8%
46.8%
52.2%
45.2%
48.3%
37.0%
66.7%
32.6%
52.1%
64.3%
64.1%
47.9%
41.1%
26.8%
50.0%
62.2%
51.9%
52.8%
46.2%
55.6%
34.8%
43.4%
46.0%

Very True

Q18(d) – Satisfied with My Treatment Q18(e) – Treatment Meets Expectation Q19(a) – Feel Good About Progress

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

16

Correctional Association of NY

8.7%
7.5%
8.7%

8.3%
19.5%

4.2%
12.3%
29.3%
8.8%

9.3%
3.7%
9.3%
5.2%
3.6%

9.5%
22.9%
7.4%
13.4%
9.1%
3.2%
8.7%
9.6%

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

9.5%
11.4%
3.7%
24.4%
13.6%
19.4%
4.3%
16.0%
27.6%
16.7%
3.7%
23.3%
9.4%
7.1%
12.8%
12.5%
12.3%
19.5%
11.8%
8.1%
3.7%
11.1%
12.2%
25.0%
4.3%
20.8%
13.9%

Somewhat
Not True
True

Prison
38.1%
17.1%
33.3%
19.5%
40.9%
29.0%
32.6%
24.5%
31.0%
38.9%
14.8%
30.2%
31.3%
17.9%
23.1%
29.2%
19.3%
17.1%
14.7%
32.4%
25.9%
25.0%
22.0%
25.0%
43.5%
18.9%
26.6%

Mostly
True

42.9%
48.6%
55.6%
42.7%
36.4%
48.4%
54.3%
50.0%
41.4%
35.2%
77.8%
37.2%
54.2%
71.4%
64.1%
54.2%
56.1%
34.1%
64.7%
59.5%
70.4%
55.6%
46.3%
50.0%
43.5%
52.8%
50.9%
1.9%
3.7%

2.8%
5.0%

1.4%
7.0%
12.2%
2.9%

7.4%
3.7%
4.7%
1.1%

9.5%
2.8%
3.7%
7.4%
2.3%
1.6%
6.7%
5.4%
13.9%
3.7%
12.3%
6.8%
8.1%
6.7%
11.8%
14.3%
14.8%
3.7%
9.3%
6.3%
3.6%
5.1%
4.2%
5.3%
14.6%
8.8%
2.7%
3.7%
8.3%
7.5%
25.0%
8.7%
13.2%
8.5%
47.8%
20.8%
19.2%

9.5%
13.9%
29.6%
22.2%
27.3%
27.4%
15.6%
15.1%
17.9%
27.8%
3.7%
20.9%
17.9%
10.7%
20.5%
20.8%
15.8%
14.6%
5.9%
24.3%
7.4%
19.4%
20.0%

Mostly
True

81.0%
69.4%
63.0%
58.0%
63.6%
62.9%
71.1%
67.7%
67.9%
50.0%
88.9%
65.1%
74.7%
85.7%
74.4%
73.6%
71.9%
58.5%
82.4%
73.0%
88.9%
69.4%
67.5%
75.0%
43.5%
64.2%
68.5%
7.5%
4.4%

3.7%
5.6%
7.3%

4.2%
3.5%
14.6%
9.1%

7.4%
7.4%
2.3%
2.1%
3.6%

9.5%
2.8%
3.7%
4.9%
4.5%
1.6%
4.4%
4.4%

8.7%
7.5%
9.7%

7.7%
2.8%
7.0%
14.6%
15.2%
10.8%
3.7%
8.3%
12.2%

9.5%
8.3%
11.1%
13.4%
11.4%
9.7%
4.4%
13.2%
14.8%
14.8%
18.5%
14.0%
5.2%

Somewhat
True

14.3%
27.8%
18.5%
24.4%
22.7%
30.6%
20.0%
19.8%
22.2%
37.0%
3.7%
32.6%
28.1%
14.3%
17.9%
29.2%
19.3%
12.2%
15.2%
21.6%
11.1%
22.2%
19.5%
25.0%
34.8%
20.8%
22.9%

Mostly
True

66.7%
61.1%
66.7%
57.3%
61.4%
58.1%
71.1%
62.6%
63.0%
40.7%
70.4%
51.2%
64.6%
82.1%
74.4%
63.9%
70.2%
58.5%
60.6%
67.6%
81.5%
63.9%
61.0%
75.0%
56.5%
64.2%
63.0%

Very True

Q19(d) – Doing Something about Prob.

Very True Not True

Q19(c) – Attempting to Change

Somewhat
Very True Not True
True

Q19(b) – Working on My Problems

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

17

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

Correctional Association of NY

1.9%
2.4%

5.6%
5.0%

1.4%
5.3%
4.9%
2.9%

3.7%
7.4%

6.5%
2.1%

3.7%
3.7%
2.3%

9.5%

4.3%
3.8%
4.5%

7.0%
3.1%
3.6%
2.6%
1.4%
5.3%
12.2%
2.9%
5.3%
3.7%

5.3%
6.9%
5.6%

11.0%
4.5%
6.5%

4.8%
5.6%

Somewhat
Not True
True

23.3%
11.5%
7.1%
15.4%
15.3%
12.3%
4.9%
2.9%
10.5%
3.7%
8.3%
20.0%
25.0%
17.4%
17.0%
12.7%

14.3%
19.4%
22.2%
13.4%
15.9%
12.9%
8.7%
9.6%
6.9%
16.7%

Mostly
True

71.4%
75.0%
74.1%
72.0%
77.3%
80.6%
84.8%
83.0%
86.2%
74.1%
92.6%
69.8%
85.4%
89.3%
82.1%
81.9%
77.2%
78.0%
91.2%
84.2%
92.6%
86.1%
75.0%
75.0%
78.3%
77.4%
80.4%

23.8%
11.1%
14.8%
28.0%
37.2%
18.0%
13.6%
15.4%
17.2%
20.0%
15.4%
24.4%
9.3%
7.1%
10.0%
8.3%
24.1%
29.3%
8.6%
11.1%
11.1%
19.4%
37.5%
12.5%
27.3%
32.1%
18.8%

33.3%
30.6%
25.9%
24.4%
27.9%
29.5%
13.6%
29.7%
31.0%
23.6%
11.5%
26.8%
24.7%
21.4%
20.0%
33.3%
31.0%
17.1%
20.0%
19.4%
18.5%
27.8%
15.0%
62.5%
45.5%
22.6%
25.5%

28.6%
33.3%
40.7%
20.7%
14.0%
27.9%
25.0%
22.0%
24.1%
41.8%
26.9%
31.7%
32.0%
35.7%
27.5%
27.8%
25.9%
19.5%
17.1%
30.6%
29.6%
19.4%
20.0%
12.5%
18.2%
24.5%
26.4%

Mostly
True

14.3%
25.0%
18.5%
26.8%
20.9%
24.6%
47.7%
33.0%
27.6%
14.5%
46.2%
17.1%
34.0%
35.7%
42.5%
30.6%
19.0%
34.1%
54.3%
38.9%
40.7%
33.3%
27.5%
12.5%
9.1%
20.8%
29.3%

40.0%
13.9%
33.3%
36.6%
37.2%
14.5%
15.9%
22.8%
20.7%
23.6%
19.2%
30.0%
19.6%
11.1%
15.4%
22.2%
22.8%
39.0%
11.4%
13.9%
18.5%
25.0%
26.8%
22.2%
52.2%
30.8%
24.2%

30.0%
30.6%
18.5%
28.0%
23.3%
27.4%
22.7%
35.9%
51.7%
30.9%
34.6%
32.5%
29.9%
29.6%
28.2%
19.4%
38.6%
26.8%
28.6%
22.2%
25.9%
30.6%
22.0%
22.2%
21.7%
25.0%
28.7%

Somewhat
True

20.0%
36.1%
40.7%
24.4%
32.6%
41.9%
29.5%
22.8%
17.2%
27.3%
15.4%
20.0%
34.0%
33.3%
38.5%
43.1%
28.1%
19.5%
25.7%
33.3%
11.1%
30.6%
31.7%
55.6%
21.7%
30.8%
29.6%

Mostly
True

4.3%
13.5%
17.5%

10.0%
19.4%
7.4%
11.0%
7.0%
16.1%
31.8%
18.5%
10.3%
18.2%
30.8%
17.5%
16.5%
25.9%
17.9%
15.3%
10.5%
14.6%
34.3%
30.6%
44.4%
13.9%
19.5%

Very True

Q20(b) – Disagreements Resolved

Very True Not True

Q20(a) – Open/Frank Discussions

Somewhat
Very True Not True
True

Q19(e) – Accept Responsibility

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

18

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

35.0%
45.7%
51.9%
45.1%
27.9%
45.2%
54.5%
52.7%
57.1%
56.4%
65.4%
41.5%
50.5%
57.7%
45.0%
43.7%
50.0%
48.8%
67.6%
57.1%
57.7%
41.7%
48.7%
37.5%
56.5%
45.3%
49.2%

30.0%
42.9%
14.8%
19.5%
44.2%
33.9%
22.7%
25.3%
32.1%
29.1%
23.1%
22.0%
27.8%
23.1%
20.0%
31.0%
15.5%
29.3%
20.6%
20.0%
23.1%
33.3%
20.5%
25.0%
30.4%
30.2%
26.6%

Somewhat
Not True
True

Correctional Association of NY
9.1%
7.7%
19.5%
13.4%
3.8%
17.5%
9.9%
15.5%
4.9%
11.8%
11.4%
7.7%
13.9%
17.9%
12.5%
13.0%
13.2%
12.3%

25.0%
2.9%
22.2%
17.1%
9.3%
9.7%
18.2%
9.9%

Mostly
True

11.3%
12.0%

11.4%
11.5%
11.1%
12.8%
25.0%

10.0%
8.6%
11.1%
18.3%
18.6%
11.3%
4.5%
12.1%
10.7%
5.5%
3.8%
17.1%
8.2%
15.4%
17.5%
15.5%
19.0%
17.1%

25.0%
22.2%
14.8%
32.1%
34.9%
24.2%
13.3%
22.0%
6.9%
16.7%
7.4%
22.0%
10.3%
17.9%
12.5%
11.3%
24.6%
24.4%
5.7%
5.7%
11.1%
25.0%
36.6%
37.5%
39.1%
31.4%
20.2%

50.0%
36.1%
29.6%
23.5%
18.6%
32.3%
20.0%
27.5%
44.8%
31.5%
29.6%
24.4%
25.8%
14.3%
20.0%
18.3%
36.8%
36.6%
25.7%
20.0%
25.9%
19.4%
17.1%
37.5%
39.1%
23.5%
26.8%

Somewhat
True

8.7%
21.6%
28.5%

20.0%
25.0%
29.6%
30.9%
32.6%
21.0%
26.7%
23.1%
24.1%
35.2%
25.9%
26.8%
33.0%
39.3%
32.5%
40.8%
22.8%
22.0%
31.4%
37.1%
33.3%
36.1%
26.8%

Mostly
True

5.0%
16.7%
25.9%
13.6%
14.0%
22.6%
40.0%
27.5%
24.1%
16.7%
37.0%
26.8%
30.9%
28.6%
35.0%
29.6%
15.8%
17.1%
37.1%
37.1%
29.6%
19.4%
19.5%
25.0%
13.0%
23.5%
24.4%

20.0%
16.7%
25.9%
40.2%
44.2%
27.9%
26.7%
30.0%
13.8%
33.3%
11.5%
26.8%
14.4%
25.0%
15.0%
21.1%
39.3%
37.5%
11.8%
8.3%
18.5%
16.7%
37.5%
25.0%
30.4%
35.8%
26.3%

Very True Not True

30.0%
41.7%
33.3%
31.7%
25.6%
34.4%
15.6%
28.9%
44.8%
27.8%
30.8%
26.8%
24.7%
25.0%
25.0%
23.9%
23.2%
32.5%
32.4%
25.0%
25.9%
38.9%
12.5%
37.5%
52.2%
28.3%
28.7%

Somewhat
True

30.0%
16.7%
18.5%
18.3%
16.3%
21.3%
22.2%
22.2%
20.7%
24.1%
38.5%
26.8%
38.1%
25.0%
35.0%
39.4%
26.8%
12.5%
23.5%
30.6%
14.8%
19.4%
27.5%
12.5%
13.0%
20.8%
24.8%

Mostly
True

20.0%
25.0%
22.2%
9.8%
14.0%
16.4%
35.6%
18.9%
20.7%
14.8%
19.2%
19.5%
22.7%
25.0%
25.0%
15.5%
10.7%
17.5%
32.4%
36.1%
40.7%
25.0%
22.5%
25.0%
4.3%
15.1%
20.1%

Very True

Q20(d) – Seek Out Variety of Opinions Q20(e) – Viewpoints Are Considered

Very True Not True

Q20(c) – Participants Are Divided

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

19

18.2%
17.1%
18.5%
14.6%
23.3%
39.3%
28.9%
15.4%
21.4%
25.9%
22.2%
17.1%
27.8%
10.7%
22.5%
18.1%
31.0%
26.8%
41.2%
24.3%
37.0%
8.3%
43.9%
12.5%
21.7%
22.6%
23.8%

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

31.8%
40.0%
29.6%
25.6%
37.2%
32.8%
24.4%
30.8%
42.9%
35.2%
33.3%
29.3%
40.2%
17.9%
30.0%
41.7%
24.1%
14.6%
32.4%
35.1%
29.6%
36.1%
17.1%
25.0%
34.8%
32.1%
31.5%

Somewhat
Not True
True

Prison
18.2%
14.3%
11.1%
18.3%
14.0%
14.8%
20.0%
17.6%
14.3%
18.5%
11.1%
14.6%
14.4%
25.0%
17.5%
13.9%
19.0%
9.8%
8.8%
18.9%
14.8%
22.2%
22.0%
25.0%
17.4%
9.4%
16.1%

Mostly
True

31.8%
28.6%
40.7%
41.5%
25.6%
13.1%
26.7%
36.3%
21.4%
20.4%
33.3%
39.0%
17.5%
46.4%
30.0%
26.4%
25.9%
48.8%
17.6%
21.6%
18.5%
33.3%
17.1%
37.5%
26.1%
35.8%
28.7%

Correctional Association of NY
9.1%
15.4%
13.1%

18.2%
13.9%
25.9%
21.5%
7.1%
19.4%
6.8%
12.2%
10.7%
24.1%
11.1%
12.2%
10.4%
7.1%
7.5%
15.5%
10.7%
17.1%
8.6%
5.6%
7.4%
8.3%
12.5%
23.9%
26.8%
14.6%
11.4%
16.7%
25.9%
8.3%
22.5%
33.3%
36.4%
23.1%
20.8%

27.3%
33.3%
7.4%
26.6%
21.4%
19.4%
4.5%
23.3%
14.3%
24.1%
18.5%
26.8%
20.8%
32.1%

36.4%
19.4%
44.4%
20.3%
23.8%
29.0%
27.3%
24.4%
21.4%
24.1%
29.6%
22.0%
26.0%
28.6%
40.0%
32.4%
41.1%
26.8%
25.7%
30.6%
18.5%
27.8%
27.5%
22.2%
22.7%
19.2%
27.2%

Mostly
True

18.2%
33.3%
22.2%
31.6%
47.6%
32.3%
61.4%
40.0%
53.6%
27.8%
40.7%
39.0%
42.7%
32.1%
52.5%
28.2%
21.4%
41.5%
54.3%
47.2%
48.1%
55.6%
37.5%
44.4%
31.8%
42.3%
38.9%
9.1%
8.0%
12.6%

17.1%
5.2%
14.3%
5.0%
15.5%
15.5%
17.1%
2.9%
5.6%
3.7%
11.1%
24.4%

14.3%
8.3%
18.5%
29.3%
18.6%
9.7%
6.8%
15.6%
10.3%
12.7%

33.3%
30.6%
22.2%
28.0%
32.6%
40.3%
20.5%
32.2%
31.0%
25.5%
15.4%
34.1%
19.6%
14.3%
17.5%
28.2%
29.3%
29.3%
34.3%
16.7%
40.7%
25.0%
12.2%
33.3%
50.0%
36.0%
27.8%

Somewhat
True

14.3%
36.1%
29.6%
24.4%
30.2%
30.6%
25.0%
25.6%
31.0%
29.1%
30.8%
22.0%
30.9%
25.0%
40.0%
28.2%
27.6%
22.0%
20.0%
25.0%
18.5%
33.3%
34.1%
11.1%
27.3%
16.0%
27.2%

Mostly
True

38.1%
25.0%
29.6%
18.3%
18.6%
19.4%
47.7%
26.7%
27.6%
32.7%
53.8%
26.8%
44.3%
46.4%
37.5%
28.2%
27.6%
31.7%
42.9%
52.8%
37.0%
30.6%
29.3%
55.6%
13.6%
40.0%
32.3%

Very True

Q20(h) – Learn A Lot From Opinions

Very True Not True

Q20(g) – Not Afraid to Disagree

Somewhat
Very True Not True
True

Q20(f) – People Afraid to Talk

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses
Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

20

AL
AK I
AK II
BH
CY
EA
FP
FR
GV
GO
GH
GR
HC
LVF
LVM
MA
MS
ON
SH
SS
TA
WA
WE
WIF
WIM
WY
TOTAL

Prison

20.0%
33.3%
33.3%
30.5%
23.3%
30.6%
44.4%
22.0%
41.4%
27.3%
55.6%
31.7%
21.1%
14.3%
13.2%
21.1%
31.0%
39.0%
62.9%
41.7%
37.0%
33.3%
47.5%
25.0%
13.0%
34.6%
30.8%

Not True

45.0%
25.0%
22.2%
23.2%
27.9%
24.2%
22.2%
27.5%
31.0%
32.7%
11.1%
31.7%
27.4%
28.6%
44.7%
31.0%
19.0%
17.1%
17.1%
25.0%
14.8%
22.2%
20.0%
37.5%
30.4%
17.3%
25.6%

Somewhat
True

10.0%
16.7%
18.5%
20.7%
9.3%
14.5%
13.3%
11.0%
3.4%
21.8%
22.2%
14.6%
26.3%
25.0%
18.4%
15.5%
12.1%
4.9%
11.4%
8.3%
11.1%
11.1%
5.0%
12.5%
30.4%
15.4%
15.3%

Mostly
True

25.0%
25.0%
25.9%
25.6%
39.5%
30.6%
20.0%
39.6%
24.1%
18.2%
11.1%
22.0%
25.3%
32.1%
23.7%
32.4%
37.9%
39.0%
8.6%
25.0%
37.0%
33.3%
27.5%
25.0%
26.1%
32.7%
28.4%

Very True

Q20(i) – Hard Time if Disagree

Summary of MQA Survey Responses for Visited Prisons

Appendix F- MQA Responses

Correctional Association of NY

Substance Abuse Treatment in NY Prisons, 2007–2010

21

 

 

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