John Nunley | Manager Addiction Recovery Services
The Addition Recovery Management Services Unit (ARMSU) provides extensive training, clinical supervision, and education to IDOC, vendor, and other local and state agency staff. In addition, ARMSU is responsible for monitoring all substance abuse programs within the Department, providing oversight for additional substance abuse treatment program development, and serving as the liaison between other community and state agencies.
The mission ARMSU is to formulate consistent guidelines for the development and implementation of addiction recovery management programs and the continuum of care within the Department; to coordinate the screening, assessment, and referral of offenders needing and/or requesting addiction recovery services; to monitor the care and standards of substance abuse treatment provided to offenders; to serve as a resource for the Agency and provide consultative services and training to agency staff and community providers around addiction issues.
ARMSU facilitates Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) Cycle Training sessions at the Springfield Training Academy. IDOC and vendor staff as well as people from the recovery community are involved in the training. Staff positions of those attending include Parole Agents, Parole Supervisors, Clinical Services Supervisors, Casework Supervisors, Counselors, Mental Health Professionals, and substance abuse counselors. Training topics include:
- Signs and Symptoms
- Clinical Supervision
- Special Treatment Populations
- Portfolio Development
- Professional Ethics
ARMSU also participates in the IAODAPCA Conferences in Northern and Southern Illinois, the AECS Conference, and the IADDA Conference.
In the Women & Family Services Division, all of the treatment programs provided are gender specific and utilize a modified therapeutic community model of treatment. Elsewhere in the Department, Sheridan is the state-of-the art totally dedicated treatment facility with services that bridge the gap between incarceration and the community. With state, community, and local service providers, Sheridan provides intensive substance abuse treatment to offenders identified as in need of treatment in an intensive, multi-modality therapeutic milieu. All elements of research-proven programming are present at Sheridan including: clinical reentry management, vocational counseling, job placement, community involvement, and restorative justice.
Another innovative program is the establishment of a 200-bed Meth Prison and Reentry Program at Southwestern Illinois Correctional in Fiscal Year 2007. Meth has become a growing crisis in the State of Illinois.
Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center in East St. Louis was established as a first-of-its-kind national model for reducing crime and recidivism among Meth offenders. The Meth Prison and Reentry Program focuses on specific challenges facing people addicted to Meth so they can lead productive crime-and drug-free lives once they return to their families and communities.
As with the Sheridan Program, IDOC has chosen a group of partners and community-based providers to help build this national model for reducing crime. Under the Meth Prison Initiative, hundreds of IDOC inmates at Southwestern undergo a newly developed, highly intensive drug treatment and community reentry program to combat Meth addiction and reduce crime.
As with the current Sheridan model, inmates in both programs will access intensive prison-based drug treatment programs, vocational training, job preparation and mental health services. In addition, their treatment will continue upon completion of their sentence under a highly supervised transition back to their communities.
What distinguishes the programs at Sheridan and Southwestern from other programs is that they have an extensive focus on community safety and the most highly supervised and supported reentry program in state history.
Continuing research shows significant improvement for offender recidivism rates. All the adult male treatment programs are DASA licensed and utilize the modified therapeutic community model of treatment. The exceptions are the 2 adult boot camps, which provide Level 1 (less than 7 hours of substance abuse treatment) programming in the evenings. There is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Unit for adult males at Dixon Correctional Center.
Baseline services provided throughout the agency are:
- Drug Education – All sites are providing the Hazelden Curricula for drug education. This is a voluntary 12 week long group for baseline drug information.
- Substance Abuse Screenings – All sites are able to provide the standardized Texas Christian University Screening Tool to identify offenders who are in need of substance abuse treatment. In addition, all offenders coming in to the Department of Corrections are being screened with this tool by TASC and/or other vendor/staff. There is a statewide substance abuse wait list that is generated through the Reception and Classification Units as a result of the front end identification of offenders who need substance abuse treatment.
- Support Groups – Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics. There is some type of 12 step/support programming is available at all sites.
The Department collaborated with both the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse to secure funding for services not only within facilities, but also to fund programming within all Adult Transitional Centers and for Pre- and Post-Release Clinical Reentry Services. Prevention First, Incorporated is a partner providing the CADC Cycle Training and resource development for all IDOC staff.
All substance abuse treatment is voluntary and offenders desiring access to treatment are referred to the most appropriate level of services based upon need, length of time to MSR, security level and motivation.