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Candidates to run jail’s outpatient drug treatment program have different approaches

The Boyle Mercer Joint Jail Committee has two agencies to pick from in choosing who could run an outpatient drug rehabilitation program.

The program, which would be housed in the old Red Cross building on South Third Street in Danville, has been envisioned as a way to help people who have been incarcerated and have drug addiction issues.

Officials have said the goal is provide support for people after they leave jail, hopefully cutting into recidivism rates and helping people break the cycle of addiction. But the specifics of any program would be defined by a third party that the jail would contract with.

Both of the candidates to run the program — Bluegrass.org and Shepherd’s House — would drug-test clients and provide cognitive behavioral treatments, as well as training in various life skills. But the implementations would differ, as well.

Bluegrass.org

Bluegrass.org stated in its proposal that it would “(target) individuals for whom alternative to incarceration/continued incarceration is appropriate with the goal to rehabilitate them to become productive members of their community.”  

The organization’s proposal defines rehab and recovery as “providing the support and care necessary to aid someone in improving the overall quality of their life by decreasing/ceasing use of drugs and alcohol, appropriately addressing physical and behavioral health needs and practicing positive coping skills to decrease risk of relapse.”  

Bluegrass.org’s proposed curriculum would follow “Hazelden’s Living in Balance,” according to its proposal. This curriculum incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational enhancement therapy and 12-step facilitation, according to the proposal.

The curriculum would address relapse prevention and recovery skills, along with coping skills for issues like anger, stress and grief. The curriculum would also help with employment, physical health and family relationships.

Other features included in the curriculum are groups sessions, worksheets, educational handouts and videos.  

The program proposed by Bluegrass.org would be a non-residential program running eight hours per day.  

Clients participating in the program would check in during staffed hours and participate in interviews. They would discuss “what their schedule looks like for the day, how employment is going, plans for seeking employment/community service” and many other topics, according to the proposal.

Bluegrass.org would drug-test its clients and expect them to either be employed, in treatment or enrolled in community services when they are outside of the program.  

Bluegrass.org’s proposal would cost $180,000 per year for two years. The cost would include two re-entry specialists, an administration fee, program management costs, clinical services for clients who have no insurance, office equipment and tech setup costs, training and travel, printing, supplies and materials.

Shepherd’s House

Through the intensive outpatient program provided by Shepherd’s House, clients would spend three months to a year in treatment.

Shepherd’s program would support up to 60 clients, who would receive treatment during the day in lieu of serving their jail sentence in the Boyle County Detention Center.

“The Shepherd’s House Day Reporting Program will provide evidence-based treatment, which is the integration of the best research evidence with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture and preferences with 12-step supporting programming,” the proposal reads.  

Shepherd’s program would use cognitive behavioral counseling, with the goal of changing thinking and behavior patterns of clients.

“In order to maximize both mind and body recovery, all clients will participate … in our full wellness program, which will focus on collateral yet integral issues like diet, exercise, meditation and other healthy life skills,” the proposal reads.  

While enrolled, clients would get 20 hours of evidence-based programming every week. The program would be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.  

Each client would have his or her own treatment plan and would meet with a counselor every week to discuss goals and progress.  

Shepherd’s proposal says clients would be engaging daily in core curriculum course work, secondary curriculum course work, 12-step work, group therapy, process groups, job groups, community service, recovery activities and wellness activities.  

Other program elements include Medicaid connector, effective communication, parenting, anger management, conflict resolution, impulsivity control, stress management, relationships, mapping, goal-setting, journaling, guest speakers, recovery-oriented challenges, nutritional counseling, meditation and a graduation application.  

Clients would also receive job assistance from Circle of Hope while they are receiving treatment. This would include resumé building, job search training and mock interviews.  

Like Bluegrass.org, Shepherd’s House will also give drug tests to their clients throughout the course of the program.

The core curriculum the Shepherd’s House program would use is “Moral Reconation Therapy.”

This is a “systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile and adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning,” the proposal reads. “Its cognitive behavioral approach combines elements from a variety of psychological traditions to progressively address ego, social, moral and positive behavioral growth.”  

Shepherd’s House would also use “Hazelden’s A New Direction” as further curriculum.

“A New Direction is a comprehensive cognitive behavioral therapy treatment program that trains chemically dependent offenders to challenge their thinking in order to change their criminal and addictive behavior patterns,” the proposal said.  

Shepherd House would cost $11,000 per month for a total of $132,000 per year.

The Boyle and Mercer County Joint Jail Committee will be interviewing Bluegrass.org and Shepherd’s House today in order to whether either program will be given a contract to provide their services.