Salvation Army to help Alaska’s inmates fight addiction

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The organization was awarded a $2.5 million contract from the Alaska Department of Corrections.

By Robert DeBerry –

The Salvation Army Alaska Division and the Alaska Department of Corrections (ADOC) are working together to help incarcerated individuals at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center (HMCC) and the Goose Creek Correctional Center fight addiction.

The Salvation Army will provide evidence-based substance abuse treatment services that meet the individual needs of offenders. By building on the success of The Salvation Army’s Clitheroe Center, those incarcerated and enrolled in the program will gain access to the tools necessary to achieve lifetime recovery.

“We are thankful, and we are excited for this new venture with The Salvation Army,” said ADOC Commissioner Dean Williams. “As a state, we continue to fight high rates of alcoholism and drug abuse—issues that have plagued our communities. Drug and alcohol addiction drives the crime rate, and devastates families. Our inmate population reflects these tragic facts. To fight these issues, we must work together, and we must have these invaluable partnerships.”

Eighty percent of Alaska’s inmate population have a substance abuse disorder, while 95 percent of the people incarcerated will eventually be released.

As with the Clitheroe Center program, which began in 1976, treatment services will focus on addressing the substance abuse and mental health issues of individuals. The program will be culturally relevant and built around evidenced-based practices, which addresses not only addictive behavior, but criminal thinking patterns as well.

The individual programs are; The Female Institutional Program, Medication Assisted Treatment Reentry Program, Psycho-Educational Substance Abuse Services, Screening, and Assessment Program, The Male Institutional Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program, The Female Institutional Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program and The Institutional Dual Diagnosis Outpatient Substance Abuse Program. When successfully completed these programs qualify as an approved legal system substance use treatment program.

Program Administrator Pat Ventgen said The Salvation Army is excited to provide substance abuse treatment services to an estimated 1,400 clients a year.

“Substance abuse is a documented issue for an overwhelming majority of those incarcerated,” Ventgen said. “Assisting offenders with their addiction is the important key to reducing recidivism.”

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