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RECAP Links Education and Treatment
Date: November 17, 2010 11:41AM

RECAP Links Education and Treatment

The Rock County (Wisconsin) Education and Criminal Addictions Program (RECAP) began in 1993 with a goal to provide education and rehabilitative services to Rock County Jail inmates. RECAP is a cooperative program among Blackhawk Technical College, Rock County Sheriff's Office and CESA #2.

Clients are sentenced to the program by the Court or referred to the program by the Department of Corrections. Inmates may also be accepted into the program on a voluntary basis as space permits. To date, over 2140 inmates have participated.

RECAP is a 5-month treatment program focusing on chemical abuse, cognitive skills programming, restorative justice, academic and vocational education, in addition to preparation for release into the community. Each individual receives extensive hours of group programming along with individual counseling. Inmates graduate from the program after satisfactorily completing all program requirements. Completion times vary based on individual ability, effort and behavioral issues.

In a 2001 study completed by the University of Wisconsin, the recidivism rate for RECAP completers was 17.2% lower than the normal jail population.

• Program Administrator (Rock County)
• Treatment Counselor (CESA)
• Site Supervisor (CESA)
• Education Staff – 1 full-time, 3 part-time (BTC)
• Probation Liaison (DOC)

Program Components

All RECAP inmates with suspected or known alcohol or drug related issues attend a minimum of 22 AODA classes designed to enable the offender to achieve lasting abstinence from substance abuse. Offenders learn the necessary skills to function independently in their community while managing their recovery from addiction.

Cognitive Interventions
This 15-lesson program is designed to restructure offenders thinking patterns. Offenders discuss the “vicious cycle” of behavior that resulted in their incarceration. They acquire knowledge about the beliefs/thoughts -> feelings-> behaviors -> consequences cycle. The goal is to discover the pattern of thinking that leads to inappropriate behavior, and develop alternative reactions that will bring desirable results.

Anger Management
Anger Management is a 12-lesson course with the goals of prevention, containment, and problem-solving. The course is designed to help clients understand and gain control of their anger by understanding the connection between feelings and ultimately their actions.

All RECAP participants, regardless of diploma status, enter Adult Basic Education to strengthen skills. All students participate in 8 hours of ABE classes per week including math, reading, writing, parenting, employability skills, computer basics, and financial literacy. Achieving a diploma equivalent is a program requirement, if the student is academically capable. GED testing is done by BTC. Over the past five years, an average of 50 students per year completed their GED/HSED.

Financial Literacy
Financial Literacy is a 13-week course designed to provide students with the knowledge to make informed decisions in financial matters. Topics include budgeting, goal setting, banking basics, and understanding credit. Financial Literacy is taught by a credit counselor certified through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. In 2007, the instructor received the Governor’s Financial Literacy Award.

Employability Skills
This is a 13-week course focusing on skills needed to procure employment. Offenders learn how to search for employment, complete job applications, write a resume, successfully interview, and retain a job. The course includes a field trip to the Rock County Job Center

The parenting curriculum encompasses ten units of instruction focusing on parenting from a distance and other family issues. RealityWorks Baby Simulators are used to give the students hands-on experience caring for an infant.

Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice is a rehabilitation program that encourages offenders to take action to repair the damage done by their crimes. This is done through community services projects, volunteerism, and course work. Offenders spend time reflecting on their crimes and how their actions affected their victims and society. Through this program offenders spend time in the community “giving back” and they also learn numerous trades to enhance their employability. Each RECAP participant is required to complete a minimum 85 hours community service, but inmates often achieve 200-400 hours during the busy summer season. In 2009, 62 non-profit organizations throughout Rock County were served and 13,821 hours of community service were completed.

Education Staff Contact Information
• Carol Seichter, Lead Instructor – csiechter@blackhawk.edu
• D.W. Hahn, Parenting/Reading Instructor – djailtchr@yahoo.com
• Erica Svejda, Employabilty Instructor – esvejda@blackhawk.edu

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