During the offender’s first two (2) weeks in the program, he/she completes a series of risk/needs assessments to identify his/hercriminogenic treatment needs, treatment readiness, and motivation level. Assessments include: Ohio Risk Assessment System (ORAS), Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-3), Adult Self Assessment Questionnaire (ADSAQ), Adult Substance Use Survey-Revised (ASUS-R), Beck Depression Inventory and How I Think Questionnaire (HIT). In addition to these instruments, the Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) report and other collateral information is used to determine risk/needs, treatment readiness, and motivation level.
Upon entering the facility the resident is assigned to the Red House, Blue House, or White House. All female residents are in the Red House. The male residents are assigned to either the blue or white house. Each house has a team of program staff which consists of case managers, treatment specialists, and a program specialist. These treatment teams coordinate and corroborate their efforts to deliver all case management, group and individual treatment services to the residents assigned to their house.
The House case managers assist the residents in developing a case plan with goals and objectives that address their identified criminogenic needs. The resident immediately starts to work toward achieving his/her goals and objectives in his/her case plan. Goals that cannot be obtained in the four (4) to six (6) months of residency will become part of the resident’s release plans which are forwarded to the Probation department in the resident’s aftercare plan/termination summary. The probation officer will then enforce, monitor and supervise compliance with the release plans.
Timeline and Activities
There are four (4) phase levels that the residents progress through during the four (4) to six (6) month program. A resident is in Phase 1 (Orientation) for approximately the first 30 days of his/her residency. The focus during Phase 1 is on completing an accurate assessment of the resident’s needs and using that assessment to build a comprehensive case plan. Additionally, the focus is on enhancing the resident’s motivation for treatment and familiarizing the resident with the cognitive behavioral treatment modality. During Phase 1, the resident’s movement is restricted to the facility with the only exception being a medical emergency.
Phase 2 of the program is earned through appropriate effort and overall good behavior and lasts for approximately 30 days.
Phase 3 is earned through consistent good behavior and effort overall and also lasts approximately 30 days. During phases 2 and 3 of the program, the resident spends the majority of his/her time attending treatment groups and his/her movement in the community is limited to program related activities and community service projects.
Phase 4of the program is also earned through consistent, good overall effort in the program and it is the time in which the resident works to prepare for successful reintegration back into his/her home community. Some activities during this phase include but are not limited to: obtaining employment, participating in work release, securing housing, attending community support group meetings (AA/NA) and spending time with family on approved leave passes that must be earned through good behavior.
Groups are developed to be comprehensive in nature and address the total range of the offender’s criminogenic needs. Each of the groups addresses major criminogenic areas and uses a curriculum that is evidence-based and proven to reduce criminal behavior in the adult offender population. Cognitive-behavioral methods are applied in all group activities and group size is kept small (10-12) to ensure that there is ample time for all residents to participate, practice the skills and receive feedback.
Orientation Group—This entry-level pre-treatment group meets five (5) times per week for a minimum of two (2) weeks and focuses on orientating the incoming resident to the rules, regulations, and behavioral expectations of the program. Additionally, group time is spent on motivating the resident for treatment; introducing the new resident to the cognitive-behavioral treatment modality concepts and principles; and gives him/her the foundation of this treatment approach. The resident completes the first five (5) lessons of the Thinking for a Change program – Basic Social Skills – during this Orientation group with the goal being that he/she will be prepared to effectively participate in all cognitive-behavioral criminogenic treatment curriculum.
Thinking For a Change 3.1 (T4C) (Lessons 6-25)—This group is offered to the male residents and meets three (3) days per week for a minimum of seven (7) weeks. The resident learns how to identify his thoughts, feelings, and attitudes as well as how those same thoughts, feelings, and attitudes control his behavior. The resident begins to examine his core belief systems and learns how to use intervention skills to change high-risk thoughts and feelings in order to change behavior. Additionally, the resident learns advanced social skills and is provided the opportunity to learn and practice the cognitive self-change skills in high-risk situations that have lead to problematic behavior in the past. Each lesson requires the resident to role-play handling difficult real-life situations using cognitive skill steps and also to receive corrective and positive reinforcing feedback from the instructor and group members. Finally, the problem solving piece of the curriculum is designed to integrate concepts of cognitive self-change and social skills to develop pro-social solutions for high-risk situations that have led to problematic behavior in the past. The curriculum for this group is the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Thinking For a Change cognitive-behavioral curriculum.
Moving On – This gender responsive curriculum is offered to the female residents and meets three (3) times per week for a minimum of eight (8) weeks. The women explore ways in which they have self-selected into high-risk situations and explore negative thinking patterns and belief systems that have continued to cause problems for them. They learn communication skills, evaluate and change unhealthy thinking and behavior patterns, and utilize problem solving strategies in order to work toward personal goals and achieving their own vision of success. Additionally, various community resources and personal success strategies are explored and developed throughout the group so each woman leaves with a portfolio filled with information. The curriculum for this group is Moving On, A Program for At-Risk Women, Author Marilyn Van Dieten, Ph.D.
Criminal Thinking--The resident who has been identified through risk/needs assessments as having criminogenic thinking, attitudes, values, and beliefs that have repeatedly lead him/her into problematic behavior participates in this group that targets his/her “criminal thinking” pattern. The group meets two (2) times per week for a minimum of six (6) weeks. Through role-play and other cognitive skill-building exercises, the resident explores and corrects the criminal thinking patterns that he/she utilizes to justify, deflect blame, and continue criminal anti-social behavior. The curriculum for this group was developed from Hazelden’s Criminal Addictive Thinking cognitive-behavioral curriculum, with some additional materials from Samenow’s Commitment to Change cognitive curriculum and Hazelden’s Criminality and Substance Abuse cognitive intervention curriculum.
Substance Abuse Treatment - The resident with substance abuse and criminal attitudes and behavioral patterns as criminogenic risk factors participates in this group, which meets four (4) times per week for a minimum of 10 weeks and covers the following topics: Enhancing motivation to change drug use patterns, evaluating risky behavior patterns, identifying risky situations, learning and practicing cognitive restructuring, emotional regulation skills, social skills, problem solving skills and finally taking all of the information learned and preparing a comprehensive relapse and recidivism prevention plan. The curriculum for this group is the University of Cincinnati’s Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse.
Aggression Replacement Training—The resident with anger, aggression, or violent behavior as a criminogenic risk/needs factor participates in this intensive group that meets three (3) times per week for a minimum of 10 weeks. The group requires the resident to explore antisocial beliefs he/she possess that lead to harmful behaviors. Additionally, he/she learns social skills that assist him/her in coping with frustration, disappointment, anger, guilt and depression in a pro-social manner. The resident practices, through group role-plays, how to handle stressful situations and conflicts in a way that does not cause harm to others. The curriculum for this group was developed by Goldstein & Glick’s Aggression Replacement Training cognitive-behavioral curriculum.
Anger Management – The resident with poor tension/frustration control and lack of assertiveness skills as risk factors participate in this group that meets once weekly for a minimum of eight (8) weeks. The resident learns assertiveness skills, anger control techniques, and skills to challenge his/her irrational beliefs, dispute those beliefs and practice, through group role-plays, managing high-risk situations without engaging in criminal and hurtful behavior. The curriculum for this group was developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Anger Management for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Clients cognitive- behavioral curriculum.
Employability Skills Training – Residents with a poor work history and who have been identified to have this area as a criminogenic risk/needs factor will participate in the group that meets once weekly for a minimum of four (4) weeks. The group focuses on developing the skills needed to obtain and maintain employment in addition to identifying skills and abilities. An emphasis is placed on skill-building activities by using role-play and other cognitive-behavioral techniques to enhance the resident’s ability to interview and handle various stressors on the job that have led to problematic behavior in the past.
AA/NA Support Meetings—The substance-abusing resident with a lack of a positive support system and positive leisure time activities is provided with the opportunity to attend in-house Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous support group meetings designed to promote sobriety and recovery. The resident in Level 4 of the program attends these support group meetings in his/her community. Work Release - Residents who need employment in order to facilitate their successful reintegration back into society can achieve such during Level 4 in his/her residency. Employment can range from temporary, permanent, part-time or full-time based on the needs of the resident.
Restorative Justice/Community Service Program (CSP) - Residents engage in unpaid CSP activities during their residency as part of their treatment program. Activities can range from litter pick up to grass cutting for non-profit agencies. All activities are performed within the NEOCAP five (5) county region.
Education - NEOCAP works collaboratively with the Trumbull County Career and Technical Center to provide an Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) program to the residents. Each resident entering the facility without a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED) will be administered the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to determine his/her educational level of functioning. Based on this assessment, the residents are provided with an individualized program plan depicting his/her specific educational goals. Each resident’s program is then tailored toward his/her level of functioning and educational goals. Residents are given the opportunity to test for the GED once they reach the required education level and successful passing of the practice GED administered in the classroom. If they are not able to test for the GED while in residency, they are given contact information for the ABLE program in their respective county to continue working toward their educational goals upon release.