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CURA, Inc.
Newark, New Jersey
In the heart of the City of Newark, CURA is located in one of New Jersey’s 56 poor urban school districts where each year, a large percentage of the students share a low probability of passing the state assessment test in high school. Like in other US inner cities, low academic performance among Newark’s youth can be attributed to a combination of poverty, lack of parental involvement, cultural barriers, crime, drugs, teen pregnancy, and a lack of adequately trained school staff.

To address the needs and challenges for at-risk adolescents in the area, CURA opened the doors in May to an innovative public school for middle school youth in grades 6-8. The Maria L. Varisco-Rogers Charter School is named for CURA’s first youth residential program director who recently passed away. It was her dream to offer a coordinated effort of this magnitude – to enable CURA to expand, enhance and solidify it’s motivational and empowering approach to learning.

Program design includes a mixture of individual attention from caring, competent professionals, a computer-based curriculum, and a parent/community component. It will also emphasize individualized instructional plans, New Jersey’s core curriculum standards, a personalized counseling program, the acquisition of a second language, extra-curricular activities, community involvement and a low staff to student ration.

The Maria L. Varisco-Rogers Charter School will also be available both to kids in rehabilitation and the community at large. Students will utilize different learning styles, improve and maintain mastered skills and tasks, develop critical thinking skills and effective problem solving strategies, improve attendance and increase participation in enriching activities. This is the head start to motivate students to further their education and ultimately become responsible, productive and successful citizens in adulthood.

Integrity House, Inc.
Newark, New Jersey

As part of its ongoing effort to improve standards and raise its level of care, Integrity House applied for and achieved accreditation by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). Integrity is one of the first therapeutic communities to achieve this accreditation at so many levels of care. The agency’s adult residential treatment, adolescent residential treatment, corrections residential treatment, partial day treatment, outpatient treatment and prevention services programs are all accredited by CARF.

Additionally, Integrity announced plans to establish a Job Readiness Academy that will offer their members an opportunity to take giant steps toward economic self-sufficiency through education. The Integrity Job Readiness Academy will help prepare members for successful entry into the workforce through academic preparation, job readiness preparation and vocational assistance.

Samaritan Village, Inc.
Briarwood, New York

In September of 1998, Samaritan Village Inc. was awarded funding from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) to implement a new intensive outpatient program. Located in Jamaica Queens, the program has the capacity to provide treatment for 105 adults. In developing the outpatient model, Samaritan Village stayed true to the tenets of TC philosophy. The model emphasizes TC process and behavior interventions, as well as the development of pre-vocational skills and an enhanced sense of value for work.

To enhance the effectiveness of the model, this newest Samaritan program uses Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) during the first phase of treatment and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in the latter phases. In context of the social learning model inherent in the TC, these two forms of therapy effectively address the critical issues of addiction treatment.

In planning the program, significant effort was made to insure that it would be "user friendly" for women and that the barriers that have traditionally confronted women attempting to access treatment would be minimized. Towards this end, an onsite resource room is available and staffed with childcare workers so that women may bring their children with them while they receive treatment. Specialized training has also been initiated to augment staff knowledge regarding domestic violence and the resources required to appropriately address these issues.

To address the efficacy of the program, a research design and data collection system has been developed to measure changes in clients’ motivation, treatment readiness and reductions in drug-taking behaviors. Of specific interest are the outcomes that will result from combining the treatment approaches of MET, CBT and the social model of the TC. Additionally, the research will examine improvement in the following areas of social functioning.

* Reductions in criminal activity

* Improvements in work readiness

* Improved awareness of appropriate healthcare

* Improved parenting

* Improved levels of social and community support

Samaritan is confident that the intensive outpatient program will prove to be an effective approach to treating many individuals who otherwise might go untreated and/or unexposed to the time tested methods and values of the therapeutic community.

Walden House, Inc.
San Francisco, California

Walden House was recently awarded two new grants from the California Department of Corrections to provide treatment for female prisoners in the state correctional system. Each project will provide substantial incarcerated and aftercare substance abuse services over the next five years.

Walden House has been operating an existing program for female civil addicts at the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) in Norco California since 1995. Program A will expand our service capacity from 96 to 294 beds, and will integrate up to 50% dual diagnosed clients with mental health issues into the population. Walden House’s CRC women’s program has been extremely successful, with 100% of all graduates placed into aftercare programs upon release, and nearly 80% successfully avoiding returning to the CRC institution.

The other program awarded to Walden House is a 256-bed program for female felons at Valley State Prison for Women near Chowchilla, California. This program will include all levels of classification, from least to most serious offenders. Both grants include funding for aftercare treatment for women leaving prison to increase their stability and recovery skills. These new service options at CRC and Valley State Prison will dramatically impact not only the incarcerated population at each institution, but the field of incarcerated treatment throughout the state.

Westcare’s Third Floor
Fresno, California
In February of this year, 89 proud men and women graced a stage at the Radisson Hotel in Fresno to commemorate their graduation from the Third Floor program – and to celebrate the prospect of starting life anew clean and sober. According to John Wallace, TV newsman of KJEO-TV and Third Floor’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, this was "another terrific graduation."

The Third Floor provides detoxification services, long and short term residential treatment, day treatment and HIV educational services. However as Master of Ceremonies for the February graduation, Wallace stated succinctly what this vast array of services really does for clients: they "make people well again."

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Copyright 1999
Therapeutic Communities of America
Contact us:

1601 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 803
Washington, D.C. 20009