Department of Correction to Present “Insider Series” Webinar On Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Register online at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5tCSTHX4QLmo1JoCQ3rozA

Dover, DE – On Tuesday, April 26 at 1:00 p.m. the Delaware Department of Correction invites you to join its next “DOC Insider Series” webinar with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  The DOC Insider Series provides members of the public with an inside the walls look at Delaware’s correctional programs, practices, and policies.  Each 90-minute webinar includes a live informational presentation by DOC staff and partner organizations followed by an interactive question and answer session with attendees.

The April 26 Insider Series webinar focuses on what Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is, how it works, and a review of the types of CBT programming that are offered to incarcerated persons.  The DOC Insider Series Webinar: “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” is facilitated by the Department of Correction Office of Planning, Research and Reentry and is presented by Michael Records, Bureau Chief of DOC’s Bureau of Healthcare, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health (BHSAMH), Vanessa Bennifield, BHSAMH Behavioral Health Treatment Services Director, and Bradley Owens, JD, Senior Consultant.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is employed by the Delaware DOC in its prison facilities and community corrections centers and by Probation and Parole and has been shown across the country to reduce recidivism in both juveniles and adults.  In practice CBT helps participants become conscious of their own thoughts and behaviors and then make positive changes to impact their decision-making.  CBT programs address a variety of problems associated with criminal behavior and works to help participants develop and improve critical reasoning, problem solving, moral reasoning, social skills, self-control, and impulse management.

“The Delaware Department of Correction is committed to engaging with the community about how our correctional system operates and provides treatment, programming and training to meet our dual mission of public safety and offender rehabilitation,” Department of Correction Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson Jr. said.  “Please join us and get an insider’s perspective on how DOC’s Cognitive Behavioral Therapy programs support reentry by addressing some of the root causes of criminal behavior.”

DOC Insider Series Webinar: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Register in advance at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5tCSTHX4QLmo1JoCQ3rozA
Webinar Presenters:
Michael Records, Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Healthcare, Substance Abuse, and Mental Health
Vanessa Bennifield, Behavioral Health Treatment Services Director, Bureau of Healthcare, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Bradley Owens, JD, Senior Consultant

Previous Insider Series webinars have focused on prison education, Substance Use Disorder treatment, reentry, sentence calculation and release dates, Probation and Parole, and inmate intake and classification.  All Insider Series webinars are posted on the DOC’s YouTube channel for viewing anytime:

Additional Insider Series webinars are planned for 2022. Follow DOC’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn social media channels for upcoming dates and registration details.

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State Partnership Launches Workforce Development Program at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution

Funded by Barclays US Consumer Bank, program will leverage free training initiative to develop customer experience talent in Delaware

Wilmington, DE – Tech Impact, the Delaware Department of Correction and the Delaware Department of Education announced today the launch of a pilot cohort of the Tech Impact customer experience training program, CXWorks, at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution (BWCI). The program, already popular in Las Vegas, is funded by a grant from Barclays in an effort to connect women, who are returning citizens, with local support and community resources that will help them obtain employment.

“We are excited to pilot CXWorks in Delaware alongside our partners Barclays and Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution. This program will train and employ women in the high demand sector of customer service,” said Patrick Callihan, Chief Executive Officer of Tech Impact. “Barclays has supported the program since its inception in Nevada in 2016, and we’re hoping to replicate the success that market has experienced, having graduated 160 people with over 80% job placement rate.”

Tech Impact’s CXWorks is a free, eight-week workforce development program that offers career training and certification to individuals who are ready to master the customer experience. Students immerse themselves in the skills and knowledge required for call and “contact” center positions, helping companies take care of customer service needs over the phone, instant messaging, and other forms of communication.

“The CXWorks training program aligns perfectly with our mission to successfully prepare women to re-enter our community,” said Dr. Dwight BoNey, Teacher Supervisor at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution. “We work hard to instill professionalism, work ethic and soft skills into every student in our program. CXWorks complements our program, giving the ladies at BWCI the opportunity for career training in customer service and creating opportunities for employment upon release in an industry that is in high demand.”

Six BWCI residents are participating in Tech Impact’s first CXWorks training class.  All participants have already earned a GED or are currently working to earn a GED and were selected, in part, because they are approaching their release from incarceration later this year.  Upon the successful completion of CXWorks, BWCI’s graduates will earn an industry recognized customer service certification.  Following their release from incarceration Tech Impact staff will follow up to help them secure job placement in the community.

“The Delaware Department of Correction is pleased to be the first correctional system in the country to bring the CXWorks employment training program into a prison facility,” said Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson Jr. “We value the partnership that is providing this new pathway to help incarcerated people learn practical skills they can use to obtain employment and drive their reentry success.”

“Barclays is committed to partnering with organizations that are focused on creating opportunities and removing the barriers to success for those who are looking for work,” said Jenn Cho, Head of Citizenship for Barclays US Consumer Bank. “The CXWorks training program offers valuable tools to help these women build a better future and to develop the skills and confidence necessary for work.”

Employers interested in becoming a hiring partner can learn more by registering here.  This is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

About Tech Impact

Tech Impact is a nonprofit that leverages technology to advance social impact. Our proven workforce training programs and intermediary services prepare our graduates to launch or advance their careers in technology. We strengthen nonprofits through a full spectrum of technological support, giving them the education and services they need to deliver greater impact and help their communities thrive. Learn more at techimpact.org.

About Barclays US Consumer Bank

Barclays US Consumer Bank is a leading co-branded credit card issuer and financial services partner in the United States that creates highly customized programs to drive customer loyalty and engagement for some of the country’s most successful travel, entertainment, retail and affinity institutions. The bank offers co-branded credit cards, small business credit cards, installment loans, POS Finance, online savings accounts, and CDs. For more information, please visit www.BarclaysUS.com.

Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group. For further information about Barclays, please visit www.barclays.com.


DHSS Marks Milestone of 100,000 Referrals for Substance Use, Mental Health Services

NEW CASTLE (Jan. 4, 2022) – The Department of Health and Social Services’ (DHSS) Division of Substance Use and Mental Health (DSAMH) has surpassed a milestone of 100,000 referrals through its Delaware Treatment and Referral Network (DTRN), a system for Delawareans seeking substance use and mental health services.

Delaware is the first state to make more than 100,000 referrals using this system, built on the OpenBeds® platform, a bed registry platform owned by Bamboo Health (formerly Appriss Health + PatientPing). The DTRN system identifies and tracks behavioral health and social determinants of health resources throughout the state, giving providers immediate visibility into resource availability across a shared network. This makes it easier to get people the help they need when they need it.

“One death from an opioid overdose or from a mental health crisis is one too many,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, Ph.D., RN. “For families coping with a loved one, who suffers from substance use disorder or mental illness, finding help is an immediate need that must be met. The 100,000 referrals through DTRN demonstrates that we are mending the fractured behavioral health system in Delaware, so people can get access to treatment and on the path to recovery. As Chair of Delaware’s Behavioral Health Consortium, we remain committed to saving lives through platforms like DTRN and the network of behavioral health providers. Newsweek recently recognized Delaware in November 2021 as one of only four states that the CDC reported as having a decrease in the annual percentage rate of opioid deaths. DTRN was a significant tool contributing to this reduction.”

“This milestone represents a systematic improvement in identifying and treating individuals with substance use disorders,” said Joanna Champney, Director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. “That is 100,000 times where a pathway to treatment was made available for someone so they didn’t have to end up in the emergency room or worse.”

The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health launched DTRN in October 2018 as a way to improve outcomes for Delawareans suffering from a substance use disorder, while coordinating support for accompanying needs for housing, employment, education and other wraparound services. A recent white paper summarizing first-year results showed that the cloud-based network for expedited client referrals to inpatient and residential behavioral health programs generated a 45% increase in treatment referral requests in its first year, while improving rapid acknowledgment of referrals by 25%.

“Open Beds has been a fantastic platform that has provided transparency like never before,” said Steve Beltran, MSN, an RN Nurse Manager for ChristianaCare. “It has allowed us to place our patients in the right level of care faster. And has proven to be an effective method to communicate with care providers and agencies across the state.”

Overdose deaths continue to rise in Delaware, reaching 447 in 2020 (up from 431 in 2019 and 401 in 2018). Of those 447 deaths, 372 (83%) involved the use of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine.

The state’s opioid prescribing rate in 2020 of 45.2 per 100 people is higher than the U.S. average of 43.3, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Lack of visibility for providers in determining current inpatient and residential treatment center capacity can make it challenging to connect clients with appropriate substance use and behavioral health services in a timely manner. Referring physicians and treatment providers often struggle to share client data, admission criteria, and availability. For clients in need, these delays can be dangerous and even life-threatening.

By assisting providers with the onboarding process to encourage adoption of the Delaware Treatment and Referral Network, Delaware expanded the number of active users on its network by 264% in its first year. The referral platform also improved response rates to referral requests, with 65% of receiving organizations acknowledging a client referral within 30 minutes, an increase of 25% since the program’s inception a year prior.

“DTRN has been pivotal in connecting individuals with behavioral health and substance use issues with appropriate providers in an efficient and collaborative manner,” said John McKenna, CEO of Rockford Center. “This technology has substantially improved not only access to treatment for individuals and families, but also has facilitated an enhanced level of communication between the referring agency and our Assessment Center. Whether it’s accepting individual referrals at our front door, or helping our discharging patients get connected to community services prior to leaving our facility, DTRN has assisted in removing barriers and promoted access to a wider range of resources in our state. The system also provides us with critical data that allows us to better understand patient and family needs, engagement in treatment, and potential service gaps.”

“The Delaware Treatment and Referral Network has allowed the Department of Correction to connect individuals in our custody to vital health care services upon their release to the community,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Monroe B. Hudson Jr. “DTRN makes possible a seamless transition to resources like Medication-Assisted Treatment for offenders who struggle with addiction. Simply put, keeping these behavioral and medical health care services in place without interruption saves lives and is helping the DOC and our partners improve reentry outcomes across Delaware.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction in Delaware, call DHSS’ 24/7 Crisis Hotline to be connected to treatment and recovery options at 1-833-9-HOPEDE or visit www.HelpIsHereDE.com or treatmentconnection.com.


Statewide Family Reentry Pilot Program Launched

DOVER – Delaware’s five public housing authorities (PHAs), the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) and the Delaware Center for Justice (DCJ) today launched the Delaware Family Reentry Pilot (FRP) Program, a statewide initiative to give individuals recently released from incarceration the opportunity to access safe and stable housing by reuniting with their families who live in public housing. It represents the latest statewide initiative to advance Governor John Carney’s effort to support reentry success and reduce Delaware’s recidivism rate through Executive Order 27.

“Giving individuals who are returning to their community the opportunity to live with family members can provide the strong support they need in the right environment to chart a new positive path,” said Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis. “Delaware’s Family Reentry Pilot Program applies best practices from New York and other places which have demonstrated that programs like this can work effectively while supporting community safety.”

The Family Reentry Pilot represents a year-long collaboration between DOC, DCJ, and Delaware’s five PHAs – which include the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), Dover Housing Authority, Wilmington Housing Authority, New Castle County Housing Authority, and Newark Housing Authority – to consider and implement a recommendation by the Vera Institute of Justice. The Institute worked with Delaware’s PHAs in 2018 and 2019 to identify opportunities to increase access to public housing for people with conviction histories. Delaware’s five PHAs applied together for its assistance through a competitive nationwide process and were one of only four groups selected by the Institute and the only statewide group to be selected.

“This program would not have been possible without the support of the Vera Institute, and we are grateful for the assistance they provided,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “Finding safe, affordable housing can be a challenge for individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and we know many of them are struggling even more during the COVID-19 crisis. This program is a collaborative effort to help those individuals succeed in their communities.”

Individuals who are eligible for the FRP program must:

  • have been released from incarceration within the past three years or have been living in the community for up to three years after being convicted of an offense which would ordinarily prohibit them from residing in public housing;
  • be currently under DOC community supervision;
  • have a close family member who currently lives in public housing through one of the five Delaware PHAs. Close family members include a parent, sibling, child, grandparent, grandchild, spouse or domestic partner.

“Wilmington Housing Authority is honored to be part of this initiative with the other public housing authorities, DOC and DCJ,” said Executive Director John Hill. “Without safe housing and the support of close family, we know many of the individuals in our city who are returning to the community after incarceration are more likely to reoffend and recidivate. The Family Reentry Pilot program gives those individuals an opportunity to live with family members who will support them and provide the safe shelter they need to be productive returning citizens.”

“This is an excellent example of how state, county, and local organizations can collaborate on an important issue. New Castle County, including our New Castle County Police Department, has supported this initiative from the start, and we are proud to see it coming to fruition,” said County Executive Matt Meyer. “This program will provide residents in our county with safe housing in a supportive environment – something that is as crucial as ever with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We want all of our residents to succeed and this is a step in the right direction to give those who have been involved in the criminal justice system an opportunity to thrive.”

The application and review process consists of three steps:

  • DOC staff, including Correctional Counselors, Probation Officers and In-reach Coordinators, identify eligible applicants and assist them with completing a program application.
  • Applications are submitted to the DCJ for referral to the appropriate PHA.
  • The PHA carefully reviews each application, conducts a standard assessment of the applicant’s conviction history, and interviews the family residing in PHA-assisted housing to assess the family’s readiness to welcome the FRP applicant into their household.

Approved participants will be permitted to live as temporary guests in the designated household for a period of one or two years, depending on their conviction history. Participants who successfully complete the temporary period while remaining in compliance with program guidelines may be officially added to the household’s PHA lease.

All FRP program participants and their host family members will be required to sign a contract binding them to strict guidelines at all times. If a guideline is violated, or if the participant commits a new offense during their participation in the program, he or she will be expelled from the FRP and be required to vacate the residence.

DCJ will oversee FRP referrals and make services available to qualified FRP participants to support their reentry success. These services will help minimize barriers by connecting participants to resources in order to address their immediate needs, foster self-sufficiency, and meet their goals. Qualifying participants who are actively under community supervision may engage in comprehensive intensive case management to assist with transportation, educational goals, securing permanent housing, obtaining employment, accessing basic needs (food, clothing, identification, etc.), building job readiness skills, accessing behavioral health services, and other services as needed.

“DCJ is excited to be a part of the Family Reentry Pilot Program with the housing authorities and our long-term partner, DOC,” said Executive Director David Bever. “We understand that family support and stable housing is a crucial component of successful reentry that promotes stability and increased connections to supportive networks to aid in assisting individuals from re-offending. Individuals being released from prison deserve to have the support they need to become empowered and reach their goals. We look forward to this collaboration as this program is assisting in breaking down barriers and allowing individuals to be reunited with their family members and recreate those bonds needed for prosocial, healthy relationships.”

Initially, the pilot is being offered in properties that are owned and operated by public housing authorities. Early next year, the pilot will expand to Housing Choice Voucher holders. PHAs will begin outreach to landlords who accept Housing Choice Vouchers in the coming months and participation in the FRP program will be voluntary for Housing Choicer Voucher landlords.


Delaware Correctional Officers and Inmates Contribute to Delaware’s COVID-19 Response

SMYRNA, Del. – This week, three dozen inmates who are employed in the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center garment shop began producing cotton face masks for the correctional system and first responders as the Delaware Department of Correction steps up to support the First State’s COVID-19 response.

These skilled inmate workers normally cut and sew material from large rolls of red and white cotton cloth into the clothing worn by more than 4,200 inmates across DOC’s prison facilities. However, As Delaware confronts the challenges of community spread of the illness, the inmates and their Correctional Officer supervisors in Delaware Correctional Industries offered to turn their sewing skills into producing face masks in short supply. 

Governor John Carney said, “As this serious situation evolves, we need to find innovative solutions for pressing issues. That is exactly what the Department of Correction has done by shifting the production within the James T. Vaughn Correction Center to provide greater protection to staff and inmates in DOC facilities. We’ll get through this, but we all need to pitch in and take this threat seriously.”

Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis said, “We say often that ‘we are all in this together,’ and this initiative by correctional officers and offenders demonstrates that we all want to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s a real-time, real-life demonstration of DOC’s dual mission of public safety and offender rehabilitation.”

The mask production effort was originally presented to the DOC by Delaware Correctional Industries Trades Instructor Dion Hawkins, who worked collaboratively with Trades Instructors Lori Quinney Craig Devries, Lee Lepore, Frank Kulhanek and Brett Smith and their team of inmate workers to design and produce a prototype mask last week using two layers of cotton cloth in stock, sewn together around a polyester filter designed to remove particles down to 3-10 microns in size.  

Production began Monday on two sewing machines, and by mid-week daily volume increased to nearly 100 face masks.  Up to a dozen inmates will support the operation by cutting patterns and sorting and packing masks, while up to two dozen inmates will operate sewing machines to stitch the materials and add elastic ear loops.  At full production capacity, DOC estimates that it will be able to produce up to 500 face masks each week.

Face masks produced at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center will be used, as necessary, in DOC facilities to protect staff, inmates and contractors. Once inventory increases, the face masks will be offered to other first responders.  DOC’s infirmaries and isolation units will continue to use medical grade FDA-certified face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment produced by national manufacturers.

Hourly wages for inmate workers are set by state statute and hourly pay rates for inmates employed in the garment shop at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center range between .25 and $2.00 per hour depending on skill level and length of service.

Delawareans with general questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.  

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.  

 

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