WRAP in the Criminal Justice System

263WRAP is successfully being implemented in a variety of ways with people involved in the Criminal Justice System.

 Mental Health Recovery Court – Kalamzoo, Michigan

 In 2008, the Kalamazoo 8th District Court of Michigan established a Mental Health Recovery Court [MHRC]. The program started after some local judges noticed they were seeing the same people over and over — mostly on misdemeanor charges rather than felonies — and that many of them had mental health challenges with co-occurring substance abuse  With the collaboration of defense attorneys, the county prosecutor and almost every mental health program in Kalamazoo County, the Mental Health Recovery Court was formed. The Wellness Recovery Action Plan [WRAP] has been a major part of this recovery-oriented approach since its inception.  According to Bob Butkiewicz, Program Supervisor for the MHRC, “WRAP became the philosophy of the court”.

One New Heart Beat brings WRAP into the Maguire Men’s Correctional Facility located in Redwood City, CA. The Pilot Program involved WRAP Advanced Level Facilitators working in partnership with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Programming Department, Ms. Shirley Lamar, Director of Choices Program San Mateo County Men’s Correctional Facility, VA Peer-Run Programs, and other Mental Health Organizations.
One New Heart Beat provides pre and post release WRAP groups for those that are incarcerated. Waynette Brock and Tim Lawson, both Certified WRAP Facilitators and the co-founders of One New Heart Beat, use the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, as an in-custody evidence-based practice, to help offenders regain social and coping skills. Through their work in the Correctional Facilities, they have found that those who successfully coOneNewHeartBeatmplete the program have an increased ability to meet life and vocational goals, significant life enhancement, and exhibit higher self-esteem and self-confidence. The outcome that they have and will continue to measure is participants’ reduction in re-offending. Recent data shows that 6 out of 7 participants that attended the WRAP workshop have not reoffended in the last three years.
For more info go to the One New Heart Beat website at: http://onenewheartbeat.org

The Demeter Foundation is an organization in Madison, Wisconsin whose mission is to advocate for the humane DemeterFoundationlogotreatment and the civil rights of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their families, and to reduce recidivism and help them gain self-empowerment, healing, and strength.
Alice Pauser, the co-founder of the Demeter Foundation, is a trained WRAP Facilitator and a Certified Peer Specialist who incorporates WRAP into the Trauma informed Care Services that are offered to formerly incarcerated women as they re-enter the community.
An important part of the programs and services offered are WRAP workshops at no charge.

For more information got to the Demeter Foundation website at: http://www.thedemeterfoundation.com/

Kalamazoo Mental Health Recovery Court
This voluntary program, which was first begun in 2008, allows people with mental health issues to avoid criminal sentences by working with probation officers, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and others.

WRAP is being used as one of the peer delivered services and has become part of the challenging process of engaging participants in recovery oriented lifestyles.

“Peer staff who have co-occuring disorders, a long history of recovery, and firsthand experience with the criminal justice system, engage and coach participants to adopt and maintain a lifestyle based on recovery and wellness. The court primarily serves individuals who have severe and persistent mental illnesses, and most participants have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder. The Recovery court strives to identify those individuals who are at risk of becoming a high utilizer of mental health, public safety, substance abuse, or other public sector services.”
(Justice Center- MHCP Spotlight, July 1, 2009)

Wood Pilot Project is a problem solving court (like drug court), in Bonneville County Idaho. They work with dually diagnosed offenders who are likely to be sentenced to prison on a probation violation or new felony sentencing. Rather than send them to prison for treatment and programming, they start them out in a Work Detail/Work Release program with treatment providers who continue to work with them as they transition to lesser levels of structure to include half-way and transitional housing up to independent living. The program takes 12-19 months to complete.

The Project integrates treatment for mental health, substance use and criminogenic risks; using manualized, evidence based models to treat individual needs. There is an emphasis on employment, education, productive activities and developing strong relationships with people and organizations that support recovery.
Nearly 58% of the participant who begin the program graduate and only 20% of graduates have recidivated with new crimes. The program began in February 2008. They hope to replicate the program in the other 6 Idaho Judicial Districts.

“WRAP seems to be helping us out in a new way. It has really given our peers and mentors a sense of responsibility which helps themselves, and allows the new participants a chance to mingle early on with the successes in the program. I expect that the developments we are making with WRAP and peer mentors will improve both the graduation rate and reduce the recidivism rate as well”.   Rex Thornley LCSW, Program Director for the Wood Pilot Court     Click here for more information

Region Ten  Region Ten Community Services Board in Virginia is part of a statewide network of 40 Community Service Boards working to provide mental health, intellectual disability and substance use services where they are needed.  Jail Services: Two Region Ten clinicians provide 20 hours of jail based work with individuals and/or groups in the TC ( Therapeutic Community) and general population using CBT ( Thinking for Change) materials  and WRAP. The clinicians provide substance abuse evaluations and make referrals to treatment programs for those re- entering the community following incarceration. 

Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services
Justice Involved Services – a comprehensive diversion program can make a difference in breaking the cycle of arrest, re-arrest and incarceration of individuals with serious mental illnesses that are or will be charged with non-violent offenses. The Bridgeway Jail Diversion Program will develop individualized plans for mental health services to assist individuals to reach their own goals and integrate fully into their own community. Members, if they choose, will be helped to develop a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – United Kingdom-WRAP is being offered in the National Helath Service / Prison Mental Health Services as one of the clinics.http://www.nht.nhs.uk/main.cfm?type=PHYSICALHEALTHCARE

Prison Information and Family Support Community

The PrisonTalk Online web community was conceived in a prison cell, designed in a halfway house, and funded by donations from families of ex-offenders, to bring those with an interest in the prisoner support community a forum in which their issues and concerns may be addressed by others in similar circumstances and beliefs. This is what is posted about WRAP:

“One of the questions people frequently have is how they can help a person with mental illness. If that person has been in extreme states before, been hospitalized, or has experienced difficulties, encouraging them to produce and getting involved in their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan is a good way to go….Putting it in black and white, and being able to discuss it will facilitate conversations that should help people, loved ones especially, understand what’s going on, what to look for, and how to help.”        Click here to go to the site

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