Recovery In a Secure Environment
The R.I.S.E. program started in August 2000 when a men’s 36 bed community based on the Social Learning Model of Recovery was started at Henrico County Regional Jail East. Sheriff Michael Wade had a vision for inmates to have an opportunity for rehabilitation while being incarcerated. The program provides the tools needed for recovery and fosters self-esteem, and a belief that a person can make their life better. This peer-run program was implemented to address substance use, criminal behaviors, and positive opportunities for recovery-based peer interactions. Since that time, the program has grown into 5 communities at Jail East, to include a female program pod established in September of 2002. The program for women includes all phases and topics such as self-esteem, domestic violence and substance abuse while pregnant.
The R.I.S.E. Program is completely voluntary; the inmate must request to be a part of the program and sign a contract to abide by all rules and requirements. Inmates can also request to leave. The program, a seven-day a week, twelve-hour day schedule, focuses on principles that include social learning theory, the twelve-step philosophy, and cognitive-behavioral strategies. This special program is peer-run, under the direct supervision and guidance of Henrico Mental Health.
Within the program, participants in Phase II and III are required to lead groups daily. Senior leadership in the program, “Instructors”, oversee participant’s adherence to program rules, structure, and format. Security staff is tasked with ensuring there are appropriate behavioral sanctions for any rule violations. The Mental Health staff assists in overseeing the format of the program and facilitates access to all resources/curriculums required by community members for group facilitation. Mental health provides one-time weekly groups to each program pod as well. The 7 day a week program includes 9 groups per day on the weekdays and a reduced schedule on weekends.
Program Participants can engage in these types of jail program opportunities based on their phase level.
- During Phase I – Pre-GED and GED testing are available.
- After completing Phase II – participants may attend classes in Workforce Development and/ or Automotive Repair
- After completing Phase III – participants can be begin working as a trustee in the jail, apply to participate in the Cosmetology program.
The first phase of the R.I.S.E. Program is where the participants explore the negative consequences of their behaviors, develop a commitment to change and learn the basics of recovery. This process includes many psychoeducational opportunities through group classes & meetings, self-guided skill development work, and participation in twelve-step meetings. To move to the next phase, all course work and a minimum of six weeks in this phase of the program must be completed.
While continuing to focus on all the aspects of Phase I, the participant now begins to reinforce their commitment to a clean and sober lifestyle. In Phase II, the participant develops their personal relapse prevention plan and receive program training in becoming group facilitators. To move to the next phase, all course work must be done and a minimum of six weeks in this phase of the program must be completed.
In this phase, the participants work on positive life skill development in the areas of independent living, healthy relationships, job readiness, relapse prevention, and release planning. Participants in this phase are responsible for going back and facilitating groups and meetings to those participating in the first phase, working from the philosophy of “each one teach one.” From this point, the participant may stay in the program until their release as long as they are actively participating in the program and are in compliance with all the rules and expectations. In some situations, they may move forward in the ORBIT Program.