Staff of Hudson River Center played a pivotal role in the efforts of the New York State Department of Correctional Services (NYSDOCS) to reduce the presence of illegal drugs and combat alcohol and drug dependency in its prison system.
Through funding from the National Institute of Corrections, NYSDOCS sought to complement its random drug-testing program with specific program interventions that targeted hard core drugs users who use and traffic drugs while incarcerated. A curriculum to educate, engage, and energize inmates about the disease of alcoholism/substance abuse and the power of recovery was a critical component of this endeavor. Specifically, this curriculum was targeted for inmates assigned to Special Housing Units (SHU) for violation of drug use and/or possession. SHU inmates are either in solitary confinement or with a cellmate for twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.
Based on its expertise in curriculum development and in alcohol and drug abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment, staff members of Hudson River Center were asked to create a state-of-the-art alcohol and substance abuse individualized learning activity program. The outcome of the project was Time to Think About Change, a series of 120 sequential, one-hour, self-directed learning sessions. With its encouraging text and engaging graphics, this user-friendly curriculum exceeded every expectation of NYSDOCS.
Hudson River Center staff members applied their expertise in alcoholism, substance abuse, and training in a tri-agency project focusing on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Working with the Leatherstocking Education on Alcoholism/Addiction Foundation and the New York State Department of Health, Hudson River Center staff provided training to adolescent pregnancy caseworkers and community health workers on screening and referral for FAS.