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The *Burtch Program©

The evolution of Provincial Corrections is guided by the decisions of government of the day. In order to assist in good decision-making it is incumbent on the administrators of the system to provide the most accurate and current picture that exists with progressive recommendations to assist the mandate of the governments and the courts. To this end the following is submitted for discussion and development of an implementation strategy.

Currently it is the position of the provincial government to reduce the number of existing facilities through a series of measures: alternative sentencing such as weekend incarceration and privatization of the provincial correction system in general. These decisions have been reached based upon information gathered from sources that we believe to be flawed and based on the following demand reevaluation.

The judicial system has recognized that some Ontario residents have come in conflict with the law to a degree that demands some form of incarceration. They do not feel that the community requires protection from these people and that they are essentially functional in society. These people are those required to serve weekend sentences. The question is what is the purpose of this sentence and what is the anticipated or desired outcome?

I would suggest that these people are targeted by the mitigating circumstances of their crime such when they are in a given state or under the influence of some substance they violate the law. These people are considered contributory to society and often have families that rely on their income and day to day activities to maintain the family unit. The decision to minimize the disruption of this person’s “normal” life based upon their societal participation and the nature of the crime is an enlightened step to maintain an already threatened moral fabric. What remains is defining the desired outcomes and the analysis of albeit short history of those outcomes. I believe that we have stopped short in our initiative to use this process as a tool to focus the offender’s attention on the fact that they have to change certain behaviors or beliefs through the inconvenience of weekend sanction. If these people are spending time albeit limited time in provincial institutions then it is opportune to utilize that time to educate these people regarding the specific symptom logy that has brought them to the institution. I strongly suggest that the educational component is the lynch pin to the logic of alternate sentencing such as weekends.

As in all considerations the reality is the evaluation of cost. If we consider the current cost of weekend inmates and if we evaluate the recidivism in this population and do the following:


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The Alternate Solution

FORWARD
Randy Smith, CCSW, RSSW, RSW, Alphanon Consultants

The evolution of Provincial Corrections is guided by the decisions of government of the day. In order to assist in good decision-making it is incumbent on the administrators of the system to provide the most accurate and current picture that exists with progressive recommendations to assist the mandate of the governments and the courts. To this end the following is submitted for discussion and development of an implementation strategy.

Currently it is the position of the provincial government to reduce the number of existing facilities through a series of measures: alternative sentencing such as weekend incarceration and privatization of the provincial correction system in general. These decisions have been reached, based upon information gathered from sources that we believe to be flawed and based on the following and demand reevaluation. The judicial system has recognized that some Ontario residents have come in conflict with the law to a degree that demands some form of incarceration.

They do not feel that the community requires protection from these people and that they are essentially functional in society. These people are those required to serve weekend sentences. The question is what is the purpose of this sentence and what is the anticipated or desired outcome?

I would suggest that these people are targeted by the mitigating circumstances of their crime such when they are in a given state or under the influence of some substance they violate the law. These people are considered contributory to society and often have families that rely on their income and day to day activities to maintain the family unit. The decision to minimize the
disruption of this person’s “normal” life based upon their societal participation and the nature of the crime is an enlightened step to maintain an already threatened moral fabric.

What remains is defining the desired outcomes and the analysis of albeit short history of those outcomes. I believe that we have stopped short in our initiative to use this process as a tool to focus the offender’s attention on the fact that they have to change certain behaviours or beliefs through the inconvenience of weekend sanction. If these people are spending time albeit limited time in provincial institutions then it is opportune to utilize that time to educate these people regarding the specific symptom logy that has brought them to the institution. I strongly suggest that the educational component is the lynch pin to the logic of alternate sentencing such as weekends.

As in all considerations the reality is the evaluation of cost. If we consider/ compare the current cost of weekend inmates
including the recidivism of this population and then look at doing the following...

The Alternate Solutions
To provide a cost effective alternative to the current process of the provincial government to privatize corrections and close the existing institutions. This solution is designed to use the Burtch Correctional facility as a model to demonstrate that, through education and appropriate service design it can effect change. It is the goal to use the current provincial system to cost effectively reduce the inordinate number of incarcerated offenders through reduction of recidivism as a reflection of that change.
The Candidate
The program is designed to meet the needs of those individuals that indicate to the judicial system their desire to examine, through education, change during their period of incarceration. Those individuals that choose a specialized program that has, in addition to the rules of the institution, a set of rules that they will additionally abide by to maximize the exposure to the proposed Alternative Solution.

The focus of this program is positive change through education that facilitates for the individual the ability to optimize their alternative options to re offending and thus integrate into their families, community and society. The end result for the systems is a reduction in recidivism, reduction in costs and ultimately a meaningful utilization of incarceration time as an opportunity to change through education and self examination.

Purpose of the Alternate Solution
CHANGE

  • Change
    • how we view inmates
    • the function of the “system”
    • how inmates views themselves
  • How
    • promote Correctional Officers as change agents and educational tools
    • recognize the system as an opportunity to educate and provide the right tools
  • Attitude
    • positive and measurable expectations
    • self worth, self- efficacy
  • New opportunity
    • begin a new direction for self and family
  • Growth
    • reduce inmate populations and grow the community membership
  • Education
    • provide the tools of self examination to promote change
    • increased awareness provides motivation
Modules
The educational program design requires a comprehensive yet flexible cluster of modules to work in conjunction with existing programs in the institution. The utilization of various media milieus, reading materials and group discussion as facilitated by the Program Specialist.

The participation of the staff is the key to delivery of the program throughout the institution. To accommodate the constantly changing population, the program is created to accommodate membership from the newest arrival to the person preparing for release. The program recycles every three months with each week having a minimum of ten hours of program time that accommodates day to day activities. Each member of the group will provide mentoring to new arrivals and peer support to those going through the cycle for the first time and/or repeating the cycle.

Addiction
  • OBJECTIVE
    • Designed to develop a sense and understanding of addiction in the broadest sense and in a personal one utilizing information, video, self administered exercises and group work that encourages introspection.
  • CONTENT 
    • Review of addictions as they are understood in the traditional sense.
    • Examine the relationship between addictive behaviour and consequences.
    • Through this process the participants will develop a personal understanding of where they fit, and the larger perspective of how they impact on others.
  • OUTCOME
    • Gain a sense of where the person is in the addiction continuum.
    • Move the individual from pre-contemplative stage into contemplative stage, and /or action stage.
Feelings
  • OBJECTIVE
    • To assist the individual’s exploration of their emotional makeup.
    • To promote understanding of choices and their impact, as they relate to feelings.
  • CONTENT
    • Provide exposure to Rational Emotive Theory.
    • Explore the issues of Socialization, Emotions and “Rules”.
  • OUTCOME
    • Develop an overview and also an introspective understanding of feelings.
    • Appreciate the role of feelings in the decision making process and the internal/external responses to one’s environment.
Decision Making Process
  • OBJECTIVES
    • Develop a structured process for sound decisions.
    • Develop responsibility and accountability.
  • CONTENT
    • Explore the relationship between decision making, responsibility and outcome.
    • Recognize the relationship between consequence and change, control/no control.
  • OUTCOME
    • An understanding of the impact of decision in our lives on self and others.
    • The necessity to examine life decisions based on their importance to self and others.
Social Skills
  • OBJECTIVE
    • Raise the awareness of the importance of social skills and the significance they have in day to day living.
    • Highlight the intrinsic value and necessity of these skills.
  • CONTENT
    • To examine and engage in opportunities to develop skills in communication, assertiveness and other interpersonal skills.
  • OUTCOME
    • Convey a sense of the importance of these skills.
    • Raise the level of confidence to interact outside the institution.
    • Develop a confidence to use the content of this module as an effective powerful tool in getting needs met.
Relapse Prevention
  • OBJECTIVE
    • To explore a broad spectrum of support agencies to assist in pre and post institutional lifestyle.
    • To develop personal effective strategies to assist in maintaining a positive lifestyle based upon the needs as targeted by the individual.
  • CONTENT
    • Self examination utilizing educational tools to accurately determine needs.
    • Presentation of support systems including representation from those agencies.
    • Perform exercises to demonstrate abilities and practicality of relapse prevention plans.
  • OUTCOME
    • Develop a command of positive alternatives for change based on change.
Community Re-Entry
  • OBJECTIVE
    • To explore agencies and services that are available to support and perpetuate the plan for change upon release from the protective environment of incarceration.
  • CONTENT
    • A holistic view of all services available to support positive change.
    • Financial services.
    • Social services.
    • Addiction services.
    • Public Health.
    • Housing.
    • Corrections
  • OUTCOME
    • Provide a 360 degree view of societal support for positive sustainable integration into family an community.
Implementation
As indicated the project is dependent on the commitment of all levels of Correctional Services as well as the government. The argument for this commitment is outlined in the THE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION.
  • SUPERINTENDENTS
    • The Supervisory Group will require a training commitment of a minimum four days.
    • Addictive profile model.
    • Overview of the module content and purpose.
    • Group Work.
    • Supervisory Impact.
    • Institutional objectives of the program.
    • Program integration.
    • Statistical procedures.
  • CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS
    • The Officer’s Group will require an initial training commitment of a minimum four days.
    • Overview of program goals.
    • Participatory grading and monitoring.
    • Module overview.
    • Addictive profile model.
Program Map

ENTRY-INTRODUCTION
Review of the program they have opted to enter

Correctional Officers ORIENTATION
Review of the rules of the Institution

PROGRAM MANAGER ORIENTATION
Overview of the program and the rules

MODULE ENTRY

Summary
The Alternative Solution paper argues the economic and social viability of educating the incarcerated person to promote personal growth through change. This is the framework we believe, based upon the research and effort of our team of experts that meet those goals.

This pilot project will demonstrate, following eighteen months of operation, successful change based on analysis of:
  • reduction of internal charges.
  • reduction of recidivism rates.
  • reduce court backlog.
  • reduced parole violations.
  • increase support program attendance.
  • increase request for assistance from other agencies.
  • meaningful employment.
Program Information
This presentation is the result of the unflagging efforts of Bill McLaughlin, The Citizen Action Committee, and the developers of the Alternative Solutions Education Program.
 
“The realization of one’s personal value is the only route to the recognition of one’s value and membership in one’s relationships, family and one’s society. All of those realizations or recognitions are learned both negatively or positively as we develop. The way in which one learns these is determined by the teacher. The need for positive education for these people today is obvious and the opportunity obviously is today.”
RJAS 1999

The program and it’s content is the sole property of Alphanon Consultants Inc. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
 
For information or enquiries please e-mail alphanon@rogers.com or phone 519.580.8461

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