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Forever Free Substance Abuse Program at the California Institute for Women in Frontera, California

NCJ Number
M R Kowalewski; J Wellisch
Date Published
The Forever Free program offered at the California Institute for Women (CIW) in Frontera is based on the 12-step model of drug abuse treatment.
Rather than administer the program directly, the CIW contracts with a mental health agency to teach female inmates the skills they need to cope effectively with life stresses. Specific program goals are to provide inmate treatment with individualized case planning and linkages to community-based aftercare, provide services that meet the psychosocial needs of inmates, and reduce drug abuse. Heroin and cocaine represent the drugs of choice for most women admitted to the CIW. Each month, 30 inmates complete the Forever Free program and are paroled. The program lasts 4 to 6 months and includes six main components: education, relapse prevention, aggression replacement, workshop sessions that focus on such topics as self-esteem and problem-solving, 12-step groups, and case management. In addition, the program emphasizes staff training, life experience with addiction, and the need to transition clients into appropriate community aftercare.