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Teamwork in the Social Skills Development Unit Helps Adaptively Impaired Inmates

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 62 Issue: 7 Dated: December 2000 Pages: 118-120
Mary F. Farkas
Date Published
December 2000
3 pages
This article describes a program to encourage inmates' positive behavior changes.
The Social Skills Development Unit (SSDU) is an interdisciplinary team located at the Handlon Michigan Training Unit in Ionia, MI. Inmates in the program have been unable to adapt to life in the general prison population. They frequently have difficulty understanding or remembering rules; have difficulty communicating; believe everything literally; are attention-seeking; have unrealistic self-perceptions; lack impulse control; have trouble making decisions; exhibit egocentric thinking; and lack a sense of personal responsibility. The goals of SSDU are to help inmates develop the skills necessary to adapt to life in the general prison population; to help inmates develop skills that will carry over to life outside prison; and to protect society by not just incarcerating inmates, but through encouraging their positive behavior changes. The SSDU team consists of corrections officers, a unit manager, a recreation therapist, a psychologist, a secretary, a director, and clinical counselors. It serves in a parental role and maintains a high level of expectation, thus creating an environment most conducive to helping inmates improve their adaptive behaviors. References


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