Earl Warren, Spectrum's Massachusetts State Director of Correctional Services, presented on the reentry peer mentoring program last month as part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's 2013 Innovations in Addictions conference.

"Prisoner Re-entry: Mentoring for Success" was attended by nearly 50 key state decision-makers in the addiction and criminal justice fields.

The presentation detailed lessons learned from a two-year pilot program funded through the U.S. Department of Justice.  The presentation included an active discussion of the role of a peer mentor (versus a recovery coach and a case manager), training provided to mentors, and the importance of building relationships between offenders and mentors pre-release.

Warren also presented data supporting the continuation and replication of the program in other jurisdictions.  The program has been very successful in connecting offenders with needed services including substance abuse services (100%), mental health services (82%), pro-social activities/ connections (100%), employment (59%), education (18%) and housing services (100%). According to the Massachusetts Department of Correction, this peer mentoring program reduced recidivism by 8% as compared to the one-year recidivism rate for all offenders releasing statewide.  Recidivism is based on a return to prison on new charges or a technical violation.

Spectrum's Correctional Treatment Division was established in 1993 to provide specialized treatment to criminal offenders with a history of chronic substance abuse and criminal behavior.  Today, Spectrum operates a range of in-prison and community-based programs throughout Massachusetts, Georgia, Maine, Tennessee, Iowa, Rhode Island, Florida and Washington State, serving more than 6,500 criminal offenders each day.

Andrew Strecker, Development Associate
(508) 792-5400 x7113



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