An innovative program to address the unique challenges women offenders face in overcoming substance abuse was launched this week at the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla. The Trauma-Informed Substance Abuse Treatment Program (TI-SAT) for female inmates offers gender-responsive services to reduce substance abuse relapse and recidivism.

“This innovative program addresses the underlying causes of addiction in women offenders so that they will be ready to successfully return to their families and their community,” said CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate. “To meet the new budget realities, CDCR is finding creative ways to continue implementing rehabilitation programs and reach as many offenders as possible while reducing costs.”

The program at CCWF will serve 175 women offenders, and is scheduled to be fully implemented over the next month. A TI-SAT program opened at Valley State Prison for Women (VSPW) on January 19, and will serve 175 female inmates. The program began at the California Institution for Women on January 21, and will serve 175 women offenders including participants in the Civil Addicts program and convicted felons.

CCWF’s program is being administered under a contract with the Amity Foundation. The program at VSPW will be administered by Walden House and the CIW program will be administered by Human Potential Consultants. California’s first TI-SAT program was launched at Leo Chesney Community Correctional Facility in Live Oak in September 2008.

Due to budget reductions in adult rehabilitation programs, CDCR is using a 90-day treatment program rather than the six-month program at Leo Chesney. A new 90-day treatment model for male inmates is also being phased in at nine additional prisons to replace CDCR’s previous substance abuse programs that ranged from six to 36 months in length. The shorter treatment model will enable CDCR to still serve 8,450 inmates with substance abuse treatment annually. The department’s new model was developed in consultation with the UC San Diego, Center for Criminality & Addiction Research, Training & Application.

Inmates will receive services near the end of their confinement and will be encouraged to complete community treatment upon release — a combination that significantly reduces recidivism. The return-to-prison rate for female offenders who completed both in-prison and community-based substance abuse treatment in FY 2005-06 was 16.5 percent after two years compared to 43.7 percent for all CDCR female offenders.

TI-SAT services include gender-responsive, evidence-based treatment guidelines. These guidelines are based on acknowledging that gender makes a difference. An environment is created providing safety, respect, and dignity. Services address substance abuse, trauma information, and mental health issues, in addition to planning for community-based substance abuse program services and community reentry.

This program is part of CDCR’s long-term strategic plan for female offenders which began in January 2005 when CDCR established the Gender-Responsive Strategies Commission to develop programs for improving outcomes for juvenile and adult females in prison or on parole.

To view the video of this program, please see the link below:
CCWF T-Sat Program