Life-term inmates graduate substance abuse program at CSP-Solano

Inmates graduate from a substance abuse program at CSP-Solano.

Inmates graduate from a substance abuse program at CSP-Solano.

By Marlaina Dernoncourt, AA/Public Information Officer
California State Prison, Solano

Nearly two dozen life-term inmates recently graduated from a substance abuse program at California State Prison, Solano.

Twenty-three inmates graduated from the program facilitated by the LTOPP (Long Term Offender Pilot Program) at CSP-Solano.

Vanderick Towns speaks to the program graduates.

Vanderick Towns speaks to the program graduates.

Two groups of men, one calling themselves BOSS (Brothers of the Same Struggle) and the other Alpha Omega (Beginning and the end), met five days per week for the last five months, obtaining insight into their addictive behaviors and the effects on those around them.

During the graduation, former CSP-Solano life-term inmates David Hillary and Vanderick Towns spoke about “real truth,” encouraged graduates to continue their journey of working on themselves and most importantly how a relapse prevention plan is a way of life, not just something you give to Board of Paroles Hearing so you can get a parole grant.

David Hillary speaks to the graduates of a substance abuse program at CSP-Solano.

David Hillary speaks to the graduates of a substance abuse program at CSP-Solano.

Their parting words were, “Think before you act. If it’s illegal, immoral or irresponsible, don’t do it.”

While incarcerated at CSP-Solano, both Hillary and Towns participated in the OMCP (Offender Mentor Certification Program) and are now certified drug and alcohol counselors working for a recovery facility in Berkeley.

Did you know?

CSP-Solano open in 1984 as part of the California Medical Facility. The two were separated in 1992 and a warden was assigned to each facility. Learn more about the prison at

Drugs impact more than the addict

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, abuse of and addiction to alcohol, nicotine, and illicit and prescription drugs cost Americans more than $700 billion a year in increased health care costs, crime and lost productivity.

Every year, illicit and prescription drugs and alcohol contribute to the death of more than 90,000 Americans, while tobacco is linked to an estimated 480,000 deaths per year.

The initial decision to take drugs is typically voluntary. However, with continued use, a person’s ability to exert self-control can become seriously impaired; this impairment in self-control is the hallmark of addiction.

Brain imaging studies of people with addiction show physical changes in areas of the brain critical to judgment, decision making, learning and memory, and behavior control.

Scientists believe these changes alter the way the brain works and may help explain the compulsive and destructive behaviors of addiction.

Learn more at

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