An Urban Pilot Comprehensive Training & Treatment Center (CTTC)
The Comprehensive Sanction Center is a concept developed in the 1990’s. It is a correctional treatment center which broadens the traditional “Residential Re-entry Center” (Halfway House) model. As the word comprehensive suggests; it is multifaceted and includes both residential and non-residential participants addressing the individual’s Criminogenic factors by providing vocational/educational training along with drug/mental health treatment by evidenced based programs proven to reduce recidivism. It has a mentoring component integrated through agreements with local faith based and secular NGO’s.
Envision a public/private partnership owned, self-supporting facility where people will attend class and participate in on the job training to obtain vocational skills in the building trades, horticulture, cosmetology, commercial driving and restaurant management. They their skills in the surrounding community for public works projects like building restoration and neighborhood beautification. People will be employed at no less than the minimum wage and work side by side with volunteers in the true spirit of Restorative Justice.
Along with cognitive behavioral therapy, people will learn various life skills such as anger management, conflict resolution, victim impact awareness, resume writing, basic credit and financial education. Residential and non-residential drug treatment programs will be offered along with transitional aftercare services.
Ideally, a partnership will be formed with a government agency, non-profit and/or local university who can deliver as well as receive services. The restoration of Pell grant funding for programs is a positive development for this concept. The structure could be a public/private partnership or even a hybrid such Public Benefit, LLC; however, it must be treatment focused, not the cancerous profit focused companies like GEO and CorrCivic.
The center could also be utilized as a diversionary program by the local, state or federal courts to avoid the negative collateral consequences inherent with a conviction. People would report to the center daily for training and /or work purposes or be ordered to residential placement as a condition or probation. It could also function as an intermediate sanction for people in jeopardy of a supervised release or probation violation. ( a half-way in/ half-way-out concept)
The community will benefit by gentrification and employment opportunities while public safety will be enhanced by the participant’s completion of recidivism reducing programs. There are many ways this pilot can grow to provide even more services such a drug, mental health and veteran courts.
We will draw upon local NGO’s, non-profits, educational and faith based institutions and form partnership to not only receive but provide community services. It would function best with a University partner such as a law school or criminal justice focused institution like John Jay for shared services by way of internships and research for academics and students interested in a law enforcement career.
A pilot could be expanded to the urban areas throughout the country to bring the citizens near their family and resources while assisting in the decarceration effort.
The basic concept was studied by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the 90’s and was proven to be effective.
Note: What most people don’t understand is that within the BOP (BRAVO) classification scheme, people have a security level and a custody level. Before the proliferation of satellite camps, we would have even medium security people with gate passes who would work outside the fence and some even participated in furloughs, emergency bed side visits, etc. While that concept has been lost, there is no need to change law for this concept as the statutory authority exists today. Even today, high security people are transferred from a USP to the community (RRC) to finish their sentence. Case managers are only required to change the custody level, (not security level) to “Community Custody“. These urban centers could be an incentive for people in prison at all levels to work towards and participate in the programs even if it’s the last few years of a sentence.
Funding: The bigger issue is someone needs to look at how much the BOP spends on RRC’s in contracting costs because GEO and Corr Civic have been rotating to this space for years and it would be more cost effective for this pilot concept with more active government involvement, than giving money to profiteers with little accountability and inadequate checks and balances. In my humble opinion, the government is wasting a lot of money on contracts and it is a fact that the average cost of an RRC bed a day is higher than the cost of a secure facility despite having far less staffing, programs and infrastructure costs. Look no farther than the government’s own DOJ-IG studies to see how broken and discriminatory it is.