SACRAMENTO – Twenty-seven inmates from California State Prison-Solano today received certifications that will eventually enable them to counsel other inmates in addiction treatment programs for alcohol and drug abuse.
The graduation ceremony for the Offender Mentor Certification Program marked the inmates’ successful completion of 350 hours of academic classroom work and 300 hours in a closely supervised Practicum. In addition, all have taken an internationally recognized exam sanctioned by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors. They will move on to a 4,000 hour, clinically supervised internship as they prepare to become professional counselors.
All of the inmates chosen for the program are serving long term sentences, including some life with the possibility of parole, and had previously addressed their own problems with drug and alcohol use by completing a Substance Abuse Treatment Program administered by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“By addressing their own problems with substance abuse, these inmates are role models and a source of hope for other inmates who also struggle with addiction,” said CDCR Undersecretary Terri McDonald, who noted that it is a problem shared by 58 percent of male inmates and 64 percent of female inmates in the state prison system.
“When they become fully certified professionals, these graduates will enable the department to expand substance abuse treatment to more inmates in a cost-effective way, which is especially valuable during these times of lean budgets.”
Established in 2008, the Offender Mentor Certification Program is a partnership between CDCR and the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.
Today’s graduates join 47 inmates who completed this program at California State Prison-Solano in August, 2009. Seventeen inmates from Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla also graduated as certified mentors in January, 2011.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2012
Contact: Bill Sessa