PORTLAND, Ore., April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- On Friday March 29, The Program of
"The Program of HOPE exemplifies what it truly means to be delivering gender- and trauma-responsive care with system-impacted women," said Dr. Emily Salisbury, an international expert on gender-responsive correctional approaches and criminal justice professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "The state-of-the-art solutions facilitated by The Pathfinder Network staff have transformed the very concept of what a treatment community can and should be for women—a healing and empowerment community."
Understanding the importance for the program to reflect the needs of its participants, The Pathfinder Network initiated a redesign in collaboration with Dr. Salisbury and the Oregon Department of Corrections. The substance abuse treatment program previously known as LIFT (Living in Freedom Today) underwent a full assessment, and based on Dr. Salisbury's recommendations, The Pathfinder Network created a more relational, strength-based, and gender- and trauma-responsive environment. The newly restructured Program of HOPE began its first cohort on March 27, 2017—since then 159 participants have graduated from the program, a 94% completion rate.
The program provides a safe environment, accompanied by knowledge, tools and support for positive change. The goal is for women to emerge less likely to have future criminal justice involvement and engage in future substance abuse, as well as more likely to live empowered, happy and healthy lives. Of the women who have successfully completed the program, 41% experienced a clinically significant reduction in post-traumatic stress symptoms, 90% reported increased successful coping strategies, and 84% saw a reduction in criminal thinking.
"In the Program of HOPE, I found myself, dignity and for once I started to believe in myself," shared an alumna of the program. "I learned how to speak up. I learned how to set boundaries and I also learned how to keep those boundaries. I learned how to deal with emotions, and I learned how to let those emotions out in healthy safe way. In June I will get off paper for the first time in 14 years."
At the core of the Program of HOPE is the evidence-based Women's Integrated Treatment Model, and includes Women in Recovery, Helping Women Recover (criminal justice version) and Beyond Trauma, by Stephanie Covington, as well as social skill workshops as the primary curriculum. Women participate in treatment groups, treatment community meetings, mindfulness and healing practices such as trauma-informed and brain-responsive yoga, social skill workshops, individual case management, independent skill practice and study, transition groups and services, positive recovery activities, family engagement activities, acts of service, and other supportive activities in the institution.
Some women who complete the program are eligible for early release through the alternative incarceration program. All program alumnae released from prison are invited to celebrate together with Pathfinder Network staff at the yearly alumnae picnic in Portland, Oregon.
"If women must be incarcerated, let them all be involved in this model program, the foundations of which should be replicated widely throughout women's prisons," said Dr. Salisbury.
For more information, please visit https://www.thepathfindernetwork.org.
The Pathfinder Network is a 501 (c) (3) social service agency founded in 1993 with a mission to provide justice system-impacted individuals and families the tools and support they need to be safe and thrive in their communities. The Pathfinder Network provides cognitive-behavioral programs, parenting programs, education and support services for pro-social living to adults in the Oregon prison system and to children and families in the community.
SOURCE The Pathfinder Network
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