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FLAGSTAFF, AZ: Coconino County Sheriff Bill Pribil is pleased to announce that the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has received grant funding in the amount of $164,613 from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission. This is the fourth year the Sheriff’s Office has applied for and received this funding. The funding will allow the Sheriff’s Office to continue the extended Exodus in-custody substance abuse treatment program. The Coconino County Adult Probation Department is a partner to this program.
The goals of the Exodus Program are to:
• Provide educational and therapeutic services to assist inmates in making a decision to choose sobriety and eliminate their criminal lifestyle
• Provide alcohol and drug treatment to inmates that have difficulty accessing treatment through other means
• Provide a program that requires participating inmates to engage in a productive routine while in custody
• Provide a behavioral management tool that assists in controlling inmate behavior and facilitates a decrease in disruptive activities
• Provide a proactive response to substance abuse related crime rather than a reactive response, and to require inmates to develop an alcohol and drug free life plan for release.
The Exodus program funded through this grant houses male inmates that are arrested specifically on a probation violation or that have been sentenced to probation. The inmates selected for this unit of Exodus are referred by the Coconino County Adult Probation Department.
The probation Exodus participants will be released on probation, which will provide needed community supervision. Probation Officers will provide encouragement and support for participants to remain drug, alcohol, and crime free. Participants will be required to attend aftercare services, such as 12 Step meetings and out-patient treatment. Probation Officers require participants to be employed, have safe and supportive housing, and to obtain a GED. Participants will also be required to submit urinalysis testing.
History of Substance Abuse & Inception of ExodusSubstance abuse has a major impact on our county’s jail population. In 2011, 258 inmates of our jail were surveyed. Results from the survey indicate that prior to incarceration alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamines were ranked the highest used substances, with alcohol being the drug of choice of 57% of the inmates. Over 94% stated they had used drugs and 71% used multiple drugs. 51% stated they had little or no substance abuse treatment. They also rated substance abuse as having the greatest negative impact on their lives.
In 2007 the Sheriff’s Office implemented a 90 day in-custody treatment program named Exodus. The design of the program requires that the participants are housed only with other Exodus participants. At the time the program was first implemented, it was available only to qualifying male inmates.
In 2008 the program was expanded to include a women’s treatment group. At that point, there was capacity for 24 male inmates and 12 female inmates. Less than 1% of the program participants have reported previous exposure to a treatment program. Exodus has become a leader in combating substance abuse issues in our county. The program’s combined local recidivism rate of both men and women participants is 32%. (Pew/ASCA State of Recidivism, published April 2011, reports recidivism rates within three years of a person’s release to be around 40% between 1994 and 2007).
The demand for entry into Exodus has been overwhelming, and we often have waiting lists for the men’s program. Unfortunately, sometimes inmates are released before they have had an opportunity to benefit from the Exodus program. The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment grant provides us with an opportunity to reach out to additional inmates in need of treatment.
In 2011 with our first Residential Substance Abuse Treatment grant, we were able to expand the Exodus program with an additional 24 beds for male inmates to focus on participants that are referred from Coconino County Adult Probation in need of treatment services. From June 2011 through September 18, 2013, 179 participants entered, completed or are currently in the Exodus program, 35 participants have had their probation revoked and sentenced to the Arizona Department of Corrections, 2 have had an “other” dispositions, 38 participants have completed their probation sentence, and 104 are still actively supervised on probation. The local recidivism rate in this program is 18% (tracked from inception).
This Exodus program for probationers follows the same model as the already successful Exodus program and utilizes the same tools and resources. In addition, alcohol and drug testing are completed for all participants upon acceptance of the program and random testing is conducted.
IScreen Drug Test Device using an oral swab tests for amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, phencyclidine (PCP), and oxycodone. An alcohol Breathalyzer is used as well. As part of the post release probation requirements, graduates of the program undergo random urinalysis testing for the term of probation.
The inmates participating in the Exodus program attend therapeutic treatment groups four times a week, Smart Recovery classes two days a week, and 12-step meetings 5 nights a week (outside of the program). Therapeutic groups promote a positive peer and productive learning environment. In addition to substance abuse education, there is a strong focus on life skills, such as parenting classes, job readiness training, money management, nutrition and other education.
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Media Contact: Gerry Blair, Coconino County Sheriff's Office PIO, 928-226-5089