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  #1  
Old 06-10-2019, 06:22 PM
laurengirl123 laurengirl123 is offline
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Post **Research SURVEY: Substance Abuse Treatment In Prisons

We would love to hear about your experience, good or bad!

We are students conducting a research project on the treatment provided within prisons for substance disorders. We hope to use this to improve the quality of treatment that prisoners receive. If you are currently in prison, we can not accept your survey, but thank you for considering helping us out! This is a brief survey and should not take but 5 minutes of your time.

* RESPONSES ARE ENTIRELY ANONYMOUS

Thanks in advance!
https://redcap.umc.edu/surveys/?s=4P9HKAP8KL

Last edited by patchouli; 08-19-2019 at 09:43 AM.. Reason: Changed link for member
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:58 PM
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Media/Journalist/Researchers – Requirements for PTO Membership/Acceptable Conduct
PTO welcomes journalists and/or members of the media to learn and educate themselves about prisons, prisoners, and their loved ones, as well as students and researchers doing research on these subjects.
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Old 06-11-2019, 01:28 PM
laurengirl123 laurengirl123 is offline
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Please consider helping us out with this super quick survey. Link will be available for 3 months. All responses are greatly appreciated!!
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:02 AM
laurengirl123 laurengirl123 is offline
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EX-OFFENDERS: survey!!! Let us know what treatment YOU want in prisons... let's hear about your experience!!!

Deadline: 2 weeks

All responses appreciated!!
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:34 PM
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A couple of issues kept me from completing the survey. If you don't agree that you have an active drug/alcohol problem you are kicked out. Also, the choice of prisons where participants served time omits the massive federal prison system and their awful reentry programs access.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:16 PM
laurengirl123 laurengirl123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
A couple of issues kept me from completing the survey. If you don't agree that you have an active drug/alcohol problem you are kicked out. Also, the choice of prisons where participants served time omits the massive federal prison system and their awful reentry programs access.
thank you for responding!! we have the survey designed so that it does kick current inmates or those under 18 out, i was unaware of the substance kick-out question and the limitations under where time was served so thank you for letting us know! we will try and fix that asap
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:26 PM
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I’ve been through treatment once in prison from 07/15 - 02/16 at the East Texas Treatment Facility. I went through a special needs SAFPT (Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Treatment). The only reason I was allowed to go there was because it was the last house on the block, not the first one. I’d been to ISF (Intermediate Sanction Facility) 3 times prior to that which is 2-6 month slap on the wrist for parole violators. When District II parole in Garland, TX recommended SAFPT it was with the hope that I would be spared being revoked by the Parole Board here in Texas. Along with that and perhaps more notable, was the fact that I was on SISP (Super Intensive Supervision Program) prior to the recommendation concerning SAFPT and where electronic monitors, parole stipulations, the windows you have to fill out to go to and fro……….well……..they don’t call it the most intensive form of supervision in the history of parole for nothing. It’s a level of parole supervision that in the opinion of the first two parole officers I was assigned “is designed to make you fail” as they said of it in the beginning and fail I did on many occasions. If you have family to see you through the one year minimum on SISP, that’s one thing. If you have no one and you truly are an addict or alcoholic……it’s hard. It’s very hard.
I’ve been to prison 4 times and in each of those stays I was never offered treatment of any kind and all the felonies I’ve committed were directly due to a drug/alcohol problem in which I’ve spent 18 years incarcerated. Still, I am considered a violent offender in some circles so, I don’t know, maybe that’s the why of it. I’m on parole for robbery and I have 4 of those in my life time. Six months prior to committing this robbery in January of 1997 while on parole for another offense, I went to my parole officer at his office unannounced and asked him if he could send to a rehab somewhere or at least refer. I was having a hard time where cocaine, heroin and alcohol was concerned that had basically been nonstop since the early 1980s. He never looked up from his desk and only said “No, I cannot help you, Firebrand. You’re going to have to go back out there and find a way to make it work on your own. No, I cannot help you.” Six months later I committed this robbery and I’m still on parole for it. It started out as a 25 year sentence, but with all the revocations and what not, it is now a 32 year sentence. I still have another 9 years to go, roughly.
SAFPT is something that didn’t come along in Texas until Ann Richards took office as governor from 1991-95. She was a recovering alcoholic herself, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and it’s my understanding that she actually attended the very first graduation of the first women’s SAFPT class that was established. Prior to that, I don’t recall anything being offered outside of films and possibly A.A./N.A. meetings where substance abuse programs are concerned.
In the beginning, SAFPT and the State Jail Concept both were efforts during Richards term to keep drug offenders and non-violent first time offenders separated from the more hardened criminals or those that make up the repeat offender/habitual offender lot. At the beginning of her term as governor in 1991 there were roughly 62,000 inmates in the Texas Dept. Of Criminal Justice. Now, it’s closer to 150,000. What SAFPT and the formation of State Jails was intended to do in the beginning has since changed. Most State Jails are now half TDCJ prisoners who have been sentenced to 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree felonies. A state jail felony is basically a 4th degree felony with a punishment range of 6 months to 2 years. The other felonies mentioned are much more serious that than. Still, much has changed and where both institutions are concerned, it’s questionable as to how many people they really help in comparison to the number of people that go through SAFPT and State Jail each year. There will be always be those that take to heart what is offered and respond to it accordingly, but for the most part that is not the case.
Upon my release from SAFPT in February 2016, 2 men died from drug overdoses the following month in March when they were released that were a part of my group (parole violators) there at the East Texas Treatment Facility. One was a 25 year old male from the Austin area and the other was a 50 year old male from the Dallas area. Sources from the East Texas Treatment Facility sent word to the Volunteers of America aftercare program in Ft. Worth concerning their deaths. The man from Dallas was a heroin addict and the younger man from Austin was into intravenous use of speed balling cocaine and heroin. Several people including myself, did not fare well after SAFPT and why that it is can be no wonder. It’s not a game…..you have be fearless in the pursuit of sobriety and when it comes to those that use and those that don’t, you’re either for us or your against us. To drink or to use is to die and it’s just that simply. When the younger man from Austin died, it did something to me that took time to set in, but I never forgot him and most all, the fact that his mother drove from Austin to Henderson every other weekend to see him and made sure that there was money on his books so, he’d have something to eat. His entire family went to great lengths to see to it that he was allowed to come home (4 C) as opposed to a SAFPT aftercare facility (1 B) and I still often think of what his mom must be going through to given so much of herself for his sake only to lose him forever to this thing we call addiction.
The SAFPT program itself is basically an 8 am 5 pm type of regiment. Feet on the floor by 7 am, I think? The counselors come in around 8 am. You recite the SAFPT creed. “We are here to face the unknown man in the mirror….with the help of our brothers we can finally see who we truly are….or something like that. Supposedly, the creed was written by the doctor who came up with the SAFPT program, but I don’t know who that is.
The first half of the day 8a-12p you sit, listen and comment on topics that a counselor will read from a book with the hope that something will be said. Sometimes that happened and sometimes it didn’t. The 2nd half of the day involved group therapy sessions with around 10 or 12 people depending which counselor you were assigned to. The Peer Support Circle and it’s hierarchy of positions is a complete disaster. There’s no telling how fights, arguments, major cases, and unnecessary stress caused was brought about. You cannot take people in prison and give one person authority over another, it does not work. You have to be the hardest of the hard and the most feared of the feared for that to work in order to gain the cooperation and respect needed to maintain order. There were some back in the day that were called building tenders in the prison system and sadly, that’s about the only kind that can pull off something like the Peer Support set up you find at SAFPT.
In theory, it’s not a bad program, but for those of us who’ve been hardened by the accumulation of our experiences, we tend to be a difficult group to work with. There was a many a day that female counselors would leave the tank I was in in tears. At least 3 counselors quit in the 9 months I was there and I felt sorry for them all. The only way you could get anything accomplished where most all SAFPT efforts and activities were concerned was to do so with an iron fist. The effort that the counselors made to help us was what was needed, but the people they were trying to help for the most part, were beyond help. They wouldn’t listen. Disrespect, gang activity, rebellion, horse play, sleeping in class, those who would attempt to get up and leave without permission with the idea of not returning, fighting in retaliation of the peer support circle when someone is held accountable for inappropriate behavior, stealing, people selling and trading psychiatric drugs for money, daily discussions on how to cook or make methamphetamine and the list goes on.
For the most part, I got along with everyone there and enjoyed the experience. Compared to places like Eastham, Michael, Gurney, Dawson State Jail and Hutchins State Jail, the SAFPT experience was a good one and it served a purpose in my life that has stayed with me. I am sober and active in A.A. here in Ft. Worth.
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:06 PM
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Thank you SO much for all that information. I am sorry to hear about your experience but I wanted to let you know how useful it will be to our project and the (hopefully) betterment of the prison system!
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Old 08-27-2019, 04:07 PM
laurengirl123 laurengirl123 is offline
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We are still looking for a few more survey responses!! It will only take 5 minutes of your time - we would really appreciate it!!!

Thanks in advance !!
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:06 PM
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Survey was closed, but I would like to express my point of view.

I have done time for charges related to drugs, I however had never done them when I took the wrap. At sentencing I was under no obligation to complete any programs, it was do your time and get out! I immediately chose to enroll into two regimented programs, after completing the 1st program I could qualify to enroll in the 2nd which allowed me to live in a facility where mothers with children could have over night weekends with their children (took nearly a year to get into that program). Again, none of this was a condition of release, which it should have been - I learned so much and I am the woman I am today for have gone through the programs.

Through my ex / co-defendant, I learned that his prison term was given and again no court expectations, just do your time, get out and best of luck on parole! He did not program, he worked and ran a muk with other non programmers. After serving 12.5 years, it took less than a year to dab into ways of his past. He's going through a lot of rough life lessons, where as in programming it could have prepared him to deal with less issues and be aware of his triggers, why he has them and how to help overcome them.

My husband, who I met while still inside - was given a "conditioned" 15 to life sentence, ((if you do well, which means PROGRAM, keep your nose clean, no write ups, etc)) you'll be considered for parole - if considered you still have programs to follow through with, which prepare inmates for transition release. Again, these programs are optional, it's up to the inmate to strive to grow / age / learn / evolve into the best version of self while in prison, but just having that pressure of knowing how much better it is for parole board hearing to see completed programs / certifications and college degrees - it's an awesome push!

I believe if all inmates were sentenced with conditions / expectations of programming (aside from their arms and chests) we would have less % of violators. The programs are there, prisons offer them, but without an expectation how many are truly pushing themselves into a Bachelor's or Masters Degree? How many are leading substance abuse and anger management programs for the newbies? I believe it's great practice to place expectations on inmates - not just locked away with a release date.

Just my two cents.


Last edited by 408MoonGem; 09-16-2019 at 05:17 PM..
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