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  #1  
Old 05-24-2006, 08:37 PM
StressedMom1 StressedMom1 is offline
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Default Fort Dodge Rivers Program

Why is it that no one knows about or talks about the RIVERS program in Fort Dodge prison? I know very little about it and I can't find out anything about it. No listing in google for it. Only brief words about a paragraph long is all I can find out.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:02 PM
jadabug jadabug is offline
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I don't know if you have seen this or not but I just found this I was hoping it would help you out.

RIVERS, an acronym for Redirecting Individual Values, Energy, Relationships, and Skills, is an intensive program that targets young, male offenders. The program is four to six months in length, depending on the offender's progress, and requires that the offender be 25 years old or younger; the average age is 21.
There are three different offender classifications that are eligible for the program, probation or parole violators, shock reconsiderations and general population offenders.
Probation violators and parole violators, also just simply known as violators, are sentenced to the RIVERS program by a judge, usually as their last opportunity before serving "real" prison time. If the violator completes the program successfully, he will be released from the medium security institution and returned to street probation.
If he does not complete the program, due to behavioral problems, he will be removed and sent back to county jail to await a court hearing that will determine his fate. In most cases, the judge will sentence the offender to his original prison sentence and he will return to prison as a general population offender.
Reconsideration of sentence offenders, formally known as shock incarceration, are also sentenced to the program by a judge, or identified as such at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale. Upon completion of the program, a progress report is submitted to the judge, and he decides if the offender will be given a second chance in the community or not.
If he decides not to release the offender, the offender will serve his original prison sentence in the general population.
General population offenders, or GP offenders, volunteer for the RIVERS program, in exchange for the completion of all their treatment needs and a possible early release. If the GP offender completes the program, the Board of Parole will review his case and possibly release him to the community. Even though GP offenders have the opportunity to benefit a great deal from the program, they also have a lot that they must forego.
Unlike the rest of the prison population, the RIVERS offenders cannot have any personal clothing, tobacco products, candy, soda, televisions, radios, or headphones. They are only allowed to purchase personal hygiene items from the prison commissary.
Upon entering the RIVERS program, each of the offenders is issued a uniform that distinguishes them from the rest of the prison population; green button down shirts, black clip-on ties, blue jeans, and black boots. They also must not have their hair longer than 1 inch and their faces must be clean shaven.
RIVERS offenders wake each morning to a very structured day, one that is filled with activities from 6:45 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. They begin each morning with physical training, which is considered an essential tool in teaching discipline and respect for individuals, as well as teaching about teamwork. After their workout, the offenders return to their four-man cells for cell inspection; during this time a correctional officer inspects each cell. Beds are expected to be made and clothes are to be neatly folded and placed in lockers.
For the next four hours, the RIVERS offenders attend intensive treatment classes, which include Corrective Thinking, Anger Management, Parenting, Substance Abuse Education, Thinking for Success, Victim Empathy, Violence and Relationships, Work Readiness and GED.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:05 PM
jadabug jadabug is offline
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oops i forgot the rest of it.

In addition to the treatment classes that are offered, Restorative Justice Services works with RIVERS to coordinate a victim offender reconciliation program. This program involves two or more RIVERS offenders meeting with a juvenile, who has committed a similar crime. The offenders and juvenile meet with a panel; consisting of a community member, the juvenile's parents and Restorative Justice staff members.
The purpose of this program is to deter the juvenile from coming to prison, and also to offer the offender a chance to give back to the community.
Dave Adams, a juvenile probation officer for Humboldt and Wright Counties, makes referrals to Restorative Justice Services. Adams refers juveniles, who have been placed on either informal or court ordered probation, with crimes involving assaults, drugs, alcohol, or burglaries.
"I've heard nothing but good things about the program. The inmates don't beat around the bush; if the kid's thinking is wrong, the inmates confront him," Adams stated.
The RIVERS program's staff, which consists of the unit manager, Michael Kane, an assistant unit manager, eight counselors, and 10 correctional officers, is also credited by the offenders.
"The things I like most about the program are the classes, counselors, peers, and mentors. Because, without the help from all of these groups of people, I wouldn't have learned anything about things I had to work on to improve me and ways to keep guiding me in my road of change," Eladio Pena, a RIVERS offender, said.
Kane, helped develop the program's specifics after researching similar programs in New York and Oregon. "It has not been an easy task working with offenders 25 and younger, but I feel we're making a difference," Kane said.
Although, the RIVERS program has proven to be both demanding and rigorous, its rate of success has yet to be determined. Kane is hoping to resolve this issue through a new computer program called ICON. ICON, which was just recently developed, will calculate the program's statistics, including the rate of recidivism, meaning the rate at which offenders relapse into crime.
While the RIVERS program is an instrument used to correct criminal behavior in prison, Kane points out that there are ways the community can help as well, such as becoming a big sister or big brother, parenting foster children, reporting child abuse, learning about diversity, spending quality time with your family, joining a YMCA program, or just becoming involved in something positive
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:47 PM
Mocha1078 Mocha1078 is offline
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Jadabug I want to thank you for all of this information. My friend was just placed in this program this month and will be out in December. I like to know what it is he goes through and where he is coming from and your post gives me a good idea of what he encounters on a day to day basis. Thank you!
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Old 07-20-2006, 07:29 PM
jadabug jadabug is offline
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Not a problem!! I'm glad I could help.
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