Thirty individuals participating at the Lancaster County Reentry Service Center graduated from a transition ceremony in November. The event recognized the accomplishment of reentrants completing the Day Reporting Service and Cognitive Behavioral treatment.
The ceremony was held at the DRC facility in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The keynote speaker was Oscar S., a former participant and returning alumnus who made progress through the program six months prior. He now leads a positive lifestyle in the community.
The GEO Reentry Services program at the RSC recognizes the importance of acknowledging progress as participants advance through it. Program Director Kim Reichenbach reinforces the program by including two unique features that help emphasize positive change and provide a sense of accomplishment for each participant.
A Moral Reconation Therapy tree is set up with participants’ names added on leaves, which are pinned at the bottom at the start of the program. The leaves are moved up the tree as they advance through the program. Upon graduation, the leaf is hung from the ceiling, symbolizing release and freedom.
By graduation, the individuals experience and identify a completed cycle of recovery and the freedom to move forward with the reentry skills learned at the RSC.
Luis R., who graduated and spoke at the ceremony, struggled with addiction, but now has achieved his longest period of sobriety. During his speech, he encouraged others by showing his commitment to recovery while crediting staff and programming at the RSC who helped bring him this far. He stated that the program helped him in acquiring and maintaining a new job and in the ability to reunite with family members.
Transition ceremonies are a celebration for both participants and staff, the latter of which are proud to acknowledge the hard work it takes to prepare individuals for a positive start.