GEO Reentry Services and the Idaho Department of Correction hosted a fall graduation for individuals who have successfully completed the Connection and Intervention Station reentry program in Nampa at a community location that marked that this was a celebration for reentrants and families, and quite different than the daily commitment for accountability and treatment these individuals had undergone for months.
GEO Reentry staff, family members, community partner agencies, DOC officials, the media, and others attended the event recognizing program graduates’ accomplishments. The event was an opportunity for the program participants and their support network to celebrate successfully completing this unique program designed to reduce criminal behavior.
At the Nampa Connection and Intervention Station program, participants undergo multi-phase evidence-based programming that includes an individualized behavior change plan to address criminogenic risks and needs; access to community resources for employment, education, housing and more; case management; and classes that encourage them to confront their beliefs and practice pro-social decision-making.
Previous graduate Jeff Cheney recalled coming into the program with a negative attitude. “My first impressions were, ‘Oh, no, not another program,’” he recalled.
Despite this initial outlook, he said the staff was overwhelmingly positive. Even when he failed to make progress, the team was there to applaud small changes. Eventually, Cheney passed his first drug test in decades. He recalled high-fiving Alan Gergin, the GEO Reentry supervising case manager who had been a great support. “That was kind of a stepping stone,” he said.
Without the program, Cheney believes he would be back in prison. “This is the only program I’ve ever done that’s ever helped me,” he said. Many other graduates at the event shared a similar sentiment.