The Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, California, held a graduation ceremony earlier this year for 76 individuals who completed cognitive-based treatment programming, provided by GEO Reentry Services. The Kern Valley State Prison is a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Level 4 facility.
“The evidence-based programming we provide aims to change criminal thinking,” Leanne Escamilla, program director at Kern Valley, said. “Our goal is to have an individual stop and think, preventing the reoccurrence of negative or criminal acts, thus impacting recidivism and creating positive lifestyles.”
The GEO Reentry program offered at Kern Valley focuses on changing behavior and learning coping skills. It is completed after participants fulfill 325 hours of programming, often taking seven months to a year to complete. A major component of the program is substance use disorder treatment, based on the University of Cincinnati’s curriculum. Additional services in the curriculum include treatment plans, one- on-one time with a counselor, anger management and corrective thinking.
Individuals must actively participate in the programming and complete homework. Life challenges are explored through role-playing, which provides the individual with a chance to practice problem-solving behaviors and responses. GEO Reentry staff closely monitor an individual’s progress, assuring attendance, participation and program completion requirements.
The graduation ceremony was complete with caps and gowns and the support of family members, who were encouraged to attend. Proud staff were also in the audience to share in the special occasion.
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