State Revises Inmate-Focused Treatment Programs


The Delaware Department of Correction has reformed its substance abuse disorder treatment programs for offenders.

DOC Commissioner Claire DeMatteis outlined the changes during a visit to the Sussex Correctional Institution.

Existing programs that offer treatment services, psychiatric care and re-entry guidance had not been substantially revised in more than two decades, and no longer reflected “best practices.” The state has been implementing Medication Assistance Treatment for substance abuse disorder during the past year, and began a re-design of its system earlier this year to recognize current issues surrounding the growth of opioid addiction and use of heroin and other dangerous drugs.

“The Department of Correction recognized that we needed to restructure our once-progressive, but now-outdated, substance use treatment programs to incorporate modern evidence-based methods and practices, and our treatment programs needed to reflect the unique needs of the current opioid, heroin and other dangerous drug addictions that are tearing families apart and fueling drug wars, gun crimes, and gang violence,” DeMatteis said.  “Thanks to close collaboration with our behavioral healthcare provider Centurion, and strong support from judges and other stakeholders, the DOC is once again positioned to offer cutting-edge treatment to the offenders who walk into prison addicted to drugs and alcohol.”

Also at SCI, the substance abuse disorder building has been renamed in honor of former Commissioner of Correction Stan Taylor.

The Department of Correction released additional details about its treatment initiatives:

Renamed “Road 2 Recovery”, DOC’s Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment program leverages a nationally-recognized therapeutic community treatment model and enhanced program elements:

  • A comprehensive assessment, drug screen, and multi-disciplinary clinical review will be used to identify individuals who need treatment and guide placement in one of three tracks.  Road 2 Recovery employs the Texas Christian University (TCU) Comprehensive Assessment tool, widely used in criminal justice and community treatment settings across the nation. 
  • Each participant will be guided by an individualized treatment plan based upon his or her specific needs that are identified through the assessment process.
  • New treatment curriculums are being introduced, including interactive journaling. These journals help participants to work on treatment needs both in and outside of group sessions
  • Additional “electives” will be offered to participants, including Trauma, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Healthy Relationships, in addition to continuing to offer the existing anger management elective.
  • Progression through treatment will be determined by achieving treatment benchmarks and demonstrating progress through ongoing assessments.
  • Each participant will be guided by an individualized treatment plan based upon his or her specific needs.