GDC recognized for prison substance abuse treatment program

Georgia Department of Corrections officials accept an award recognizing the prison system's substance abuse treatment program. (GDC)

The Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) is being recognized for its efforts aimed at helping inmates overcome addiction.

GDC recently received the Organizational Excellence in Treatment Award at the 12th Annual Georgia School of Addiction Studies conference in Savannah.

The GDC received the award for its Residential Substance Treatment Centers (RSAT). The nine-month residential substance abuse treatment program targets high-risk, high-needs offenders with a history of substance abuse. The program’s been in place for more than 10 years.

“The significance of this award brings attention to the work accomplished throughout the state by employees of the GDC,” says Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier. “It also aligns with our vision of the agency to effectively protect the public, while working to reduce recidivism.”

First in the nation

The GDC also has launched a pilot program offering Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT). Lee Arrendale RSAT in Alto is one of two programs participating in the pilot. The program is funded through a federal grant partnership with the Department of Community Supervision (DCS) and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD).

Currently, GDC has 2,428 RSAT beds in 12 programs across the state and 338 Integrated Treatment Facilities (ITF) beds in two programs.

GDC is the first corrections system in the nation to implement integrated treatment for female offenders who suffer from both mental health disorders and substance abuse.

Pictured above: Jay Sanders, Assistant Commissioner of Inmate Services Division, GDC; Starkisha Belle, Social Service Program Consultant, GDC; Melissa King-Jones, Social Service Program Consultant, GDC; Chris Austin, Social Service Program Consultant, GDC; Vonshurii Wrighten, Coordinator of Addictive Diseases Initiatives, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities; Commissioner Gregory C. Dozier, GDC; Antonio Johnson, Manager, Substance Abuse Unit, GDC; Shanequa Mussa, Social Service Program Consultant, GDC; Larry Dale, Director of Risk Reduction Services, GDC; Teresa Sanford, Social Service Program Consultant, GDC; Talisha Moody, Manager, Counseling and Cognitive Behavioral Unit, GDC; and Donna Tebought, Director of Chaplaincy, Risk Reduction and Transitional Services, GDC.

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