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Sunday, May 1, 2016


Monday, January 30, 2006

A new program at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility is mixing all the ingredients to help known methamphetamine users gain knowledge and skills needed to re-enter society.

CLIFF, Clean Lifestyle Is Freedom Forever, is a program for inmates at the WVCF that are in the last 3 years of their sentence.

There is a special unit inside the prison that houses the program has a capacity to hold up to 200 inmates.

Inmates do not have to be convicted of a meth-related crime to participate in the program. The inmate takes a survey upon entry that asks if they had ever used meth before, according to CLIFF Program Director Brian Peek. Upon further evaluation, the inmate can qualify for the program.

He said, the program is optional. Inmates do not have to participate.

If an offender wants to participate, they must submit in writing that they want to enter the program, and if an inmate is in the program they can request to leave at any time and re-enter the normal prison population.

Rich Larsen, Public Information Officer for the WVCF, said, "For every offender we have housed in the Department of Corrections, our goal from day one is re-entry from day one. (We are) preparing them for the day when they walk out of here and return to their hometown or community and return in a successful manner, so they can be a contributing member of society.

"That is one of the goals of (CLIFF). They've got some problems, this is going to help them recover and return to society."

Peek said that the CLIFF program has three phases.

The first phase, the Pre-Treatment Phase, takes about a month to complete. Participants should gain an understanding of being actively involved with the program. They will learn the negative impacts of all addictions and specifically meth addiction. The phase was developed to help offenders realize the negative impacts meth had on their life.

The second phase, the Treatment Phase, takes about three months to complete. Participants are actively involved in the therapeutic activities and continue to realize the negative impacts meth had on their life. Offenders begin to identify how their thinking patterns and behavior as a result contributed to their addiction. Offenders also develop pro-social attitudes, values and thoughts. Offenders also begin developing and practicing behaviors needed to maintain a clean lifestyle.

The final phase, the Re-Entry phase, takes about two months to complete. Offenders continue to participate in therapeutic activities. They gain knowledge of their thoughts and behaviors that could lead to relapse into substance use. Individuals develop a personal relapse prevention plan and identify community resources necessary for a clean and crime free lifestyle.

In order to complete a phase, the participant has to appear before a promotion board that evaluates their progress, attitude and responses to questions. The board can deny completion of a phase. If denied, the individual will have to spend more time in the phase, according to Peek.

"This whole unit is set up as a community. We all work together to get them to think like they would on the street," Peek said about individuals in the CLIFF program.

The program has already graduated a little over 100 offenders. After graduation, individuals can be mentors, do work-release or, if their sentence is over, be released.

Next week watch for interviews with four inmates from Brazil at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. The inmates have chosen to participate in the CLIFF program. Those inmates are, Jesse Mathews, Robert Moore, Shawn Weddle and Daniel Spicer.

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