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Beating Addictions One Small Step at a Time

June 24, 2011 - Nobody knows the pain of addiction better than the 40 women who were seated to the side of the podium at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women in Jessup on June 24. Fortunately, those women now also have experienced the rewards of hard work and team support to overcome addiction.

The women were recognized on June 24 for completing the Second Genesis Therapeutic Community program at MCI-W. Second Genesis is one of several important addictions programs in the DPSCS which offer critical, broad-scope treatment options to the roughly 70% of inmates who come into the system with addictions issues.

DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard and his corrections executives have made a consorted effort to ensure correctional facilities were filling their treatment and education slots as efficiently as possible, and bringing in outside contract providers, so that no inmates were left out of the critical services they needed. The result has been success stories like Second Genesis.

Second Genesis is in its second year at MCI-W. The women live together in a community setting, providing each other will constant support and encouragement. The program is one of many throughout the Division of Correction, Division of Pretrial Detention and Services (Baltimore City facilities), and Patuxent Institution providing a wide range of treatment options, from long-term live-in communities like Second Genesis to methadone treatment and acupuncture.

At the June ceremony, the women’s counselors, case managers, school principal, chaplain, and warden all offered words of encouragement, and challenged them to keep moving forward even when discouragement sets in.

The ladies themselves lifted each other up, with skits, songs, and poems designed to both celebrate their ongoing recovery and frankly address the hurdles and temptations facing each inmate as she prepares to return to society.

DPSCS expresses thanks to all of its treatment providers and correctional staff who make programs like Second Genesis possible.