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1745 Alum Creek Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43207
State certified teachers assess each offender’s academic skill levels upon intake. Offenders that have not obtained their high school diploma or GED are placed in academic classes to focus on the skills needed to reach that goal while at the CBCF. Offenders that have a high school diploma or GED, but that test below a sixth grade level are also enrolled in academic classes to refresh their skills, with the objective of improving their chances of obtaining employment and re-integrating back into the community successfully. The GED test is offered at least once per month to all CBCF offenders who have achieved that level. An in-house library is accessible to all offenders to promote reading. Teachers provide tutoring assistance as needed.
Anger is acknowledged as a real emotion. Curriculum is focused on ways of coping with and channeling the anger appropriately. Offenders’ practice using “I” statements to positively communicate anger and express feelings in a constructive manner. The class facilitator uses current and real situations that come up as well as examples from offenders’ pasts to demonstrate techniques. The concept of self-protection and the distinction between aggression and self-defense are also emphasized.
Ninety-eight percent of CBCF offenders are addicted to one or more drugs. It is a safe assumption that the other two percent have at some time in their lives experimented with alcohol or other chemicals. The physiology and medical implications of addiction are discussed in this class. Addicted or not, offenders must be made aware of the effects of chemicals, such as alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, inhalants, LSD, Ecstasy, GHB, and prescription pills on their bodies. Drug use and addiction, which effect important life areas, such as family, friends, employment, education, financial, and legal are often unrecognized as substance abusers pursue their primary goal of obtaining the drug of their choice. Offenders are not only educated on the addictive qualities, medical and psychological effects of drug use, but also the harm done to self and significant others, the harm done to the community, and the dangers involved in obtaining, trafficking, or otherwise being with others who use drugs. A licensed CD Specialist teaches this class and attempts to introduce a new “worldview” of each individual and their role in the community. Offenders need to pursue recovery from both addictive substances and/or behaviors. The majority of offenders do not recognize the harmful effects of impulsive behaviors and the repetitive nature of their negative decisions. Class curriculum focuses on enhancing insight into the cycles of addictive behaviors and emphasizes the steps necessary to establish a support system prior to release from the CBCF. The twelve steps are studied as a tool that can be used to break the cycle of addictive behaviors.
Violence in some form is a repetitive theme in many of our offenders’ lives. Witnessing a murder or other crime and/or living in a household where arguments, domestic violence, and possibly incest or other forms of sexual abuse took place makes this class a very intense group. Perpetrators of family violence should not be enrolled in this class.
This class addresses the emotional pain, grief and loss issues of offenders who have experienced a death or separation of someone important in their lives. Circumstances could be by natural causes, violence, or abandonment. Also, loss of custody of their children due to their addiction or incarceration would make an appropriate referral to this class.
Positive communication techniques and using “I” statements to communicate feelings are emphasized. The class facilitator guides scenarios so class participants can examine traits and behaviors of both healthy and unhealthy relationships. Unhealthy relationship traits and behaviors discussed include co-dependency, domestic violence, abuse and control, and drug use. Offenders are encouraged to draw upon personal experiences to help identify their own relationships and facilitate change in their personal relationships with family and significant others.
A large number of our offenders are parents with a few being grandparents. Whether or not offenders have custody of their children, the issues of parenting need to be addressed as the CBCF expands its focus on significant others in offenders’ lives and the importance of re-establishing the parent-child relationship. This is a gender-specific class as men and women have different parenting roles and resulting issues.
Staff trained in the RAC principles conducts groups that meet at the same time 5 days per week. Principles emphasized in the RAC program are the peer mutual help concept for problem identification and reporting, recognizing and identifying behavior problems, as well as identifying major thinking errors. Offenders also meet to practice decision-making, social skills training, and anger management through a series of scripted scenarios. Group members are seeded as openings in the groups occur, with consideration to the general culture of the group, the stability of the group, and the current stage of group formation. Groups have no more than 9 members who live together, are assigned sleeping areas in close proximity of each other, and are expected to function as a support system for each other as their bond and trust of each other develops within the group.