RAISE partnership to make an impact in Southwest Michigan

The Region 8 Alternative Intervention Sentencing Effort (RAISE) is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Corrections, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office and KPEP. The program is designed to provide additional sentencing options to probation and parole violators experiencing an opioid use disorder.

RAISE is based in the Van Buren County Jail and is currently providing services within seven counties in Southwest Michigan including Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren.

The mission of the Michigan Department of Corrections is to create a safer Michigan by holding offenders accountable while prompting their success. KPEP – with its complementary mission to provide alternatives to incarceration while offering the opportunity and structure for men and women to take personal responsibility in their lives – is an ideal contractor to provide services for the RAISE program.

Participants in RAISE engage in multiple group sessions throughout the week. Sessions focused on substance use disorder use Helping Men Recover: A Program for Treating Addiction authored by Stephanie S. Covington, Dan Driffin and Rick Dauer. RAISE also covers cognitive restructuring using the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP), with modules including Orientation, Rational Thinking, Criminal Lifestyles, Living with Others, Lifestyle Balance, Recovery Maintenance, and Transition.

Duration of the program is up to 180 days. Prior to discharging from RAISE, each participant will collaborate with their RAISE therapist to complete an aftercare plan that involves scheduling follow-up appointments for outpatient substance abuse treatment, as well as outpatient medical and mental health care as indicated. RAISE clients also complete a relapse prevention plan to assist them in continuing their commitment to recovery after they successfully complete and discharge from the RAISE program. RAISE clients are also provided an opportunity to sign up for Medicaid and the option to receive medically assisted treatment options, including Vivitrol, prior to discharging from the RAISE program and Van Buren County Jail.

RAISE currently has ten participants with an two more scheduled to enter early next week. The goal of the program is to increase treatment and support services available to offenders – both while incarcerated and after their release – in order to assist in recovery, decrease probation and parole violations, and reduce recidivism.