Lifeskills Program

Within the enclosed perimeter of HJHC property, there is a dormitory-style modular unit which consists of two sixty-man housing units. One sixty-bed unit, the South Side, has become the Community Accountability Program (CAP). It serves as both pre-treatment and initial treatment, Phase I, for inmates. The other unit, the North Side, became the Lifeskills Program in October of 1999. The unit contains a sixty-bed comprehensive substance abuse treatment program for highly motivated individuals. Since 2004, the Lifeskills Program has been evolving into a Phase Program, and now functions as Phase II. Each of the two units has a common area called the day room, where most treatment groups occur. Since July of 2005, the minimum and pre-release have been included in the treatment program, and serves as both Phase III of the Lifeskills Program, and Phase IV Pre-Release/Work-Release.


GOALS of the Hampshire Sheriff’s Office Lifeskills Treatment Program:

  • Protect the public by reducing recidivism.
  • Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of transitioning recovering substance abusing offenders back into the community.
  • Increase the effectiveness of treatment to the offender population.
  • Increase opportunities for family integration.
  • Promote healthy communities through on-going collaboration with volunteer and community agencies.

The goals of the program achieved through the accomplishment of the following objectives:

1. The Hampshire House of Correction Treatment Department utilizes a comprehensive Assessment system:

  1. Intakes are performed on all new arrivals to the facility. At this time a basic screening for substance abuse, including potential detoxification needs, is completed. This screening intake is performed by a qualified case manager and/or clinician. It is completed within twenty-four hours of arrival to the facility.
  2. The Level of Service Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI) and the Adult Substance Use Survey (ASUS) are the research-based assessment tools used to specifically address the needs of offenders. This assessment examines substance abuse, criminogenic nature, family, legal, and employment factors, educational history, and mental health along with other psycho-social components that impact successful reintegration and the likelihood an offender will recidivate should these needs not be addressed. A DSM IV diagnosis specific to substance abuse and dependence is part of this assessment process. The LS/CMI and the ASUS are performed by trained and qualified case managers. This assessment is usually completed within forty-eight hours of the sentenced individual’s arrival to the House of Correction. Individuals who score in the 7th decile or above on the ASUS are automatically referred to mental health for screening. Both results and recommendations of The LS/CMI and ASUS are reviewed, documented, and discussed with each offender.
  3.  A Treatment plan is developed with each offender as the result of the findings of the initial intake, LS/CMI, ASUS, recommendations from probation, parole, or other collaborating community agencies, and include specific requests by the offender. The individualized Treatment plan is developed with a case manager, substance abuse clinician, reentry coordinator, and individual offender. Treatment plans include services for, however are not limited to: substance abuse and relapse prevention, education such as pre-G.E.D., G.E.D., literacy, post-G.E.D., college, vocational classes. We also address family issues, parenting, communicable disease education, employment and/or vocational services, anger management, addictive and criminal thinking, victim impact, anger management, decision training, religious instruction and worship, self-help groups including AA, NA, Smart Recovery, Big Book Step Study Groups, community based AA Meetings for men in minimum and Pre-Release, as well as Peer-Led Groups that address substance abuse. We offer relaxation and stress management such as the labyrinth walk program and other creative stress reduction opportunities like art classes and creative writing.

Phase I Community Accountability Program:

Most new program participants arrive to this phase as soon as the assessment including LS/CMI and ASUS has been completed. Orientation, including all rules and expectations, is held each Wednesday morning. Reentry services are initiated during orientation and all offenders are provided a discharge planning book to begin working on. New arrivals participate in substance abuse education: relapse prevention, educational services, criminal thinking, victim impact groups, and aftercare groups. Some participants will gain access to anger management and domestic violence treatment. If sentence structure dictates, some individuals are placed in release preparation groups while in Phase I. There is one community meeting each afternoon, and all offenders are expected to attend. The primary goal of Phase I is to prepare participants for Phase II and to address the needs of men who will not have less than six months for transition to Phase II. Participants are involved in a minimum of two staff-facilitated groups daily, as well as self-help and volunteer-run groups.

Phase II Lifeskills Program:

Optimally designed for individuals who are at least six months from release date. Admission is based on a Phase I participant filling out an application requesting admission to Phase II. The application is discussed at a weekly staff meeting by the director of treatment, mental health clinician, case managers, substance abuse clinicians, supervisor of education, communicable disease coordinator, and security staff. Approved applicants are maintained on a waitlist for admission to Phase II. The Lifeskills Program is designed to be increasingly more structured, demanding, and rewarding than Phase I, with increased emphasis on the unit as a community, and the participant as a pro-social member of the recovery community. The model is based on both therapeutic community and self-help models of substance abuse treatment. Community meetings are held twice daily, in the morning and in the late afternoon. The program is designed to be a minimum of six months in length. Men take on increased responsibility and earn increasing awards throughout the duration of the program. Participants are eligible to receive a certificate after six continuous months. Participants in Phase II Lifeskills have priority for more in-depth and advanced treatment groups, advanced college level classes, such as the Amherst College Classes, and creative activities such as writing classes, working in the cane and wood shops, participating in the labyrinth group, and the NEADS puppy training program.

Phase III Minimum:

This is the entry way to minimum and pre-release. Most Phase II participants and some participants directly from Phase I, due to sentence structure, will see a classification board and be deemed eligible for Minimum. At least thirty days is spent attending in-house groups and completing Phase III assignments. The discharge planner, which offenders initiate during orientation, must be fully completed during Phase III. Participants begin attending AA in the local community during this phase. Aftercare counseling and re-entry groups are a requirement of Phase III.

Phase IV Pre-Release:

After successful completion of a minimum of thirty days in Phase III Minimum, a completed and approved discharge plan, and positive reviews, individuals may apply for Phase IV Pre-Release. This phase includes at least thirty days of community service, attendance at all group treatment and AA Meetings during the late afternoon and evening hours, as well as groups facilitated at Community Corrections. Many men will have the opportunity to pursue employment and occasional furloughs while in the Pre-Release Program. We provide transportation for all released inmates who are transitioning to halfway houses, sober houses, and/or shelters. We include trips to probation and parole as well as to the local bank if necessary. Men who are returning home and are in need of transportation are provided it as well. Community Service is a large component to our Phase III and IV Programming. Some of our projects include working with organizations such as Bag Share, Habitat for Humanity, DPW Crews, Hadley Housing, Easthampton Senior Housing, and Community Corrections.

Frequent urinalysis testing is provided in all phases of the program in order to provide a strong deterrent to relapse as well as to maintain a safe, pro-social environment in support of recovery.