The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility received high praise this week. According to a BCCF release, the facility has been chosen, along with five others, as a model for the treatment of inmates with substance abuse issues.
BCCF, three others in Massachusetts and two more in the Midwest will serve as "national mentor host sites".
The RSAT program was started at the jail almost two decades ago and has continued through the years in a variety of forms. At any given time, the RSAT unit, one of twelve at the jail, houses 50 to 70 inmates.
The successfully completed program lasts six months, so inmates must be serving at least that long. In addition to pre-trial inmates, BCCF houses short-term inmates with a sentence of two and a half years or less.
BCCF's RSAT program both treats and educates participating inmates with military-like discipline, personal responsibility, mentoring and peer -group interaction according to the release.
The designation as a national mentor host site was made official by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance. Three national advocacy groups were consulted before the top six were chosen. Those groups were Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, Advocates for Human Potential and AdCare Criminal Justice Services. To of the three advocacy groups are based in Massachusetts.