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Behavioral Change and Support Groups

Addressing Challenges at the Root

From the point of intake into the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) to their eventual release, the Correctional Services Division first identifies an inmate’s educational, parental, medical, treatment and other case management needs, and works to provide the services and interventions needed to help inmates prepare for successful return to their families and communities.

With the help of private contractors, DOC offers both alcohol and drug programs and services as well as cognitive restructuring (also known as behavioral change) programs for inmates. Listed below are a few examples of the types of support offered, but this varies by facility location. For information on programs and groups available to your incarcerated friend or loved one, contact their facility.

Programs and Groups

The mission of the 7th Step Foundation Club is to reduce recidivism by overcoming criminal thinking and providing transitional services. The club believes that one must heal their past in order to build their future, but no moment is more powerful than taking care of today. The club works with community-based partners to transform today’s inmates into tomorrow’s good neighbors. 7th Step Foundation Club activities include: 

  • CoDA, an anonymous co-dependency support group
  • Inside Out Dad – Fathering Handbook
  • MRT Educational Workshops, focusing on providing Domestic Violence Batterer’s Prevention Training
  • Values and Ethics classes

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are specifically designed to provide a safe, non-judgmental and all-inclusive environment for inmates to listen and share their experiences while learning how to apply the philosophy and traditions of AA/NA in their own lives.

The Alternatives to Violence Program​ (AVP) is an international multicultural volunteer organization that is dedicated to reducing interpersonal violence in our society.  AVP workshops present conflict management skills that can enable inmates to build successful interpersonal interactions, personal insight and to find new and positive approaches to their lives. This is done by providing various activities and services that empower people to lead nonviolent lives through affirmation, respect for all, community building, cooperation and trust. 

Parenting Inside Out​ (PIO) is an Oregon-grown skills training program that is the highest rated parenting service for criminal justice-involved adults (National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices). PIO is an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral parent management skills training program created for incarcerated parents through a six-year collaboration of scientists, policy makers, practitioners, and instructional designers. Topics covered in the coursework include:

  • Communications skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Emotion regulation (anger management)
  • Child development
  • Nurturing children through reading and play
  • Family dynamics
  • Giving effective directions and using positive reinforcement
  • Child guidance and non-violent discipline techniques
  • Adult development and the parenting role
  • Transition planning and family reintegration

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