Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

STATE OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF ALCOHOLISM
AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE SERVICES

Jennifer Farrell, 518-457-8299
E-Mail: JenniferFarrell@oasas.state.ny.us
WWW Page: www.oasas.state.ny.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

STATE'S FIRST RE-ENTRY PROGRAM FOR WOMEN OFFERING CHEMICAL DEPENDENCE SERVICES

OASAS Awards Funding to Phoenix House of New York, Inc. for Bayview Correctional Facility

State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Commissioner Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo awarded annual funding of $40,000 to Phoenix House of New York, Inc. to provide female offenders with specialized substance abuse programs at the Bayview Correctional Facility in Manhattan.

The programming is designed to prepare the women with chemical dependence needs for their release to the New York City area, where they will continue their addiction treatment in community-based programs.

The Bayview Re-entry Program is run by the Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) in collaboration with OASAS and the New York State Division of Parole (DOP), and community and faith-based organizations. DOCS opened the 40-bed specialized re-entry unit at Bayview in June 2009. Over the course of the last year, all three agencies have been on site to assess offenders’ needs, ranging from possession of necessary documents, to employment and housing opportunities and issues surrounding family reunification on a case-by-case basis.

Eighty-eight percent of female offenders in state correctional facilities have an identified substance abuse need, and DOCS, in conjunction with OASAS, provides extensive treatment for incarcerated male and female offenders throughout the prison system. Phoenix House will provide substance abuse assessments and select substance abuse treatment services as part of an overall re-entry initiative to ensure a successful transition to the community utilizing comprehensive discharge planning and follow-up upon release.

Governor David A. Paterson said, “This enhancement of the Bayview Re-entry program demonstrates our commitment to real recovery for offenders struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. As with the reforms to the Rockefeller drug laws that I signed last year, this effort is aimed at helping the participating women live a life of recovery as taxpaying citizens and decreasing the likelihood of further criminal justice involvement."

OASAS Commissioner Carpenter-Palumbo said: “Services to women re-entering the community from prison is a key issue in breaking the cycles of substance abuse and crime. We know that female offenders have histories of being physically and sexually abused; they need help re-connecting with their families and learning parenting skills. This program will help many women address their substance abuse issues and trauma, giving them a better opportunity for successful re-integration with their families and the community.”

DOCS Commissioner Brian Fischer said: “Substance abuse is often at the root of the criminal acts that send offenders to prison, so treating and managing these addictions both during incarceration and afterwards is critical to helping offenders return to and remain in the community as law-abiding citizens. I am pleased that Phoenix House will bring its expertise in treatment to offenders in our re-entry unit at Bayview and help them continue their treatment once back in the community.”

DOP Chairwoman Andrea Evans said, “We are excited to partner with OASAS and Phoenix House in this important initiative that will help female inmates with substance abuse issues make a successful and productive re-entry to the community. This critical program will produce strong results for these inmates, for their families, for their communities, and for New York State.”

Phoenix House of New York, Inc. was one of eight applicants selected through a competitive Request for Proposals and demonstrated the experience and ability to provide effective, evidence-based chemical dependence services that are clinically appropriate for female criminal justice clients. The Bayview Re-entry Unit serves 40 female offenders approximately six months prior to release.

Services for female offenders take into account a variety of unique issues related to female offenders’ lives, including criminal thinking, impulsive behavior, poor decision-making skills, criminal behavior, and often a long history of alcohol and substance abuse, trauma, family relationships and child care.

The Bayview unit is the fourth specialized re-entry unit in the State prison system and the first for women. OASAS contracts with substance abuse providers at each of the other three re-entry units: Orleans Correctional Facility in Western New York, at Hudson Correctional Facility in Columbia County and Queensboro Correctional Facility in Queens, which releases about 4,500 offenders per year to the New York City area.

Since 1967, Phoenix House has been helping people of all ages from all walks of life lead fulfilling, drug-free, lives. Phoenix House operates more than 30 residential and outpatient programs for adults and adolescents in New York City, upstate New York, and Long Island, treating some 2,500 individuals every day.

OASAS oversees one of the nation's largest addiction services systems dedicated to Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, with more than 1,550 programs serving over 110,000 New Yorkers on any given day. Through efforts such as the Your Story Matters campaign at www.iamrecovery.com, the agency hopes to foster a movement of recovery, one that sheds the stigma and promotes a life of health and wellness.

Addiction is a chronic disease and New Yorkers need to know that help and hope is available. Individuals can get help by calling the state's toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day a week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY, Staffed by trained clinicians ready to answer questions, help refer loved ones to treatment and provide other vital resources to facilitate that first step into recovery.

For more information, please visit www.oasas.state.ny.us.