What is Prep I and Prep II in Delaware County?

In 2018, the Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health's Division of Drugs and Alcohol published a Treatment Needs Assessment. The estimated total county-wide population was 564,696. Nearly 20,000 residents were either on parole or probation. Among these individuals who all had criminal records, roughly 70% also have problems with drugs and/or alcohol.

Age Groups: Substance Abuse and Dependence Data in Delaware County

Category

Total Population

Prevalence Rate

Age 12 and over

481,487

7.44% (35,823)

Ages 12 to 17

43,904

3.55% (1,559)

Ages 18 to 25

103,570

16.61% (17,203)

Ages 26 and over

374,012

6.24% (24,012)

Prevalence Among Those Incarcerated

Located in Thornton, the George W. Hill Correctional Facility houses more than 1,800 male and female offenders. The jail is owned by the county but has been managed by a private contracted agency for years. The facility is the fifth-largest of its kind in Pennsylvania.

A total of 9,873 individuals were admitted during 2017. When admitted, more than 3,400 of these individuals reported they had problems with drugs, alcohol or mental health--a rate of more than 30%. This number is believed to be considerably higher, as this figure is based solely on the individual's voluntary disclosure.

Opioid Detoxification

Warden David Byrne says that the opioid crisis has created some problems. He explained that roughly 12% of those admitted to the facility requires detoxification from opioids. This process must be completed before the inmates are appropriate for PREP or similar programs. Common opioids include heroin, fentanyl, and prescription drugs used for pain management including oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Shortage of Outpatient Treatment in Delaware County

Delaware County has struggled to maintain the standards recommended by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. One key concern has been a lack of post-treatment or aftercare programs for those struggling with alcohol and/or drug dependence. This is particularly a concern in the eastern portion of the county. Many offenders on probation and parole lack reliable transportation, which impedes their ability to access these resources for recovery.

PREP I Drug and Alcohol Program

The George W. Hill Correctional Facility (GWHCF) has a Prison Re-entry Education Program (PREP). It provides critical education and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and other addictive behavioral concerns. PREP is a program that lasts roughly eight-weeks. Offenders may be court-ordered to participate during their incarceration or may enter the program voluntarily.

The programming schedule is roughly 10 hours each week from Monday to Friday. Counseling services are also available. Those who complete the program receive a certificate. Inmates must remain in the program for the duration. Those in the program who are placed in Disciplinary Detention or Administrative Segregation must repeat from the beginning.

PREP II Program

Those who have already completed PREP I and are repeat offenders may participate in PREP II. This 12-week program focuses on preventing relapses and long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol. PREP II strongly emphasizes the importance of problem-solving skills and building healthy relationships.

Staff Involved in the PREP Program

The program currently has five full-time addiction counselors that are overseen by a PREP Coordinator, as well as a psychologist. Others that have involvement in PREP include reentry and work release case managers.

Work Release Program

Inmates may participate in PREP as a means of demonstrating to their case manager and the court their commitment to recovery. PREP participation is often considered a part of an inmate's larger plan to increase their eligibility for privileges such as work release. A court order is required for entry to these and other programs.

Addressing Mental Health Concerns

In 2017, there were 21 suicide attempts and this number rose to 34 in 2018. Many of the PREP participants also struggle with various mental health problems. These include offenders diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, forms of anxiety, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In September 2018, roughly 361 inmates were participating in PREP or similar programming. There is now a considerable amount of supplemental programming offered in the realm of treatment, wellness, and therapy including the following:

  • A four-week anger management program that involves three hours of weekly classes
  • The Positive Living Assistance Network (PLAN) for inmates that have been diagnosed with a mental health condition
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group therapy sessions
  • Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education (NOPE)
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) including a monthly dosage of Vivitrol, which is prescribed for those with alcohol and/or drug dependency
  • Behavior modification for those classified as sex offenders
  • A transgender support program
  • Therapy for those who are grieving from a loss through a 12-week House of Healing Program
  • Training programs that are occupational and vocational including the Workplace Essentials Skills (WES) Program 
  • Wellness programs include yoga, meditation, and music therapy.

Prison Alternative Drug and Alcohol Program (PADAP)

Also known as the PADAP, the State Intermediate Punishment Program employs a similar approach to PREP, treating those struggling with substance abuse. Offenders that would likely be incarcerated at the GWHCF may be diverted into PADAP. The program reflects a countywide effort to increase treatment options for those suffering from addiction and mental illness.

Treatment Programs for Incarcerated Juveniles

The Juvenile Detention Center is a secure 66-bed facility located in Lima. Those detained are between the ages of 10 and 18 that are determined to be a danger to the community. The Chester Community Hospital provides resident physicians to meet with those admitted. They provide programming that relates to drug and alcohol abuse. Juveniles may participate in programming that is coordinated by the Delco Substance Treatment and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Coalition.

Importance of Retaining an Experienced Defense Attorney

It is critical that those facing criminal charges promptly consult with a lawyer that specializes in this realm of legal practice. In addition to defending against the allegations, the attorney may engage in negotiations that may help you avoid incarceration.

Legal Representation for Criminal Cases in Delaware County

Joseph D. Lento has been assisting clients in criminal matters in Pennsylvania for many years. He closely reviews the facts, evidence, and specific circumstances involved to create a comprehensive defense strategy. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a case consultation.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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