The West Coast office of the John Howard Society of Newfoundland and Labrador Inc. initiated the development of the Community Based Intervention Program to mirror services already being offered by the Learning Resources Program in St. John’s. Services are offered to offenders in the Stephenville, Port aux Basques and Corner Brook regions.
The goal of this program is to reduce the risk of recidivism through rehabilitative efforts. Issues covered in programs include those which contribute to criminal behaviour.
Eligibility for Programming
Clients may be referred to the Community Based Intervention Program (CBIP) from a number of sources:
- Adult probation officers may refer a client when the probation order or conditional sentence order contains a condition to participate in programming.
- Classification officers may refer clients who are released from custody under the terms of a Temporary Absence.
- Classification officers may also refer clients who are still in custody but have agreed to particpate in the programming. This applies to Anger Management, Criminal Behaviour and the Dad’s program.
- Seeking Safety – a program designed by Lisa M. Najavits and is for people with a history of trauma and/or addiction. Seeking Safety has been successfully used for over 20 years across genders and with people struggling with various life barriers including: homelessness, serious mental health concerns and incarceration. Seeking Safety is an evidence-based, continuous intake program the address 25 topics. John Howard Society has condensed the topics into 21 sessions. The program is stage one of the recovery process, finding safety. It provides an integrated plan through cognitive, behavioral and interpersonal treatment strategies the prioritize safety. The goal is help people manage trauma symptoms, develop healthy coping strategies, prevent self-destructive acts, identify positive and safe people, free oneself from unhealthy relationships, and find new ways to enjoy life.Seeking Safety is present and future oriented, participants are not asked to participate in exposure therapy or retelling of their trauma or substance use histories; rather they will develop strategies and skills to create a healthy pro-social lifestyle.
- Intimate Partner Violence program (IPV) is a program intended for individuals who have been found guilty of causing harm against an intimate partner or family member and utilizes the Safety and Repair program to deliver both group and individual interventions. The program is a gender-based violence program that addresses the needs of individuals and groups who have used abusive behaviors in their current intimate-partner relationship. The trauma-informed program draws on Restorative Justice and Narrative Therapy approaches. The program is based on individual experiences; the approach is tailored to meet specific needs of the individual. The principles of intervention are the same across all intersections of identity. The program also respects and recognizes any effects of trauma on participants. The program is delivered both in group and individual intervention formats.
Referrals for the IPV program are accepted through:
(1) Department of Justice – Some participants serving a Probation Order, Conditional Sentence Order or Temporary Absence Permit are referred to the program as a condition to their order.
(2) Family Violence Intervention Court – Some participants are referred by a special court dealing with family violence offenses. Participants must agree to plead guilty but sentencing is delayed until the participant completes IPV – Safety and Repair.
- Anger Management – a program which deals with moderate-risk and high-risk clients who have difficulty in managing their anger in non-domestic situations. It is offered at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary (HMP) as well.
- Dads is a psycho-educational program focused on improving parent-child relationships. This program is offered in the community and provincial institutions.
- Criminal Behaviour Awareness – a continuous intake program often offered in conjunction with anger management, and designed to target dynamic risk factors such as anti-social attitudes and values, pro-criminal associations, substance abuse and anti-social behaviour patterns.
- Sex Offender Intervention – an initiative targeting moderate-risk offenders convicted of sex-related offenses. Clients are assessed using the STABLE assessment instrument after which they enter into a counseling arrangement for the purpose of addressing those specific factors which promote their sexual offending. This form of intervention is provided at HMP as well as in the community.
- Maintenance – which although not a program in itself, supplements the group therapy by requiring high-risk clients to attend up to six additional sessions with a counselor either during, or following, completion of a specific program. The objective of the maintenance phase, in essence a relapse prevention strategy, is to reinforce the knowledge, skills and positive changes in attitudes and behaviours which clients have achieved through the group therapy process.
How to Access the CBIP
Those offenders currently serving provincial sentences may apply for an early release program through the Classification Officer. Offenders serving conditional sentences or probation orders may seek application through their Probation Officer. Any person who has been in conflict with the law may apply.
Benefits to the Client
- opportunity to address client specific and general issues which contribute to criminal behaviour while residing in the community.
- opportunity to learn about the impact of criminal behaviour on self and others.
- opportunity to learn new skills in problem solving and decision making.
- opportunity to develop relapse prevention plans for specific problems such as anger, substance abuse, intimate partner violence and sexual offending.
- a chance to share common goals and problems with others in a positive setting.
- option to discuss personal problems privately with program facilitators.
- CBIP will assist in making referrals to other support services such as employment preparation, addictions services, housing educational upgrading etc.