Faith-based recovery: Transforming lives one inmate at a time.

Author:Noyes, Chaplain Denny

I would not be alive today if it were not for Celebrate Recovery." That is a statement made by more than one individual who has attended Celebrate Recovery (CR) meetings while incarcerated at the Gallatin County Detention Center (GCDC). Since June 2013, Celebrate Recovery has been offered to inmates in the GCDC as a voluntary intervention program for recovery from addiction. Annual surveys reveal that three out of four (75 percent) inmates attended one or more of the 40 programs offered at the GCDC. A similar percentage found the programs helpful and plan to continue attending one or more programs in the community upon release. The GCDC employs a full-time re-entry coordinator who works one-on-one with inmates during incarceration to facilitate successful re-entry into the community and reduce recidivism.

Recovery matters

Recovery from addiction matters. Recovery without relapse matters. Why? Because relapse is a significant predictor of recidivism, not to mention future health problems and premature death. (1) It has been reported that 85 percent of all inmates in jails and prisons across the United States have a substance abuse and addiction disorder. (2) A total of 65 percent meet the strict diagnostic criteria for substance abuse and addiction diagnosis, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition DSM-IV, plus an additional 20 percent were under the influence of alcohol or other drugs at the time of their offense. Sadly, only 11 percent of all inmates with a substance abuse and addiction disorder receive any treatment during incarceration. During the first two weeks after release, former inmates are at high risk for death--12.7 times that of the general population--due to drug overdoses, cardiovascular disease, homicide and suicide. (3) Addiction to drugs, alcohol and tobacco, plus suicides, constitute an epidemic in America that claims 77 lives every hour (Table 1). It is of paramount importance that effective addiction recovery interventions be implemented during incarceration and continues post-release.

Celebrate Recovery (CR)

Celebrate Recovery is a program founded by Pastor John Baker and his wife Cheryl of Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California. Pastor John joined Saddleback's staff in 1990 as the pastor of recovery and small groups. With encouragement from Saddleback founder Pastor Rick Warren, Pastor Baker launched the program with the following summary statement:

"The vision for Celebrate Recovery is for the church to provide a safe place where families could find...

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