Family and Friends Newsletter-December 2019

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missouri department of corrections

Family and Friends Newsletter | December 2019

Substance Use in Corrections

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We frequently receive phone calls from family and friends of offenders about drug usage in the prison environment. Inevitably the caller will say something like: "There is no way drugs are coming in through… the visiting room, the mail, work release, etc." Because we have found drugs in all of these areas, we know drugs have come in through these avenues. We are taking measures to stop it, and we plan to make more security enhancements in the coming year.

Here are some of the ways we address the problem:

Around 88% of the offenders in the Missouri Department of Corrections have a history of substance use.

Drugs would not enter the prison, if there weren't both a supply (someone on the outside willing to risk their own freedom to introduce drugs into the correctional facility) and a demand (offenders wanting to use drugs).

If someone is asking you to take part in questionable activities such as giving money to another civilian, putting money on the account of another offender or passing on messages to another offender’s family members, there is a good chance that person is involved in an illegal or unapproved activity. You are encouraged to anonymously report suspicious activity through the TIPS line at 573-526-0514.

People who are involved in illicit or illegal activities place the safety of the facility and everyone inside at risk. To protect the facility, our administration sometimes has to place short-term or long-term restrictions on contact between offenders and their loved ones. When policies or operations are changed in response to these illicit activities, all offenders and their families are affected and may lose privileges. Our priority is to keep illicit activities out of the prison and keep everyone safe.

If your loved one has a history of drug use and struggles with sobriety, please encourage them to reach out to the case manager or chaplain and to get involved with a substance abuse program or a recovery support group in the prison.

You want your loved one to come home and live a substance-free, law-abiding, productive life, and so do we.

Faith-based Recovery Support Services

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Faith-based recovery programs focus on recovery, not on denominational nuances, in a volunteer-led group setting. Offenders learn to address challenges they face and to apply faith principles in order to move toward resolution.

Celebrate Recovery is a 24-week program addressing recovery from substance abuse and a variety of life controlling issues stemming from the control of habits, hurts and "hangups." It is offered at MECC, WRDCC, OCC, WMCC, ACC, FCC, BCC, MTC and TCC.

Freedom Principles uses teachings from the Bible to teach offenders about the freedom in Christ by finding purpose through Christian practices while dealing with problems of conscience and guilt, the consequences of anger, and the dangers of substance abuse. It is offered at ERDCC and lasts about 12 to 15 weeks.

Living Free uses a Christian perspective on living free from drugs, alcohol and life-controlling issues by discarding old habits and replacing them with positive, right-living concepts. It is offered at OCC and is an ongoing program.

Overcomers in Christ is a Biblical 12-step addiction recovery program focused on alcohol and substance abuse. It is offered at WRDCC and FCC-B side.

Refiner’s Fire is an addiction recovery program designed for various types of addictions and destructive habits. It is offered at WRDCC throughout the year.

Broken & Beautiful is a female-specific program dealing with various themes to aid in recovery, strength, freedom, shame and courage. It is offered at WERDCC twice a year as a weekend seminar.

You may learn more about the Department's religious and spiritual programming and support at

Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse

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The Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse (CBI-SA) is a new program within the Missouri Department of Corrections that was designed by the University of Cincinnati.  It uses a cognitive behavioral approach to teach participants strategies for avoiding substance abuse. The program places heavy emphasis on skill building activities to assist with cognitive, social, emotional and coping skill development. Modules include: motivational enhancement, cognitive restructuring, emotional regulation, social skills, problem solving and relapse prevention.

The program was recently started at Chillicothe Correctional Center, South Central Correctional Center and Missouri Eastern Correctional Center and will be expanding to additional correctional facilities. 

Resources for Families of Incarcerated Individuals

Co-dependency describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible, addictive or underachieving behavior. It is also characterized by a person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs.

 Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. It uses the model of a 12-step support group. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. You may learn more or find a meeting at