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Odyssey House chosen to run groundbreaking recidivism reduction program

“First of its kind” collaborative program targets New York’s chemically dependent parole population

(New York, June 16, 2008): Odyssey House has been chosen to run New York’s first collaborative treatment for chemically dependent parolees. The new 30-day program will serve up to 1,200 parolees a year at the recently renovated Edgecombe Residential Treatment Facility in Upper Manhattan.

Odyssey House will work with three state agencies to provide treatment services in this innovative joint agency effort to create a model for future prison rehabilitation and best practices in breaking the cycle of recidivism among chemically dependent parolees. Joining Odyssey House in this effort is the: Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Department of Correctional Services (DOCS), and Division of Parole (DOP).

The Technical Violator Parole Diversion Program (TVPDP) will be available to men released from prison who are under parole or post-release supervision within New York City. TVPDP is designed to provide intensive services to parole detainees with the aim of returning them to their communities and engaging them in further addiction treatment. Each detainee will receive a full evaluation for treatment and an individual treatment plan which will be developed addressing the specific reasons an offender violated parole.

Odyssey House president, Dr. Peter Provet, said it was an “honor to be chosen to run this innovative program targeting an at-risk population of chemical abusers who, without targeted intervention services, are in danger of returning to the criminal justice system as repeat offenders.

“Odyssey House” he continued, “has a track record of working with a wide range of drug-abusing individuals in community-based and institutional settings, and of collaborating closely with several state and city agencies in ensuring vulnerable individuals return to their communities as productive, drug-free citizens.”

In awarding this contract to Odyssey House, OASAS Commissioner Karen Carpenter-Palumbo said this is the “first of its kind program in New York State,” and is regarded by OASAS, DOCS, and DOP as a “vital new approach in treating parolees, increasing public safety and preventing relapse and recidivism.”

Starting this fall, Odyssey House professional counseling staff will provide group and individual therapy, vocational rehabilitation and life skills training, relapse prevention, family integration, and anger management. The intensive treatment program will run seven days a week.

Edgecombe Residential Treatment Facility’s accessibility by public transportation and its central location in Upper Manhattan makes it easier for family members to visit program participants – a crucial component of parolees’ support systems.

To be eligible for TVPDP, a parolee must have a technical violation of drug use with no pending criminal charges. Participation is based on a contract between the parolee and DOP. Individuals with significant medical or mental problems, or those with histories of sex offenses, will be excluded

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