In October of 1994, the law governing Patuxent Institution was amended to change Patuxent's mission from one of rehabilitating higher risk, chronic offenders to one that focuses on remediation of youthful offenders (See Correctional Services Article, Section 4-202 of the Maryland Annotated Code). The Patuxent Institution Youth Program also was established with this amendment. In turn, Patuxent's treatment philosophy and program were revised to reflect its new mission. Treatment is now based on the remediation model, instead of rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation means to change back to a prior condition (which is rarely desirable with an offender). Remediation suggests the idea of remedying, or fixing a problem (which, in regards to an offender, is referred to as a deficit). The remediation model focuses on altering offenders' crime-related behaviors and deficits by placing emphasis on learning social and coping skills, while de-emphasizing global personality changes. Through remediation, offenders develop the ability to learn new behaviors, to adopt specific coping strategies, and to develop compensatory strengths that will decrease their involvement in crime.
The treatment program was restructured from four treatment units into two treatment units, each consisting of three Remediation Management Teams (RMTs). An RMT is a multidisciplinary team comprised of members from the disciplines of social work and psychology, a senior correctional officer (Lieutenant or Major), and a consultant psychiatrist. Each RMT oversees and coordinates the activities of approximately 75 offenders. While these teams provide a case management function for these offenders, they are structured in a manner in which the offender's primary therapist is not affiliated with the RMT overseeing that particular offender's case. This separation of treatment and case management function serves to increase objectivity in decision-making related to offender needs and progress in treatment.
In coordination with the development of the RMT concept was the development of specialized treatment modules and programs to which offenders are assigned. These modules included: substance abuse programs; groups for those with a history of being sexually abused and a corresponding module for those who were physically abused; moral problem solving groups; an early memories group utilizing Arnold Bruhn's Early Memories Procedure, and a social skills group.
Beyond this basic core of modules, the Institution also has a more comprehensive relapse prevention module, an assertiveness training module, and other interventions coordinated through remediation plans. This multidisciplinary, modular approach allows for more tailored treatment to meet the specific needs of each offender. Other modifications included expanding the diagnostic evaluation process to include treatment recommendations and replacing tier counseling with quarterly meetings with the offenders. Components of the program, which have proved useful, such as the graded tier system, were retained.
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