The Programs and Case Management (PCM) Division provides public health and social services to DC DOC residents to include behavioral and mental health counseling, substance use treatment, life skills development, reentry planning, family reunification programs, wellness services, case management and inmate support services such as inmate grievances and religious services.
Specialized Housing/Program Units
50 and Older Units
The District of Columbia Department of Corrections (DC DOC) has dedicated a specialized housing units to accommodate the needs of inmates 50 years of age and older. The 50 and Older Unit is a general population unit located in the Correctional Treatment Facility; comprised of male inmates who are classified minimum or medium custody and have no separations status from other inmates. The goal of the unit is to offer services that are age specific. The DC DOC recognizes that it is best to house persons with similarities in mindset and behavior. This also helps to reduce conflict in the facility and allows older persons to be in a more settled housing environment.
Better and Beyond Program Unit
The DC DOC Women’s Better and Beyond Program (formerly Women’s Reentry Unit) is designed for pretrial and sentenced misdemeanants and designated felons. The unit can house up to 30 inmates at a time. The mission of this reentry unit is to help reduce recidivism and increase public safety through a focus on improved assessment, client motivation, treatment and program evaluation prior to release. The Women’s Better & Beyond unit is designed to assist women with reintegrating back into the community by linking them to the appropriate resources, services and supports during incarceration and post incarceration. The women on the unit participate in gender-specific programming and services scheduled Monday thru Friday from 8:00am to 8:00pm to include, but are not limited to HIV education, women’s wellness, domestic violence, life skills, healing circles/family reunification, job training and readiness, vocational and educational services.
Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program Units
The DC DOC Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Program is a Level III Non-Hospital residential substance use treatment program licensed and certified through the Department of Behavioral Health. The RSAT program provides treatment for incarcerated individuals that have been diagnosed with a Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Mental Illness (MI) and/or both co-occurring disorders. The RSAT Program includes but is not limited to group and individual counseling; psycho-education, relapse prevention; anger management; parenting and life skills training; health and wellness; and interactive journaling. RSAT provides services to men and women incarcerated on separate designated units reserved primarily for RSAT participants. The program takes a holistic approach, promoting structure and accountability for self and others. RSAT goals include improved substance use outcome post-release, reduced recidivism, and linkage to services in the community post-release that support efforts to become productive citizens.
Transitional Assistance Program (TAP) Program Unit
The DC DOC Transitional Assistance Program (TAP), formerly the Re-entry Program for men) prepares returning citizens to re-enter society. This preparation is a blueprint for addressing the barriers and obstacles that hinder and prevent transition. TAP offers a variety of support to the men to include self-help, employment soft skills and job readiness, substance abuse education, victims impact training, GED preparation, art therapy, money management, yoga and meditation, parenting computer literacy and an introduction to marketable occupations such as commercial driver’s education and hospitality and food handling training through Aramark’s Food Handlers Certification program and Hospitality Certification Program. The program includes treatment and release planning modules and provides links to community resources.
Young Men Emerging (YME) Program Units
The DC DOC Young Men Emerging (YME) Program is a housing unit dedicated to young adult offender’s ages 18-25 years old. Young people are recognized as adults at the age of 18, but emerging science about brain development suggests that most people reach full maturity until the age of 25. The YME Program unit offers education, job and entrepreneurial training, life skills, parenting, college level courses, mentoring, mental health, financial literacy and various other programs and services designed to improve inmates overall well-being and their opportunities for success. Participants also take part in discussion topics of relapse prevention, anger management, wellness, and gratitude journaling. The goal is to address the reentry needs of this specific population pre-release to assist with successful community re-integration.
Programs/Services Offered On & Off Housing Units
The DC DOC Women’s Program is designed to initiate gender-informed activities and to provide interventions that increase self-esteem, improve life management skills, and address health and co-occurring disorders associated with mental health and substance use. Programs and services will assist in promoting healthy connections to the women and their children, family, significant others and the community; providing women with opportunities to improve their socioeconomic conditions. Provide a system of comprehensive and collaborative reentry and community supports and services. The women participate in a variety of programs and services to include substance use education, parenting, life skills, money management, HIV & women’s wellness, job readiness, referrals to community-based providers. They also participate in empowerment sessions, religious services, mental health and behavior modification services and career technical education to assist with certifications that can lead to gainful employment upon their release to the community.
The (Women’s) Work Readiness Program (WRP), operated by the Department of Employment Services (DOES) in collaboration with DC DOC, is a four (4) to six (6) week program that helps to strengthen the skills needed to help women prepare for successful employment upon release. The program focus areas are Skills Assessment, Life Skills/Job Readiness, Individual and Group Coaching, Technology Training, Wellness Programming, and more. Residents nearing community release are eligible to participate in the Work Readiness Program. You must be a District resident and not receiving TANF benefits to be eligible. Classes are held daily and those finishing the program will receive certificates of successful completion. On-site DOES staff will coordinate appointments for community based services following release. The residents can start the program in the facility and once released continue on site at the DOES.
Case Management Services
The DC DOC provides case management services to all inmates. Case management is an important part of the DOC’s mission and vision because it provides orientation and classification services to pretrial detainees, misdemeanants, sentenced felons, as well as, convicted felons. Case managers strive to remain current on programs and services offered throughout DOC and the community in order to best inform and serve inmates. They work with all specialized programs and housing units as well as the general population in addition to assisting with all new initiatives implemented by DOC.
Behavioral Health Services
The DC DOC Behavioral Health Services is comprised of a team of clinicians that provides an array of mental and behavioral health services to the residents within our custody. The BHU team is managed by a Program Manager, and licensed health clinicians (entitled Mental Health Specialist) provide the clinical services. BHU provides clinical recommendations on the Adjustment Housing Board and Transgender Housing Committee. In addition, BHU provides individual and group therapy for residents in all custody levels (for those on Restrictive Housing to the Young Men Emerging Unit and other units). BHU also provides assistance for those in need of discharge planning. Our BHU team has been awarded a DOC Trauma Grant that will allow the agency to hire two additional full-time trauma clinicians who will assess for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and provide group therapy to those who meet the identified criterion. The grant will also allow all current and future clinical FTE’s (hired within the fiscal year) to be trained by the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing. The Wendt Center will also develop training for the agency to provide technical assistance to implement a crisis intervention team. It will focus on providing emotional wellness to the DOC staff (specifically officers and case managers). The Wendt Center will provide an array of employee wellness services to the DOC staff, similar to what they regularly provide to other agencies such as the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The DC DOC provides a variety religious programs and services for a wide range of faith backgrounds. Some of these faiths include but are not limited to Islamic/Muslim Religions programs, Bilingual Christian/Protestant worship, Moorish Science, Jewish and Catholic Mass. In conjunction with these services, the agency partners with the local community in order to provide inmates with a multi-faceted approach to spiritual care and counseling services. DOC believes in counseling as it relates to the whole being; it emphasizes the importance of the interdependence of humankind’s mind, body and soul. The Religious Services department also officiates weddings and baptismal upon request.
Youth Rehabilitation Act (YRA) Studies
Youth offenders sentenced pursuant to the Youth Rehabilitation Act are eligible for a conviction set aside upon successful completion of the youth offender’s probation, sentence of incarceration or other applicable sentencing terms. At the discretion of the court, the court may use sentencing alternatives in addition to the options already available to the court, otherwise provided by law. For example, the court may, in its discretion, issue a sentence less than any mandatory-minimum term otherwise required by law. The committee’s primary responsibility is that of assisting the court with its decision-making pursuant to sentencing of the youth offender. The Youth Rehabilitation Act Committee provides a comprehensive diagnostic study for youth offenders committed to the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, pursuant to the Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act of 2018. To aid the court in its sentencing decision-making, the District of Columbia Department of Corrections classification committee conducts Youth Diagnostic Studies. The Youth Act study is a comprehensive report that examines the youth offenders’ background, to include, but not limited to family, social and environmental factors; conduct; behavior; strengths; risk factors; protective factors, and capacity for rehabilitation. These studies are performed for youth between the ages of 18 -25 and are court ordered by a judge to participate in this service by the Youth Rehabilitation Act committee comprised of a case manager, psychologist, vocational/educational specialist and a chairperson.
The DC DOC Empowerment Sessions are structured sessions with the intent to empower, inspire, and motivate our diverse groups of inmates. These sessions offer assistance to recognize their full potential through dialogue and activities designed to increase confidence, support emotional development, relieve stress, provide life skills, offer financial literacy, create awareness and facilitate transformation to assist inmates with successful re-integration in the community. DOC has over 30 programs that feature Empowerment Session events and activities currently being provided by trained staff and various outside organizations, contractors, partners, and volunteers.
General Population Programs
The DC DOC has a number of specialized programs and services designed for inmates that have specific needs. However, the General Population programs support the majority of the residents. The DC DOC encourages the participation in these programs which are structured to provide a more conductive environment for both inmates and staff. General Population Programs include Religious Service, District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL), Empowerment Sessions, Volunteer Services, In2Work Culinary Arts, Meditation & Yoga and various others designed to improve inmate’s overall well-being. The DC DOC has dedicated a well-founded concentration on providing programs to all inmates in need of programming and services.
The Resources to Empower and Develop You (READY) Center Services
The DC DOC Resources to Empowerment and Develop You (READY) Center is a consolidated location where formerly incarcerated District of Columbia residents can access services from the District of Columbia Government agencies and community organizations such as the Department of Corrections (DOC); Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); Department of Employment Services (DOES); Department of Human Services (DHS); Department of Behavioral Health (DBH); and The Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens Affairs (MORCA), to ensure successful reintegration into the community. The READY Center engages participants being released within 30 days by sharing information about available services. During the screening process, soon-to-be released participants will complete the READY Center interest card and a screening is conducted to determine what type of services is needed. Within thirty-day of release, participants engage with DC government partnering agencies to fill out applications for services. When the participants are ready to leave DOC custody they walk away with SNAP and medical services through DHS; linkage to behavioral health services through DBH; ID card and driving record information from DMV; a metro card; gifts cards for McDonalds, and Walmart, and participants receive DOES & DBH referrals to programs and appointment cards. Lastly, The READY Center will also connect participants with MORCA, a community-based organization and other District of Columbia Government agencies for ongoing case management and support.
Inmate Supportive Services
Family Reunification Activities
The DC DOC decorates the Gym with stations for face painting, storytelling, games, and dancing for each FRD event. During the events, residents are able to directly interact with their loved ones, and speak to one another in a family-friendly atmosphere. For some residents, these events represent the first time that they have been able to touch/hug their loved ones in quite a while, making this opportunity for bonding that much more impactful.
In addition to participating in the social activities and family time, the agency invites community partners to set up tables during the family reunification events. This allows the residents and their loved ones a chance to connect with a wide variety of reentry-related community resources geared toward holistically meeting the entire family’s needs. The goal of this direct connection as a family is to increase the likelihood of connection to the service/program in the community.
In addition to the quarterly events, the DOC has begun to implement reunification events for special populations. To ease the transition of Title 16 Youth (youth charged as adults) from DOC custody to the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS), the agencies held a joint FRD event. Youth and families were able to receive additional information about the transition, have one more visit prior to moving to a facility that is located outside of the District, and connect to resources in the community.
DOC residents returning from Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities across the United States on writs to have their sentence reconsidered under the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (IRAA) celebrated with their families. Some of these residents had not seen or hugged their family members for nearly 20 years.
In Spring of 2019, DOC implemented a special fathering program to assist residents with redeveloping the bond with their daughters. The program culminated with a Father-Daughter Dance. The fathers wore suits, and dance and socialized with their daughters while the mothers waited in a room nearby. All clothing and hair care services were donated by community members and organizations.
Inmate Grievance Services
The DC DOC Inmate Grievance Procedure (IGP) is a process which allows inmates to raise concerns regarding disputes or complaints to seek resolution. This procedure applies to any DOC facility and to contractors who house or provide services to inmates under the care and custody of the DOC. The IGP process is handled by IGP Coordinators that provide an overview on the process when needed, ensures forms are within each housing unit, and provides responses to inmates obtained from the respective department for the issue raised. The goals of the IGP program are to open the lines of communication that will identify, prevent and resolve matters; allow for formal resolution of issues where informal means failed; and, written responses are provided based on investigation and resolution when appropriate.
The purpose of DC DOC Volunteer Services is designed to utilize a diverse group of volunteers to supplement a variety of much-needed program, services and resources to provide a positive link between the inmates and the community. DC DOC’s community partnerships bring a diverse and interesting mixture of resources and information and they play a key role in daily programming through individual and group sessions. Volunteers provide the vast majority of DOC’s programs and services to inmates to support personal development and growth and improve inmate’s overall well-being. Volunteers may include citizens, students, local universities, and members of local businesses and community-based organizations. The Volunteer Services department also partners with other District Government agencies to provide services to our inmate population consisting of a total of 55 programs and services at Central Treatment Facility and 70 programs and services at Central Detention Facility along with 200 plus community volunteers.