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 Blog Post

​ New Trauma-Focused Program at Cambridge Springs Sees Positive Results

April 11, 2023 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

A mural that says SCI Cambridge Springs House of Healing

SCI Cambridge Springs kicked off a new voluntary program in the summer of 2022 called the House of Healing. This program is closely modeled after SCI Muncy’s House of Hope. The purpose of the program is to help incarcerated women deal with their trauma – any form of trauma.

This is a multifaceted program involving the assignment of two treatment staff: a drug and alcohol therapist (DAT) and a psychological service specialist (PSS). In addition, the program also has a contracted domestic violence counselor providing services on the unit. Each treatment and contract staff member provide groups on the housing unit, and the PSS provides additional counseling services to the inmates to assist them with healing from their trauma.

The program commenced with 19 participants in July 2022; then in October 2022, the program welcomed its second cohort of 18 participants. In January 2023, the facility had 16 graduates successfully complete the program out of the initial group, noting that two of the three who did not graduate were paroled before the program concluded. Within a week of the first graduation, a new cohort of 19 women entered the program, and the cohort from October 2022 is currently preparing for graduation next month. This program is becoming a fine-tuned machine, offering beneficial opportunities for inmates who truly want to work on trauma recovery.

The House of Healing program promotes a sense of community through each group and activity. Each participant takes part in the three committees within the program in the areas of education, activities, and hospitality. This requirement helps the inmates to become more invested in the program through their committee involvement where they learn to collaborate, plan, and unite with their peers for the good of the program and hopes of a better future.

To measure program success and validity, assessments are given at the start, middle, and end of the program to track the impact of trauma symptoms in the participants’ day-to-day activities. An impressive 85 percent of the graduating participants decreased the frequency of trauma symptoms that impact their daily lives. All graduates reported the program a success and helpful in their journey to return to society as a positive member.

As SCI Cambridge Springs nears the anniversary of the House of Healing Program inception, the administration and treatment staff have found it to be a beneficial tool to successfully help inmates heal from the devastating effects of trauma.

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