FSA EBRR, Challenge (2022)

Program Description The Challenge Program is a cognitive behavioral, residential treatment program developed for male inmates in the United States Penitentiary (USP) settings. The Challenge Program provides treatment to high-security inmates with substance use problems and/or mental illnesses. Programming is delivered within a modified therapeutic community (MTC); inmates participate in interactive groups and attend community meetings while living in a housing unit separate from the general population. In addition to treating substance use disorders and mental illnesses, the program addresses criminality, via cognitive-behavioral challenges to criminal thinking errors.

The Challenge Program is available in 13 high-security institutions. Inmates may participate in the program at any point during their sentence; however, they must have at least 18 months remaining on their sentence. The duration of the program varies based on inmate need, with a minimum duration of nine months.

An inmate must meet one of the following criteria to be admitted into the Challenge Program:

  • A history of drug use as evidenced by self-report, Presentence Investigation Report (PSI) documentation, or incident reports for use of alcohol or drugs.
  • A serious mental illness as evidenced by a current diagnosis of a psychotic disorder, mood disorder, anxiety disorder, or severe personality disorder.
Time Frame
Hours This program is typically completed in 500 hours.
Needs Addressed Anger/Hostility, Antisocial Peers, Cognitions, Mental Health, and Substance Use
Program Delivery To ensure program fidelity and proper credit, the Challenge Program must only be delivered by Psychology Services staff.
Institution Locations USP Allenwood
USP Atwater
USP Beaumont
USP Big Sandy
USP Canaan
USP Coleman I & II
USP Hazelton
USP Lee
USP McCreary
USP Pollock
USP Terre Haute
USP Tucson