Skills Program

Program Description The Skills Program is a residential treatment program designed to improve the institutional adjustment of inmates with intellectual disabilities and social deficiencies. The program uses an integrative model which includes a modified therapeutic community, cognitive-behavioral therapies, and skills training. The goal of the program is to increase the academic achievement and adaptive behavior of cognitively impaired inmates, thereby improving their institutional adjustment and likelihood for successful community reentry.
Time Frame The Skills Program is conducted over 12-18 months. Participation in the program during the initial phase of an inmate’s incarceration is recommended; however, inmates may participate in the program at a later time. Formal programming is facilitated half-days, five days a week with the remaining half-day dedicated to an institution work assignment or receiving tutorial assistance.
Admission Criteria Inmates with significant functional impairment due to intellectual disabilities, neurological deficits, and/or remarkable social skills deficits are considered for the program. Participants must be appropriate for housing in a low or medium security institution. Inmates must volunteer for the program.
Program Content The Skills Program operates as a modified therapeutic community and utilizes cognitive-behavioral treatments, cognitive rehabilitation, and skills training. The program employs a multi-disciplinary treatment approach aimed at teaching participants basic educational and social skills. Criminal thinking is addressed through the identification of criminal thinking errors and engagement in pro- social interactions with staff and peers. Program content is designed to promote successful reentry into society at the conclusion of their term of incarceration. Program staff collaborate with community partners to facilitate reentry.
Empirical Support The cognitive-behavioral, cognitive rehabilitation, skills training, and modified therapeutic community interventions selected for this program have sound empirical support and consistently appear in evidence-based programs (EBPs) registries.
Applicable Policies 5330.11 CN-1 Psychology Treatment Programs
Institution Locations The Skills Program is available at the following facilities:
FCI Coleman, FL-Medium
FCI Danbury, CT-Low