Peer-to-peer drug abuse program aids inmates in Denver County Jail

Recovery in a Safe Environment has already-sentenced inmates work together in day-long sessions confront their drug and alcohol abuse


By Sadie Gurman
The Denver Post

DENVER, Colo. — A substance abuse treatment program at the Denver County Jail has inmates holding each other accountable for their choices.

Denver's county jail is among just a few in the country, and the only one in the state, to embrace the program, known as Recovery in a Safe Environment, in which already-sentenced inmates work together in day-long sessions to confront their drug and alcohol abuse.

"The majority of the programming is run by inmates, which makes them more invested in the process and gives them an opportunity to take a more active role in their recovery," said Jamie Jackson, program administrator for the Denver County Jail.

As opposed to traditional plans that call for shorter classes or counseling sessions, inmates in RISE work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., six days a week, alongside their peers and clinicians to set the agenda. "They talk about the commonality of experience," Jackson said.

Full story: Peer-to-peer drug abuse program aids inmates in Denver County Jail

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