What program offers are there in the penal care?
Programs are a term for measures in the penitentiary that are aimed at convicts and remand prisoners in the form of teaching, skills training and structured conversations. The program activities shall promote the Prison and Probation Service's goal of making it possible for the convicted person to make a separate effort to counteract a criminal pattern of action. The purpose of the program activity is to provide the convicted person with new knowledge and motivation for change, as well as to stimulate his or her resources and competence to master a life without crime. The programs can be carried out in groups or individually.
The Prison and Probation Service can offer inmates courses in stress management, anger management and life management. The Kroksrud department collaborates with the probation offices in Akershus and Oslo on the programs My Choice and Alternative to Violence (ATV). The ward also has a "Dad group" for inmates who are parents.
Offers for drug addicts in Romerike prison, Ullersmo ward
The new substance abuse unit at Romerike prison opened on 2 February 2010. Here, male inmates with a recognized substance abuse problem of a serious extent can receive help to change their life situation. Those who want to take advantage of the offer must make a significant personal effort, in the form of participation in groups and activities, contribute to their own treatment and ensure that the unit has a drug-free environment.
The unit has ten places and is staffed with six prison officers, an environmental therapist, two department heads and a nurse in a 20 percent position. In addition, the unit will employ a psychologist in an 80 percent position. All employees have been through a training program before the opening of the unit, and will undergo further training during 2010
The stay normally lasts from three months to one year. The length of stay can be adjusted during the treatment, within these limits. The new unit is also intended as an offer to other inmates within the Prison and Probation Service region east.
Life mastering group
This group was developed in Romerike prison and has its background in reality therapy and election theory. It is emphasized that man needs power, belonging, freedom and fun. The group meetings are set up with conversations around these topics. The goal is for inmates to become aware of these needs and the choices they make to meet them. In addition, the group will function as an "air valve" for the inmates. It is desirable to be able to provide the participants with knowledge related to the topics in the program, as well as contribute to positive attitudes during the imprisonment.
Approximately 6 participants are admitted and the group lasts for ten weeks, of which an information meeting, eight group meetings and a closing meeting are held. There is also a movie night with pizza, where we work on tasks after the movie.
The life skills group is combined with training once a week, where emphasis is placed on joint activities and cooperation. The group is run by prison officers, where the leisure leader is responsible for carrying out the training together with one of the group leaders.
Stress management is an offer to inmates to reduce mental strain, especially during custody. It is divided into three parts and is a voluntary offer to the inmates.
Part 1 concerns all remand prisoners who are to be offered a defusing / debriefing interview within 24 hours of arrival at the prison. This conversation is conducted with a ward officer and an inmate, and can last for about an hour. If necessary, the call can be repeated.
Part 2 is completed approximately within 1 week of arrival, and with those who have completed part 1. This is a group discussion where 3-4 people participate, and the course is held 4 times of 2 hours. These group discussions are held by 2 program instructors, and aim to reduce mental strain and develop motivation for change.
Part 3 concerns both remand and remand prisoners, and must be completed within one month of incarceration. The goal is to reduce mental strain, provide knowledge about stress and training in various stress management techniques. The course is conducted by 2 program instructors, with groups of 6-8 inmates over 9 times of 2 hours.
Anger Management (Cognitive Behavior Therapy)
"Anger management" is an outpatient research and treatment offer, based on cognitive behavioral therapy, which started in 1998 at St. Olafs Hospital's ward Brøset in Trondheim. The offer is aimed at men who are violent in cohabitation, and is now being introduced in e.g. Norwegian prisons, as a treatment option for prisoners with anger and violence problems.
The treatment offer is the only one in the country that has been approved by the Ministry of Justice, as an alternative form of imprisonment for minor forms of violent crime.
Treatment in groups
The treatment takes place in an open group with up to 6 participants. Open group means that a new participant can join the group, when there is a vacancy.
This gives newly arrived group members the opportunity to see that it is possible to do something about the problems they have. At the same time, we get an opportunity to hear whether a new participant takes responsibility for his or her violence, or whether he or she explains the cause with external factors. In the groups, they hear "experienced", when new group members use compensatory strategies, to avoid taking responsibility for their violence, and they help the new ones to increased insight. They also get help from the other participants to see that they have other qualities that can be positive.
Experience shows that group treatment is well suited for men with aggression problems. We are two therapists, and try to be one of each sex.
The treatment process
The inmates first meet for an individual assessment, where he must accept the framework around the treatment plan. This includes, among other things, method, filling in the form, attendance and evaluation. The participant may not have a serious mental illness or substance abuse. After one to three individual conversations, 30 hours of group therapy (2 hours per week), possibly more if needed.
The goal of the first part of the group treatment is to teach the inmates to understand the "circle of the mind". Furthermore, each individual must work with a prepared "mindset", where there are columns for situation, thoughts, feelings, behavior and interpretation of the situation. When a situation of violence is addressed, we go further back than the incident itself. As carefully as the actual situation of violence is reviewed, we focus on the time ahead, and while anger and aggression build up. Through the "circle of the mind", we put this in context, so that triggers for aggression are identified. Furthermore, the negative thoughts and the inmate's interpretation of the incident are revealed. Through Socratic questioning, we often find rules of living that are based on low self-esteem, which reinforces the inmate's vulnerability. The next step in the "circle of the mind" will be to recognize emotions. These are often about jealousy, rejection, worthlessness, insult, injustice, helplessness and powerlessness. These feelings cause body symptoms such as heat, pain and tremor.
The prisoner feels a strong attack on his own self-esteem, triggered by negative living rules, and the violence can then be considered a compensatory strategy for regaining his own value system.
An angry / violent reaction is followed by an intensified negative self-esteem, which in turn confirms the rules of living associated with being a "loser", failure and hopelessness. This becomes a vicious circle that amplifies the vulnerability, and easily triggers new violence or anger.
At the same time as the inmate learns about his or her own reaction pattern, this must be linked to practical action. In the first instance, this is about learning refocusing techniques when the "anger wave" begins to be felt in the body. In the intermediate phase of the treatment, each individual must record their own episodes of anger / violence in the group. This helps to clarify the inmate's interpretation of the situation.
At the same time, the vulnerability is expressed, and the prisoner must now learn to break the "circle of the mind", through an inner dialogue / conversation, which modifies the negative self-esteem. Here it is important to focus on the implicit meaning, and see the connection between rules of life and automatic thoughts. When the prisoner manages to break the "circle of the mind", he gains control of the affect and experiences a positive coping. In this way, one acknowledges one's own responsibility for one's own anger, and that it is our learned interpretive pattern that actually makes us angry. The inmate must also work to be able to listen and assert himself in a constructive way. An important message is that it is allowed to make mistakes or lose. These are important topics also for moderating psychological violence, which is often about control and power in close relationships.
Through the group process, a social skills training takes place, where the individual must feel both criticism and empathy, as well as find alternative strategies for problem solving. We have a pedagogical and fixed structure in the first hours, while the group process is more emphasized in the last part of the treatment.
What is PREP?
PREP is for couples in the establishment phase or for couples who want to get new perspectives on the relationship. PREP is not therapy, but a communication course based on the couple's own experiences. The program is taken from the USA and reworked for Norwegian conditions by Modum Bads Samlivssenter. PREP is the English abbreviation for "Preventive and Cohabitation Enhancement Program".
The intention with PREP is to give couples an opportunity to promote good reciprocity and closeness in their relationship and have a deeper, healthier and more vibrant relationship between them.
Why PREP in prison:
It is not difficult to imagine that a prison stay can be experienced as very difficult for both parties. Having to live together again after a long separation can also be very challenging, if you have not agreed on how you want to be together.
PREP provides an opportunity to start discussing these things. PREP emphasizes the ability to talk to each other - and argue - in a constructive way.
PREP in prison follows essentially the same model as PREP courses elsewhere in society.
The existing adjustments have been made in collaboration with previous participants.
The themes "contact during imprisonment" and "grief, longing and longing" are special to our course.
The following topics are covered:
- Love, expectations and roles
- Danger signals in the relationship
- Security and communication
- Important events and themes that characterize the relationship
- Problem solving
- Values and views on life
- Contact during imprisonment
- Joy, fun and friendship
- Intimacy, sexuality
- Grief, longing and longing
The couple is or has been in an established relationship (spouses / cohabitants) - and is willing to stay together in the future. Visits are carried out without restrictions.