Rehabilitation

“Rome’s Words” (LTOP Program Participant at Sierra Conservation Center)

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We’d like to share an insightful letter written by Rome, a participant in our Long-Term Offender Program (LTOP) and inmate at the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC). Thank you for sharing your affirmations of positive change and message for those still struggling as well as their families, Rome!

Rome Quote

“I was raised in a traditional old fashion Southern parental structured home with both parents who provided a stable environment. I grew up in a time where expressing one’s emotional well-being was frowned upon and viewed in a negative manner. This taught me to suppress my inner feelings from fear of being labeled soft, passive or weak. This psychological isolation caused me to suppress my true feelings and desire to seek help for my mental well-being, instead seeking relief by self-medicating with alcohol, marijuana and later methamphetamine.

I would like to express my appreciation to the WestCare team of professionals including the Program Director, Parole Services Administrator, Transitional Counselor and Peer Mentors at the Sierra Conservation Center (C-Yard) in Jamestown, California. I am in awe at the quality of care and attentiveness that they provide to break down the many layers of guilt, shame, denial, anger, pain and fear that I have used and erected to protect myself from the rejection I have lived with not only before my committed offense, but for the 21 years of incarceration as well.

I entered this program with the dehumanizing effects from remnants of criminal and addictive thinking distortions along with my external value system and being resistant to truly opening up to allow myself to be vulnerable with the person who I truly am. My choices and core beliefs destroyed and altered the very fabric of not only mine, but my family’s life as well. Today, I fully understand the entire ripple effect upon the family, friends and community of the man’s life of whom I have taken.

Through this program’s Victim’s Impact class and group setting that offers a safe confidential insightful cycle of therapy, I have not only been able to identify with my core issues, but I have also been able to identify with other issues around me, giving me the cognitive awareness that I never had before.

Today, I possess the coping skills and tools to regulate and manage my emotions and assist others with their own struggles. Today, I truly enjoy a greater quality of life. I sing praises to WestCare, for this has been the biggest platform to re-humanize and allow me to truly belong in a healthy and stable environment that I have longed to be a part of. The level of accountability and integrity here is refreshing.

I can now trust, shoosing to make something I value, vulnerable to another person’s
actions. In the criminal world and society as a whole, our fears and past traumas erode our sense of trust. This has allowed me to express the best part of myself to whomever I come into contact with. Challenging myself to be authentic and compassionate towards others, I no longer need to manipulate or deceive. In prison, many of us struggle to belong, to be good enough or to be adequate.

WestCare has taught me true belonging is the innate human desire to be a part of something larger than myself. Because this longing is so primal, I often tried to acquire it by fitting in and seeking the approval of outside influences. This was not only a substitute for belonging, but a barrier to it. True belonging only happens when we present our authentic and imperfect selves to the world. Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. This program has taught me to stand alone and embrace my recovery from my addictions and destructive lifestyles.

The Long Term Offender Program (LTOP) was ideal for me, a lifer who has suffered further Post Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) and other maladaptive coping skills. This program placed a special selection of men also in recovery to provide dialogue to and support each other mutually. The professional team here has transcended beyond the yard and the ripple effect has assisted in the restoration with my personal family. My wife is a Behavioral Specialist, my sister is a Juvenile Hall Counselor and they are amazed and enjoying the progress and personal growth and maturity that this program has afforded me. My children are enjoying the father that they always desired. I am able to break the generational curse of ineffective communique due to the Family Relations class. I employ these skills into my relationships in life and with my immediate family and the rewards are worth the effort and risk. Today, my children are open and l can easily navigate to them my thoughts and core beliefs. They are happy that I am totally invested in their lives and now trust me to be a grandfather to my grandchildren. We understand that life offers many challenges and we all have thinking distortions that have adverse effects upon the people we interact with, especially the ones we claim to love.

My pleas to anyone reading this, I encourage you, if you have any family members or even yourself that is struggling with addiction: criminal, drug, alcohol or simple process
addictions. Please do not allow the shame, denial or even fear of exposure prevent you from getting back on track and being the blessing to yourself and others.

If you have a loved one in prison, look up WestCare and inquire if they provide services at their facility. If so, do not enable them by sending them financial aid in any form that may lead to fueling their ongoing addiction. Encourage your loved one to seek the proper help. With the help that I have been provided from the WestCare family, I would have gladly paid them every month to show the appreciation for the direction they have provided me in righting my moral compass.

I am truly indebted to not only this program, but the staff as well along with the peer mentors who are second to none in professionalism and compassion. Again, I thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to come into contact with my true self and to also allow me to appreciate the little things that mean so much. Lastly, just knowing and having a support network around you in this type of setting makes recovery that much easier.”

Respectfully submitted with true sincerity,
Rome

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

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“YOU”: A Poem by Tony (SUDT Program Participant at Sierra Conservation Center)

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We’d like to share a wonderful poem written by Tony, a participant in our Substance Use Disorder Treatment (SUDT) program and inmate at the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC). Thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts, Tony!

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“YOU”

“When hope no longer seems to be

An option within to reach

Challenge yourself to grow within

And practice what we teach

 

Promoting, molding better men

By facing what is past

Attempting to instill within

Good conduct that will last

 

Sierra Conservation Center

A place to start brand new

But honestly, it’s not the where

The change depends on YOU”

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.

Program Spotlight: Behavior Education And Treatment (BEAT)

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In recognition of National LGBT Health Awareness Week, a week-long observance to bring awareness to the unique health needs and disparities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, we’d like to introduce the newest addition to the WestCare California family of programs, Behavior Education And Treatment (BEAT)!

BEAT works with those who are HIV positive or at risk of contracting the virus and have a substance abuse disorder. This can include but is not limited to:

• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) individuals, primarily racial/ethnic minorities who identify as Young Men Who Have Sex With Men (YMSM)
• Intravenous drug users
• Individuals involved in risky behaviors such as sex industry work, unprotected sex and human trafficking

The goal of the program is to reduce the link between substance abuse and the transmission of HIV while empowering those that we serve through the program to live drug free, healthy and productive lives. Program results will be achieved through outreach, testing, referrals and a combination of residential and outpatient treatment and sober living as well as support with locating stable housing.

Program Information and Presentations:
Jessica Underwood, Program Coordinator
(559) 237-3420 Ext. 20322

Program Admissions:
Belmont Health and Wellness
611 E. Belmont
Fresno, CA 93701
(559) 237-3420

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For over 40 years, WestCare California has been providing an opportunity for individuals to lead fuller, richer lives. Our team of multi-cultural, experienced and credentialed staff is dedicated to providing the best care to everyone who enters our doors. Our goal is to uplift the human spirit by providing the skills and support necessary for individuals to achieve their dreams and transform their lives.

WestCare provides a wide spectrum of health and human services in both residential and outpatient environments. Our service domains include mental health & wellness, substance abuse and addiction treatment, housing opportunities, education & prevention, criminal justice and veterans programs. These services are available to adults, children, adolescents and families.