Substance Use Disorder Program

The mission of the Substance Use Disorder program is to break the cycle of substance use, criminal behavior, and incarceration in order to provide a safe and drug-free living and working environment both within state correctional facilities as well as in the local communities to which offenders return.

The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) Substance Use Disorder programs are based on the idea that the participant is ultimately responsible for his/her recovery. Participants work closely with treatment staff to develop individual treatment goals and strategies. Each program develops and maintains a philosophy of treatment and therapeutic goals for their respective programs that is approved by the Director of Behavior Health Services.

A variety of treatment options are available to offenders based upon their assessed level of treatment needs.

For offenders with severe substance use disorders, intensive nine-to-twelve month residential programs are available in which participants progress through multiple treatment phases. Based on the modified therapeutic community model, this highly-structured community setting is used to provide a peer based support system for program participants. Program responsibilities are distributed through a structure board and participants are taught to take responsibility for their actions. In addition to substance use treatment, participants receive GED education, motivational group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, rational decision making, criminal thinking, parental skill development, anger management, victim's impact, job readiness/vocational training (where available), facility-based community service work and aftercare (where available).

For offenders with moderate substance use disorders, less intensive group therapy services are available. Group therapy is a four-to-six month intensive outpatient program in which participants are required to complete, at minimum, 150 hours of structured evidence based treatment services. Substance use problems are closely tied to social relationships; therefore, the focus is using group therapy as a tool for both prevention and for treatment.

The Parole Technical Violator Diversion Program (PTVDP) is additionally available for offenders who are reincarcerated due to a technical violation of their condition of parole. Currently located at Turney Center Industrial Complex Annex, this 75-bed program runs in conjunction with the modified therapeutic community program at the facility. The program lasts an average six months and addresses the same topics covered in our standard therapeutic communities. Emphasis is placed on identifying offenders' reentry needs in order to make a successful crime and drug-free integration back into society.