DAYTON — Some members of the Darke County Court of Common Pleas visited MonDay Correctional Facility on March 10. Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan Hein makes efforts to take members of the defense bar, prosecutors, probation and others on these periodic field trips.
“We need to have an idea how to sort these cases out,” Judge Hein said. “It costs too much money to get it wrong and to send people places they shouldn’t be sent, causing a waste of everyone’s time and effort.”
MonDay is an American Correctional Association accredited, Community Based Correctional Facility (CBCF) that provides a secure treatment environment for probationable felony offenders. MonDay serves a core group of counties: Montgomery, Greene, Preble, Darke, Fayette and Miami. It also accommodates referrals from other Ohio counties when space allows and has historically received referrals for women in all counties, as MonDay was one of the first to accommodate female residents.
Montgomery County and the city of Dayton established the first pilot residential program, in 1978, MonDay, which operated from a previously abandoned jail. It demonstrated success by diverting non-violent offenders from prison. At that time, it housed about 40 male residents. It was a life-skill program for low-level offenders, according to MonDay Director Michael Flannery.
“One of the conditions of anyone coming here, was they couldn’t have a drug or alcohol problem,” Flannery said. “Then they came into the realization that drugs and alcohol are factors in many of these crimes.”
Now it is a 250-bed facility for men and women, and growing. MonDay’s success encouraged the state legislature to pass House Bill 1000, in 1981, which authorized the establishment and operation of CBCFs and programs by the Courts of Common Pleas, and provided state financial assistance for the renovation, maintenance and operation of the facilities.
In 2016, funding for MonDay included: $6,573,948 awarded from the State Operating Grant, $95,834.32 from the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Grant, $32,095 from the Adult Basic and Literacy Education Program (ABLE) and $7,500 from the Title 1 Grant. The average resident stays about 140 days – some longer, such as those qualifying for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) spending 180 days, and some shorter, depending on their Ohio Risk Assessment System score. Through this assessment tool, residents are evaluated on their risk factors and assigned risk levels.
In addition, MonDay is a cognitive – behavioral treatment program, using the University of Cincinnati’s Substance Abuse Treatment curriculum. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem-solving. Some other MonDay treatment classes/tools include: “Thinking for a Change” anger management, role-playing, behavior-management, parenting classes and relationship classes and General Educational Development (GED).
According to Flannery, during treatment, if so ordered, many residents are given Vivitrol. Flannery said he is not a big fan of some other drugs for a correctional environment, but he believes in Vivitrol to tap down the cravings so residents can concentrate on the program.
Monday belongs to CorJus, Inc. a professional, nonprofit (501 C-6) association comprised of Ohio’s 11 publicly operated CBCFs. In 2016, as a result of some offenders going through CBCFs instead of prisons, was a savings of $122,787,080, according to the CorJus analysis. The low-end estimate for offenders serving their time in prison for an average length of stay – 423 days – equaled $192,187,080 and the actual cost of these same offenders in a CBCF was $69,400,000. The costs in a CBCF include the intensive treatment, education and work release programs.
In 2016, 80.2 percent of MonDay’s residents successfully completed the program. From a total of 569 admissions, there were 475 successful terminations. In Darke County, last year, residents equalled 20 admissions out of which 12 were successful terminations; in 2015, 21 were admitted out of which 24 were successful terminations and in 2017, so far six have been admitted with four successful terminations. In addition, last year 171 total residents received their General Educational Development (GED) Certificates.
“That is very significant,” Flannery said. “Terry Brown and our education staff do a fantastic job with identifying where the residents are, educationally, and honing in on their strengths and deficiencies to help them earn their GEDs”.
“Sometimes people think if you get to go to treatment you get a pass,” Judge Hein said. “In prison, you are not expected to do anything. Here, (MonDay) you are expected to do things. The victim can sometimes misunderstand when you say ‘treatment programming’. Everyone needs to have an idea of what is going on.”
EDS NOTE: This story is part of an ongoing series titled “Fatal Addiction” that will address the drug problem and effects on residents and resources in Darke County.