Minister Updates: Substance Abuse Treatment

October 31, 2012

Earlier this afternoon, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Kim Wilson provided an update of the substance abuse treatment services and facilities which fall under the Ministry.

Minister Wilson said the Transitional Living Center [TLC] — which was located at Westgate and aimed to help offenders successfully reintegrating into the community upon release.

The programme accommodated approximately fifteen adult male residents. The TLC facility has been closed since June 30, 2012, and Minister Wilson said the Department of Corrections intends to reopen the TLC in April 2013.

“I should point out that the TLC Restructuring Committee recommended changing the programme to cater to high-risk offenders. Previously, the programme primarily catered to low-risk offenders,” said Minister Wilson.

Minister Wilson [centre] with from l to r: Angria Bassett of the Women’s Treatment Centre, Director DNDC Joanne L Dean, Prison Commissioner Lt/Col Edward Lamb and Roger Trott of the Men’s Treatment Centre.

The Minister also spoke on the Substance Abuse Treatment Co-Ed Facility, which is a current capital project that she said they anticipate will be completed this fiscal year.

“Both the Men’s Treatment Center and the Women’s Treatment programmes will be re-located to this purpose built facility,” said Minister Wilson.

The new facility will double the available male beds from 12 to 24 and increase female beds from 8-12 beds and offer a safe and therapeutic environment for those seeking recovery from alcohol and drug abuse.

Minister Wilson also spoke about the Right Living House located at the Farm Work Release Facility in St. George’s, the Women’s Treatment Center on North Shore Road in Devonshire and the Men’s Treatment Center.

Minister Wilson’s full statement follows below:

Good Afternoon and thank you for joining me:

Today, I wanted to take a few moments to provide you with an update – some very good news in my view – regarding the treatment services that fall under the Ministry.

First off, I am a firm believer in recognising the efforts of individuals when they put in significant work that ultimately aids others.

And in that regard, I think it’s important to highlight the hard work of the men and women, who are on the front line of treating and counselling individuals suffering from substance issues.

Today I am pleased to be joined by some of our treatment service providers.

They go above and beyond to provide this service, and I want to take this opportunity to publicly commend and thank them for their vigilant efforts to assist our residents who require this vital service.

Today I am going to discuss the various facilities and treatment services under the Ministry’s remit, starting with an update on the Transitional Living Center which was located at Westgate.

The Transitional Living Center was developed as a partnership between Department of National Drug Control, Department of Corrections and Liberty Behavioural Healthcare Corporation.

The mission of TLC was to provide a drug-free, safe and structured treatment environment where residents live and work together within a supportive and habilitative framework of mutual self- help which will assist resident with successful reintegration into the community upon release.

The programme accommodated approximately fifteen (15) adult male residents and was a 9 to 12 month residential programme, followed by six months of aftercare while the resident re-enters society.

As you are aware, the TLC facility has been closed since June 30, 2012. It is the intention of the Department of Corrections to reopen the TLC in April 2013.

To accomplish this, the Department of Corrections is currently reviewing the delivery of programmes and staffing.

The proposed TLC will be operated under the supervision of a Director. There will also be a Case Manager/Assessment Officer who will work under the supervision of the Director.

These individuals will also deliver programs for the residents. There will be custody staff that will provide a security presence as well as being trained in the delivery of programmes.

There is a goal to be in partnership with outside agencies in the community to assist the Department of Corrections to provide personnel in the delivery of necessary services.

The offenders who will be targeted will be of a higher risk.

I should point out that the TLC Restructuring Committee recommended changing the programme to cater to high-risk offenders. Previously, the programme primarily catered to low-risk offenders.

These offenders have been identified as they provide certain challenges in re-entry to the community.

The critical aspects that are currently being determined will be the selection of those persons to work at the TLC and the training that will be required.

I’d now like to touch on the New Co-Ed Substance Abuse Treatment Facility.

The Substance Abuse Treatment Co-Ed Facility is a current capital project that we anticipate will be completed this fiscal year.

Both the Men’s Treatment Center and the Women’s Treatment programmes will be re- located to this purpose built facility.

The new facility will provide a permanent and stable location for the treatment centers, which currently operate out of rental premises; allow for increased bed capacity, increasing the available male beds from 12 to 24 and increasing female beds from 8-12 beds and offer a safe and therapeutic environment for those seeking recovery from alcohol and drug abuse.

The programmes will operate as separate entities; within the facility and will be completely segregated.

The next facility I’d like to highlight is the Right Living House.

The Right Living House is a Therapeutic Community (TC) located at the Farm Work Release Facility in St. George’s, Bermuda.

It opened its doors to residents in the summer of 2009.

The programme was developed in a partnership between the Bermuda’s Department of National Drug Control and the Department of Corrections.

With the support and backing of Bermuda’s Ministry of Culture and Social Rehabilitation, these two agencies set out to lessen the corrosive impact of drug abuse and crime on our community.

The programme, which currently houses 18 residents, is segregated from the general prison population in order to diminish the potential negative influences of the untreated inmate subculture on the TC’s changed-oriented, pro-social culture.

I think it’s important to point out that many of the clients who would normally have been in the TLC programme are now in the Right Living House programme.

Right Living House is a highly structured educational and therapeutic treatment environment that expects offenders to display responsible, appropriate behaviour at all times.

Treatment centre offenders are constantly challenged on their maladaptive criminal addictive thinking, attitudes and behaviours reflective of the drug/criminal lifestyle.

As the residents progress through the program, they are supported in their expressions of pro-social attitudes and behaviours.

Right Living is composed of peer groups and counselling staff that constitute the community, or “family”, within the residential facility.

This peer-to-community structure strengthens the resident’s identification with a perceived, ordered network of peers.

More importantly, this structure works to develop relationships of mutual responsibility among the residents who are at various developmental stages (phases) in the program.

Turning to the Women’s Treatment Center – this facility is the only Residential Treatment Facility for Women in Bermuda. It provides long term, comprehensive treatment for addiction and related disorders.

The programme is delivered over a minimum of 12 months using a phased approach.

All clients are assessed on completion of each Phase prior to being progressed to the next Phase.

Each client is judged on her individual merit for treatment planning. The average length of stay in the program to date is 15 months.

The Women’s Treatment Center opened its doors in 2004 with 6 residential beds and 2 transitional beds.

It was later re-located to its current site on North Shore Road in Devonshire in 2006 where it has 8 residential beds and 2 transitional beds.

In 2008 the Women’s Treatment Community Residence was opened by Government to provide supportive and safe housing for women in recovery who are transitioning back into the community.

This facility offers supportive housing for up to 2 years for 8 women at a time. Residential bed capacity will increase to twelve (12) when the programme re-locates to the new facility in Dockyard later this fiscal year.

The Women’s Treatment was the first local substance abuse treatment center to be internationally accredited by CARF in 2009. It has maintained international standards since then, earning the gold star of 3 years accreditation in 2011.

I’d just like to share a few statistics regarding women’s treatment.

Since 2006, 23 women have participated in the completion exercises to date which have occurred every 2 years. Five have successfully completed the Nursing Assistant programme and one individual is working towards Associates degree at the Bermuda College.

We have 9 individuals employed full time and two women who have been reunited with their children and or gained full custody of their children.

And finally, I want to close by highlighting our Men’s Treatment Services. This is a 12-month, 3-phased, residential substance abuse and related disorders treatment programme for men aged 18 and older in Bermuda.

The three phases are Orientation, Treatment, and Transition. The programme is currently being re-organized to incorporate primary care along with relapse prevention and transition for males in this new phased approach.

Clients meet with their primary counselor to develop their treatment plans, discuss personal issues, and monitor their phase progress. Residents are eligible to progress from one phase to the next once they have met the requirements for the preceding phase.

Presently, the maximum bed capacity is twelve (12); however, this number is set to increase to twenty-four (24) once the program relocates to its new facility in Dockyard later this fiscal year.

The Men’s Treatment Center is currently preparing for international accreditation via CARF with plans to be surveyed by May 2013.

Currently Men’s Treatment has eleven (11) residential clients. 3 were referred directly from Westgate, 4 are from Drug Treatment Court and 4 are voluntary. In the past year 9 clients have successfully completed the treatment programme.

So ladies and gentlemen, thank you for indulging me the time this afternoon to update you on our treatment services and facilities.

I think it’s important to highlight the strides that we are making in substance abuse recovery and treatment as this social aspect is a very real, very present and very significant part of our community.

I don’t think that there is anyone who doesn’t know someone who has been affected by substance abuse, and I believe that it is important to demonstrate that this Government is doing what it can to address this critically important social need.

Thank you.


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Comments (16)

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  1. Barracuda says:

    Why is the everyday running of Government now a photo opportunity?
    Get rid of this lot.

    • OBA is just like romney says:

      Ahhh, of course. And then if they do nothing, you say they are being secretive. Shut it!

    • Spot says:

      Hardly an opportunity, the TLC has been closed since June and will be reopened in April 2013……so the island has had 10 months of nothing in terms of prisoner reintigration. Leading up to the facility closure it couldn’t have been fully functioning either. This is just another exposing of a PLP failure spun to try and make it look like the did something. 10 months, when gangs and crime are rampant. SMH

  2. I t is good to hear that TLC will be back up and running in early 2013 but the only challenge I have with Minister Wilsons press release is that no where does she talk about the hard working Bermudian staff that loss their jobs as a result of the closure of TLC and the former group that had the contract for TLC was a foreign group that hired locals which was a good thing but these same locals became unemployed that the contract was not renewed and TLC closed down.

    TLC was and is a good initative and the staff that she praises in her photo up did not do as great of a job as those behind the scenes and they are the ones that need to be highly commended and they are also the ones that need to be re-employed immediately when TLC starts up again and they should not be made to go through any political wrangling of having to re-apply.So Minister the next time this subject comes up we would appreciate you dealing with these concerns and the plight of the Bermudians that worked at TLC and did an outstanding job and what is your position on them having to be rehired without the political Wranglings.

  3. When the contract was not renewed is the correct sentence for above on the fourth and fith line.

  4. OMG says:

    If I am not mistaken the Old Govenors Building has been renovated to occomodate this program – at what cost??

  5. Things that seem the same says:

    Respectfully, and I say this in love.
    But Maam, you are a liar.
    You promised to help moms and kids with child maintenance money due.
    You said they would not be able to travel, licence their sharp cars and bikes
    And trucks unless they paid their child support.

    Remember, laws were going to be applied? You said.
    Stand in the hall by the Family Support office and listen to how the moms are spoken to, or
    Should I say disrespected and talked done to.
    As if we are there begging for what your Magistrate said is due these children! Rude and you allow it.
    And yes the dads are treated so politely and made comfortable by the girls there.
    Only one lady there has self respect, she knows who she is.
    God bless her, and he does.

    I know my friend who worked at TLC won’t work again, he is Bermudian.
    And I know he did more than all you administrators. Yes you did your part,
    I appreciate that but Walter and my other brothers and sisters in the paint,
    do all the dirty work. No disrespect bosses but just my experience.
    Again, lol, Stop lying.
    Painfully, I remember the last time you said…anticipating, waiting, time passed.
    I kind of expected you to come through, sadly.
    I feel lives could have been saved. Expectations lead to premeditated resentments.
    Who feels it knows it. My own fault sis.
    Bless up. Apologies for any hurt feelings or poor word choices.

  6. Things that seem the same says:

    Moms are talked down to.
    e.g. In a condescending, shout over the counter,
    I don’t feel like getting up to discuss your now public, shouted out, supposed to be confidential details.
    Plus I’m busy right now! What you want now look! Whispering, ignore you. Brusque one work answers.
    Meaningless phrases. Oh it’s her again. You know the I’m better than you Bermudian, I have a job, (for now! Lol) behaviour? Just to clarify. Umm, by the way, we don’t get child support, so you were right, I guess the children all grown up, in your jails, didn’t need it after all!
    Bravo. You guys look great! Really nice outfits.
    Go check the moms catching the bus with their kids, see how they are managing.
    No money for hair dos, or haircuts. Find groceries every week for growing black boys, I dare you.
    You are not going do it, tell the truth okay.

  7. Liars says:

    Duane Santucci, nobody cares….and if you proof read your crap, you should have picked out Photo OPP not photo UP