In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

four| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | CLEVEL With Blackout past and a month served on Zero, women are eager to advance to C Level. Normally three months in duration, C Level rewards women with fewer restrictions and increasing freedoms. Now socialized into the customs and culture of the house and its formal sisterhood, Adeline, Billie, Freya, Clair, Violet, and Amelia are some of the women who move to C Level. With this move, the women step up a notch in status, normally leaving their chores to Zero girls for slightly better ones, and they are now provided fifty dollars per month spending money, which is quite a change from no money at Blackout and the ten dollars they received on Zero. These are some of the formal benefits of advancement to C Level. Informally, women who move to C Level are more senior members of the house, and with this seniority, they are now able to enforce over Blackout and Zero girls their preferred seat location in the living room. They also pass along their advice and resistance strategies to women at the earlier phases of stay who are still learning how to negotiate Alpha Omega House. Advancement to C Level makes women eligible for treatment and programming outside of the house in the form of intensive outpatient programming, popularly called IOP, at various local agencies. This treatment and its accompanying unsupervised travel are their greatest privileges yet, but new constraints are also imposed, for example, pat-­ down searches when they return from the outside and substance-­ abuse testing when staff suspect alcohol or drug use. When they are not at IOP, C Level women continue to participate in the groups or classes that take place at the house. As described earlier, Alpha Omega House advertises treatment opportunities in a therapeutic community (TC) setting. TCs are popular for substance abusers, 152 a halfway house for women and they stress self-­ help as well as personal and social responsibility as participants move toward prosocial lifestyles, attitudes, and behaviors in a structured, treatment-­ oriented setting. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Hanson, 2002, pp. 1–2), effective TCs involve both “rehabilitation—relearning and re-­ establishing healthy skills and values as well as regaining physical and emotional health”—and, for individuals who have never lived healthy lives, “habilitation—learning for the first time the behavioral skills, attitudes, and values associated with socialized living.” The TC approach at Alpha Omega House is what De Leon (1997, pp. 1–2) describes as a modified therapeutic community; its substance-­abuse focus is modified for a special population in a special setting, that is, women in a prison reentry center who have a broad set of treatment needs. The essential elements of the therapeutic community according to De Leon involves treatment of the “whole person” (p.4). Thus, rehabilitation focuses on the individual’s psychological status and lifestyle through cognitive-­ behavioral and other approaches, and the individual’s personal characteristics, including education level, self-­esteem, responsibility, and financial self-­reliance. Key to successful treatment is the “community approach,” which involves peer involvement and functional and productive activities targeting social and interpersonal skills, financial planning, family involvement, and housing assistance.1 Like reentry centers traditionally, employment is of primary importance in the modified TC (Inciardi, Martin, and Surratt, 2001). The treatment opportunities advertised at Alpha Omega House—in house and through community referral—incorporate many of the traditional TC elements: ◆ Drug and alcohol treatment in group therapy, individual therapy, psychotherapy , and family therapy ◆  Educational experiences ◆ Housing assistance ◆ Family reunification when possible ◆ Self-­esteem and interpersonal skill building ◆ Financial planning In addition to advertising itself as a therapeutic community, Alpha Omega House promises gender-­ responsive strategies for women returning from prison. These include parenting classes, women’s health classes, literacy training, and job-­skillstrainingdesignedtohelpwomenbecome“independentandresponsible c level 153 law-­abiding members of the community with the capacity and confidence to care for themselves and their families.” The first part of this chapter describes women’s actual experiences of treatment programming at Alpha Omega House in IOP in the community and classes at the house. Just as women experience new routines when they advance reentry-­ center phases, their opportunities for resistance also change. As they participate in the three months at C Level, women rely on the resistance strategies that helped them to cope with the constraints of Blackout and Zero, but they are now able to put to work new methods. The second part of this chapter illustrates the common resistance strategies...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.