Certified Treatment and Rehabilitative Programs (CTRP): Over the last decade, the Department organized and standardized programs and services in state prisons addressing criminogenic needs and to better prepare offenders for a successful reintegration into their communities. In 2010, as some local jails began to offer these programs to offenders, the Department instituted the “Certified Treatment and Rehabilitative Program” certification process to insure the programs implemented in state prisons and local jails were evidence based and standardized. Offenders are provided the opportunity to participate in a variety of evidence-based programming designed to address the criminogenic risks and needs identified in their ReAP.
Providing standardized, evidence based programming will improve public safety, reduce recidivism, decrease victimization, and reduce the financial burden of the correctional system. To provide an incentive for offenders to take advantage of these programs, a specified amount of credit toward early release is earned by eligible offenders for completing each program up to a maximum of 360 days of credit pursuant to LA R.S. 15:828(B). Successful participation and completion in these programs enable the (eligible) offender to release to probation/parole supervision earlier (and better prepared) and at a savings to the Louisiana taxpayer. The Department maintains a comprehensive listing of all available Certified Treatment and Rehabilitative Programs (CTRP) in a Catalog of Rehabilitative Services.
Since approximately 81% of incarcerated offenders do not have a high school diploma or equivalent at intake, it is important to make educational programming available to incarcerated offenders, as well as to offenders released to community supervision or placed on probation. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections – Corrections Services is required by R.S. 15:828(A)(1) to establish programs, including educational and vocational training, for the rehabilitation of all individuals committed to and in the physical custody of the Department, consistent with available resources. Additionally, R.S. 15:828(B) requires the Department secretary to prescribe rules and regulations in the facilities and institutions under the Department’s jurisdiction to encourage voluntary participation by offenders in literacy, academic (Adult Basic Education and High School Equivalency preparation), and vocational technical programs. As outlined on this website, The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections provides educational opportunities in the areas of:
- Adult Basic Education/General Education Development (ABE/GED)
- High School Equivalency Preparation (HSE-Prep)
- Developmental Studies
- Special Education
The Department also provides special education programming through the Louisiana Department of Education Special School District to offenders who qualify by age criteria and have behavioral, emotional, and/or learning disorders as diagnosed by a Special School District diagnostician. These classes are offered in conjunction with other literacy, ABE, and High School Equivalency preparation programs according to the student’s academic achievement level.
- Job Skills and Employment Readiness
Job skills training and employment readiness are major components of successful offender reentry. A significant percentage of offenders who enter prison are not employed at the time the crime was committed. The utilization of vocational-technical programs by offenders will greatly improve their marketable skills.
At the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, highly-skilled offender mentors are utilized to enhance the training development in automotive and construction training classes to assist non-skilled offenders in attaining an Industry-Based Certification (IBC) in their chosen field of training. Certifications through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) are offered to offenders as they complete the training program to assist the offender in attaining employment after release.
The Department partners with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) to offer offenders faith-based course work leading to an Associate or Bachelors Degree in Theology. This program has proven to enhance the social and quality-of-life skills needed for this population.
Though a partnership with the Louisiana Community & Technical College System (LCTCS), offenders are able to earn college credit in vocational-technical training fields. Vocational-technical education programs focus on the development of entry-level employment skills for offenders through classroom instruction and hands-on training. The Department offers the following vocational programs at various institutions. Program descriptions are provided on subsequent pages.
- Substance Abuse Treatment
80% of DOC offenders have substance abuse issues that contribute to their criminality. It is imperative that the Department provide treatment and education for incarcerated offenders and subsequently link them with services in the community upon release. Offenders are provided the opportunity to participate in a variety of substance abuse education programs including AA, NA, Living in Balance, and Celebrate Recovery.
The Steve Hoyle Intensive Substance Abuse Treatment Program (housed at Bossier Parish Correctional Center) provides a therapeutic community approach to house, treat, educate and re-integrate offenders with identified substance abuse challenges.
- Faith-Based and Values Development programming
Most offenders have a values base that is inconsistent with what it takes to adjust in society. This often results in poor and often anti-social decision-making, which is reinforced by anti-social peers and associates. It is imperative that the Department provides faith-based and character-based programs to offset these deficits. Faith-based programs can help an offender prepare for a successful reentry by establishing a spiritual foundation from which he/she can make sound, moral decisions. Furthermore, offenders assessed as high or moderate risk require structured, cognitive-behavioral programs to provide them with pro-social decision-making skills. Examples of these programs used by the Department are Moral Reconation Therapy and Thinking for Change.
Corrections chaplains work with hundreds of volunteers that form the core of religious programming to support changes toward a pro-social identity. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) offers positive, life-affirming television programming around the clock free of charge to all state correctional facilities. The Department has three Faith and character-based dormitory (FCBD) programs, aimed at maximizing the power of personal faith, reinforcement of pro-social decision making, and positive role models through mentoring.
Louisiana State Penitentiary became a model from other prisons systems in the country when it partnered with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) to open a Bible College on the grounds of the maximum security prison. The seminary, established in 1995, offers two college-level degree programs: a two-year associate degree in Pastoral Ministries and a four-year bachelor’s degree in Theology. As many of Angola’s offenders are serving life sentences, the Department sees their role in the reentry process as mentors – helping other offenders transition back into the community. Some offenders who have earned degrees serve as missionaries as chaplains at other prisons to strengthen religious and moral programming.