Warm Springs Addiction, Treatment, & Change (WATCh) East Program

Located in Glendive, Montana, WATCh East provides a 48-bed felony DUI treatment center that mainly houses women. Applicants are admitted to the six-month program after being screened by a panel composed of law enforcement officials, elected representatives, Department of Corrections staff and townspeople.

WATCh East is a partnership between Community, Counseling, and Correctional Services, Inc. (CCCS) and the Montana Department of Corrections (MDOC). The program is based on a Modified Therapeutic Community model of treating addiction and the subsequent social issues.

The WATCh East Program opened on February 1, 2005 and is the culmination of efforts by CCCS and the MDOC to provide an alternative, proactive response to traditional sentencing of adult felony DUI offenders.

The WATCh Program, located in Warm Springs, currently serves male DUI offenders and has a capacity of 146 individuals. However, 40 vacant beds became available in Warm Springs when the WATCh East facility became operational. The 40 vacant beds in Warm Springs were used to double the number of beds the state offers through CCCS for a 60-day drug treatment facility, which is the Connections Corrections Program (CCP). It is based in butte, Montana and differs from the WATCh programs by offering services to men addicted to all types of drugs instead of only alcohol. Expanding CCP is the central aim of relocating female felony DUI offenders to Glendive. The need for that expansion is obvious by the list of more than 100 people waiting to get into CCP.


Program Mission

Like its predecessor program, Warm Springs Addiction Treatment and Change Program (WATCh), WATCh EAST is a six-month, intensive, cognitive behavioral based Modified Therapeutic Community, which assists Family Members (clients) in developing those skills necessary to create prosocial change, reduce antisocial thinking, criminal behavior patterns and the negative effects of chemical addictions while integrating more fully into society.

Program Objectives

Correctional programming and treatment staff have established the following objectives to enable WATCh East to best achieve program goals:

Core Program Beliefs

WATCh East is dedicated to helping those entrusted to our care. As such, the staff has developed the following core beliefs:


What are the key components for the WATCh East Program?

Security is our top priority:

Although the WATCh East Program is ostensibly a treatment program, it is still a correctional program and those individuals receiving treatment at the facility are still offenders. Therefore, public safety is of paramount concern for the WATCh Program. CCCS has implemented the following security control features:

Programming Intensity and Daily Schedule:

Family Members in the WATCh East Program receive extensive and varied programming seven days a week. Family Members are also responsible to complete individual assignments, participate in recreational and religious opportunities, complete therapeutic tasks and participate in other projects as determined by their respective treatment team and family. The daily schedule provides for structured activities that are organized, consistent, and routine, while still allowing individuals to have free time.

Program Phases

The WATCh East Program includes three distinct phases. Each phase has specific requirements, as well as individual responsibilities and privileges. Family Members may not progress through the phases without the endorsement of their respective treatment team.

What are the specific treatment and ancillary service programs offered at the WATCh Program?

Chemical Dependency Programming:

WATCh East uses Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment: Strategies for Self Improvement and Change as the core curriculum for addressing both the chemical dependency and criminal conduct issues of our Family Members. The program, developed by Wanberg and Milkman, is a cognitive-behavioral based curriculum that is ideally suited for a long-term program and is “open-ended” so that Family Members are able to enter the programming at any point. Chemical Dependency group is conducted six days a week for approximately 1.5 hours per day. The treatment curriculum is segmented into three phases. The first, Challenge to Change, is a reflective-contemplative phase and involves building a working relationship with the Family Member and helping him/her to develop the motivation to change. The major focus is developing self-awareness through self-disclosure and receiving feedback. Phase 2 is an Action Phase involving the Family Member in an active demonstration of implementing and practicing change. Each Family Member undergoes an in-depth assessment of his/her life situations and problems. Each Family Member will look carefully at the critical areas that need change and improvement. Targets of change are identified and a series of lessons developed to strengthen the basic skills for change. The final phase, Phase 3, is known as the Ownership of Change. This stabilization and maintenance phase involves the Family Members ownership of change over time. Programming involves treatment experiences designed to reinforce and strengthen the commitment to established changes. The concepts of relapse and recidivism prevention will be thoroughly reviewed.

Cognitive Behavioral Programming:

Cognitive Principles and Restructuring (CP&R) is a program that was developed by the Montana State Prison, and has achieved impressive outcome results. CP&R is conducted five days per week for approximately 1.5 hours per session. This component is delivered in both individual and group settings by trained staff. Family members learn and practice the following steps to change:

Criminal Thinking Errors:

In addition to the above mentioned program, WATCh East uses the Truthought program by David W. Koemer. This program consists of lectures and homework assignments focusing on the Family Members' criminal thinking errors.

Anger Management:

All Family Members are screened and assessed for participation in Anger Management. This group is held weekly for approximately one hour and consists of 8-10 sessions. This is a "closed program" and therefore one group will begin and end together, which helps to enhance trust and sharing of sensitive issues.

Family Relationships/Parenting Programming:

All Family Members are screened and assessed for participation in our Family Relationships/Parenting group. This program consists of 12 weekly sessions, lasting approximately one hour and is open ended. Family Members begin at any point and progress at their own pace. The program consists of group work, reading assignments, reflections, and written work.

Grief Group:

WATCh East uses a program written by one of its former counselors, Beverly Welo, titled: Life Beyond Loss: A workbook for Incarcerated Men and Picking Up the Pieces: A Workbook for Incarcerated Women. These groups address the grief and loss issues that many of our Family Members face. Individuals are referred by their primary treatment team and the group typically lasts two months.

Women's and men's Issues:

these separate groups are focused on addressing the unique needs and issues which face men and women. The Woman's Group uses the Helping Women Recover series which is specifically targeted at helping women who are in a correctional setting. The Men's Group uses the men's Work Workbooks, by Paul Kivel. This series incorporates three workbooks titled; "Anger, Power, Violence and Drugs"; "Becoming Whole"; and "Growing Up Male." Both groups consist of group work, reading assignments, and journaling.

Life Skill Development:

All Family Members at the WATCh East Program participate in Life Skill Development classes. These classes, which are conducted by the Community and Employment Specialist and Intensive Community Case Manager/After Care Coordinator, cover the following topics: interpersonal skills, financial management, food management, personal appearance, health, employment seeking, employment maintenance, legal skills, emergency and safety skills, community resources, and housekeeping.

AA/NA Meetings and Big Book Study Group:

WATCh East encourages all Family members to learn about one of the foundations of recovery — Alcoholics Anonymous, the Big Book of AA, and its "sister" group, Narcotics Anonymous. While the Program realizes that not everyone embraces the AA philosophy, its core principles are applicable to working in any recovery program and are an excellent resource for individuals who are new (or "old") to recovery.

Victim's Issues:

All Family Members will also participate in a Victim's Issues education and awareness program. A key component in addressing the criminal thought process is to have the individual feel remorse and empathy for others. This program is designed to begin to break through the concept that, for most individuals who enter WATCh East, driving under the influence is a "victim-less" crime.

Family Education Classes:

WATCh East believes that educating our Family members' family and friends is crucial in the treatment and recovery process. Therefore, all visitors are required to attend an hour long educational class prior to visiting any family member. This "course" consists of 8 sessions. Once the individual completes all eight sessions they are considered to have completed the course and are no longer required to attend prior to visiting the Family Member.

Recreational Opportunities:

The facility boasts a gymnasium, weight room and outdoor recreational areas for Family Members to utilize for leisure and fitness purposes. Research has consistently proved that improving one's physical body helps to improve one's mental health. All Family Members are allowed the opportunity to exercise at least one hour, and sometimes, two hours per day.

Spiritual Services:

WATCh East employs a non-denominational Religious Coordinator who offers Sunday Services, bible study, and spiritual counseling to any Family member who wishes to participate. The program also encourages the use of some traditional Native American traditions such as Smudging, Medicine Bags and the use of sacred herbs/roots.

Family Members who have other beliefs and traditions are welcomed, and the program strives to make as many accommodations for the practicing of these beliefs as possible within the confines of our facility and security needs.

Administration & Program Staff

A dedicated team of staff distinguished by both education and experience provide services at WATCh East. CCCS has carefully selected a diverse, professional staff to ensure residents receive the most effective environment for correctional programming and community transitional services.

Program Referrals

Referrals to WATCh East are only made by the Montana Department of Corrections or the Federal Probation System. Once a referral is received, the CCCS staff and local screening committee will review the appropriate paperwork (usually within 1 week of receipt) and determine the applicant’s suitability for the program. The program screening committee determines an individual's acceptance into the program, with first priority given to women and then men. The WATCh East committee consists of one representative from the program, one representative from MDOC, one individual from the Glendive law enforcement, one representative from the "community at large" and one representative from the Gerogetown Estates.

Generally, all individuals convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI are accepted. However, there are some exclusions which apply such as: multiple convictions requiring a higher level of supervision, medical conditions which cannot be treated or properly managed in the program, severe mental health issues/iactive suicidal ideation, sex offenses (automatic denial), etc.

The screening process is the only means of admission into the Program. The WATCh East screening committee convenes the first and third Tuesday of each month to review applications for placement and all referral sources will be notified within 24 hours of their referents' acceptance or denial to the program.

Contact Information

Name: Michael Nephew
Title: Program Administrator
Address: 700 Little Street
  Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: 406-377-6001
E-mail: mnephew@cccscorp.com

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