BELIEF reduces recidivism

Ed Coleman visits BELIEF program and Sheriff Woody

In this video, Ed Coleman talks to Sheriff C.T. Woody and B.E.L.I.E.F. program participants. They explain why they think the substance abuse and behavior modification program is so unique and effective in reducing recidivism. “Recovery and healing is what it’s all about,” Sheriff Woody said. “We are all recovering from something – whether we are inside the institution, or outside; locked in or locked out.” The program teaches participants to “educate themselves from the heart.”

The B.E.L.I.E.F. program is a voluntary therapy for inmates who wish to undergo treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. Once accepted into the program, participants must remain clean, sober, and willing to positively change their lives while living in a separate, structured setting. Individuals spend about 12 hours each day in class activities and group discussion. The program combines 12-step recovery principles with cognitive behavior therapy. Mentors guide newer participants using 12-step recovery principles and cognitive behavior therapy techniques. Members in later phases of this program may be eligible for work/study release.

One program participant described his experience: “I’ve been coming back in forth to jail since I was 13 years old. I realize that it’s time for a change. I have kids, you know, and I’m tired and I need help. I came to the program… I realized that drugs are only 10% of my problem. I have to work on my behavior also.”

Another BELIEF participant, and now a ROOTS leader, said, “I’ve been in programs before but none as intense as the BELIEF program. It deals with attitudes and behaviors, and drug education. It has taught me that I don’t always have to respond by using drugs or getting upset and wanting to fight. I have matured so that I can listen to myself, calm down and find a peaceful way to resolve my problems.”

“The BELIEF program has given me a lot. As far as wanting to live, it’s given me a vision,” another BELIEF participant revealed. “At some point, you have to move forward.”