TAFT – For those willing to surrender their past, prison can be home to positive change.
“Whenever I got here I told myself I was going to hit the gate running,” inmate Michelle Mesplay said. “I was going to take every opportunity that comes my way.”
One of those opportunities is the Regimented Treatment Program at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft.
RTP is an intensive military-style substance abuse treatment program that lasts up to 12 months. It uses a highly structured environment and therapeutic community to change behavior.
“Through the years, I see how it makes changes in the women,” unit manager Sharon Morgan said. “They realize their future is not defined by who they were. The future is defined by what they want it to be. It’s an opportunity to not only change the lives of the women we deal with but this is generational.”
This program, along with Helping Women Recover, focuses on substance abuse and recovery.
S eventy-five percent of the women said that drug and alcohol treatment programs like these had been the most helpful in achieving sobriety.
“God brought me here for a reason,” inmate Lacey Graff said. “To be able to participate in the program was a true blessing. It not only focuses on substance abuse but the reason for the addiction.”
“This program has been a fantastic opportunity,” inmate Tess Owen added. “It helped me work through the cause of my addiction, not just the abuse but getting to the root of the trauma.”
Recently, more than three dozen women completed the program, earning their graduation certificates.
“For a lot of them it’s the first time they completed anything,” Resonance Re-Entry Director Leon Frost said. “They are really excited about the graduation. They are ready for the next step, to transition into the real world and be productive citizens.”
Their graduation certificates are so much more than a piece of paper. Today, these women are dedicated to a new life, one they never imagined prior to prison.
“Prison is the best thing that ever happened to me,” Owen said.