A Therapeutic Community
B.C. Corrections partners with the John Howard Society to deliver a unique program for offenders with addictions at the Nanaimo Correctional Centre. Guthrie House is a 55-bed therapeutic community separate from the rest of the centre. The program combines work, treatment, counselling and round-the-clock behavioural modelling to fight the root causes of addiction and give offenders a chance at a new beginning. Inmates who are participating in this program are called residents.
To qualify, residents must:
- Be serving a custody sentence of at least four months
- Meet behavioural standards
- Undergo drug testing
- Pass an assessment by their peers
Guthrie House residents demand accountability from one other and will challenge insincerity. The progress residents see in each other and themselves fosters a positive environment and dedication to the program.
At the end of their sentence, after four months, Guthrie House residents are transitioned into the community, given assistance with finding work and housing, and monitored for up to six months. According to a preliminary impact analysis, the program shows promise in helping offenders make changes in their lives, with reductions in reoffending of up to 44%.
For an analysis of this therapeutic community, see Nanaimo Correctional Centre Therapeutic Community Preliminary Impact Analysis (PDF).
Watch this video for a first-hand account of how our staff and partners at Guthrie House use their holistic approach to help the residents learn to live healthier, more positive lives: