An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Combination Jail / Counseling

Discussion in 'Share Your Rehab Experience' started by OhioTom76, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    When I was sentenced to 30 days in jail for my DUI, it wasn't a traditional jail but rather an extension of the local jail - instead of being in cells behind bars, the building we were in was actually a former grade school. Each room had a bunch of bunk beds in them and we had to all sleep in whatever room we were assigned.

    In addition, throughout the day we had to sit through various counseling programs - group discussions, workbook assignments, watching videos about alcohol rehabilitation, etc.. then the rest of the days were spent in our room, or occasionally we got break times to go watch TV or smoke.

    I wish I could say something good about the whole experience, but it was entirely worthless. The "counselors" were just going through the motions, the staff was rude and on a power trip the whole time, and the facilities were filthy and the food inedible (we all ate out of the vending machines for 30 days instead). I understand it's not meant to be Camp Cupcake, but it's also a tremendous waste of taxpayer money as well when it comes to treating or effectively rehabilitating anyone. It honestly felt like a big charade to give the appearance that they were doing something about DUI's when they are just all collecting paychecks.
    Joseph likes this.
  2. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    It sounds like you went to the jail version of rehab, for sure.
    Depends where you live and commit a crime obviously, but the ones I went to in Michigan were actual rehabs (not connected to the jail, just partnering with them to offer a program). So it was a mix of people who were sentenced to go there and people who just walked in the front door on their own.
    Joseph likes this.
  3. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    I've been through two different programs, for two different DUI's, the second one I got was obviously the more extreme punishment. The first one was at a Holiday Inn for a couple days, and that was more like a vacation to be honest, with the exception that I had to do a couple of days in a holding cell immediately afterwards.

    The second time I went in, was at the Jail I mentioned above. It's actually in Akron, Ohio and is called Oriana House. At the time I had to go, which was about 4 years ago, I could not find any information about it and I had no idea what to expect, which seemed rather odd since I'm sure many people had been through it and nobody seemed to share their experiences about it online.

    Of course now they have a web site which makes them look all bright and rosy, when it's anything but. What also surprised me was that some of the officers and counselors there mentioned that some people actually come in from out of state to do their sentences there - which I didn't know was even an option for people busted with DUI's. Anyhow, if someone outside of Ohio is in fact considering doing this, I guess I just wanted to warn them that this place is a major dump.

    Incidentally, one of the guys in our room mentioned that he actually attended grade school in that very building back when it was a school, and now he was spending months in there (maybe years?) for various offenses. That had to of been weird.
  4. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    LOL! Very weird.

    Honestly, I've had really positive court-ordered experiences. I don't pretend it's the same for everyone in every state or county. I had to do that intensive 18 month adult treatment court ordeal, and I'm grateful the judge gave it to me. I think the state of OH might be a little more lenient on 2nd DUI offenses than MI, though. That's something you can be happy about even if the place they sent you to was a joke :)

  5. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    It is no picnic and the point of being in there is to be punished for something that you have done. To acknowledge that you are sitting in a prison because of your own mistake is enough for you to want to get out and avoid going back there. Many prisons have good facilities that have professional councellors and help but it is usually in the hospital section where you get good meals, proper beds and people who are wanting to help you rehabilitate.
    Be lucky that you never experienced anything else that would require extreme therapy and be thankful that you left without being hurt. Now is the opportune moment to make sure that you are not sent back there.
    notodrugs likes this.
  6. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    I served 48 hours of jail time for fighting. Oh, and I was drunk at the time. I was then mandated to take and pay substance abuse class and anger management classes. I felt it was a big waste of time also. There is always someone being introduced in these classes and there was no forward progression because we had to introduce new attendees to the class.

    The anger management classes had several change ups of instructors so classes had no proper flow, and lesson plans were out of synced because of the changing of the guards.
  7. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    You know...everybody in a court ordered anything complains.

    Most of the time I think it's just part of who we are (addicts/alcoholics). We don't like authority. We don't like being told what to do. We don't like the fact that we are the only ones who keep putting ourselves in these situations to begin with. So we usually have a good amount of anger that spews in every direction but inward. If anything is unfair, we will find it.

    But we're not the victims. I don't complain because I know - regardless of whether or not I think the program could use a little or even a lot of improvement - it's silly to think my complaint carries any weight after committing my crimes.

    You got sentenced to something other than the jailtime you deserve?
    stariie and geegee like this.
  8. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I make a conscious decision every single day to flip my perspective, because I believe it's key to my recovery.

    At the end of the day, I earned every sentence I was given and then some. I broke the law. I was careless. My actions put other people at risk who did not deserve to be at risk. That is the reality I had to deal with if I wanted to get any better.
    stariie and notodrugs like this.
  9. frogsandlegos

    frogsandlegos Active Contributor

    Hi - and thanks for sharing your experience - I'm sorry it was a negative one. What you say, unfortunately , applies to some group foster homes as well. (Well with some exceptions)

    Have you thought of, by chance, going to the media with your story? It is something to think about. Just wondering?
  10. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Yes, it is always this conscious effort to look at things in another viewpoint.

    Owning up to one's actions and facing its consequences do help anyone change for the better whether s/he is a drug user or alcoholic or convict or just a regular guy making ordinary mistakes.
    stariie and Jen S. like this.
  11. caparica007

    caparica007 Active Contributor

    It's seems something "educational" so to speak, if we have done something wrong nothing like receiving counseling, it's the best way to help our social reintegration.
  12. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    It always amazes me when people complain about court ordered programs, especially when it's an alternative to regular sentencing. I understand that most people are not in the right frame of mind to think 100% correctly, but being thankful for rehab, rather than jail, seems like it would be an easy pill to swallow (pun intended).
    Peninha likes this.
  13. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Honestly I think it's a natural part of the process. I've been there. I just didn't realize who I was really mad at yet. :)
    Joseph, Nick W. and geegee like this.
  14. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    That's an excellent point Jen. I guess that comes a little bit later, with more clarity.
    Joseph likes this.
  15. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    I haven't experienced this personally so I know I'm not the best person to talk about it. My best friend's brother underwent something similar though. He was able to make up some lame health reason excuse to shorten the whole deal but I don't think it was the system's fault. The guy was a mean and manipulative person even without the drugs. I remember thinking that I wished he just went to regular jail. He was sent to live with relatives that live far away but I heard that he's causing trouble again there too. :( I wish I could say it was just the drugs that made him make bad choices, but I really, really think he's got an attitude problem. Anyway, I know I'm sort of going off topic but my point here is I think some people shouldn't be on those programs. My best friend told me that they became friends with other families and for a lot of them the program worked, so it seems like it's not the program but the attitude of the one undergoing the program. Of course, I don't know about programs in other places.
  16. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    Yeah, sounds like a lot of the people are there for the paychecks, but I also think that there are probably at least one or two people there who might really care about the well-being of the people who come into that facility.

    The issue is, they have to care enough to speak up about the ineffective current system in place there, since according to you, it's not working. Seems as though nobody is speaking up, and therefore things are just going along as they always have.
    Jen S. likes this.
  17. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    That's exactly the point, they rebel not knowing exactly against what or who, but in fact that's just the way society has to reach out and pull them back into the social organization from which they excluded themselves.
  18. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    It's not that I don't agree with you, but I can't help but also thinking that you can't rely on society. At the end of the day, society "can" help, maybe even "should" help, but they are not obligated to, and sadly many won't help. There's a saying that goes, "God helps those who help themselves." Now, I'm not saying that we shouldn't help people, that's why I'm on this board! I'm just saying that you have to have personal accountability, and realistic expectations of others, and society, because the reality is it's not always going to happen the way it "should".
    stariie likes this.
  19. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    I believe this 110% based on my own experiences. Take correctional officers, for example. Not even people working in a rehabilitation center - just a straight up jail or prison.

    Do I question why many of them chose their career? Absolutely.
    Have I met some who really seem to enjoy treating people like animals? Of course.
    Do I know some who flat out abuse their power? You bet. I've seen it all.

    Correctional officers have a tough job. They're responsible not only for controlling prisoners, but protecting them. From each other. They are victims of senseless violence on a regular basis. At the very least, they put up with a lot of crap. Have I mentioned they usually have pathetic salaries? Yeah. So while it's possible a CO has always been on a power trip, I have a feeling a lot of them start out with different intentions. I've met some really nice rookies. Ones who went out of their way to treat prisoners like human beings. With compassion. They just get fed up. Jaded quickly.

    I think this can happen to people who work in rehabs, too. I'm sorry, but we are not a fun bunch during detox or early recovery. We're usually angry, rebellious, whiny, ungrateful. Always searching for a loophole, always questioning the rules. I don't envy them. LOL I really don't. I know I could never work in either of these environments 40 hours a week.
    stariie likes this.
  20. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    I don't envy people who have to work in rehabs, prisons, anything of that type of nature, and thank goodness I have not had to go into either, not even jail (someone upstairs must definitely like me) but I have been in homeless shelters.

    Many times people who live in homeless shelters are not a fun bunch either, by any stretch of the imagination, but something that I have noticed is that when it comes to certain staff members, there are a lot of people in positions of power that are not really used to having power.

    In my opinion it takes a very special person to know how to deal with power, one that really knows how to deal with power and authority. I'd go so far as to say that dealing with power is an art form.
    Not everybody can pull it off.

    There are good workers out there, as you have said, some workers really want to help and try to treat people fairly, and kudos to them. It's terrible though, when a program is being operated poorly and not even the "good" workers will speak up about the situation. I can totally understand that mentality though, it's not easy to rock the proverbial boat. One might fall out of that boat and drown.

    As you already know, there are certain people who are employed at certain places that should do everyone a huge favor and just run (don't walk) as fast as they can, far away from the jobs that they hold. As you said, you've seen it all. Of course most jerk-workers won't leave their 'post', that's not being realistic because most people need the paycheck.

    But (sigh), all that being said, bottom line, I agree with you, I don't envy them. And as you said, even the good ones can get jaded. (Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore.)

    I couldn't work in certain environments either, no matter how much I care and/or want to make a difference. Every job is not for every body.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
    Jen S. likes this.