The Development of the FIRRM Program

At the Grafton County Department of Corrections


 
The FIRRM Program was developed in 2014 in response to an assessment that the existing system of incarceration leading to residential treatment without any structured addiction treatment was failing inmates with addiction issues. Inmates would be released to treatment centers as a condition of their bail or sentence without ever meaningfully participating in the counseling and groups that were offered at the jail. The initial response was to develop a more structured schedule of outpatient group addiction counseling sessions and require a firm commitment from the inmates requesting to participate. The groups were targeted to the specific needs of both the pre-trial and sentenced populations and were considered mandatory if enrolled in jail programs. These sessions were later expanded to include group sessions to deal with criminal thinking, which is not typically offered at a residential addiction treatment center. The current GCDOC program combines counseling with educational and vocational training, as well as home confinement and aftercare treatment so those that complete Level One are better prepared to succeed in their recovery in Level Two through completion.

 

Overview

The Grafton County Department of Corrections Focused Intentional Re-Entry and Recovery Program, (herein referred to as the FIRRM Program) is a three-level addiction treatment and re-entry services program for inmates sentenced to the Grafton County House of Corrections who are also struggling with a substance misuse disorder.

The FIRRM Program consists of intensive in-house programming with our Programs and Corrections staff along with progression through supervision on home confinement and aftercare services.

A certificate will be awarded to each inmate as they progress through the individual levels of the program. A graduation ceremony will be held for all inmates and their families once all three levels of the program are successfully completed.

The staff at the Department of Corrections will help inmates work towards achieving their goals throughout participation in the program. Negative behavior will be addressed and positive behavior will be rewarded. If an inmate has recurring disciplinary issues, involuntary termination from the program may be recommended by the FIRRM disciplinary board.

 

FIRRM Program Staff


Because the FIRRM program is a Grafton County House of Corrections Program for the inmate population, individuals in the program may interact with multiple staff members from the House of Corrections. It is the mission at the Department of Corrections for all staff to have a positive impact on all offenders they come in contact with.

Throughout participation in level one of the FIRRM Program individuals may interact more heavily with in-house counselors and instructors. As progression through each level continues, individuals will interact greatly with community corrections staff and recovery support individuals in the community, especially throughout the home confinement and aftercare portion of the program. (Levels Two and Three) All of the staff at the Department of Corrections are here to help you achieve your individual goals and assist you in being successful.

 
Target Population

The FIRRM program targets Grafton County residents (or inmates contracted through the COOS County Department of Corrections) diagnosed with a substance misuse disorder.

Individuals who are eligible for participation must be sentenced to the Grafton County House of Corrections for a minimum period of twelve months with no more than 50 days of pre-trial confinement credit.

Credit for participation in FIRRM Programming can be an option for individuals who participated while awaiting sentencing. This will be determined on a case by case basis by the Superintendent or his designee(s) and inmates interested in credit for pre-trial participation should speak to FIRRM Program Staff and their attorney.

 

 Eligibility


Preliminary eligibility may be determined using a “pre-screening process” if defense counsel is interested in seeing if their client would meet program eligibility requirements before sentencing.

Defense counsel may contact the FIRRM Program Staff before sentencing to determine if their client would meet eligibility requirements, or to see if there are any automatic disqualifiers, or other potential barriers in place.

To meet program eligibility requirements, the potential participant must meet all of the following requirements:

Grafton County Resident – or ability to gain housing in Grafton County (Requirement for home confinement levels of programming)

Diagnosable Substance Misuse Disorder

Cognitive/physical ability to participate in the FIRRM Program

Must be sentenced to a minimum of 12 months at the Grafton County House of Corrections and have no more than 50 days of pre-trial confinement credit (This is to ensure that even when awarded good time, the inmate gets as much programming as possible to help them be successful.) It has been determined that 8 months minimum, and a maximum amount of 50 days of pre-trial confinement credit is the cut-off time for the FIRRM Program to have the desired impact on participants.

Defendants must be aware that they will need to make a decision whether or not they are going to agree to sentencing into the FIRRM Program by the point of their dispositional conference with the Court. This is to minimize the risk of exceeding the pre-trial confinement credit limit to participate in FIRRM Programming, but also to meet sentencing and FIRRM Programming goals.

Examples of disqualifiers for participation in the FIRRM Program are listed; but are not limited to the items below. The final decision on an individual not meeting FIRRM Program Criteria will be made by the Superintendent or his designee.

Registered Sex Offender

Does not have a diagnosable substance misuse disorder

Charged or previously convicted of:

Capital Murder or Arson

Aggravated felonious sexual assault or felonious sexual assault


FIRRM Program Levels

Each level of the FIRRM program was developed with a time frame in mind to help an individual be as successful as possible as they transition through all three levels of the FIRRM Program. Please note that pre-trial confinement credit and good time status can change the amount of time an individual spends in levels two and/or three, and the FIRRM Program Staff are prepared to adjust the final levels accordingly to meet individual’s needs along with sentencing goals.

 

Level One: Detox & Intensive In- House Programming

Length of level: 100 days


 

This level includes time for individuals to detox if necessary and get classified to a housing unit and get stabilized to begin programming. Level one includes a strict daily activity regiment along with intense programming, individual meetings, peer lead groups and other structured in-house activities. Throughout this level, individuals will be familiarized with Community Corrections staff and meet with them regularly to coordinate their progression into level two of the FIRRM Program.

 

Level Two: Continuing Care and Home Confinement

Length of level: 45-95 days (Depending on pre-trial confinement credit)


 

This level includes strict scheduling and home confinement. This is a chance for individuals to start transitioning back into society and use all of the tools they gained from level one of the programming to be successful during re-entry into the community. This level consists of treatment done with “outside providers” that our FIRRM Program staff help facilitate while individuals are participating in Level One. It also consists of strict scheduling, accountability, job search, self-help meetings, random urine testing and check ins with Community Corrections Staff and any other aftercare details that may be recommended and/or necessary; Along with compliance with all rules and regulations of the program.

 

Level Three: Full Re-Entry and Aftercare

Length of level: 40 days


 

This level includes continued monitoring by Community Corrections Staff with less scheduling restrictions and requirements. This level is designed to help individuals transition back into the community with minimal supervision. Aftercare treatment will continue along with self-help groups, continued employment and compliance with all rules and regulations of the program.

 

Disciplinary Actions and Program Termination

 

Disciplinary Actions and Set-Backs may be applied throughout any level of the FIRRM Program. There is a disciplinary board consisting of Corrections and Treatment Staff to meet with individuals on a case by case basis when a disciplinary action is brought forward. At that disciplinary board meeting is where a decision will be recommended to the Superintendent by the board and loss of all or partial good time, termination from the program, or a smaller set-back may be imposed. This could lengthen the time of any level in the FIRRM Program. If termination from the program is imposed the individual will serve out the remainder of their sentence as a Grafton County DOC inmate with no opportunity for early release.  

At the time an individual is booked at the facility they will be given an orientation on the facility rules and regulations along with FIRRM Program Guidelines. An individual participating in the FIRRM Program is an inmate of the Grafton County Department of Corrections, therefore; all rules and regulations at the facility apply to these individuals.

If an individual receives 5 disciplinary tickets (throughout any level(s) of the program) they will immediately be called in for a meeting with the disciplinary board and a determination on their consequences will be recommended to the Superintendent.

Involuntary termination from the program may result if an individual shows continued non-compliance with rules and regulations or fails to complete any required level of treatment during FIRRM Programming.

Possible Automatic Discharge Examples are as follows:

New criminal charge

Destruction of county property

Introduction of contraband into the facility (or conspiracy)

Failure to participate in classes continually

Failure to keep supervision schedule continually

Positive urinalysis test after initial intake or while on community supervision

 

 Any person wishing to receive more information or with any questions regarding the Grafton County Department of Corrections – FIRRM Program – please email:

 
Lieutenant Nicole Cremo at ncremo@co.grafton.nh.us

and/or

Sergeant Mark Deem at mdeem@co.grafton.nh.us