Transforming Health Care Together

Prison Rehab Program Offers Better Living Experiences

Amanda Zeno, LCSW, MA, CASAC, Counselor at the Baywood Center in Queensbury, has witnessed firsthand the positive impact the ABLE (Access to Better Living Experiences) program has had on those released from jail in making a smooth transition back into their community. The Baywood Center, part of 820 River Street, Inc., is a private rehabilitation facility specializing in the treatment of mental health, substance abuse, opioid addiction, and alcoholism. According to Zeno, the ABLE program has helped numerous clients secure much-needed housing, employment, food, and more.

“Ms. Smith was referred to the ABLE program by her Probation Officer while she was incarcerated on a probation violation. When she was released from jail, she had no housing, food, or employment. She completed her temporary assistance application prior to being released from jail and was placed in a hotel upon her release and she completed the apartment and job search requirements of the Department of Social Services,” shared Zeno. “At the time of her discharge, she was residing in independent housing and working 30 hours per week. Three months later, her probation officer reported Ms. Smith remained employed, was living in the same apartment, and paying her restitution.”

Another client, Mr. Smith, was referred to the ABLE program by the Warren County Department of Social Services for assistance with housing. “He (Smith) was on parole for a sex offense and had been released after 10 years of incarceration. He and I met weekly to discuss his ongoing housing search. He completed an outpatient substance abuse evaluation at the Baywood Center, as directed by parole, and was not recommended for treatment. He was connected to a long-term Health Home Care Manager through Fort Hudson Care Management,” said Zeno. “Despite the difficulties with his family, and the obligations through DSS and parole, he has remained free in the community.”

A third client, Mr. Jones, was referred to the ABLE program by Washington County Alternative Sentencing. “He (Jones) was incarcerated for a DWI and awaiting sentencing to the Washington County Drug Treatment Court. He was referred to the 820 River St. Men’s Community Residence and the Baywood Center. He was admitted to the Baywood Center in March and was recommended for an intensive outpatient level of care,” explained Zeno. “At the time of his discharge from the ABLE program, he was continuing to make good progress in treatment. As a result of his participation in the community residence program, he was set up with insurance and began establishing a meeting schedule. A month since his discharge from ABLE, he has completed his community residence and moved home. He is attending treatment as scheduled, and complying with drug court.”

“It’s gratifying to watch so many clients benefit from the ABLE program,” stated Zeno. “It has definitely helped make the transition back into society much more achievable for these individuals.”

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