The National Commission on Correctional Health Care has selected the ‘Veterans Resurgence Program’ at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Falkenburg Road Jail to receive this year’s NCCHC Program of the Year Award. This prestigious award is presented each year to only one facility’s program among the 500 jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities that participate in NCCHC’s nationwide accreditation program.
The award was presented at a ceremony on Monday, November 1, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, as part of the opening events for the 35th National Conference on Correctional Health Care. Nearly one thousand people from across the country were in attendance.
“We commend the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for developing such an innovative program to help incarcerated veterans get the help they need and the chance to learn emotional, social, and life skills so they can succeed and thrive,” said Deborah Ross, CCHP, NCCHC’s chief executive officer. “We are delighted to honor the program with this award.”
In August 2019, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister launched the Veterans Resurgence Program, which focuses on providing incarcerated U.S. military veterans with a supportive and constructive environment to help restore their dignity. In addition to receiving mental health and substance abuse treatment, participating veteran inmates are housed together in a pod decorated with American flags and flags from each branch of the U.S. military. Inspirational imagery painted by inmates covers the walls.
"We are giving these veterans who ended up in our jails an opportunity to feel proud once more of their accomplishments in life, and by restoring their pride, we are able to help them get their lives back on the right track and hopefully reduce the chance of recidivism,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "As the grandson of a World War II veteran, I believe it is imperative that we provide these services to our military veterans who have earned them by bravely serving our country. It is an honor to have our program recognized by NCCHC on a national scale.”
With the support of NaphCare, Inc., HCSO’s provider of correctional health care services, incarcerated veterans receive structured 8-week group and individual therapy sessions centered around managing anger and stress, coping with anxiety, healing from trauma, substance abuse recovery and other transitional skills. Veterans are also educated on pathways to change including life skills, such as personal money management, finding employment, and conflict resolution, among other topics.
“Since the launch of the Veteran’s Resurgence Program in 2019, we have documented a reduction in recidivism with our veteran population of more than 90 percent,” said Jeff McIntyre, NaphCare Health Services Administrator (HSA) for the Hillsborough County jails. “We are able to reach these veterans in a personal way that is restoring their pride and personal self-worth, while also helping to re-establish family ties to build a stable and positive support system upon release. The NaphCare team is proud to play a part in serving our veterans through this program.”
Along with NaphCare, mental health professionals from the University of South Florida Master’s of Social Work program provide inmates with periodic mental health assessments to evaluate their overall improvement during the program. Veterans Justice Outreach Specialists from the VA assist in reconnecting veterans who were honorably discharged with their veterans benefits. Community organizations, such as the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, also assist veterans with finding their way back into society.
Earlier this year, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with NaphCare, earned the inaugural NCCHC Pinnacle Award for having achieved NCCHC accreditation in three separate services areas. Details can be found here: NaphCare Partner Awarded NCCHC Pinnacle Award | NaphCare
About NaphCare, Inc.
NaphCare, Inc., partners with local, state and federal government agencies nationwide to provide innovative healthcare, technology and administrative solutions for the correctional and justice systems. The company’s industry-leading approach to correctional healthcare includes designing and implementing evidence-based clinical programs to address the specific challenges of the corrections environment. Above all, NaphCare aims to make a positive impact in the communities they serve. NaphCare is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. Additional information can be found on the company’s website: www.naphcare.com.
About the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC)
The mission of the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is to improve the quality of health care in jails, prisons, and juvenile confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities, operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet those standards, produces and disseminates resource publications, conducts educational conferences, and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, mental health, law, and corrections. Each of those organizations has named a liaison to the NCCHC board of representatives to create a robust, multidisciplinary governing structure that reflects the complexities of correctional health care.