Charleston Correctional Facility is a working facility; as such, all our staff place a great deal of emphasis on assuring a real-world work ethic is taught and modeled at all times. Our facility has consistently been a leader in all areas of minimum/community security corrections.
Prisoners housed at Charleston Correctional Facility have the opportunity to make significant strides toward self-improvement. The prisoners are afforded the opportunity to improve their life skills, employability and self-knowledge through vocational training, community restitution programming, academics, counseling programs and a unique work release program, all of which assist the prisoner in a positive reintegration to the greater community.
The Education Department offers a variety of academic and life skills programs such as tutoring in literacy/remedial reading, literacy volunteers, and a teacher. All tutors are LVA certified. Academic classes include basic computer instruction, GED prep, and college prep math. Two times a year a Parenting Class if offered.
Mental Health Services
Individual counseling is provided by an LCSW and is available on request and through referral by the Case Workers. The counselor meets with prisoners 20 hours per week. The Mental Health Service Department assures assessment and treatment planning for all prisoners with major mental illnesses or behavioral disorders. Treatment includes individual supportive counseling, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, and psychopharmacological medications as indicated. The LCSW works closely with security and medical personnel, as well as with other agencies to provide consistency and continuity of patient-prisoner care and treatment.
Substance Abuse Services
The substance abuse treatment services provided at CCF focus on substance abuse, dependence, and relapse prevention planning. “DSAT is Differential Substance Abuse Treatment, psycho-educational substance abuse groups and individual counseling. The groups focus on: the stages of change, understanding motivation, developing a solution-focused recovery environment, understanding seemingly irrelevant decisions as a pathway to relapse, practicing safe decision-making to safely navigate risky situations, roadblocks to healthy thinking, and thinking and behavior cycles that prevent successful recovery. Individual counseling is usually time-limited and focused.
Self-Help - AA - The Top of the Hill Group meets every Wednesday night; outside members attend as well as CCF prisoners.
The caseworker is the first resource in dealing with adjustment to this institution. Monday through Friday, the caseworker is available to help prisoners deal with family, legal, and financial problems. During the first meeting with the caseworker prisoners will work to put together a case-plan or they will continue to work on an existing case-plan that they may have started in another facility. The case plan will review programming needs based on risk factors and will include goals for work-release. The caseworkers are making sure the LSI-R’s (Level of Service Inventory- Revised) are completed on every prisoner and they are building a case plan on the risk factors that emerge from the LSI-R.
The two Case Workers, both licensed social workers facilitate the Thinking for a Change Program. The Thinking for a Change curriculum uses as its core, a problem solving program embellished by both cognitive restructuring and social skills interventions. While each of the concepts are presented systemically, the participant quickly learns and appreciates that cognitive restructuring does require some cognitive skills methods, as does cognitive skills require objective, systematic approach to identifying thinking, beliefs, attitudes, and values.
Religious ServicesWeekly non-denominational religious services are held as well as faith specific prayer meetings and bible study groups.
The Charleston Correctional Facility work release program is a unique program due to the fact we require the employer to supply transportation to and from work for those prisoners that are employed. Prisoners continue to be housed at Charleston Correctional Facility while on the work release program, and are expected to pay room and board, as well as make payments on any fines, restitution, and/or child support they might owe as well as put monies away into a personal savings. The maximum duration of this program is six months actual time on the program.
Woodshop, Sawmill & Dry Kiln
Prisoners assigned to the Woodshop Industry Program are exposed to a large variety of building and furniture making skills. Prisoners craft high quality hardwood furniture which is sold to other state institutions.
The prisoners also manufacture many wooden craft items, as well as unique furniture for the home. Also, prisoners in this program construct several styles of custom-ordered small buildings.
Prisoners assigned to the Sawmill Industry Program are instructed in all aspects of the art of creating quality lumber from soft and hardwood logs. There is a very strong emphasis on safety. Sawn lumber is kiln-dried in our two professional grade kilns. The lumber is dried to the appropriate specifications and is sold to numerous state agencies at a substantial savings. Our customer list includes the Maine State Prison, Maine Correctional Center, Maine Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife, and the Maine Department of Transportation, among others.
A major benefit of the Industry Program is that it is self-funded. Profits from the sale of industry goods and lumber are utilized to pay a nominal wage to prisoners working in the Industry program, and are also utilized to entirely fund the salaries of the two Charleston Correctional Facility employees assigned to the programs.