Office of Community Corrections

Programming

Kalamazoo County OCC offers a number of behavioural-based education programs.  Participants are identified by an assessment, or ordered into the program by a probation officer or the Court.

Cognitive Behavioural Training (CBT)

Our CBT course, “I Must Think”, is a curriculum which includes components of cognitive based programs, such as: Thinking Matters, Capturing Kids Hearts, SAMHSA's six key principles of the Trauma Informed Approach and cognitive theories of William Glasser.  The program is the subject of on-going research by a Carnegie, Tier II research institution and has proven highly successful in recidivism reduction. 

The program uses an open-ended group model, and encourages individuals to look at their attitudes and beliefs.  A person’s attitude and beliefs are what trigger a pattern of thinking, which then determine behaviours.  CBT’s goal is to expose an individual to the unfavorable thinking errors that lead them to repeated, illegal, negative, or destructive behaviours. “I Must Think” then challenges individuals to develop new thinking patterns; over time, the offender is able to establish new core attitudes and beliefs, and as a result, change their behaviour.

Trauma

Our trauma course focuses on activities that assist in the process of recovery, or perhaps better said - regaining control.  Because the focus is regaining control, there is little discussion of any particular (traumatic) event; focus is maintained on developing strategies to cope with the many symptoms (“behaviours”) that emerged as a result of the trauma.

The primary activities and processes used in this approach include building resilience, developing more effective coping strategies, focusing on the present, forgiveness, and moving beyond the trauma –making it less relevant and less powerful.

Since traumatic experiences happen to nearly everyone over the course of life (meaning they are quite common), the vast majority of clients can gain significant benefits by being exposed to this “coping strategy” approach.

The class is a high-demand adjunct to the CBT class.

Anger Management

The anger management program incorporates the Coping with Anger curriculum.  It is a cognitive-based, behavioural education program that confronts thinking patterns, irrational beliefs and inappropriate behaviour responses to feelings of anger. The focus is not feelings of anger, but on the thinking and behaviour as it relates to anger. Components of the program include psycho-education, conflict resolution, pro-social skill building, and commitment to change.

Domestic Violence

Bringing Peace to Relationships is an MRT® program for domestic violence. The program provides an educational environment where men/women are encouraged to identify and acknowledge their use of violence and/or coercive control.  The program is for the perpetrator of domestic violence (batterers), male or female, and is used in open-ended groups where new clients can enter ongoing groups at any time, complete the program at a controlled pace, and provide accountability for their behaviour.