Jericho Project is a minimum one-year program designed to treat the chemically dependent criminal offender. The program’s philosophy reflects a relapse prevention and developmental approach to recovery from the GORSKI-CENAPS model: Relapse Prevention Therapy with Chemically Dependent Criminal Offenders, Terrence T. Gorski (1994). Clients progress through Gorski’s six stage developmental model of recovery: (1) Transition, (2) Stabilization, (3) Early Recovery, (4) Middle Recovery, and (5) Late Recovery. As clients successfully complete the program, they are prepared for the last stage of development: (6) Maintenance – which includes, continuance of growth and healthy personal/social development. To facilitate this model of recovery, Jericho Project employs Cognitive, Affective, Behavioral, and Social therapies advocated by Terrance T. Gorski. In practice, the four therapies are integrated and comprise the main structure and philosophy of the program.
The whole process begins with acceptance of the principle that change is necessary. Change becomes necessary when the present condition becomes unacceptable. Group sessions enable clients to learn from their prior dysfunctional behavior as well as develop a new value and belief system. Each client reaches his own conclusion about the need to change his lifestyle. A decision to change then starts with his own acceptance and motivation.
The development of new values revolves around taking personal responsibility for becoming self-sufficient and responsible members of the community. This approach involves taking responsibility for one’s own self. To succeed in this transition and effect the development of new values, all clients are required to be honest. This aspect of personal development requires many changes in perception and attitude, meaning that it requires personal discipline. Most importantly, the program instills the idea that grasping and developing rigorous honesty in all aspects of one’s life is paramount to successful recovery.
Group sessions address the need for change and reinforce the process of development. The topics of group sessions include acceptance and responsibility for one’s actions, proper decision making, rebuilding positive values, motivation for change, relapse prevention, practice of responsible behavior, goal setting, and spiritual development.
Jericho Project clients learn to set realistic goals and learn that success requires self-sacrifice, perseverance, determination, and integrity. This treatment reminds clients why they are here. They need help with recovery because they have failed on their own. Clients are reminded that they have avoided responsibility in the past. In Jericho Project, they are encouraged to challenge themselves to attain self-awareness, self-discipline, self-control, self-respect, and personal responsibility. In summary, cognitive therapy teaches what needs to be done to effect positive change and develop good habits.
Our therapy consists of recognition, discussion, and learning how to balance one’s feelings and emotions without resorting to use of alcohol, drugs, or criminal behavior. The primary method of teaching how to achieve this balance is through the development of positive attitudes, personal responsibility, and individual spirituality ultimately leading to a healthy lifestyle.
Clients maintain emotional balance through group motivation, participation, training, and development in personal and social responsibility. Clients maintain the awareness that problems will occur and need to be resolved. The thought process learned at Jericho Project helps identify, evaluate, and solve problems. This enables one to manage feelings and emotions.
As part of developing a healthy balance between feelings and emotions, clients are counseled on avoiding instant gratification. Instead, they are encouraged to seek gratification in their own accomplishments and in helping each other. In this way, the very pattern of thinking and behavior developed and practiced here serves as a balance for feelings and emotions.
Therapy teaches clients the benefits of personal and social responsibility, and the necessity of improving their mind, body, and spirit. Behavioral therapy puts the learning into practice. The process of change begins immediately upon entering the program. Newcomers are placed at one of our two residential houses (Training Houses). They train with the help of other clients, house managers, and the staff. The training received here enables members to move on to the 18-unit apartment complex and take more responsibility for their personal behavior. The basic rules cover everything from doing household chores, proper meal planning, laundry, and maintaining personal hygiene. The men are taught to conduct themselves appropriately with other clients and staff members in the community.
The following is a summary of an average client’s daily activities. By 7:00 a.m., they must have their bed made, room cleaned, clean-shaved, and dressed for the day. Although food is provided, clients are responsible for preparing their own meals and cleaning up after themselves. The purpose here is to teach clients to be responsible for themselves. Clients are responsible to arrive at all activities on time. Transportation to and from vocational classes is provided daily.
Each client is transported to the Outpatient Treatment Center. Here clients attend treatment meetings, assigned classes, group sessions and therapy, until approximately 8:00 p.m. Then they are transported back to their assigned houses to cook dinner, prepare for the next day, perform unfinished chores, shower, socialize, and retire for the evening.
The client’s average days are long and fully occupied. Although this training, repeats daily, it often exceeds the norms of standard lifestyles. The objective is to challenge oneself to excellence, and to do so for the full duration of the program.
The daily schedule is structured to keep the clients occupied and focused on their training and development. This includes being courteous and respectful to other clients and staff. When a client’s behavior falls below standard, he is counseled and asked to modify that behavior in a staff facilitated treatment meeting. No arguments or bad attitudes are allowed. Jericho Project is a non-confrontational program. Requests to modify behavior is ultimately for the clients benefit in his training and development. This shows areas that need further improvement. Clients learn that this approach ultimately results in both individual and group development.
Jericho Project’s philosophy on discipline starts when you dedicate yourself to the decision to change your life. For a client to change his life, he must learn to manage all of his basic responsibilities and activities on a consistent basis. The client maintains a constant routine of practicing daily responsibilities which instills discipline. Discipline is achieved when the client can manage his life and responsibilities with awareness and control. Once Jericho staff determines a client has a proper grasp of his daily responsibilities, then more responsibilities are added to continue the progress of his training and development.
Clients who are performing at an exceptional standard receive recognition at group meetings as well as individually from their peers. They are also recognized by being nominated to participate in various social outings such as Tough Mudder events, Spartan Races, CrossFit events, Bowling, Dinners, Movies, Runs, San Francisco Giants games, trips and tours that include Alcatraz Island, Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Academy of Science, and Kayaking through the San Francisco Marina.
Jericho staff has an effective combination of both personal experience and academic accomplishment. This gives our facilitators a overwhelmingly unique credibility with our members. Our goal is to enlighten our members to their responsibility to themselves, their families, and communities. Jericho's structure is devoted to the members prioritization of duties and the ability to perform them. By making a member responsible to his peers and basing his status in the program on his ability to be a productive member in the community, members gain the skills needed to integrate into the larger populous and understand his role therein.