The ADHD Corrections Project seeks to identify and provide support to inmates with previously undiagnosed and/or untreated Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, by equipping them with the resources they need for a successful reentry into society. Because many individuals are unaware that they have the disorder and do not have a full understanding of its potential impact on their lives, the first stages of the project focus on education and identification. Following the screening portion, we facilitate appropriate training for participants in preparation of their release. Following release, we aim to provide support for participants’ continued success in the outside world. This structure breaks down into the following stages:
1. INTRODUCTORY PRESENTATIONS
The first step is an introductory presentation to the target population, (i.e., inmates nearing their release date,) explaining:
- what ADHD is,
- how it influences your behavior,
- how it impacts your choices,
- what you can do, and
- how we can help.
The presentations and supplementary educational materials distributed at this stage outline the most current research and information on ADHD and the justice system are provided to incarcerated individuals by the ADHD Corrections Project.
2. PRELIMINARY SCREENING SESSIONS
Next, we offer preliminary screenings to all interest inmates. These sessions include a participation consent form, an anonymous questionnaire to gather additional background information, and an Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale. The ASRS Screen functions to indicate which participants display symptoms highly consistent with ADHD in adults, and would therefore make good candidates to continue forward to the next stages of our project.
Research data gathered during the screening process is analyzed to further assess the influence of ADHD in Delaware’s correctional institutions. (See: FINDINGS)
3. DIAGNOSTIC INTERVIEWS
For those are screened positive and express interest, we will coordinate full diagnostic interviews with the facility’s mental health department. This is a more involved process than the preliminary screen, conducted by a licensed mental health professional who can provide an official diagnosis.
4. GROUP COACHING SESSIONS
Those who screen positive are invited to participate in a 6 week ADHD group coaching session. Coaching sessions are conducted by a certified ADHD coach and/or mental health professional. Each workshop equips participants with skills that enable them to overcome problematic ADHD symptoms- from learning how to tame their impulsivity to how to better manage their time. The group dynamic provides a supportive atmosphere. Participants learn and grow together by affirming one another’s experiences with ADHD.
5. MEET-UP GROUPS
Following release, participants have access to our Meet-Up Groups for continued support, both from our coordinators and from others navigating similar reentry and ADHD-related challenges. These groups may take the form of local support groups or online peer accountability programs.
6. FOLLOW-UP SERVICES
We also help arrange other follow-up services to ensure a continuum of care. Using our directory of local resources, we help participants get connected with any additional support services in their community that they may need upon reentry, such as:
- cognitive behavioral therapy,
- medication assistance,
- mentoring, and
- support groups.