The Mosaic substance abuse program is having a measurable impact on Maricopa County’s moderate to high risk jail population.
New statistics show, in 2017, Mosaic participants had a recidivism rate approximately 20% below two control groups of county inmates who shared similar struggles with substance misuse but did not go through the program.
“We believed it was going to work but we really had to see the proof,” said Dr. Dawn Noggle, who until June 2019 served as Correctional Health’s Mental Services Director. “20% reduction in recidivism for a moderate to high risk group is considered very, very good.”
Mosaic is a 7-week program run by Correctional Health Services that looks at an inmate’s entire experience--including trauma in their past— and then teaches them ways to deal with the emotions associated with it. The idea is to give them skills to replace the substance.
“We were early readers that trauma is really what underlies all of this. So we were addressing trauma as a significant component of Mosaic before it was getting discussed as broadly as it is now,” said Noggle.
The program targets people who tend to return to jail over and over again. In 2017, 42% of Mosaic participants were in jail on drug-related charges; 23% were recently homeless; and 11% were identified as seriously mentally ill. This is not an easy population to reach, or keep from coming back.
“One of the programs that they say is impactful to them is the parenting group,” Noggle said. “And that’s exciting. We might not have initially thought that.”
Dr. Noggle believes future Mosaic classes may see even greater reductions in recidivism because of the additional support services participants have available before and upon release, including connections to affordable housing.
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