Jail Bureau Department of Incarcerated Individual Rehabilitation and Programs

Jennifer Rivers

Director of Rehabilitation

Joel Yager

Director of Incarcerated Individual Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

The purpose of the Jail Bureau’s Department of Incarcerated Individual Rehabilitation and Programs is to develop and coordinate counseling services, treatment, educational, recreational, and religious programs.

Monroe County Jail Rehabilitation Services:
(Director of Rehabilitation Jennifer Rivers)

Chaplain Programs

The Director of Rehabilitation oversees and maintains an excellent working relationship with Chaplains from different faiths. We have a full-time Good News Jail and Prison Ministry Chaplain, a Catholic Chaplain, an Imam, and a Rabbi. The Chaplains provide group and individual spiritual guidance to incarcerated individuals, as well as religious services.

Educational Programs

The Rochester City School District

  • Incarcerated Youth Education Program
    • The Rochester City School District provides educational programs to those incarcerated under the age of 21. These programs include GED, life skills, ESOL, and high school instruction for those who will return to their regular school upon release from the facility. GED and Regents exams are administered in the jail.
  • Adult GED Education Program
    • The Rochester City School District provides a GED program for male and female incarcerated individuals to prepare them for the GED exam, which is administered in the jail.

Law Library Services

The law library provides incarcerated individuals access to mandated criminal and civil law reference and research materials, notary services, and assistance with locating legal references. A law librarian/paralegal is assigned to the library and works closely with both staff and the incarcerated population to ensure a well-coordinated operation. Since its inception, it has been recognized to be among the highest-rated in New York State. In 2020, the law library converted to a web-based research engine located on the incarcerated individuals’ tablets, which are utilized in their housing areas. Any additional requests not found on their application are researched by the law library clerks, printed out, and delivered to the incarcerated individuals in their housing areas.

Contact Jen Rivers at 585-753-4793 with any questions or for more information about these programs or services.

Monroe County Jail Rehabilitation Services:
(Director of Incarcerated Individual Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Joel Yager)

Background and Need

Common estimates are that over sixty-five percent of incarcerated persons have severe alcohol or other drug problems. The Monroe Jail has been operating a progressive and recognized Chemical Dependency Program since 1994.

The program provides intensive exposure to educational services that help incarcerated individuals understand the connection between their drug use and their behaviors. Highly qualified credentialed counselors offer treatment where incarcerated individuals examine their attitudes, chemical addictions, criminal behaviors, mental health issues, unresolved grief issues, and trauma concerns. The Chemical Dependency Program at the County Jail is offered to sentenced and unsentenced incarcerated individuals.

Outcome studies have identified a significant reduction in recidivism for those incarcerated individuals who have participated in programming during their incarceration and provided with links to outpatient programs and community-based providers. The program is voluntary and incarcerated individuals are encouraged to participate in the program and encouraged to sign up.

Program Design and Context

The Director of incarcerated individual Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation will oversee the Chemical Dependency Program, which offers a number of groups and meetings that provide a range of emphases, to include activities each week for the incarcerated individuals housed in the program unit(s):

  • Chemical Dependency Program
  • Group Counseling
  • Chemical Dependency/ Mental Health
  • Alcoholics Anonymous/ Narcotics Anonymous groups
  • Individual Counseling and Evaluation sessions
  • Specialty groups (Anger Management, Parenting, Coping Skills Development, Relapse Prevention, Healthy Relationships, Medication-Assisted Treatment Awareness, and Trauma Awareness and Healing.)

Incarcerated individuals who participate in programming are provided with referrals and information on community-based programs to help aid with their post-release recovery efforts. Community-based organizations come into the facility on a daily basis to register incarcerated individuals for post-release care and services.

Program staff works with many partner agencies to help facilitate smooth transitions into treatment programs in the community. There is a coordinated effort to establish the appropriate level of care and incarcerated individuals work with MCSO staff to coordinate their admission into outpatient chemical dependency treatment, inpatient treatment (unsentenced incarcerated individuals only), and medication assisted treatment (MAT) programs in the community.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT is available to all sentenced and unsentenced incarcerated individuals at the Monroe County Jail. Incarcerated individuals request the service prior to release and program staff provide an assessment and education about the use of MAT. Incarcerated individuals must undergo medical testing to determine whether or not they can be medically cleared for MAT. If MAT is medically approved and participates in MAT programming, the incarcerated individual selects an outpatient program so a follow-up appointment can be made for the incarcerated individual. The incarcerated individual is provided their first dose of the medication prior to discharge.

MCSO Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program

Offers participants an exclusive treatment option that pairs with the best quality model equal to any private institution offering similar services. One main benefit is the ability to implement a robust treatment regiment within the persons own community allowing for family participation, connection with on-going support services after release, a detailed discharge and re-entry plan that acts as a continuum of care provided in-house. Participants attend daily group and individual sessions along with assignments individualized to them. Medically Assisted Treatment is also offered as part of the program.  Starting at admission, each Program Participant is given a comprehensive evaluation that looks at their use history. connection(s) with the legal system, mental health episodes, past treatment, supportive family members, vocational skill sets, past and present MAT attempts, history of relapse, actual time abstinent, and past behavioral issues related to consequences. A program plan is then initiated with the participant and the care team assigned to them. Each area of treatment is kept in-line and consistent with the persons re-entry plan which is developed and implemented during treatment and executed at time of release. A key factor is that every liability is addressed with a focused solution at discharge. This may range from bed to bed into secured and supportive housing, MAT bridging from the facility to an out-patient provider including counseling, employment placement, healthy family reunification, strong sober support network and a Ready Pack  with updated I.D, Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, and other pertinent qualifying documentation.

Vocational Assessment Program

An exciting upgrade was accomplished through the second half of 2005 that significantly increased the offerings to incarcerated individuals who were interested in employment. The program offered a number of classes, workshops, and meetings with a focus on resume writing and other preparatory items for employment. Also offered were a number of engaging activities that would allow incarcerated individuals to be able to retain employment once it was procured. The program also teaches employment preparation skills to incarcerated individuals who are interested in the work Release Program, but who have acquired minimal experience in the job market. Consumer feedback was consistently positive and demonstrated significantly improved job awareness, job searching and job interviewing skills. There are several community employers that want to partner with the Monroe County jail to provide employment opportunities post release.

Contact Joel Yager at 585-753-4992 with any questions or for more information about these programs or services.