Office of Justice Programs (OJP)

First Judicial District, Waterloo Dual Diagnosis Offender Program (DDOP)

BJA Program(s): Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
State(s): IA

Grantee Agency: See below

Grant Amount/Year(s): FY 2007/$140,422

About the Program:

The Dual Diagnosis Offender Program (DDOP) is an integrated treatment program established to identify, educate, and treat offenders who experience co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. The program, established in 1998, is a unique and comprehensive approach which brings together the three professions- mental health, substance abuse, and corrections-to thoroughly address and treat the needs of dual-diagnosed offenders.

The primary treatment program is located in the Waterloo Residential Facility and lasts 6 to 12 months. Substance abuse and mental health treatment is provided within the facility using on-site contracted service providers from the Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center and Pathways Behavioral Services. This partnership has proven to be beneficial for this population and the community. A psychiatrist also comes to the facility on a regular basis to meet with these offenders.

Upon successful completion of the facility program, offenders are placed in the aftercare component of the program and are expected to continue to comply with supervision requirements, medication management, participation in services, and other programming.

Program Successes/Effect on the Community:

Since the program's inception in 1998, 378 offenders have been served by this project, not including the 14 offenders who were still in the program as of June 2008. Overall, 65 percent of program participants completed the program. Historically, escape from the facility is the most common reason for program failure. Physiological testing administered during this time frame indicates the following:

  • 2,365 alcohol breath tests were administered, resulting in 5 positive readings.
  • 176 urinalysis tests were administered, resulting in 10 positive readings.

Offenders continue to participate in weekly Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Cognitive Skills, Journaling, and Anger Management groups. They also receive individual counseling and treatment. Offenders are encouraged to participate in therapeutic activities and programming in the community as well.

The Center for Mental Health Services' National GAINS Center estimates that 72 percent of persons with mental illness admitted to local jails also meet the clinical criteria for co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. The overwhelmingly disproportionate rates of mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders among inmate populations have placed additional pressures on already overburdened courts and crowded jail and prison systems. Programs that serve to divert these individuals from the justice system to community care and treatment can greatly improve their quality of life and reduce recidivism.

Waterloo, Iowa's Dual Diagnosis Offender Program is one such program that is demonstrating success in effectively treating a population of individuals suffering from substance abuse and mental health disorders. Through a collaborative approach and provision of aftercare services, the program is helping to keep individuals with co-occurring disorders stabilized in the community.

Learn More:
To learn more about the program, please contact:
Ross Todd
Executive Officer, 1st Judicial District
Phone: 319–292–1263

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