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Award Winning Program at Butler County Jail

With the purpose of promoting inmate safety and awareness, in addition to reducing recidivism, a new program has been implemented at the Butler County Jail.  According to Butler County Jailer Ricky Romans, the jail is partnering with Hope Harbor, a sexual trauma recovery center, to empower and support anyone impacted by sexual trauma.  The program locally - "From Survive to Thrive" -is consistent with the goals of federal legislation contained in the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act, and works exclusively with female inmates.  Butler County Jail Class D Coordinator Tara McMillan is heading up the program at the Butler County Jail.

The road leading to this new program began a few years ago with McMillan teaching classes at the jail about Anger Management, Moral Reconation Therapy, among other things.  In teaching those classes, McMillan saw the need among inmates to come to terms with the sexual trauma they have experienced in their lives.  This led to the involvement of Hope Harbor as inmates were given their contact information to reach out to them to work through the trauma they had experienced. 

Ultimately, the relationship between Hope Harbor and the Butler County Jail resulted in a local program called "From Survive to Thrive," which groups sessions at the jail led by a licensed clinical therapist.  The weekly classes run for a six-week term.  It is a voluntary program, and some individual therapy is available. 

According to Serenda LoBue,  Butler County Jail is the first correctional facility in the state to recognize the problem of sexual trauma associated with incarceration and is taking steps to address it.  The Butler County Jail will be recognized on March 28 at Frankfort with an innovation award for their efforts.  April is Sexual Assault and Prevention Month.

"We want to do anything we can to help inmates get treatment and decrease recidivism," said Romans. 

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Hope Harbor’s mission is to empower and support anyone impacted by sexual trauma. We are committed to our community to affect social change to eliminate all forms of sexual violence, advocate for the rights of survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and provide specialized treatment interventions. Hope Harbor is a non-profit crisis counseling center that provides one-of-a-kind services to victims of sexual assault and their families and friends.

These services are available to residents in Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren Counties in Kentucky. The main office is in Bowling Green with satellite offices for additional counseling services located in Glasgow and Russellville.

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