An Effective Educational / Residential Program for 1st and 2nd Time Drunk Driving / Substance Abuse Offender
USE IMPACT WEEKEND:
IMPACT WEEKEND began in 1995 as a program for first and second time drunk driving and other substance abuse offenders, in Oakland County, Michigan. In collaboration with the Oakland County Community Corrections Division, and two District Court Judges, IMPACT WEEKEND staff formulated an effective intervention that provides an environment for self-evaluation which is conducive to acceptance of responsibility for one’s own behavior, and is an effective “jump start” into counseling.
Participants pay the program costs which, not only saves public resources, but also helps motivate the program participants. The weekend includes classes and group discussions led by IMPACT WEEKEND staff on alcohol and chemical dependency, decision making, family impact issues and personal responsibility, concluding with a victim impact presentation. Additionally, during the course of the weekend offenders perform several hours of community service.
Upon completion of the program, IMPACT WEEKEND staff reports on the participant’s experience to the court, probation department, defense counsel and the participant. The participant , as well, reports on his or her experience and insights.
An independent study was commissioned by Oakland County Community Corrections Division to review three years of Impact Weekend operations. The study showed that compared to an average recidivism rate of 33% for first time offenders, only 4% Impact Weekend participants were re-arrested, of which only 3% were arrested for DUI. Further, nearly half of those completing the program have gone on to counseling or 12-step programs.
The experience of the IMPACT WEEKEND program indicates that its approach obtains the desired results. During the course of three days, first and second time drunk driving and other substance abuse offenders can be made to recognize that their behavior is destructive to themselves and those around them and that as a consequence, they will change their behavior. IMPACT WEEKEND WORKS!