Fast Facts KEY

Howard R. Young Correctional Institution – Wilmington, DE
Sussex Correctional Institution – Georgetown, DE

The KEY, at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution (Gander Hill Prison) in Wilmington, and KEY South, at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, are in-prison therapeutic communities for men. The programs are in a total treatment environment separated from the rest of the general prison population, which can hinder rehabilitation.

The KEY opened July, 1988. KEY South started November, 1997.

Over 300 male inmates are in The Key substance abuse treatment programs in Delaware.

The treatment perspective of The KEY programs are that drug abuse is a disorder of the whole person; addiction is the symptom, not the essence of the disorder. The primary goal is to change negative patterns of behavior, thinking and feelings that predispose one toward drug abuse.

Inmates typically become part of The KEY "family" during their last 12 months of incarceration. Many of The KEY "family members" were originally incarcerated for drug trafficking.

The KEY programs provide a disciplined, regimented routine for inmates. They do not have access to television or telephones during the day. Free time can be taken away as a consequence of inappropriate behavior.

The responsibilities given to each family member are essential to treatment at The KEY. For example, some family members are part of the media crew, which develops motivational signs and displays appropriate news articles.

Programming is scheduled seven days a week with KEY staff members' oversight. Family members have access to staff counselors each day of the week should they need to discuss issues related to their treatment.

Family members must meet twice each week with their "case load group," several other family members who discuss issues important to their recovery. The case load group discussion is facilitated by a KEY counselor.

Inmates who have been part of the KEY family for several months are required to present "peer seminars," discussion groups where they present to other family members information about an issue important to their own recovery.