Substance Abuse Programs

The Department of Correction recognizes the vital importance of substance abuse treatment for the offender population. Currently, 80% of the State's offender population has issues related to substance abuse. Without intervention and treatment, recidivism rates can top 70%.

Delaware's internationally-acclaimed, 3-step substance abuse treatment program (KEY, Crest, Aftercare) is proven to be successful in rehabilitating drug offenders. Treatment follows the offender from incarceration to work release to the community. Delaware was the 1st state in the nation to fully implement such an aggressive offender substance abuse program.

BWCI Village

KEY Program

  • KEY is the first component of Delaware's substance abuse treatment program. KEY is a prison-based therapeutic community for men and - a total treatment environment that is discipline- based, intense and isolated from the rest of the prison population.
  • The primary goal of KEY is to change negative patterns of behavior, thinking and feelings that predispose one toward substance abuse.
  • The treatment perspective of the program is that drug abuse is a disorder of the whole person; addiction is the symptom, not the essence of the disorder.
  • Offenders typically become involved in the KEY program during the last 12-18 months of incarceration. This allows material learned in the program to stay at the forefront of the offender's mind as he/she moves to the next stage of treatment.
  • The program provides a disciplined, regimented routine for inmates. They do not have access to television or telephones during the day and free time can be taken away as a consequence of inappropriate behavior.
  • KEY participants are called "family" members. Undertaking responsibility is 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. Inmates have access to staff counselors daily should they need to discuss issues related to their treatment.
  • Inmates must meet twice a week with their caseload group (several other inmate members) to discuss issues important to their own recovery.
  • Inmates who have been part of the KEY program for several months are required to present "peer seminars" to other inmate members regarding issues important to their own recovery.
  • KEY is located at:

Crest Substance Abuse Programs

Crest is a substance abuse treatment program provided to offenders sentenced in a Level IV facility. Crest Centers are residential centers for both men and women, which allow recovering substance abusers to continue their treatment as they transition to the community. Successful completion is performance driven, not time driven.

All treatment is individualized and performance based. To be considered for successful completion of the CREST Program, one must demonstrate the application of treatment tools to real world situations, while satisfactorily completing all three phases of treatment. The approval of Program staff during clinical case review, and recommendation for completion by the Program Director is required.

Phase I and Phase II are all conducted at the Central Violation of Probation Center (male offenders only). Once completed, offenders are then transferred to one of the three work release centers to participate in Phase III, the work release phase of the Crest program (Webb Community Correctional Center, Morris Community Correctional Center, or the Sussex Community Correctional Center). Female offenders participate in all phases of treatment in the CREST Program at the Hazel D. Plant Women's Treatment Facility, or can be transferred to SCCC for Phase III.

Phase I: approximately 2 months

  • Orientation: approximately 2 weeks – No phone calls or visits
  • Orientation Manuals issued, discussed and learned
  • 12 steps or other Self-Help Group
  • Peer seminars
  • Substance abuse education
  • Thinking Errors
  • Stress Management

Phase II: approximately 2 months

  • Primary Recovery
  • 12 steps or other Self-Help Group
  • Life skills
  • Peer seminars
  • Anger Management
  • Effective Communication
  • Effective Problem solving
  • Relapse Prevention

Phase III (Work Release phase of treatment): approximately 2 months

  • Continue Relapse Prevention Treatment
  • Develop interview and job-seeking skills
  • Gain employment and/or enroll in educational programming
  • Minimum of 6 hours of treatment services daily (10 hours of treatment services per week if employed or attending school full-time).
  • Attendance to mandatory groups: Self-Discovery, Encounter group, Morning and Evening meeting, and Peer Seminars.
  • Develop a Recovery Maintenance Plan
  • Maintain a journal
  • Establish link to a sober support network/or a sober mentor
  • Acquire legal identification
  • Secure appropriate housing
  • Establish appointment with Aftercare
  • Referral to mental health/medical services when applicable
  • Remain compliant with DOC and MHM Program Rules

Crest is currently located at the following sites:

The Aftercare Program

  • Aftercare is the third and final component of the substance abuse treatment program.
  • Aftercare begins once an offender has completed Crest and is released to probation.
  • Offenders taking part in Aftercare are living full-time in the community.
  • Offenders return weekly to an assigned center for group sessions and counseling.
  • Offenders participate in random, mandatory drug testing.
  • Aftercare offenders typically live in "host houses" where host families must meet certain requirements to participate.


A study by the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs estimates that for every $1 spent on substance abuse treatment, $7 is saved in criminal justice costs – making treatment a long-term, cost- effective approach toward reducing crime.

Treatment Programs Chart by Facility Download PDF