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Va. jail launches program to combat substance use disorder among inmates

RIDUP is a four-month program targeting SUD treatment for inmates, supporting the mental and behavioral needs of participants

By Sarah Roebuck

RICHMOND, Va. — In an innovative step toward rehabilitation, the Greensville Correctional Center, under the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC), has launched a pioneering initiative aimed at assisting inmates grappling with Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

Dubbed the Residential Illicit Drug Use Program (RIDUP), the program started in November 2023 and is currently aiding 22 participants in their journey toward recovery, VADOC stated in a news release.

RIDUP is a four-month therapeutic program designed to offer inmates treatment within a safe and secure environment, specifically targeting SUD. The program is intended for inmates who have overdosed within the last six months. The program aims to support the mental, emotional, social and behavioral needs of those screened into program participation, according to VADOC.

A team has been established to evaluate referrals and manage admissions from across the state into the program. This includes staff, inmates and a specialized treatment team, all of whom work together, focusing exclusively on the RIDUP initiative, according to VADOC.

The program includes inmate peer recovery specialists who help staff with RIDUP. The inmates are transferred to Greensville Correctional Center from Green Rock Correctional Center to participate in the program, VADOC states. Before they are transferred, the inmates complete the 72-hour PRS training from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

“Substance use disorder is a significant challenge in communities and correctional facilities across the United States,” said VADOC Director Chad Dotson. “The RIDUP program is another way the Virginia Department of Corrections can work to help affected inmates in our custody get the treatment they need.”