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New programs prompt renovations to Lubbock County Residential Treatment Center

Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 5:21 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock County Court Residential Treatment Center has been undergoing changes, prompted by the evolving rehabilitation programs that have proven successful for the adult residents.

“You can teach somebody to work,” Director Valerie Monteilh said. “But, if you’re not actually dealing with the criminal aspect of their thinking or the aspect of them being involved in drugs and alcohol, you’re not changing anything for them.”

The center, which sits across from the Lubbock County Detention Center, is a state operated adult probation program that rehabilitates those who’ve violated their probation by using drugs or alcohol and have been court ordered to the facility.

“We are hopefully rehabilitating people to the point where they can live among us, be productive citizens, pay their taxes, take care of their their children, pay child support, all of those things that are extremely important to our community,” Monteilh said.

The Lubbock County owned facility, which the State of Texas rents, is in the fourth phase of construction and renovations. They come after studies showed previous rehabilitation efforts were unsuccessful.

“The State started doing some changes within probation and everybody was starting to learn that the best way to deal with a human being is to treat them as a human being,” Monteilh said. “Instead of just teaching them jobs where they couldn’t get licenses, because they had [felony records], such as maybe air conditioning or mechanics, then we started looking at how we help this person be a self-corrector in order for them to be able to take care of business the way they need to.”

The treatment focus changed to cognitive programs rather than just work skills. That prompted the need for classrooms rather than workshops.

“If they have children, we need to possibly do parenting with them,” Monteilh said. “If there’s domestic violence, we need to learn how to do social skills of living, those kinds of things are all taught over here. We’re very fortunate that we were able to utilize technology. They constantly do things like role plays and they look at their thinking. They learn how to make a difference in a way that that’s going to be really conducive for our community.”

Recent phases of construction have added a new kitchen, control centers and new dorm areas. It’s expected the facility can serve 130 people when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Monteilh said rehabilitation success rates have gone from 24 percent to 82 percent, which has had an effect on the entire community.

“It’s very vital to change lives because we have to protect our community,” Monteilh said. “If one person stops using drugs or one person stops doing crimes, then that affects so many different people.”

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