GENESEO — Catholic Charities of Livingston County will launch the Livingston County Jail-based Cognitive Behavioral Intervention program, known as the Livingston Initiative for Transformation (LIFT), in the first quarter of 2019. Catholic Charities has been awarded a grant of $135,700 to fund the program. The grant is provided by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

The project, being managed by Transitional Jail Counselor Brandy Swain, LMSW, will incorporate Interactive Journaling, Moral Resonation Therapy, and the nationally-recognized Thinking for a Change (T4C) along with enhanced transitional services. Participants will be assigned to programs based on their individual needs and length of sentence.

Interactive Journaling and Moral Resonation Therapy will serve as alternate forms of cognitive behavioral intervention in a smaller setting than T4C. Transitional services for jail inmates will connect individuals with mental health treatment, alcohol and substance abuse services, and peer mentoring.

Thinking for a Change incorporates research from cognitive restructuring theory, social skills development, and the learning and use of problem solving skills. The goal of the program is to reduce recidivism in county jails by engaging inmates in discussions about their behaviors and transitioning them into stable lives outside of incarceration through a 25 lesson curriculum. The T4C component will be run in partnership with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, Probation Department and Workforce Development Office.

“Adopting the LIFT program adds one more tool to meet our collective mission of assisting inmates with their transition into stable lives and keeping the residents of our county safe,” said Probation Director Lynne Mignemi. “By adopting this program, Catholic Charities staff, probation officers, workforce development staff, and members of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office continue to go above and beyond traditional methods to assist both inmates and the residents of our county. I thank each of them for their hard work and dedication to the program: the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office for allowing access and space to run the program, Livingston County Senior Probation Officers Michelle Jordan and Deb Mack, Sheila VanAuken from Livingston County Workforce Development and Brandy Swain of Catholic Charities of Livingston County who will be teaching the curriculum.”

Livingston County and CCLC hope to enroll 30 inmates in three sessions over the course of the one year grant. The Thinking for a Change program is set to begin its first 13-week-long run in February.