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Inmates Stay BRAVE While Incarcerated

Bureau program helps young, at-risk inmates prepare for reentry

Inmates Stay BRAVE While Incarcerated

(BOP) - Young, newly committed inmates serving long sentences are more likely than other inmates to engage in institution misconduct. In 1998, the Bureau implemented the Bureau Rehabilitation and Values Enhancement (BRAVE) program, to assist younger inmates adjust to incarceration. The program encourages inmates to interact positively with staff members and take advantage of opportunities to engage in self-improvements activities while serving their sentences.

"The BRAVE Program embodies everything I admire about the Bureau - a commitment to innovative programming, a team of caring and dedicated staff, and an inmate population receptive to change and growth," said Patti Butterfield, Senior Deputy Assistant Director of the Reentry Services Division and the original BRAVE Program Coordinator when she was a staff psychologist at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Beckley, WV.

The six-month, cognitive-behavioral program consists of interactive groups addressing a wide range of issues, to include healthy adjustment, rational thinking, living with others, personal wellness, and proactive reentry planning. Inmates also participate in smaller, more personal process groups where they are encouraged to process feelings, obstacles and current issues in their life. The program functions as a modified therapeutic community, with participants living together and providing support and feedback to one another.

"The BRAVE Program gave me many life changing tools and missing pieces to a lot of unanswered questions in my life," said inmate Johnathan Williams, who serves as a BRAVE mentor after completing the program in 2012. "The BRAVE Program has helped me become the person I should have been years ago. It provides structure to my life and keeps me on the right path. If you take this program seriously you will get nothing but positive results."