From Prison to Purpose – How TASC is making a difference in our community
Ashley Orr heads toward the lobby of the Clermont Recovery Center in Batavia. She’s meeting clients who are arriving for a group therapy session. Ashley is one of just four people on the TASC team at Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services. TASC stands for Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities and has been a part of our Clermont County services since 2012. Funded by a yearly grant from Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services, TASC serves an average of 225 clients at any given time. A majority of the clients are on felony probation or parole – most for drug offenses.
The TASC program is based upon a circle of support with comprehensive services. Clients initially have weekly individual sessions with their counselor and group therapy twice a week. The program length varies because it is based upon progress. The goal is to help the client in any way necessary to avoid a relapse.
What makes TASC unique is the relationship that develops between the client and the TASC counselors. Says team member Jennifer Savage, “They don’t necessarily want to be here, but tell us that they appreciate the fact that we treat them with respect.” The TASC team leader is Michael Jones.
He is very proud of his team and knows how important and difficult their work is. “Addiction is a potentially fatal illness,” says Mike. “One more relapse and that can be it. Every member of my team does a great job of building a therapeutic and caring relationship with their clients. In some cases they are the only anchor they have. Many have burned all of their bridges.”
And the proof of success is there. In the first six months of 2019, only one of the 47 clients who went through the program ended up in prison. According to Sharon, who is attending Ashley’s group therapy session, “TASC has saved my life. It’s the first time I have been clean in over 35 years.”