TABS109 Staff Story
Using Telecare's Recovery-Centered Clinical System (RCCS) to address JIMH issues has been key to creating a recovery-centered environment.
Telecare’s AB Services 109 (TABS 109) reintegration program, funded by Assembly Bill 109, works with members who are released from prison. The program works to address both mental health and criminogenic needs. TABS109 uses RCCS principles to create a welcoming, inclusive, and collaborative environment where staff use techniques such as motivational interviewing and reflective listening to connect with members on what they want to get out of their time in the program. In order to connect with members on a personal level, TABS109 also employs staff with lived experience to help encourage growth and support. This combined reintegration model has been extremely successful and to prove it, TABS109 has a 20% recidivism rate compared to the state’s 59%.
“Our peer component has really helped us engage with our clientele,” said Telecare’s Los Angeles Regional Operations Director Cheryl Malinowski. “New clients will come in to our programs so guarded because they are forced to be there. Then after being in a program for a couple of months, receiving treatment, they realize that staff genuinely cares for them.”
Staff member Rayzhone Davis takes pride in helping others identify their strengths. Rayzhone found himself in and out of juvenile hall and youth prison from the age of 13 to 18, and at 23 was given a jail sentence of seven years. When he got out, Rayzhone started to turn his life around by working on his Associates Degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, and was referred to TABS109 from the work he did at another substance use program. Two years, two promotions, and a degree later, he is now a Substance Abuse Counseling Specialist.
“My education, past living experiences, and our philosophy of RCCS helps me encourage members to look at life differently,” he said. “Working for Telecare has given me an opportunity to be a part of an ACT program, where I get to work in the community that I was raised in. My biggest joy is helping others who have the same struggles I overcame. The work I do has allowed me to give back to my community and use my past living experiences to help others to become the best people they can be.”
Housing Specialist Andrea Major, who also has a justice-involved past, applied to the TABS109 program to satisfy her probation terms. She found TABS109 to be a welcoming program that takes care of, believes in, and continuously prepares staff to reach their goals and move up in the organization.
“After almost three years working at Telecare, I am more aware of my identity and where I want to go. Telecare gave me a second chance and provided an environment that has allowed me the ability to grow and advance,” she said. “Telecare is about breaking barriers, not creating them.”