Brain Science and Updates From the Field

BLOOM hosts reintegration program graduation

Thursday, February 25, 2016
A group of individuals commemorated their next step of recovery and sobriety by graduating from the Community Reintegration of Offenders with Mental Illness and Substance Abuse (CROMISA) program during a ceremony at BLOOM Collaborative in February.

CROMISA is a reintegration program for people with mental illness and substance abuse problems who are incarcerated in the state system with at least one year of their sentence remaining.

Program graduates received recognition for their dedication in working with a team of professionals who provided necessary supports while keeping offenders on track.

One graduate praised his team by saying, “I was hesitant to do this at first but the team has become my family.”

Another said he learned a lot about himself from his work with his support team.

“I had isolated myself pretty well,” he said. “But through the team, I learned I didn’t have to think I was alone.”

The program brings together resources from mental health and substance abuse providers, such as the Erie County Office of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Erie County Office of Mental Health/Mental Retardation, Gaudenzia Crossroads, Greater Erie Community Action Committee and the Probation and Parole Board of Pennsylvania.

As part of the graduation ceremony, professionals from these community partners joined staff from Stairways as well as the graduates themselves to share a meal and celebrate the occasion.

Graduates were quick to point out the commitment it takes and the satisfaction that results from having accomplished the program.

“Overall, CROMISA has been a rewarding experience,” one graduate said. “But you have to be dedicated to it. You can’t just sit back and expect benefits to be handed to you.”

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