The steady climb of individuals in jails and prisons with behavioral health disorders has ignited a deeper dive in understanding the use of peer support to reduce recidivism, homelessness, unemployment and instability. Whether part of the formal process or simply as a matter of people building relationships in peer support groups, the notion of one to one peer support is central. Peer support groups and forensic peers, individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system, provide a variety of support activities specifically aimed to help with re-integration and maintaining positive community involvement. The peer support specialist works from the context of recovery, frequently utilizing language based upon common experience rather than clinical terminology, and person-centered relationships to foster strength based recovery. The core principles of peer support creates a longer and competent role of recovery for individuals improving quality of life.
Part I – Will provide an overview of this topic to include community engagement, the benefits of employing persons with lived experience, and expanding the workforce, including non-traditional ways to utilize peers.