Two programs initiated by the University of Delaware were cited as success stories by Delaware Gov. Tom Carper, Delaware '75M, in his January State of the State address--the CREST Outreach Center, a therapeutic work-release program for prisoners with substance-abuse problems, and the Small Business Resource and Information Center.
Gov. Carper cited the CREST Outreach Center as a model drug rehabilitation program, producing remarkable results that have attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice and state criminal justice systems nationwide. A month earlier, President Bill Clinton had noted the success of the Delaware program at a meeting of his Drug Policy Council.
Opened in 1992 in Wilmington by UD sociologist James A. Inciardi, under a multi-million-dollar grant he received from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the CREST drug rehabilitation work-release program for prison releasees involves primary treatment for inmates while in prison; secondary treatment, including counseling and job training at a work release center; and outpatient counseling and continued group therapy when released.
In his address, Carper noted that, of the prisoners who completed these rigorous programs, 76 percent were drug-free and 71 percent were arrest-free after 18 months. He compared these statistics with the success rates of inmates in a control group, where only 19 percent remained drug-free and 30 percent remained arrest-free after 18 months.
The day-to-day operation of the CREST program is handled by the state's Corrections Department; HIV and drug testing and analysis are handled by UD's Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies.
Carper has called for a nearly three-fold expansion of the prison drug programs next year.
The success of the Small Business Resource and Information Center prompted Carper to say he would recommend new "storefront" small development centers in Dover and Georgetown, building on "phenomenal successes of the one-stop, storefront center" in downtown Wilmington.
Business persons and budding entrepreneurs can go to the center for tips on how to start a business, learn how to expand an existing business, use a computer, get tax forms, loan or license information, conduct business research or talk to a counselor.
The center includes a library providing research data from more than 500 business reference titles, current business periodicals, market research publications and census data; a state-of-the-art computer lab with seven computer work stations featuring a variety of current business software and CD-ROM-based research information; one-on-one counseling with counselors; and input on potential sources of capital.
In its first six months, more than 2,300 small-business persons visited the new center.