CIT: Monetary rewards for good behavior?

NORWICH – About $23,500 of New York taxpayers’ money could be paid out in any given year for good behavior exhibited by the individuals confined at Valley Ridge Center for Intensive Treatment in Norwich.

A policy in place since the Valley Ridge CIT opened in 2002 on Upper Ravine Road compensates detainees who successfully attend and participate in behavior management classes. Classes are held weekdays year round, and with six of them offered each day, at 25 cents each, a person committed at Valley Ridge could potentially earn up to $1.50 per day.

Not all of them do, however. The classes address anger management, relapse, empathy and other behavioral skills. “You have to remember that these are difficult skills. Many of the consumers function at a high school level,” said Valley Ridge’s Deputy Director of Administration Nick Andrews.

According to CIT Director Charles Kearley, the stipend is “a motivation factor” that enables the individuals - called consumers - “to buy-in” to their treatment programs.

“We need active participation from the consumer to make this all work,” he said. “They need to agree to and actively participate in the classes. This (the pay) reinforces them to guide their own development.”

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