Wisconsin Model

During the exploration and development stages of this model, members of the oversight committee attended various trainings and conferences to build our base knowledge of MAT.  These trainings proved critical to our ability to create a program and be in a strong position to lead the program. 

Recognizing and respecting that pilot program staff are our most important resource and play a critical role in a successful program from beginning to end, we emphasized initial and ongoing training for staff. To that end, our staff as part of their overall job responsibilities are already trained and proficient in the following:

  • Risk/Needs Assessment:
    Our agency’s formal actuarial risk and needs assessment tool.  Every user must attend multiple days of training before use to ensure accurate use.  This tool:
    • Assigns offender risk levels
    • Reveals criminogenic needs which are built into case plans
    • Aids in supervision level determination
    • Provide supervision strategies
    • Helps determine evidence-based responses to violation
    • Utilizes trailer tools for needs and responsivity determination

Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a form of collaborative conversation for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change. It is a well-established, evidence-based practice for addressing ambivalence about change by paying close attention to the language of change. As a guiding style of communication, MI is designed to strengthen an individual’s motivation for and movement towards a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion. It is a way of arranging conversation so that people talk themselves into change, based on their own values and interests. (Miller and Rollnick, 2013).

The WI DOC continues to pursue alignment with the principles of effective intervention. Implementation of an agency-wide Motivational Interviewing Training Plan is a foundational component to achieving this goal. The Reentry Executive Team (RET) issued a Decision Point on Motivational Interviewing (MI) documenting the DOC policy that staff will use Motivational Interviewing as an evidence-based practice. The purpose is to effectively engage offenders in the assessment, case planning, and change processes while targeting behaviors that contribute to recidivism.
In addition, we built into our pilot program:

  • Formal classroom MAT training:  Understanding MAT was a new offering to our Departments approach to substance use treatment, the level of understanding MAT by our staff varied significantly.  Before our program began, we selected approximately 30 field agents covering the eight counties to receive these cases. These staff and institution social workers were asked to attend a training which reviewed the pilot program goals and objective.  In addition, an employee of Alkermes (Vivitrol manufacturer) provided training on the appropriate use of the medication to better educate our staff.  Alkermes has provided WI DOC training to our staff on two subsequent occasions.
  • Ongoing staff development trainings on MAT at our Madison Training Center to continue the education process of various forms of MAT
  • Two to three meetings per year for the field staff to meet with the Pilot Program leadership to answer questions and explore program enhancements