The Willard Drug Treatment Campus

More than a fifth of all American prisoners are in jail on drug charges; however, prison space is limited, and many prisons may not have the resources to help an addict control his or her drug addiction while incarcerated. The courts are dealing with this in part by offering rehab as an alternative to jail in the event of a drug conviction. One facility designed specifically to handle drug addiction within the justice system is the Willard Drug Treatment Center.

About the Center

Located in the small community of Willard in Seneca County, New York, the Willard Drug Treatment Center takes a boot camp-style approach to the rehabilitation of both male and female drug addicts. It is a 90-day program equipped to hold 900 addicts, whom the Center refers to as “parolees” instead of inmates. Its methods incorporate therapy groups, cognitive behavioral therapy and a 12-step program.


In order to go through the program, addicts must first undergo medical and mental health screenings at a reception prison before they are transferred to Willard. Afterwards, a one-week orientation, known as “Zero Week,” introduces addicts to the program’s elements and incorporates physical training similar to the military. Although they cannot receive visitors during this time, they can send and receive mail, but not packages and magazines. In addition, they have limited access to newspapers and the Internet.

Community Work

Addicts can participate in a Community Work Program after Zero Week ends. This allows them to join a group that leaves the facility twice a week to perform specific jobs, such as painting, gardening and building maintenance.

An increasing number of addicts are turning to rehab when convicted of drug crimes in order to beat their addiction and stay out of jail. The Willard Drug Treatment Center gives addicts in New York the opportunity to rebuild their lives as they repay their debts to society.