Leaders inĀ peer recovery coaching to prevent violence

In 2018, funded by a capacity building grant from the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, Counseling First led a program to prevent violence through design and development of educational systems to encourage and enable certified local peer counseling for parole and probation clients. Our partners in this program were Governors State University, the Above and Beyond Family Recovery Center and the Community Support Advisory Council - North at Howard Area Community Center.

Three certified local peer coaches helped to address substance use disorders and anger management directly in the neighborhoods. Educational systems were developed including assessment tools, curriculum, certification procedures, supervision and IT systems to track outcomes.
These efforts resulted included: increased opportunities for interested and qualified offenders to get certified as peer recovery coaches; creating jobs for neighbors to help neighbors to recover; and enabling local pockets of services to directly address issues of substance abuse and anger on the ground, thereby tackling root causes and helping to prevent violence.
Counseling First believes that it is time to launch new ways for people to get certified to perform peer recovery coaching in his or her local neighborhood across Cook County. As society increasingly recognizes the value of probation, supervision and diversion in lieu of incarceration, Cook County continues to have opportunities to support development of local peer coaches for substance abuse and anger management in urban communities. These local peers walk the walk, talk the talk and, with well-designed supports and systems, serve as powerful allies in the struggle to prevent violence in Cook County.