By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
Republican representative Libby Szabo of Arvada repeatedly asked if 1st Alliance addiction counselors would lose their licenses if they were indeed being unethical.
"Yes, that's true," said Joyce Smith, a counselor who owns a practice called Creative Treatment Options, "but someone would have to file a complaint. These people will not be filing complaints, because they don't know any better. These are first-time offenders who are frightened. They're vulnerable, so they won't complain."
Several lawmakers pointed out that since RMOMS case managers don't determine the length or location of an offender's therapy, there's no way RMOMS could manipulate the system to make more money for 1st Alliance by sentencing drunk drivers to unnecessarily long treatment. Their argument was helped by Eric Philp, the director of the state Division of Probation Services. The probation division itself didn't take a position on the bill; neither did the Division of Behavioral Health. But Philp testified that he saw no conflict of interest in what Beeck was doing. Asked by Representative Spencer Swalm, a Centennial Republican, what problem he thought the bill was trying to address, Philp said, "I'm quite unsure of that."
Speaking with Westword, Philp compared Beeck's model to a big-box store. "People say Walmart shouldn't be able to have a health clinic right next to its pharmacy," he says, "but based on my experience, as long as there's a physical separation, there's no confusion about the role. If it's co-located but separated — this side of the building is treatment and this side is case management — then I think it's okay."
But one offender who testified at the behest of the treatment providers' group said she doesn't feel that way. "I am angry when I go see my probation [case manager] because I have to pay $50 for them to check up on me," said the client, a senior at the University of Colorado who was convicted of a DUI. "My therapy, I like to go to. So to keep them separated, I see, is very important."
She testified that the state probation officer who first evaluated her didn't give her a choice of where to go for treatment. "The state probation officer said, 'I'll have you go to RMOMS. It's the cheapest,'" she said. After attending one class there, she said, she decided to switch to a more expensive agency, which she likes much better. "The cheapest isn't always the best, in my opinion," she said.
The treatment providers were frustrated that the House committee members seemed fixated on the business aspects of the bill, but a handout that the alliance gave to lawmakers didn't help. Representative David Balmer, a Centennial Republican, was so incensed by it that he read part of it aloud at the hearing: "'Don't mistake business people for clinicians,'" he read. "'Businesspeople have long been accused and jailed for unscrupulous behaviors. The unscrupulous ones don't always get jailed or run out of business. Some of them just get richer.'
"I don't know who wrote that, but that is a horrible thing to say about anybody that is in the business of helping people with horrible situations in their lives," Balmer said.
Thormodsgaard tried to explain that though their language was crude, what the treatment providers meant was that substance-abuse therapy is not business as usual. "We are talking about someone's mental health," he testified. "And if we as a state have an interest in state-ordering this sort of treatment, we should make sure it's as efficacious as possible. And if there's any appearance of a conflict, it should be mitigated."
Most committee members were unconvinced. They killed the bill in an eleven-to-one vote. However, several lawmakers said the issue was an important one that hadn't been resolved. "I believe that the bill addresses the issue of the corruption of the therapeutic relationship," said Representative Max Tyler, a Lakewood Democrat. "However, I think the discussion today had almost nothing to do with that...so my 'no' on this bill today will be a way of absolutely encouraging and saying this is an issue we've got to solve. If DBH doesn't solve it, we need to come back at it another year."
Representative Jonathan Singer, a Longmont Democrat who also voted against the bill, made an even bolder statement. "If [the Division of] Behavioral Health is doing an insufficient job," he said, "I will be the first person next year to co-sponsor this bill if it doesn't pass this year. That's a promise."
So what has the Division of Behavioral Health done in the five months since the bill died? For one, it dismissed a grievance filed by the Treatment Providers Alliance of Colorado alleging that in granting Beeck a treatment license, the division "eroded the overall quality of care in DUI treatment." The grievance included a meticulous file of everything that happened since Beeck was granted his first provisional license in 2009, including the division's first denial letter and a copy of the settlement agreement.
"Our grievance, simply put, is that we believe that DBH has failed to address or prevent the ongoing conflict of interest," they wrote. "We have exhausted our remedies to cure this problem. Therefore, we file this formal grievance."
RMOMS has sold this contract to Intervention in the 1st judicial district for Colorado. If you think it was bad before you have seen nothing yet. Giving UAs at the halfway house at ICCS is a nightmare. Someone should look into this before someone gets raped just trying to comply with their sentence.
These folks at RMOMS and 1st Alliance work for chump change because they either aren't qualified or have no experience at much of anything or they can't make it anywhere else.
There is only one person at RMOMS that makes any money and that's Dan Beeck. The rest are just along for the ride. The turn over there is horrible it has to be over 80% a year. Most of these folks spend their time looking for real work and real pay while "doing their job"
The real purpose of RMOMS and 1st Alliance is to collect money and issue certificates and nothing else. This is not about treatment. This is about money. Dan Beeck is not afraid to spend money to make money.
Excellent article. As an actual survivor of court ordered, privatized, "r-momed" Colorado probation, I can tell you that their are excellent opportunities for real rehab and legal success in the Denver area. I cannot speak for other parts of the state. Broadway Counseling Services treat their clients with respect and though you will likely end up reporting to RMOMS if you are convicted of AN ALCOHOL RELATED DRIVING OFFENSE, companies such as BCS can guide you along, offer affordable classes, and give a personal touch which is needed to succeed even given the harsh punishments one may be facing. Good luck
*** Disgraced former sheriff Sullivan violated probation with booze ***
Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan has violated terms of his probation, according to the Arapahoe County Probation Office.
Sullivan, who pleaded guilty in April to possession of methamphetamines and soliciting a prostitute, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 24 months probation.
In a "special report" filed July 9, Sullivan's probation officer Hallie Miller, writes that Sullivan was required to wear a SCRAM alcohol-monitoring device under the terms of his probation.
"However, the defendant's continued violations indicate the defendant chooses to not abide by Court orders," the probation filing said.
The report went on to say that, "the above information leads the probation department to be concerned about the defendant in the community."
The probation office didn't ask that Sullivan's probation be revoked in the filings that were recently been made public.
Jail this Perverted Maggot !!
Pre-trial services OFTEN order these $$$$$ classes
LONG before a conviction and there isn't a refund should
you be found NOT GUILTY !
'Treatment' is a joke !!! They are most concerned w/ receiving their monthly fees , NOT rehabilitating !!!
We should be skeptical of private probation services. Probation management is a branch of law enforcement and people's freedom should never be subjected to for-profit non-govt schemes. Once these other counselors that sound ethical get a scent of the profits, they will want a piece of the action.
WHATS EVEN MORE F'D UP IS I HAVE BEEN ON PISS TESTS FOR EVERY DRUG KNOWN TO MAN AND ALCH FOR THE LAST 10 MONTHS!!!!! 4X PER MONTH (Randoms) AND YOU HAVE TO CALL BEFORE 11 EVERY DAY OR ELSE U MISS IF IT IS "YOUR TURN TO TEST TODAY" IF THAT ENDS UP BEING THE CASE YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT FROM YOUR PROBATION OFFICER IF YOU DO., RMOMS CANNOT TELL YOU. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO GET A PROB OFFICER TO CALL BACK BEFORE THE NEXT DAY??? IMPOSSIBLE....THAN YOU MISS, THAN YER IN THE DOG-HOUSE. DOES IT SEEM LIKE ONE MIGHT HAVE A HARD TIME HOLDING A JOB....YEP....FUNNY THING ALSO, I HAVE NOT MISSED 1 TEST AND HAVE NOT HAD 1 POSITIVE TEST....TELL ME THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO SET ME UP FOR FAILURE!!!! I HAVE SOMEHOW MAINTAINED A JOB/PAYMENTS/PISS TESTS/PROBATION MEETINGS/ANKLE MONITOR DOWNLOADS/CLASSES/MADD PANEL AND BEING A SINGLE FATHER ALL WITHOUT A LISCENSE AND RELYING SOLELY ON PUB TRANSPORTATION........I HAVE ALL THIS TO DEAL WITH AND YES I KNOW IT'S MY FAULT BUT I WISH SOMEONE WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE SET UP TO REMAIN IN THE SYSTEM....THERE ARE NO LESS THAN 6 SEPERATE THINGS YOU MUST KEEP UP WITH OR YOU WILL REMAIN IN THE SYSTEM....THEY NEED TO HAVE 1 PERSON/AGENCY WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL OF THESE THINGS BUT THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN!
CONFLICT OF INTEREST HUH???? HOW ABOUT THE JUDGES THAT OWN A LOT OF THESE PRIVATE PROBATION COMPANIES....TELL THAT STORY!!!!!! WHAT A JOKE!
As the founder of the Sanders County Montana DUI Task force several years ago, I balked at the attitude "Penalties before Treatment" prevalent in our state as well. Instead of allowing convicted offenders to do community service in lieu of prohibitive fees for retraining prior to returning the drivers license, they raised the fees for the treatment. No exceptions. So the drunks return to the road without licenses---when will we get over the "Shame on You!" punitive approach to addictions and switch to "How can we help you?"
The first approach has not worked, giving the second a chance might...
Martha D. Humphreys
Probation is the problem. This is why, there should not be level 2 therapy =42 hours(the minimum) or more up to around 80 hours Should be 24 hours of level 1 education. for first offense. Then alot of this would not matter. The lower cost is great for poor people like me who had to stop when broke
The public needs to write the represenatives to change laws. When you find out how much it costs you can see why it needs change. Did the represenative caught drunk dirving to the fine and the time? Minimum 66. hours =33 -2 hour sessions at minimum 20.00 =660.00. then fine 850.00 or more then add50.00 a probation visit and thats 12 add lawyer its a bad system.
I am so glad someone finally decided to do a story on RMOMS. They are out of control and tried to fuck with me every step of the way. They are also clogging up the courts with their bullshit probation violations they slap everyone with.
The whole notion of private probation is a farce to begin with. If the clients are "low risk", then why do they need to be on probation in the first place? Why can't they simply do their community service and classes and or drug tests and go about their lives and be left alone by the statist's? The whole thing reeks of cronyism and back room smokey deals with corruption at the head of a never ending revenue stream. It seems no minor coincidence that the owner of RMOM's and Intervention etc,.. are former state probation officers themselves who secured very lucrative and lengthy contracts with their county friends, allies and associates..
i'd like to publish some of these comments in our print edition, ideally with your full name/town. If that's okay, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado: Come for Vacation, Leave on Probation!
RMOMS was by far the easiest agency to break the rules with, the easiest agency to cheat drug and alcohol tests, the easiest to pay for but not attend and get credit for classes. What a truly rotten organization.
The real problem is that they take away the DL and then demand the person attend classes and probation and other requirements, which makes it almost an impossibility for poor people.
The whole DUI laws are a joke. It's not illegal to drive after drinking, just illegal to drive over a certain limit.
let's see, first we privatize prisons; now we privatize the gateway to prison for those unable to ante up enough scratch to deal with their addiction. let's see...what's next...um, maybe medicare? social security? public schools? environmental protection?
we're on the road to nowhere, but we can take a detour in november.
That is like the army doing their own EA on Pinon Canyon----Crooked
EA as in environmental assessment--do they tear up the land? They say no but have you ever seen a tank that does not make big deep tracks in grass and dry land??
Should the Catholic Church give for-profit court-ordered counsel to those Sodomized by Pedophile Priests ?
The bottom line for most of these places (including halfway houses, ex-inmate treatment facilites, etc) is money, not rehabilitation. They force offenders to load up on ridiculously priced classes (most of which are a joke) and when they can't pay for the classes, on top of everything else, the program kicks them out and thus the offender is violating probation/parole. I get that there are consequences and you have to "pay the piper", but there is no consideration at all given to a person's individual circumstance. The criminal justice system keeps a lot of people employed, so there is big money in keeping the cycle of incarceration, parole/probation going.
When this clown opened his operation he sent letters to a multitude of agencies trying to poach Therapists.
Their case managers are given numbers to meet. If they meet these financial numbers they are given bonuses. If they don't, they are written up. They misrepresent themselves as " probation officers " in order to intimidate first time offenders into thinking they have more power than they do.
You get what you pay for. If you want to be treated like a number and cash register, get nothing out of group, ( even though you complete your hours ), 1st Alliance ( RMOMS ) is the place for you.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
No, not at all. Private probation companies are in it for one thing, money... Not proper rehabilitation of their clients...
DUI 'counseling' is a joke all around. A bunch of offenders sitting in a room talking about how they got screwed over and lying about how they don't drink anymore. It's not therapy, it's punishment via 2 hours a week of utterly crushing boredom. The only people who benefit are the providers. You know what will lower DUI rates? Allowing more cab companies and expanding hours and access to public transportation and increased awareness of the penalties involved in having even one drink and getting caught driving. Recidivism rates aren't changing, they're increasing. Get a goddamn clue that your status quo knee-jerk responses don't work. DUI can have horrifying consequences, but two hours of pointless thumb twiddling a week after the fact won't change that.
The whole Damn Dui probation system needs to be re done in my opinion... I understand people just shouldnt get in trouble... but the whole probation department.. LACK of communication between departments and courts,officials etc.. is so so horrible..something needs to change with them.. just my opinion..
@fratdawgg23 Very well put . I could not agree w/ you more .
You are so correct w/ their not having ANY business in corrections or treatment.
Makes you wonder who all gets 'cut in' , when a judge orders 'classes' and the P.O. sends you to these thieves !
@ryanjohnsmith1013 I am now forced to be with RMOMS for a second time and am really trying to figure out how I am gonna manage not violating. Curious as to what my option would be for better probation? What are my rights because I dont want to be treated by RMOMS.
@anon You know what has reduced DUI rates in Arizona ? Mandatory 10 day jail sentences. Would you rather twiddle your thumbs in County ?
@kwame You can attend class wherever you would like. Transfer if you're taking classes. Your new agency will take over monitoring your treatment and RMOMS would basically answer to them ( your new agency ).
You can go wherever you want for treatment. Don't let them bully you into thinking they have power that they don't. They will back down if they are aware you know the rules. If they don't, call their bluff and ask to see the judge.
You have rights.
@ryanjohnsmith1013 oh ok. i didnt do that 1st alliance shit RMOMS just supervises. I do all testing and education and stuff elsewhere.
@BackOffImStarving ... OK ... but first Chi-Chi.