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Gateway Corrections History

Our History

Gateway Foundation has understood and addressed the connection between criminal activity and substance abuse since it began providing services in 1968. Over the past 55 plus years, Gateway Foundation, Inc. has become one of the largest and most trusted providers of substance abuse and co-occurring treatment services in the United States. Gateway is a private, not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois. Gateway Corrections specifically targets under-served populations which include the incarcerated.

On June 28, 1968, the name Gateway Houses Foundation was officially entered with the Cook County Recorder’s Office. The name was changed to Gateway Foundation in 1983 to better reflect the expanded array of services offered. Today, Gateway is a recognized leader in the field, serving as many as 20,000 clients per year in our correctional treatment programs.

Illinois Roots

Linkages between Gateway and the criminal justice system in Illinois resulted in the development of the first in-jail treatment program for male and female detainees at the Cook County Jail, the largest single site county jail in the country at that time.

In 1980, the Cook County Department of Corrections began a pilot program to provide separate quarters for 100 inmates receiving Gateway treatment services. The Residential Treatment Unit offered systematic intake and screening in order to house and identify drug-dependent offenders as they entered the Jail. In 1986, Gateway staff initiated services in the Women’s Division of the Jail. The success of these programs resulted in a request for Gateway to establish treatment services within the Illinois Department of Corrections for women at Dwight, Logan, and Kankakee Correctional Centers and for men at Graham, Sheridan, Lincoln, Taylorville, and Jacksonville Correctional Centers.

The Sheridan Correctional Center was re-opened in 2004 as a National Model Correctional Therapeutic Community, and Gateway operated the fully-dedicated 1,100 bed facility from 2004 through 2006, when Gateway relinquished the contract. Recidivism studies by Loyola University and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) throughout that period evidenced our outstanding success in reducing recidivism for those served.

Texas Expansion and Growth

In the early 90’s, Gateway began services in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, through the vision of then-Governor Ann Richards. As a result of her in-prison substance abuse treatment initiative, Gateway was selected to provide treatment services in the State of Texas in 1992. Between 1992 and 2007, Gateway grew to become the State’s exclusive substance abuse treatment vendor in correctional facilities by 2003. The TDCJ/Gateway program at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville was named “2002 National Program of the Year” by the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare, which clearly demonstrated our ability to provide appropriate services for special needs populations as well.

Nation-wide Growth

Over the past decade plus, Gateway continued its expansion into corrections-based treatment through establishing programs in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Wyoming. Although the Arizona and Indiana projects were eventually de-funded due to political and budgetary considerations, Gateway continues to be the primary provider of in-prison substance abuse treatment services for the Missouri Department of Corrections and the exclusive provider of in-prison treatment services for the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Today, many of the clients Gateway serves in our community-based programs are involved in the criminal justice system. For example, current contracts include funding from the United States District Courts to provide random urinalyses and a range of community-based treatment and education services for federal probationers and parolees in Illinois and Missouri. We also provide residential and outpatient substance abuse services for probationers and parolees in most of our Illinois residential and outpatient programs.

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