Willard is a Drug Treatment Campus (DTC) operated by the NYS Department of Correctional Services and Community Supervision (DOCCS) in collaboration with OASAS. It was created in 1995 as a new sentencing option for low-level drug offenders and parole violators who previously would have been sent to a traditional prison. The Willard program was created as an intermediate sanction — with teeth — to deal with the problem of relapse.
Recovery can be a difficult road, and fortunate is the addict or alcoholic who does not stumble on his or her way. By some accounts, relapse should be regarded as a standard step in the recovery process. Before Willard, however, there was no way to recognize this. Prosecutors and parole authorities were faced with an all-or-nothing choice — invoke the full measure of the state's punitive might and throw the relapse back in prison or, officially, look the other way.
Willard, however, offers a third way. The DTC is a demanding, three-month, shock incarceration-style residential therapeutic program, followed by six months of out-patient treatment in the community under intensive supervision by parole officers affording a stronger measure of protection to the community than is provided by standard community treatment programs.
For the addict, Willard is not only a reprieve from a full prison term, but a new opportunity to tackle his or her addiction.