Richard Donovan has always known he wanted to have a career where he would be of service. In 2006, he began his life-long journey in human services, working with adults with disabilities. Fortunately for Phoenix House, Richard joined the team as Clinical Supervisor for our Substance Use and Disorder Treatment Program at the Calipatria State Prison in October 2016. The program is designed for offenders who demonstrate the willingness to take advantage of the program as well as for offenders who have been referred based on substance use or possession infractions.
“Some of these guys have been incarcerated for 35 years and they may never leave,” says Richard. “Sometimes they have really rough days and maybe I can say something to improve the day for them.”
He has also improved the days for the staff by purchasing a golf cart to provide transportation around the prison yards. Some days the temperature can get up to 120 degrees and some of the staff have back problems or other mobility issues, making the mile walk to the Central Office challenging.
“It helps a lot when staff only have a 30-minute break—it saves time,” he adds.
During his spare time, Richard also teaches a DUI class and is working on getting his master’s degree in Addiction Studies.
From all of us at Phoenix House California, we are deeply grateful to Vanessa and Richard Donovan for their generosity and kindness.