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Rehab Program Offers Criminal Addicts Second Chance

Peer 1 is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program for men, many who have spent years in and out of prison, in Denver, Colorado.

. Blindfolded clients are moved though the Ft. Logan National Cemetery by care aide Terry Keahey, left, a former client, in Denver on Sept. 15, 2015.

The exercise was designed to show the choices the criminal addicts have: death, back to prison or recovery.

Clients come to the program hoping to turn away from addiction and crime, to rebuild their lives and learn how to integrate into society. Treatment includes family group therapy, meditation and trust-building exercises.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. A client gets a "trim" in a demonstration at a family group therapy session on Nov. 10, 2015. The exercise is meant to "trim away" bad attitudes and behavior.

Peer I clients typically stay nine to 12 months in residen­tial treatment, followed by an additional 12 months of outpatient treatment services.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Arrowhead prison convict Robert G., right, makes his case for being accepted accepted into the program at a meeting with staff at the prison in Canon City, Colorado on Sept. 24, 2014. He has 11 felony convictions for drug-related crimes and has been in and out of prison or rehab over the last 25 years.

He was accepted.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Brian P. gets a word of advice from Peer 1 director Ken Gaipa, left, as he arrives from Arrowhead prison to begin his two-year program on March 25, 2015. This is his second attempt at the program.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Client Chad Lambert reacts as he has a tattoo removed from his chest with a laser by Jill France at her "What Were You Inking" clinic on April 18, 2014.

France removed tattoos from the Peer 1 clients pro bono in support of their efforts to shed their old lifestyle.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. A confession from a client is displayed on the "stash/drop" board on June 16, 2014.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Clients stand silently facing a wall during a self-discovery meditation session on July 22, 2014.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. A client wears a "therapeutic benefit" paper that that he made to remind himself of his bad attitude and to show his willingness to ask his Peer 1 brothers for support on July 14, 2014.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Shane P., left, and Dominic G. are publicly shaved during a “mass haircut" as staff and fellow clients watch on Nov. 2, 2015. A “mass haircut” is a discipline applied by the entire Peer 1 family to clients who are having difficulty supporting the program.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Jonathan C., left, holds his "issue card" with other new clients in the orientation phase on Nov. 2, 2015. The issue cards are constantly carried by the clients as a reminder of their inappropriate behavior and to identify key concepts in the program.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Shane P., who spent 18 years--half his life-- in prison, weeps while being confronted by his peers on Nov. 3, 2015. The group exercise calls attention to poor attitudes and behavior.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Client James J. writes an epitaph for himself on a mock tombstone during a blind faith trust exercise on Sept. 15, 2015.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Robert A. plays hopscotch with his 5-year-old daughter Isabella during Kid's Day on Nov. 7, 2015.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Patrick Sena weeps as he embraces the body of his four-year-old son, Andres, as Andres' mother, Valerie Quintana, comforts him at a funeral home in Lakewood, Colorado on July 16, 2014.

Andres died in a drowning accident. Patrick feels he was not there for his son because of his addiction and was looking forward to raising him after completing the program.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. People gather for the Christmas graduation on Dec. 19, 2014.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. An unidentified client speaks at his graduation from the program on Dec. 19, 2014. This client, who has 43 felony arrests, made parole after graduating but later relapsed and is now back in custody.

Rick Wilking / Reuters

. Terry Keahey, a former client now working as a client care aide, shows his graduation medallion at a family group therapy session on Nov. 10, 2015.

Rick Wilking / Reuters