DEFINITION: “Bridging the Gap” is a commonly adopted name for committees around the country that provide a Temporary Contact Service, for alcoholics who have gotten sober in an environment of confinement and are being released. This service is performed in accordance with “Temporary Contact Guidelines.”
PURPOSE: The purpose of the “Bridging the Gap” committee is to establish and maintain a network of A.A. volunteers who will accept the responsibility of making initial contact with a person requesting an introduction to Alcoholics Anonymous when he or she leaves a facility of confinement or recovery. That facility may be a detox center, hospital, treatment center, jail, or prison. The A.A Volunteer will give that person an immediate introduction to local meetings in their area of residence.
HOW IT WORKS: While in confinement the patient or inmate is given a presentation explaining the Temporary Contact Program. This is done as part of a regularly scheduled A.A. meeting in Correctional Facilities. A special “Bridging the Gap” presentation is given to the alcoholic patients in treatment centers and other facilities where special clearance and orientation is not required.
If the patient/inmate expresses a desire to continue his/her recovery in the A.A. program, upon release, they are asked to fill in a “Bridging the Gap” Temporary Pre- Release Contact Form. The information will then be forwarded to the patient/inmate’s are of residence a Temporary member with at least one year of continuous sobriety. The Temporary Contact Volunteer will make contact with the patient/inmate as soon as possible. If time and distance permit, a visit to the facility, phone call, or letter is suggested. If pre-release contact is not possible, the Temporary Contact Volunteer will call the patient/inmate on the day of their release. There are strong indications of relapse within the first 48 hours after release, when the newcomers are left to their own devices.
I am responsible, when anyone, anywhere reaches out for help. I want the hand of AA always to be there, and for that; I am responsible.
FOR TREATMENT AND CORRECTIONAL PROFESSIONALS
Please click Bridging the Gap Temporary Contact Form to go to an online form (preferred) or click on the downloadable Temporary Contact Form below.
You can also download the applicable form below and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to HMB Area Association, 118 Polar Plaza #114, Amsterdam, NY, 12010. The Bridging the Gap Spanish form is also included below.
For Bridging the Gap Chairs
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