Ms. Rhonda Champagne LICSW
Correcting Treatment in Corrections
Rhonda Champagne is a licensed clinical social worker and known for her deep passion in advocating for her clients and fighting to educate about trauma-informed and recovery-based treatment. In January of 1988. Rhonda received Bachelor of Science degrees in both human services and sociology from the College of Great Falls. She later received her Master's in social work from Walla Walla University in March of 2006. Rhonda's experience in the social work field began at an early age when she worked with developmentally disabled individuals as a teenager. After obtaining her degrees from the College of Great Falls, Rhonda started her professional career as a Case Manager at Mental Health Inc., which later became the Center for Mental Health in Helena. Throughout almost 23 years Rhonda worked in all facets of the program including Youth and Adult Case Management, Payee Services, Job-Coaching, Crisis Intervention, Day Treatment, Group Homes, Foster Care, Clinical Treatment, Clinical Supervision, Nursing, Psychiatry, and Community-Based Services. In 2009 Rhonda became the Director of Southern Services, overseeing mental health services in four counties. Rhonda has also accompanied the Board of Visitors in auditing some Mental Health Centers across the State of Montana. In 2011, she opened a private practice. Rhonda has also worked closely in most systems of society, being involved in one facet or another with political, educational, medical, and correctional systems throughout her professional career. She has also presented at multiple conferences and has provided training to many different groups. Rhonda's deep passion for those who are traumatized and oppressed was solidified with her work at the Riverside Correctional Facility in Boulder. In November 2015, Rhonda was hired by the Montana Department of Corrections to implement a pilot programfor a trauma-informed treatment program for incarcerated adult women at Riverside. The experience was life-changing for the residents who experienced the program, for Riverside staff who defined, implemented, and executed the program, and for Rhonda, both professionally and personally. That program at the Riverside facility showed that a trauma-informed approach in a correctional facility can work. It worked at Riverside by reducing recidivism rates from a 84% return rate to a 20% return rate. This level of success amazed many, especially to the women residents who attended the program. Rhonda is a co-author of the book Correcting Treatment in Corrections.