The Reminiscences of Jean Scott

The Transcript

But I had a hard time my first two or three months. Everybody saying “Good morning,” and “How are you?” And where I came from people didn’t say good morning. Dope fiends don’t say good morning, they just kind of want to make nice to you if you’ve got something that they want from you. Not that you’re a good person and they want to be your friend. I just had a hard time with that one. I used to get a room change like every week. I just couldn’t get along. They would say, “Good morning,” and I would say, “What’s so good about it?”
— Jean Scott

Biography: Jean Scott was born in Brooklyn and was raised by her grandmother.  Heroin addiction led to a series of arrests in the late 1960s, and her parole officer referred her to Phoenix House.  After completing her treatment, she became a house director on Hart Island and at Phelan Place, after which she headed the purchasing department.  Beginning in the early 1980s, she was promoted to be assistant clinical director, working with Kevin McEneaney.  In this position, she was instrumental in the opening of prison programs in Texas, New York and California. She retired from Phoenix House in 2008.

Keywords: Phoenix House; New York City; Brooklyn; substance abuse; substance abuse treatment; Coney Island; Phelan Place; prison; Department of Corrections; purchasing; Marcy Correctional Facility; Utica, NY; Texas; IMPACT; Saratoga Inn program; Step One program; Kevin McEneaney; California; Jack Klemp; John Wolowski; Howard Meitiner; Pat Spellman; Synanon; therapeutic community; heroin; crack epidemic; Hart Island; clinical work; education; adolescents; occupational training curriculum