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Correctional Systems as a Treatment Enviroment (From Mental Health for the Convictded Offender Patient and Prisoner, P 73-97, 1977 - See NCJ-72844)

NCJ Number
T L Clanon; W C Eckerman; E Flynn
Date Published
25 pages
Existing treatment for the mentally-ill inmate and plans for treating such inmates are discussed in three presentations at a workshop.
One structure for the medical treatment of inmates, including mentally ill inmates, is similar to that provided in California, where a medical facility-prison serves the medical, surgical, and psychiatric needs of inmates throughout the system. A prisoner can be transferred from any prison to the medical facility with a minimum of administrative procedure. Inmate patients are returned to prison when the treatment provided by the medical facility is completed. Medical staffs at the various prisons are expected to provide followup services, which usually involve prescribed medication. A 1976 nationwide survey of mental health and correctional institutions for adult mentally disordered offenders showed that the average mental health facility and correctional institution serving about the same size population of mentally disordered offenders offer all major forms of therapy, although, a large percentage of the resources of such facilities are use in pretrial diagnostic evaluations. In planning for the treatment of the mentally ill offender, it is recommended that treatment be based on the assessment and expressed needs of the individual, with rehabilitative treatment tailored as precisely as possible to individual needs. Resource distribution according to detailed policy is also suggested, along with improvements in staff size and training. Excerpts from the workshop discussion are provided.