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Mental health screening and assessment is crucial within juvenile correctional facilities (JC). However, limited information is available about the current screening and assessment procedures specifically within JC … The purpose of the current study was to obtain information about the mental health screening and assessment procedures used in JC throughout the United States (p. 379).

“This white paper presents a shared framework for reducing recidivism and behavioral health problems among individuals under correctional control or supervision—that is, for individuals in correctional facilities or who are on probation or parole. The paper is written for policymakers, administrators, and practitioners committed to making the most effective use of scarce resources to improve outcomes for individuals with behavioral health problems who are involved in the corrections system. It is meant to provide a common structure for corrections and treatment system professionals to begin building truly collaborative responses to their overlapping service population. These responses include both behind-the-bars and community-based interventions. This framework is designed to achieve each system’s goals and ultimately to help millions of individuals rebuild their lives while on probation or after leaving prison or jail” (p. viii). Three parts follow an introduction regarding the need for a framework intended for coordinating services across systems: current responses to individuals with mental health and substance use disorders and corrections involvement—mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, mental health and substance use appearing together, corrections—custody, control, and supervision, screening and assessment, the relationship between behavioral health needs and criminogenic risk/need—assembling the parts, and closing thoughts on RNR (risk-need-responsivity); the framework—strong foundations, criminogenic risk and behavior health needs, application to resource allocation and individual case responses, and goal for the framework’s use; and operationalizing the framework and next steps.

Adults with Behavioral Health Needs Under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery Cover

New York’s Better Living Center (BLC) (in Queens) is highlighted. “Regardless of an individual's reason for not seeking mental health treatment, their risk of recidivism increases greatly without the appropriate treatment. The Fortune Society’s innovative approach to addressing the problem of criminal justice-involved clients with mental illness not engaging in treatment was to create the Better Living Center” (p. 1). The Fortune society provides recently released inmate with a “one-stop model” that allows the individual to make a smooth transition from incarceration back into the community. This article describes the program’s development, implementation, funding, four critical keys to success, and future directions.

An Innovative Program Cover

“Determining how to provide effective mental health treatment for youth involved in the juvenile justice system – and ensuring that it continues after they exit detention – is one of the most complex challenges facing this system. This report examines how one jurisdiction, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, has taken extraordinary steps to address this challenge by ensuring Medicaid eligibility for detained youth and establishing a licensed, free-standing community mental health clinic adjacent to it detention facility. The report also provides an overview of how the county became an active site in Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and details how their new mental health clinic is being operated and financed, and the lessons emerging from their innovative approach.” Nine chapters make up this report: understanding the mental health challenge for juvenile detention reform; Bernalillo—becoming a model JDAI site; Bernalillo’s mental health challenge; organizing and building a mental health clinic; nuts and bolts of the clinic; assessing the clinic’s impact; key advantages of the onsite clinic; issues and challenges for Bernalillo County and lessons learned; and questions and implications for other jurisdictions.

Bernalillo County Mental Health Clinic Case Study Cover

“The Social Security Administration (SSA), through its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs, can provide income and other benefits to persons with mental illness who are reentering the community from jails and prisons. The SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery program (SOAR), a project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a national technical assistance program that helps people who are homeless or at risk for homelessness to access SSA disability benefits. SOAR training can help local corrections and community transition staff negotiate and integrate benefit options with community reentry strategies for people with mental illness and co-occurring disorders to assure successful outcomes.” This document addresses: mental illness, homelessness, and incarceration; incarceration and SSA Disability benefits; role of transition services in reentry for people with mental illness; access to benefits as an essential strategy for reentry; SOAR collaborations with jails; SOAR collaborations with state and federal prisons; and best practices for assessing SSI/SSDI as an essential reentry strategy—collaboration, leadership, resources, commitment, and training.

Best Practices for Increasing Access to SSI/SSDI upon Exiting Criminal Justice Settings Cover

"It is well known that US prisons and jails have taken on the role of mental health facilities. This new role for them reflects, to a great extent, the limited availability of community-based outpatient and residential mental health programs and resources, and the lack of alternatives to incarceration for men and women with mental disabilities who have engaged in minor offenses … persons with mental disabilities who are behind bars are at heightened risk of physical mistreatment by staff. This report is the first examination of the use of force against inmates with mental disabilities in jails and prisons across the United States. It identifies policies and practices that lead to unwarranted force and includes recommendations for changes to end it" (p. 2). This report includes these sections: summary; key recommendations; background—disproportionate representation of individuals with mental disabilities in U.S. jails and prisons; life behind bars for persons with mental disabilities; the case of Jermaine Padilla; approaches to use of force; types of force used and their harms for prisoners with mental disabilities; retaliatory and gratuitous use of force; applicable constitutional and international human rights law; and detailed recommendations.

Callous and Cruel: Use of Force against Inmates with Mental Disabilities in US Jails and Prisons cover

"This webinar will begin by reviewing research describing the prevalence of mental health disorders among juveniles in contact with the juvenile justice system. The importance of recognizing adverse childhood experiences and trauma is discussed, as is the challenge of identifying and responding to features of “developmental trauma” since there is not an adequate DSM-IV or DSM-5 diagnosis to capture this clinical presentation. Evidence-based and emerging clinical interventions are described. The webinar will focus on adapting Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) to fit the needs of the juvenile justice population. In 2006, the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services designated DBT as the primary clinical and behavioral approach for the rehabilitation of youth committed to the Department. Discussion will focus on implementing DBT across a state-wide system and maintaining fidelity to the model. How DBT concepts can be used in providing treatment (teaching self-regulation and interpersonal effective skills) and in behavior management in the program (positive based programming and decreasing room confinement) will be described."

CJCA Webinar: Mental Health Needs Among Youth Involved in Juvenile Justice cover

This is an excellent article explaining how the values and social structures of a U.S. prison affect a correctional officer's discretionary responses to situations involving mentally ill inmates. Sections of this article cover: prisons as local moral worlds and the construction of illness categories; correctional officers, "people work", and mentally ill inmates; the research context—Pacific Northwest Penitentiary (PNP); research methods; institutional policy and relationships between staff and inmates; the institutional illness category of the "mentally ill inmate" and knowledge about mental health; correctional officers' responses to mentally ill inmates—observation, flexibility and discretion in enforcing the rules, and trust and respect during an inmate's help-seeking request; and a discussion of this analysis. "Officers’ discretionary responses to mentally ill inmates included observations to ensure psychiatric stability and flexibility in rule enforcement and were embedded within their role to ensure staff and inmate safety. Officers identified housing, employment, and social support as important for inmates’ psychiatric stability as medications. Inmates identified officers’ observation and responsiveness to help seeking as assisting in institutional functioning. These findings demonstrate that this prison's structures and values enable officers’ discretion with mentally ill inmates, rather than solely fostering custodial responses to these inmates’ behaviors. These officers’ responses to inmates with mental illness concurrently support custodial control and the prison's order" (p. 1).

Correctional Officers and the Incarcerated Mentally Ill: Responses to Psychiatric Illness in Prison Cover

The tools, strategies, and techniques that will allow corrections staff, mental health service providers, and advocates to work together to develop and implement a crisis intervention team (CIT) are presented. CITs help reduce crisis situations, improve safety, and promote better outcomes for persons with mental illness. Participants will learn: about the core elements of a locally developed and owned CIT for managing mental illness in prisons, jails, and community corrections; how to develop collaborative partnerships and implement a CIT model that takes a team approach engaging community stakeholders, including corrections agencies, local mental health agencies, family advocacy groups, and others; and how to defend a CIT’s effectiveness in enhancing correctional staff’s knowledge and skills, aiding administrators in improved management and care for a special population, reducing liability and cost, improving community partnerships for increased access to resources and supports, and increasing safety for all. Overall, this training program focuses on building an agency’s capacity to implement a locally owned and administered CIT program and the training for that program. Sections of this manual include: crisis intervention teams—history, benefits, and successes; partnership and stakeholder development; organizational leadership and program sustainability; data collection and evaluation; planning and preparing for CIT training; and Program Development and Implementation Plan (PDIP).

Crisis Intervention Teams: A Frontline Response to Mental Illness in Corrections  Cover

Our nation’s jails, prisons, and community corrections agencies are confronted daily with substantial numbers of persons with mental illness in custody and under supervision. Mental illness in corrections demands an urgency of response, services, and care. Correctional staff have attempted to manage individuals suffering mental illness with varying degrees of success. In searching for meaningful methods of response, some agencies, in partnership with stakeholder communities, have implemented Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs).

CITs have matured from a law enforcement first responder model to new community partnerships with corrections. This team approach incorporates community, frontline law enforcement, and corrections agencies in a collaborative effort to address this growing problem. CITs are effective in enhancing correctional staffs’ knowledge and skills, aiding administrators in improved management and care for a special population, reducing liability and cost, improving community partnerships for increased access to resources and supports, and increasing safety for all.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the core elements of CIT.
  2. Describe the benefits of CIT for correctional staff, community stakeholders, persons with mental illnesses, and local criminal justice and mental health agencies.
  3. Identify ways to sustain a systemwide CIT program supported by key stakeholders and active community involvement.
  4. Assess agency readiness to start a CIT program and identify resources for implementation.
Crisis Intervention Teams: An Effective Response to Mental Illness in Corrections Cover
Crisis Intervention Teams: An Effective Response to Mental Illness in Corrections [Satellite/Internet Broadcast]

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