In order for state correctional facilities to provide quality mental health services for their inmates, an accurate assessment is critical. To that end, one of the most critical steps is assessing each inmate’s mental health status upon intake. Unfortunately, meeting this need can be difficult due to limited resources and lack of access to qualified providers.
To meet this need, many correctional facilities are turning to on-demand mental health services as a solution. Telepsychiatry can help solve the shortage of mental health professionals in correctional facilities by providing accessible and timely psychiatric assessments to inmates in correctional institutions nationwide. This enables efficient triage and personalized assessment for every inmate who comes through their doors.
Contact us today to find out how we can create a customized service plan for your facility.
Correctional Facilities Have to Manage High Admission Rates
The number of annual admissions to state correctional facilities in the US is staggering, with estimates ranging from 400,000 to 500,000 individuals entering these facilities each year. These institutions are required to process and manage the intake of these individuals in compliance with state and federal standards.
Correctional facilities often face challenges due to limited personnel and resources. This can lead to delays in intake assessments, which are critical for identifying inmates with mental health needs. In addition, many facilities lack the necessary resources to provide ongoing mental health services, resulting in an overwhelming burden on staff and inadequate care for inmates.
Mental Health Assessment is a Critical Step During Intake
The importance of conducting a mental health assessment as part of the standard intake process in correctional facilities cannot be overstated. It’s crucial to ensure that inmates are properly classified, housed, and provided with critical mental health services while they’re incarcerated. Mental illnesses can range from mild anxiety to severe psychosis, and without proper evaluation and treatment, these conditions may worsen and lead to disruptive behavior, self-harm, or even suicide.
The goals of mental health intake assessments in correctional facilities are critical to ensuring a safe and secure environment for both inmates and personnel. Not only do these assessments work to maximize resources, but they also focus on preparing prisoners for a successful reintegration into society after serving their term.
By conducting a mental health assessment, correctional facilities can identify underlying mental health issues and provide treatment plans tailored to the individual’s unique needs, thus improving their overall mental well-being and increasing the likelihood of a successful transition back into society upon release.
Mental Health Screening is Usually Required within 24 Hours of Admission
The importance of mental health screenings in correctional facilities cannot be overstated. It is a crucial step in identifying and addressing any underlying mental health conditions of inmates. However, for almost 75% of state correctional facilities, conducting a mental health screen within the first 24 hours of admission can be a challenge. Whether it’s a busy, large, or remote facility, access to mental health service providers may not always be immediate.
On-demand mental health services can help alleviate this issue by providing timely and efficient screenings through telepsychiatry. By connecting facilities to a network of licensed psychiatrists, these mental health services can ensure that inmates receive the necessary screenings within the required timeframe. This not only helps with classification and placement but also allows for timely treatment if needed.
Telepsychiatry Provides On-Demand Service for Intake Assessments
Telepsychiatry services are revolutionizing mental health care in correctional facilities by providing effective on-demand mental health services. Delays and logistical hurdles associated with in-person consultations can be eliminated by this innovative approach. With telepsychiatry, mental health intake assessments can be conducted from anywhere, at any time.
These assessments can include both standard interviews and any required psych tests, such as:
- Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI): The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI) is a psychological assessment tool designed to help clinicians identify and diagnose mental disorders. The MCMI uses 175 true-or-false questions to assess 24 clinical syndromes and 10 personality disorders. This tool is particularly useful in a correctional setting because it can help professionals understand an inmate’s mental health, personality characteristics, and potential behavioral patterns.
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is one of the most widely used psychological tests in mental health fields. It consists of 567 true-false questions and is designed to assess a wide range of psychological conditions, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and more. Its ability to pinpoint various mental health disorders makes it an excellent tool for intake assessments in correctional facilities.
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS): The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is an intelligence test designed to measure cognitive function in adults. It measures different aspects of intelligence, including verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed. This test can be particularly useful in correctional facilities for identifying any cognitive impairments that may impact an inmate’s ability to understand and participate in their legal proceedings or treatment plans. The WAIS is also useful in identifying intellectual disabilities, which may necessitate special accommodations within the correctional setting.
Virtual Mental Health Services from FasPsych
At FasPsych, we offer tailored services that fit the specific needs of each individual correctional facility, whether it’s mental health screening and assessments or program development efforts. Our experienced professionals are dedicated to making sure all services meet the highest standards possible and provide the best overall outcome. Contact us to get started on designing a service solution for your facility.