Over the past few decades, numerous studies and surveys have documented a rise in the incarceration of the mentally ill. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that there are three times as many mentally ill people in prisons than in mental health hospitals, and the rate of mental illness in prisons is two to four times greater than in the general public.
Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have a history of a serious mental health condition. The statistics are worse for juvenile offenders, as estimates show that up to 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition. and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.
Correctional systems face the challenge of trying to improve psychiatric treatment for inmates given the nationwide shortage of mental health professionals. Many correctional facilities struggle to recruit prescribing psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners to work on-site, particularly for facilities in remote locations. The alternative option of transporting inmates to external locations for psychiatric care is an even greater difficulty due to the accompanying security risks and associated costs.
Lower Costs and Reduce Risk with Telepsychiatry
Inmates in need of psychiatric care are a greater risk in a correctional facility because they are more likely to attempt self-harm or to engage in altercations with detention officers or other inmates. It is critical that staff can access psychiatric services immediately when an inmate needs urgent care. By gaining access to on-demand psychiatric care, correctional facility staff can better able to manage inmates who pose an increased risk to themselves or others due to a mental illness.
Reliable access to on-demand, professional telepsychiatric services also frees up detention officers and gives them more time to manage the general safety and security needs of the facility. When you integrate telepsychiatry into your programs, your facility and staff reap multiple benefits. This will include being able to:
- Provide rapid access to psychiatric services for inmates
- Reduce risk management issues and costs associated with undertrained medical staff monitoring inmates with psychiatric service needs
- Improve the facility environment by more expediently managing inmates who may be disruptive due to mental illness
- Reduce costs associated with transporting inmates to an external facility for treatment
On-Demand Telemed with FasPsych
FasPsych provides fast, virtual access to licensed psychiatrists and psychiatric advance practice registered nurses (APRNs) for correctional facilities in need of psychiatric evaluation and medication management services. Our telemed services will:
- Deliver accessible, quality care to inmate populations in any location.
- Work with you to develop a flexible appointment schedule, such as full time, part time, or on demand.
- Ensure our prescribing providers can use your electronic medical records and e-prescribing application.
Our goal is to provide flexible, reliable behavioral and mental health services. We work closely with you to establish a telepsychiatric program that meets your specific needs. Contact us to discuss potential solutions.