FCI Forrest City Medium Mental Health of Prisoners

Sep, 19 11 Post by: admin | No Comments


Psychology staff offer comprehensive individual and group
therapy programs. These programs address the full range of
clinical disorders, provide self-help options, assess and treat
behavioral or emotional problems, and facilitate overall
adjustment. The Psychology department also provides drug
abuse treatment for those who have a substance use disorder.

Moreover, psychologists consult closely with psychiatry and
will help determine any need for psychotropic medication. We
also consult with other staff about the mental health needs of
inmates and coordinate our services with other departments as

To request mental health treatment, inmates may submit a
“cop-out” to psychology or stop by the department during an
open move. Emollrnent in counseling groups is generally
offered on a “first-come-first-serve” basis; to enroll, the
inmate must stop by the department and place his name on the
appropriate sign-up roster.

Twenty-four hour crisis intervention is available seven days a
week to any inmate presenting a need for such. Inmates are
encouraged to alert any staff member to their need for
intervention; a psychologist will respond as appropriate.

While staff are trained to recognize signs of distress and to
refer inmates, the inmates, themselves, are strongly
encouraged to notify staff of any behavior or situation that
may suggest another inmate is upset and/or potentially
suicidal. Conunon signs ofsuicide are depression, a loss of
interest in activities, and/or major changes in appearance,
mood, relationships, or routine. Importantly, if a fellow
inmate makes statements that suggest he may be thinking of
suicide, please take those statements seriously and refer him to
a staff member.

All arrivals to the institution will be screened by a
Psychologist. This assessment will include a review of any
past and current problems and may include an individual
interview. The screening will provide the psychologist an
opportunity to note and recommend potential needs for

Drug abuse treatment is available to any inmate with a
substance use disorder as detennined by the assessing
psychologist. Drug abuse treatment at Forrest City consists of
the Residential Drug Abuse Program (ROAP), follow-up
services for those who have completed the unit-based
component of the ROAP, Drug Abuse Education, and
nonresidential drug abuse counseling. The ROAP, Drug
Abuse Education, and nonresidential drug abuse treatment are
voluntary and may be requested by any inmate who thinks he
may have a substance use disorder.

Follow-up services are mandatory for those who have
completed the unit phase of the ROAP; if an inmate fails to
comply with follow-up services he will be failed from the
ROAP and will loose all secondary benefits of that program.

Moreover, an inmate may be required to complete the Drug
Abuse Education program if (a) there is evidence that alcohol
or other drug use contributed to the commission of his instant
offense, (b) if alcohol or other drug use was a reason for
violation of parole, probation, or supervised release, and / or
(c) if there is a judicial recommendation that the inmate
receive any form of drug abuse treatment while incarcerated.
If an inmate is required to complete Drug Abuse Education,
but either declines to enroll or fails to complete the program,
certain sanctions will be applied. These sanctions include
retention at the lowest pay grade within the institution and
denial of community programming to include RRC placement.
The RDAP is a voluntary, comprehensive drug abuse
treatment program that includes a 9-month, unit-based
treatment component as well as a substantial aftercare phase.

Entry to the program ordinarily is permitted when the inmate
is within 36 months of his projected release date. The RDAP
is made available to any inmate who meets the diagnostic
criteria for a substance use disorder as determined by the
assessing psychologist. Importantly. in addition to meeting
the diagnostic criteria for a substance use disorder, the inmate
must have a histoty of drug abuse or addiction that is
documented to have occurred within his last 12 consecutive
months in the community. RDAP is located in Helena B Unit
at the Low and 82 Unit at the Medium. Program
participants live in the RDAP unit where they participate in a
broad range of treattnent activities half of each day; they are
expected to work or attend educational programming the
remainder of the day. Ifan inmate desires enrollment in the

Residential Drug Abuse Program, he may request that
psychology determine his eligibility by submitting a “copout.”
When he applies, the inmate will be advised of two
matters: (a) whether he qualifies to enter the Residential
Program and (b) whether he is provisionally eligible to receive
a sentence reduction under 18 USC 3621 (e). Importantly,
when an inmate completes the unit-based component of
RDAP, he will be required to successfully complete all
follow-up services while he continues the confmement portion
of his sentence. At minimum, this requires compliance with a
treattnent plan and completion of monthly contacts with drug
abuse treattnent staff for a period of one year (or until
transferred to RRC). Then, once transferred to RRC, the
RDAP participant is required to complete all aftercare
requirements while in bureau custody at the RRC. Failure to
meet follow-up and aftercare requirements will result in
program failure and forfeiture of any benefit received under

Suicide Prevention

It is not uncommon for people to experience feelings of
depression and hopelessness while in jail or prison,
particularly if they are newly incarcerated, are serving a long
sentence, are experiencing family problems or problems
getting along with other inmates, or receiving bad news.

Sometimes, inmates consider committing suicide due to all of
the pressure they are under. Staff are trained to monitor
inmates for signs of suicidality, and are trained to refer all
concerns to the Psychology Department. However, staff do
not always see what inmates see. If you are personally
experiencing any of the problems noted above, or you or
another inmate are showing signs of depression (sadness,
tearfulness, lack of enjoyment in ususal activities), withdrawal
(staying away from others, reducing phone calls and/or visits),
or hopelessness (giving away possessions, stating that “there
is nothing to live for”), PLEASE alert a staff member right
away. Your input can save a life.

Lastly, the department maintains a self-help resource library
that contains material available for review by interested
inmates. You may access these material by issuing your
request to a psychology staff member. The department has an
“open-door policy” and inmates are encouraged to access our
services at any time through the day. You may also submit a
“cop-out” to request a session with a psychologist or drug
treatment specialist.

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