Psychologists are available to inmates to provide counseling and other mental health services. FCI Memphis / SPC Millington also has a contract psychiatrist, who is a medical doctor and available by appointment for medication management.
Psychology Services offers a wide range of professional services to inmates by qualified psychologists. Advanced doctoral students, who work under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist, are also available to provide professional care to the inmate population.
Every inmate must complete a Psychology Services Inmate Questionnaire within 14 days of his arrival.
Inmates must keep their appointment when placed on call-out.
Inmates who are having major psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety, as well as those with significant interpersonal difficulties are encouraged to seek services. It is common to have inmates seek advice from Psychology Services on such matters as how to resolve a problem with a family member or another inmate, or how to prepare for release back into the community. Inmates are also encouraged to notify staff when they encounter any behavior or situation that may suggest an inmate is upset and/or potentially suicidal.
It is common for inmates to experience feelings of depression and hopelessness while in jail or prison, particularly if they are newly incarcerated, serving a long sentence, experiencing family problems or problems getting along with other inmates or they receive 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 Services Department. However, staff do not always see what inmates see. If you are personally experiencing any of the problems noted above, or you know another inmate is showing signs of depression (sadness, tearfulness, lack of enjoyment in usual activities), or hopelessness (giving away possessions, stating that “there is nothing to live for”), PLEASE alert a staff member immediately. Your input can save a life.
Psychology Services are also available to victims of sexually abusive behavior. Sexually abusive behavior is defined in the Bureau’s Admission and Orientation Pamphlet on Sexually Abusive Behavior Prevention and Intervention. Key elements contained in this pamphlet are discussed by psychology staff during the A&O lecture, and the pamphlet is provided upon arrival to all inmates. Sexually abusive or intimidating behavior is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action. Evaluation of the need for sex offender treatment or management will be provided to sexually abusive inmates. Inmates meeting the criteria for treatment or management may be transferred.
Available services to inmates include the following: individual counseling and crisis intervention, simple advice concerning personal issues, psychological testing (only by proper referral), specialty groups such as anger management and stress management and drug and alcohol treatment. If an inmate is taking psychotropic medication or there is a need to begin taking it, psychiatric consultations are available through the Psychology Department. Psychiatric Services for inmates who need to be on psychotropic medications are coordinated by Psychology in cooperation with the hospital.
There are different ways of obtaining psychological services. Submitting a cop-out is the preferred way to have an appointment scheduled; generally, it doesn’t take more than a week to be seen by someone. However, if a crisis arises that requires immediate attention, an inmate should have another staff member such as a work supervisor, correctional officer, or member of the unit team notify Psychology Services.
In cases of emergencies an inmate will always be seen as expeditiously as possible. Inmates are asked, however, to be discreet about what they call an emergency. Lastly, inmates can always talk to anyone from the Psychology Department anywhere on the grounds of the institution.
Drug Abuse Program
A 15-Hour Drug Education Program is offered through the Psychology Department. The program schedule varies, but often involves group sessions several-times a week. In order to complete the program, participants must take a competency-based post-test and obtain a score of at least 70%. Generally, the Drug Education Program is voluntary; however, it is mandatory if (1) There is evidence that alcohol or other drug use contributed to the commission of the offense, (2) Alcohol or other drug use was a reason for violation either of supervised release (including parole) or Bureau community status, (3) There was a recommendation for drug programming during incarceration by the sentencing judge, or (4) There is evidence of a history of alcohol or other drug use. Failure to comply with the treatment recommendations may result in sanctions.
FCI Memphis & SPC Millington will screen inmates for Residential Drug Treatment Program qualification. Incentives are offered to inmates who meet eligibility requirements and complete this program. These incentives include early release and consideration for maximum half-way house placement.
Follow-up drug abuse treatment services are offered to inmates who have completed RDAP at another institution. Inmates who have completed a residential treatment program are fully expected to participate in building upon the principles in which they learned in treatment.
Non-Residential Drug Abuse Treatment is also available for inmates interested in a recovery program at this institution. Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous groups are also offered through Unit Team for interested inmates. These programs are offered on a strictly voluntary basis.