FCI Schuylkill Mental Health of Prisoners

Sep, 19 11 Post by: admin | No Comments


The Psychology Department consists of two Psychologists, one Drug Abuse Treatment Specialist, and one Psychology Technician.

Dr. Trgovac, Chief Psychologist, Unit 3

Dr. Walters, Drug Abuse Program Psychologist, Unit 2

Ms. Frederick, Drug Abuse Treatment Specialist, Unit 1

Ms. Thompson, Psychology Technician, Unit 4

The Psychology Services Department at FCI Schuylkill is open weekdays from 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM.

Referrals can be made in either of two ways

staff referral or self-referral through an Inmate Request to a Staff Member to the Psychology Department. If a crisis exists any staff member can contact a member of the Psychology Department for you. And you can also talk with a member from the Psychology Department at mainline. Priority services include intake screening, the Drug Abuse Programs, treatment of major mental disorders, crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Other services may include adjustment counseling, short term individual counseling, group therapy, and pre-release counseling. Self-help, support and educational programs (e.g., 12 Step Group) will also be provided as time permits by Unit Counselors.

Intake Screening

All FCI inmates must complete a Psychology Services Screening. This will be accomplished shortly after arrival on the compound and will be conducted by a Psychologist. The purpose of the interview is to gather psychological information about an inmate and determine if the inmate has any mental health needs.

Crisis Intervention

Psychologists are available to see inmates who are experiencing acute signs of distress at most any time. If an inmate is experiencing an acute Psychological emergency, a psychologist is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore an inmate who is suicidal, severely distressed or may have a significant family crisis has access to services if needed.

Group Counseling

The Psychology Department provides educational and therapeutic groups that address special concerns faced by inmates, for example, Stress Management. Groups include Lifestyle Issues, Advanced Criminal Lifestyles, Advanced Drug Lifestyles, Advanced Gambling Lifestyles, Relapse Prevention, Drug Education Class, Nonresidential Substance Abuse Group, and Anger Management.


If an inmates wants consultation with a Psychologist, they must fill out an Inmate Request to Staff Member form, addressed to the Psychology Department, and place it in the institution mail. Normally, the inmate will be seen by a psychology staff member within two weeks. In an emergency situation it is imperative that the inmate notify a staff member that they require immediate attention so that Psychology Services can be contacted.

Other Referrals

Inmates may also observe unusual behavior in other inmates that signal the need for Psychological intervention. In these cases, inmates are encouraged to inform staff so that the individual may receive assistance from Psychology Services.

Self-help Programs

A Twelve Step Group is available for inmate participation. These programs are monitored by the Psychology Department and usually meet once a week. They are chaired by other inmates and community volunteers and are available to any interested inmate. To volunteer for these self-help programs, inmates need to submit an Inmate Request to Staff Member to the Drug Treatment Specialist.

Psychology Treatment Programs

There are no residential Psychology Treatment Programs at FCI Schuylkill. If you have a history of substance abuse or a sexual offense, you may request transfer to an institution with one of these programs. Otherwise, inmates are transferred to other institutions for Psychology Program purposes. You can talk with a member of the Psychology Department if you are interested in the drug abuse or sexual offender program.

Suicide Prevention

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

Sexually Abusive Behavior Prevention and Intervention Program

All inmates will receive a Sexually Abusive Behavior Prevention and Intervention pamphlet as part of their A&0 lecture.

Sexual assault/abuse is defined in a number of different manners. It includes fondling, indecent sexual language or gestures. Sexual acts or contact between an inmate and a staff member are ALWAYS forbidden and illegal. Sexual acts or contacts between inmates, even when no objections are raised, are always prohibited acts.

The Psychology Department, in conjunction with other departments, has several responsibilities regarding the care and documentation of perpetrators and victims of sexual assault. Counseling will be provided to inmates who are victims of sexual assault.

Psychiatry Services

For those inmates who require psychotropic medication for the treatment of a major mental illness, Health Services will monitor your medication needs in conjunction with the unit psychologist.
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