The Psychology department offers various individual and group therapy programs to meet the needs of the inmate population. These programs address a full range of clinical disorders, provide for self-help options, assess and treat behavioral/emotional problems, facilitate self-awareness, and overall physical and mental adjustment. Drug abuse treatment is also available within the department for those who have a substance use disorder. Moreover, psychologists help determine any need for psychotropic medication through close consultation with psychiatrists. Other staffs such as Unit Managers, Correctional Counselors, work supervisors, etc. is also consulted about the mental health needs of the inmate population.
The department provides twenty-four hour crisis intervention available seven days a week to any inmate presenting a need for such services. If this service is needed, simply alert any staff member to your need for intervention and a psychologist will respond as appropriate. If an inmate seeks voluntary treatment, he must submit an Inmate Request to Staff (cop-out), to the department requesting an assessment; this assessment will determine appropriate programming options. If an inmate is involved in treatment, confidentiality will be exercised accepted in the following situations: intent to harm self or others, ongoing abuse of children or the elderly, and anything that threatens the orderly running of the institution.
Suicide Prevention is of the utmost importance to all staff. It is not uncommon for people to experience depression and hopelessness while incarcerated. These symptoms tend to worsen in newly incarcerated individuals, individuals serving long sentences or experiencing family problems, individuals having problems getting along with other inmates, or individuals receiving bad news. Sometimes inmates consider committing suicide due to undo stress and pressures. Staffs are trained to monitor inmates for signs of suicide risk and to refer all concerns to the Psychology Department. However, staffs do not always see what inmates see. If you are personally experiencing any of the problems noted above, or has noticed another inmate showing signs of depression, PLEASE tell a staff member today. Signs of depression can be seen as sadness, tearfulness, lack of enjoyment in usual activities, staying away from others, refusing phone calls and/or visits, feeling worthless, being hard on one’s self, hopelessness, giving away possessions, and statements like “there is nothing to live for.” You are not “snitching” on another inmate by reporting your concerns for his safety; you are looking out for his well-being.
All arrivals to the institution will be screened by a Psychologist. This will include a review of any past/current problems and may include an individual interview. The screening will provide the psychologist an opportunity to note and recommend potential needs for treatment. Drug abuse treatment is offered by the Bureau of Prisons through the Psychology Department and is available to any inmate with a substance use disorder. Drug abuse treatment at FCC Yazoo City consists of the Drug Abuse Education program, the Non-Residential Drug Abuse program, Residential Drug Abuse program (RDAP), Follow-up treatment, and program eligibility assessments at the Low and Medium facilities. The Low facility offers the RDAP in Unit 1BL. If you are found eligible for the program and agree to participate, you will most likely participate in the program at this facility. Most of the programs are voluntary and must be requested by the inmate.
The Psychology department maintains a self-help resource library. Material is available for review by interested inmates. You may access these materials by issuing your request to a Psychology staff member. The department offers an Open House at the Low on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and at the Medium on Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. If you have questions or issues that cannot be answered via cop out, please utilize the Open House hours.
Drug Education Program (Drug Ed)
FCC Yazoo City’s Drug Education Program is a 12-15-hour course taught by the Drug Treatment Specialist. The specialist will inform the inmate of the reason they were identified for Drug Ed and inform of the sanctions for non-participation. The sessions focus on psychological and physical aspects of addiction, including drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; the effects of abuse and addiction on the family; and relapse prevention. Because Drug Ed is intended to motivate inmates to volunteer for treatment interventions, it is essential that the Drug education course is provided at the beginning of the inmate’s sentence, ordinarily within 12 months of his current commitment.
The drug education course will consist of a 10 question end-of-course examination. Inmate must score 70% or better to pass the exam. The exam may be given up to three times to accommodate individuals who may have difficulties. Sanctions will be imposed for course failure. Inmates who volunteer for or are required to participate in the drug education course and who experience learning disabilities must be provided a reasonable accommodation toward completion of the course, including an alternate means of testing. A certificate of completion is awarded to each student who successfully completes the program.
Inmates who were committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons after October 1, 1991 may be required to participate in the Drug Education Program if they meet any of the following criteria.
• The inmate’s Judgment and Commitment Form indicates that the inmate must participate in drug abuse treatment while incarcerated.
• The inmate’s Pre-sentence Investigation report indicates that alcohol or other drug use contributed to the commission of the instant offense.
• The inmate is now incarcerated for a violation of parole or probation supervision because of alcohol or other drug use.
Effects of non-participation in the drug education course. If inmates considered for placement in the drug education course refuse participation, withdraw, are expelled, or otherwise fail to meet attendance and examination requirements, such inmates: (a) Are not eligible for performance pay above maintenance pay level, or for bonus pay, or vacation pay; and (b) Are not eligible for a Federal Prison Industries work program assignment (unless the Warden makes an exception on the basis of work program labor needs).
With the exceptions noted above, any inmate may voluntarily participate in the Drug Education Program. To volunteer, inmates should submit a “Request to Staff” to the Psychology Department. Volunteers’ names will be placed on a waiting list for the program. Priority is given to the enrollment of mandatory participants, and volunteers will be admitted to the program as space permits.
Non-residential Drug Abuse Treatment
Non-residential Drug Abuse Treatment Programs (NR DAP) are available to inmates who voluntarily decide to participate. The purpose of the NR DAP program is to afford all inmates with a drug problem the opportunity to receive drug treatment. NR DAP is targeted to inmates who: are waiting to enter the RDAP; do not meet the admission criteria for the RDAP, but who wish to benefit from less intensive drug abuse treatment services; have been referred by other Psychology or institution staff for drug abuse treatment; have a judicial recommendation for drug treatment, but do not want or do not meet the criteria for the RDAP; received detoxification from alcohol or drugs upon entering Bureau confinement; and have been found guilty of an incident report for use of alcohol or other drugs. NR DAPs are conducted 90 to 120 minutes a week for a minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of 24 weeks. Those inmates who qualify and agree to participate will be asked to sign the agreement to participate. When the inmate successfully completes a NR DAP program, he may receive a program incentive in the amount of $30.00. This award will be pro-rated based on the inmate’s participation, but may never be adjusted higher.
While self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Grief Counseling Group, Who Moved My Cheese, Good Intentions Bad Choices, Anger Management, Criminal Thinking, Getting Out of the Game of Dealing Drugs, and Rational Recovery (RR) may be offered as part of an institution’s drug abuse program effort, they are most often associated with non-residential (NR) treatment. An inmate need only submit a cop-out to Psychology Services to enter the six to twelve week classes while such programs are often powerful and important interventions in an inmate’s recovery, they do not substitute for NR DAP or residential treatment hours. They are considered a support to the Bureau’s treatment protocols.
Smoking Cessation classes are also offered in the psychology department as part of the self-help programs. If an inmate is interested in nicotine replacement, he will need to request this through the Health Services department, be evaluated by a physician, and will then be permitted to purchase the “patch” through the Commissary with his own funds.
Residential Drug Abuse Treatment Program
If an inmate wishes to enrollment in the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP), he may request an eligibility interview through the psychology department. The RDAP targets the inmate who volunteers for treatment and has a diagnosable and verifiable substance use disorder, and is able to participate in the entire RDAP. The RDAP is a minimum of 500 contact hours with duration of 9 to 12 months. Treatment modules focus on Orientation to Treatment, Rational Self Counseling, Living with Others, Criminal Lifestyles, Recovery Maintenance, Lifestyle Balance, and Transition. Inmates must meet all of the following criteria to be admitted into RDAP: Inmates must have a verifiable substance use disorder, inmates must sign an agreement acknowledging program responsibility, and when beginning the program, the inmate must be able to complete all three components, this includes the critical Residential Reentry Center (RRC) or home confinement transfer to participate in the TDAT. Once program eligibility is determined, the inmates’ information is sent for legal review at the Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) to determine 18 USC 3621 (e) early release consideration. Inmates are notified once a determination is made by the RDAP staff. This process can take from 30 to 120 days from the interview. To successfully complete the RDAP, inmates must complete each of the following components: (1) Unit-based component (3 phases), (2) Follow-up services, and (3) Transitional drug abuse treatment (TDAT) component. Inmates who have completed the unit-based program and (when appropriate) the follow-up treatment and are transferred to community confinement must successfully complete community-based drug abuse treatment in a community-based program to have successfully completed RDAP. Inmates receive a financial achievement award in the amount of $40.00 for successful completion of each phase of the unit based component.
Sexual Abuse/Assault Prevention and Intervention Program
The Psychology Department, in conjunction with other departments, has several responsibilities regarding the care and documentation of perpetrators and victims of sexual assault. Counseling is available to inmates who are victims of sexual assault.
Sexually abusive behavior, prevention and intervention, are another great concern at this facility. You should know that sexual acts or contacts between two or more inmates, even when no objections are raised, are prohibited acts, and may be illegal. Likewise, sexual acts or contacts between an inmate and a staff member, even when no objections are raised by either party, are always forbidden and illegal. While you are incarcerated, no one has the right to pressure you to engage in sexual acts. You do not have to tolerate sexually abusive behavior or pressure to engage in unwanted sexual behavior regardless of your age, size, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and others against sexually abusive behavior: Carry yourself in a confident manner at all times – Do not permit your emotions (fear/anxiety) to be obvious to others; Do not accept gifts or favors from others – Most gifts or favors come with strings attached to them; Do not accept an offer from another inmate to be your protector; Find a staff member with whom you feel comfortable discussing your fears and concerns; Be alert – Do not use contraband substances such as drugs or alcohol since these can weaken your ability to stay alert and make good judgments; Be direct and firm if others ask you to do something you don’t want to do – Do not give mixed messages to other inmates regarding your wishes for sexual activity; Stay in well lit areas of the institution; Choose your associates wisely – Look for people who are involved in positive activities like educational programs, psychology groups, or religious services – Get involved in these activities yourself; Trust your instincts – If you sense that a situation may be dangerous, it probably is
- If you fear for your safety, report your concerns to staff.
If you become a victim of a sexually abusive behavior, you should report it immediately to staff. Staff will offer you protection from the assailant and refer you for a medical examination and clinical assessment. You do not have to name the inmate(s) or staff assailant in order to receive assistance, but specific information may make it easier for staff to know how best to respond. You will continue to receive protection from the assailant, whether or not you have identified him or her (or agree to testify against him/her). Even though you may want to clean up after the assault it is important to see medical staff BEFORE you shower, wash, drink, eat, change clothing, or use the bathroom. Medical staff will examine you for injuries which may or may not be readily apparent to you. They can also check you for sexually transmitted diseases and gather any physical evidence of assault. The individuals who sexually abuse or assault inmates can only be disciplined and/or prosecuted if the abuse is reported. Psychology, Religious and Health services will be made available to you. More descriptive information regarding sexual abuse/assault prevention follows. Please review this information.