Psychology Services is located on the second floor and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Psychology Services’ Staff at MDC Guaynabo will evaluate and treat mental health problems which may surface as the result of arrest and detention. Psychology staff work closely with medical staff to provide a coordinated approach to treatment. Psychological assessments, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, as well as referrals to medical services are available. Additional requests for services may be made by sending an Inmate Request to Staff Member (“cop out”).
Mental health evaluations for competency to stand trial are ordered by the courts on a case-by-case basis and may be performed by psychiatrists and/or psychologists from the community if so ordered. These evaluations may also be performed at a Bureau of Prisons’ medical center.
On March 15, 2004, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) published Program Statement 1640.04, Smoking/No Smoking Areas. As stated in this policy, the BOP is advancing towards becoming a clean air environment and will strive to protect the health and safety of staff and inmates. In order to accomplish this goal, MDC Guaynabo, discontinued the sale of tobacco products since February 1, 2006.
Some people can experience feelings of depression and hopelessness while in prison, especially if they are serving long sentences or are facing family or marital problems. In addition, bad relationships with other inmates can play an important role. Some persons under these circumstances may consider committing suicide as the only alternative due to the pressure they are under or to solve their problems. Staff are trained to identify signs in inmates who are at risk of committing suicide 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 see another inmate 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 “there is nothing to live for”), PLEASE alert a staff member right away. Your input could save a life.
Also, MDC Guaynabo has a program called Suicide Watch Inmate Companion Observer. This program trains inmates to work as observers to monitor inmates who have been placed in suicide watch. Inmates who participate in this program are designated to MDC Guaynabo. Inmates will be interviewed to evaluate their eligibility to participate in the program. It is a paid work assignment. The work hours cover a maximum of four-hour shifts any day of the week. If you are interested in participating, please write a cop out to the Psychology Department. Candidates need to meet selection criteria.