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Correctional Mental Health Handbook

Correctional Mental Health Handbook

Edited by:

December 2002 | 376 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The number of criminal offenders with mental health problems has increased steadily. Yet few graduate programs offer courses that deal with the many complex assessment, treatment, and management issues encountered by correctional mental health workers.

The Correctional Mental Health Handbook is the first book to offer a comprehensive overview of the services provided by correctional mental health professionals for the various populations found in correctional programs and facilities. Edited by Thomas J. Fagan and Robert K. Ax, experts with over 40 years of correctional mental health experience, this unique handbook is divided into three sections. The first section provides a flexible model for organizing mental health services based on staffing levels, facility mission, and local need. The second section considers typical offender problems in many correctional systems and how they are customarily managed. The third section presents various clinical and consultative activities offered by mental health professionals within correctional settings.

A distinguished group of practitioners and scholars combine years of experience and cutting-edge research to examine

    • The ethics of correctional mental health practice
    • Practitioner roles within the correctional community
    • Core mental health services for both single offenders and special need groups
    • Program planning and release preparation for inmates
    • Mental health services offered to institution staff
    • Training hostage and crisis negotiators
    • Future trends in correctional mental health

 While the main audience will be correctional mental health professionals and academics involved with training correctional mental health professionals, the Correctional Mental Health Handbook is also an ideal primer for graduate students studying corrections in criminal justice programs. For the student preparing to enter the correctional mental health profession, this indispensable text explains the general characteristics and treatment needs of specific inmate populations including: substance dependent offenders, female offenders, sexual predators, and juvenile offenders.




Thomas J. Fagan
Chapter 1 - Mental Health in Corrections: A Model for Service Delivery
The Mentally Disordered in Prisons and Jails: A Historical Perspective

Metal Illness in Prisons and Jails: Current Status

Mental Health Services in Prisons and Jails: A Conceptual Model

Level One Services

Level Two Services

Level Three Services


Phil Magaletta and Jennifer Boothby
Chapter 2 - Correctional Mental Health Professionals

The Correctional Mental Health Professions

General Professional Considerations



Social Workers

Other Mental Health Professionals

Treatment Teams


Mental Health Professionals - Common Correctional Challenges

The Challenge of Limited Knowledge

The Challenge of Limited Resources

The Challenge of Patience in an Action-Oriented Environment

The Challenge of the Joint Mission

Self-Care for Mental Health Professionals

John Dignam
Chapter 3 - Correctional Mental Health Ethics Revisited
The Correctional Context

Treatment vs. Security: A False Dichotomy

Who is the Client?

Who is the Provider?

Ethical Issues

Privacy and Confidentiality

Dual or Multiple Relationships

Clarification of Role

Boundaries of Competence and Maintaining Expertise

Summary and Conclusion
Robert Morgan
Chapter 4- Basic Mental Health Services: Services and Issues
Typical Mental Health Problems Exhibited By Offenders

Basic Mental Health Services


Acute Crisis Intervention

Therapeutic Services

Special Mental Health Evaluations

Mental Health Records

Liability Issues and Basic Mental Health Services

Roger Peters and Charlie Matthews
Chapter 5 - Substance Abuse Treatment Programs in Prisons and Jails
Current Issues Related to Drug Offenders in Prisons and Jails

Policy Trends Affecting the Incarceration of Substance-Involved Offenders

The Need for Correctional Treatment

History and Scope of Correctional Treatment Services

Standards for Substance Abuse Treatment Services in Prisons and Jails

Legal Standards

Professional Standards

Correctional Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Florida Department of Corrections

Oregon Department of Corrections

Correctional Treatment Outcome Research

Treatment Approaches for Special Populations

Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders

Treatment of Female Inmates

Future Directions and Trends in Correctional Substance Abuse Treatment

Linking Correctional and Community Treatment

Expanding Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration

New Directions in Correctional Treatment Research

Shelia Holton
Chapter 6 - Managing and Treating Mentally Disordered Offenders in Jails and Prisons
Current Issues, Problems, and Trends

Mental Illness: Movement from Hospitals to Prisons and Jails

Obstacles to Effective Treatment in Prisons and Jails

Serious Mental Health Disorders Found In Prisons and Jails: Management and Treatment Issues

Psychotic Disorders

Mood Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder

Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy

Substance Abuse Disorders

Best Practices

Mental Health Treatment Units

Mobile Assessment Teams

Suicide Prevention and Interventions


Future Trends in the Treatment of the Mentally Ill in Corrections

Lane Wagaman
Chapter 7 - Management and Treatment of Female Offenders
Female Offenders: A Brief Historical Overview

Characteristics of Female Offenders

Demographic Data

Responses to Incarceration

Special Management, Treatment and Program Considerations

Utilization of Health and Mental Health Services

Obstetric and Gynecological Needs

Dietary and Nutritional Needs

Sleep Disturbance

Pain and Pain Management

Alcohol and Other Substance Abuse Treatment Needs

Trauma and Abuse

Family Relationship and Parenting Issues

Mental Health Services


Andrea Boardman and Dave DeMatteo
Chapter 8 - Treating and Managing Sexual Offenders and Predators

Legislative Trends

Sexually Violent Predator Laws

Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws

Internet Child Pornography

Sexual Offenders in Prisons and Jails: Clinical Description


Child Molesters

Offender Typologies: A Cautionary Note

Other Sexual Acts

Sexual Offenders in Prisons and Jails: Management Considerations

Sexual Assault in Prison

Sexual Offender Treatment Programs

Sex Offender Treatment Outcome Studies

Best Practices

Future Directions
Lisa Boesky
Chapter 9 - Identifying Juvenile Offenders with Mental Health Disorders

Identification of Juveniles with Mental Health Disorders

Self-Report Information

Family History

Screening and Assessment Instruments

Improving the Accuracy of Self-Reported Information

Collateral Sources of Information


Behavior or Symptom Checklists

Common Mental Disorders Found Among Juvenile Offenders

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Conduct Disorder

Major Depression

Dysthymic Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Suicidal Behavior

Mental Retardation

Learning Disorders

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


Psychotic Disorders


Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Cultural Issues


Linda Richardson
Chapter 10 - Other Special Offender Populations

Military Offenders

Foreign-Born Offenders

Elderly Offenders

Terminally Ill Offenders

HIV Infected/AIDS Offenders

Offenders with Mental Retardation


Rich Ellis
Chapter 11 - Staff Services and Programs
Employee Assistance Programs: Intervention Models

Stress and Employee Mental Health in the Correctional Environment

In-House Model

Mixed Model

The Independent Model

Other EAP Considerations

Workplace Violence: From the Individual to the Institution

Actual Examples of Correctional Workplace Violence

Responses to Workplace Violence Examples

Other Examples of Workplace Violence

Interventions for Workplace Violence: Defusing and Debriefing

Debriefing: What to do when the workplace goes wrong

The Debriefing Process

Debriefing Procedures and States

The Defusing Process


Kathy Harowski
Chapter 12 - Staff Training: Multiple Roles for Mental Health Professionals

Correctional Trends and their Training Implications

Rapid Growth in the Correctional Population

Diversity in Both Offenders and the Workforce

Changing Technology

Training Roles for Mental Health Professionals

Trainer and Audience Issues

Developing Mental Health Paraprofessionals

Training in Particular Skill Areas

Trauma Inoculation/Individual Factors in Coping with Stress

Training the Next Generation of Correctional Mental Health Professionals

Joel Dvoskin, Erin M. Spiers, and Stephen Pitts
Chapter 13 - Mental Health Professionals as Institutional Consultants and Problem-Solvers

Assessing Institutional Climate

Consultation Within The Institution


Case Management/Unit Teams

Detail/work supervisors

Disciplinary Proceedings

Conflict Resolution

Staff Screening and Selection

Program Development and Evaluation

Crisis: Prevention and Response



Post-Incident Response

Mental Health Professionals as Correctional Administrators


Carl Clements and Alix McLearen
Chapter 14 - Research-based Practice in Corrections: A Selective Review

Research Frameworks

The Person-centered Perspective: Offender Characteristics

The Situation-centered Perspective: Policies and Programs

The Interactionist Perspective: Tailored, Selected Interventions

Research in Offender Assessment and Classification

Risk Assessment

Assessment for Treatment

Treatment Outcomes Research

Meta-analysis and Correctional Outcomes

The Role of Theory

Other Evidence of Effective Programs

Research on Special Populations and Issues

Psychopathic Traits as a Special Risk/Needs Factor

Malingering: Detection and Response

Ethical Issues in Correctional Research

Constraints, Recommendations, and Future Issues to Consider

Extending Professional Capacity

Mental Health Professionals as Managers

Commitment to Correctional Research

Implementing Best Practices and Maintaining Therapeutic Integrity

Research with Female Offenders

Research in Jail Settings


Robert K. Ax
Chapter 15 - A Viable Future for Correctional Mental Health Care

Framing the Future

Public Health

Citizens as Consumers

Globalization: American Correctional Mental Health in a Connected World

Building a Viable Future: Changes in Health Care Delivery


Psychotropic medication

Programming, Assessment and Provider Issues

Staff Issues

Role Transformations: Toward a biopsychosocial scope of practice and self-concept


About the Authors

"Correctional Mental Health Handbook, edited by Thomas J. Fagan and Robert K. Ax, is full of information for hands-on management as well as information for policy decisions... Within this excellent text, each chapter, which is written by seasoned mental health professionals, provides information useful to corrections professionals as well as students of criminal justice."

Kip Hillman

"The chapters are well organized, well written, and well referenced. The authors are well qualified, all having years of pertinent experience in both the clinical and administrative realms, and the editors share more than 40 years of experience. . . . Correctional Mental Health Handbook has a place on the shelf of any correctional health professional, particularly program leaders. It is also a must-read for clinical training directors who are considering correctional placements for their trainees."  

Psychiatric Services
Key features
  1. This is the first book of its kind in a growing field that is sorely in need of such a reference.
  2. Written by and for professionals, this book will have a comprehensive view of correctional mental health care. The book looks at mental health care services in their entirety within the correctional context.
  3. The Handbook is logically rganized in three sections. The first section of the book provides a a flexible model for viewing how mental health services can be organized based on staffing levels, institution mission, and local need. The second section discusses typical offender problems that are found in many of today's prisons and jails along with how they are routinely managed in most correctional systems. The third and final section features some best practices for those facilities that might wish to set their sights a little higher; and talks about where additional work still needs to be done
  4. Tom Fagan has great standing in the field.

For instructors

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