Managing Mental Illness in Prison Task Force – Findings and Recommendations, October 2004
The 2004 DOC Managing Mental Illness in Prison (MMIP) Task Force has prepared a report that identifies issues of concern in DOC’s mental health system, additional findings, and offers numerous recommendations to reflect a comprehensive approach to mental health treatment programming. This includes change in systems, procedures, policy and rules to work more effectively with DOC’s population inmates with mental illness.
This Summary examines the overarching recommendation to structure the DOC Mental Health service delivery model to meet the needs of inmates with mental illness, rather than being driven by facilities or infrastructure.
The MMIP Task Force reviewed the September 2004 Governor’s Mental Health Task Force report and has aligned with their recommendation, “the Department of Corrections, OMHAS, the PSRB, and representatives of local law enforcement and mental health authorities must evaluate the possibility of creating a single forensic mental health facility to house and provide integrated services to individuals who cannot safely be treated in community settings.” This recommendation is consistent with the service delivery model the Task Force proposed in this report.
Other recommendations in this Task Force report relate to:
• Inmate housing assignments
• Increased availability for Mental Health services
• Improved internal communications
• Intake mental health assessments
• Oregon Medicaid eligibility
• Improved systems through automation
• DOC staff training relative to mental health services
• Change in policy and rules
• Bazelon Center model law strategies
• Recruitment and retention of health professionals
• Clinical, cultural and gender competence
• Suicide prevention
The Task Force took into consideration the current department budget situation and funding realities within Oregon state government. Although some recommendations require additional mental health staffing and resources, a projected cost to the Department has not been included.