Integrated Treatment Approaches for Prison Inmates With Co-Occurring Disorders

Roger H. Peters, Louis de la Parte Florida Ment.Hlth Inst.

The increase in jail and prison populations over the past 15 years has focused greater attention on the needs of mentally ill and substance abusing inmates. An estimated 3-11% of prison inmates have co-occurring mental health (e.g., psychotic and major mood) disorders and substance abuse disorders, which has led to an increasing awareness of the unique treatment needs of this population. Despite the growing population of prisoners with co-occurring disorders, there are only a few existing 'dual diagnosis' treatment programs in prisons. This presentation will highlight findings from a recent survey of treatment initiatives in state and federal prisons for inmates with co-occurring disorders and will describe current trends in providing services for this population. Key components of prison-based dual diagnosis programs will be examined, including the following: (a) program admission procedures, (b) treatment strategies and special program adaptations provided for this population, (c) program staffing, (d) coordination and linkage with other prison services and reentry/aftercare services in the community, and (e) program evaluation. The presentation will identify guidelines for the implementation of integrated dual diagnosis treatment programs in prisons and suggestions for the adaptation of these services within substance abuse or mental health treatment settings.

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Updated 05/20/2006