Mental health services within the new York state department of correctional services: An examination of best policies and practices

Abstract

A significant number of inmates with mental illness reside within the New York State Department of Corrections (NYSDOCS). New York State has taken the initiative to provide mentally ill inmates with necessary services through a collaboration of the New York State Department of Correctional Services and the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH). The collaboration results in a mental health delivery system that provides many essential services to mentally ill inmates. This paper focuses on the organization of mental health services within NYSDOCS, best practices, past and current litigation, and staff responsibilities. As the population of mentally ill inmates continues to grow, implications for the Human Services professions of OMH and DOCS needs to continue to address and provide adequate mental health care and resources for this special population.

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