Mental Health services are provided by a staff of professional psychiatrists, advanced practice psychiatric nurses, psychologists, master’s level psychological clinicians, and social workers employed by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The Mental Health Services unit promotes recovery for inmates with serious mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and/or co-occurring disorders. Services encompass the entire spectrum of care, including screening/assessment, crisis intervention, suicide prevention, outpatient, intermediate, and acute/inpatient mental health services; and reentry services including pre-discharge planning/preparation. Inmates are also provided psychotropic medication services, with medication distributed by the Medical Services Unit’s nurses and pharmacists. In addition to inmate services, the Mental Health staff also provides facility training to employees regarding suicide prevention and awareness of issues related to working with inmates with serious mental illness.
The ODOC definition of a serious mental illness includes symptoms of a DSM (most current edition) mental disorder that causes maladjustment and/or personal suffering to the extent that medication is recommended and prescribed by a psychiatrist or a diagnosis in the groups of psychotic disorders, Bi-Polar, or Major Depression. Recent data indicates 35% of the total population currently exhibit symptoms of a serious mental illness.
Offenders with mental health problems continue to be increasingly overrepresented in the ODOC population compared to the community. The chart right is a dramatic picture of the fact that significant decreases in the rate of citizens committed to state mental health hospitals occurred at the same time the incarceration rate has significantly increased. The ODOC has developed a recovery model of mental health services that provides an integrated system of mental health care aligned with good correctional management designed to empower offenders with mental illness to attain each individual's maximum level of crime-free employment, self-care, interpersonal relationships, and community participation.