The Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (DOCR) is committed to providing equal and timely access to mental health treatment for all inmates in the Department. Services are provided by qualified DOCR mental health staff who have stood the rigorous expectations of accrediting bodies such as the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. In fact, the Montgomery County Correctional Facility (MCCF) earned the "Facility of the Year Award" recognition for its excellent health care and innovative programs as well as for achieving 100% compliance with health care standards in 2007.
The Mental Health Services section at MCCF is recognized for its excellent care and innovative programs that are offered to approximately 25% of the jail's population who suffers from serious and debilitating mental conditions. MCCF developed the first jail-based Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program (DBT) for mentally ill offenders in the nation. All mental health services and programs are delivered by four therapists, three psychiatric nurses and one contract psychiatrist. The psychiatrist performs initial evaluations and follow-up assessments to monitor progress and medication needs. The psychiatrist serves the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, Montgomery County Detention Center, Pre Release Center, and persons living in home confinement but still under DOCR custody.
Some of mental health services offered at MCCF include but not limited to screening for suicide risk, mental health assessment, psychiatric evaluations, crisis the intervention, individual therapy, pharmacotherapy, critical incident debriefing, creative arts and other additional programs depending on the level of functioning of the population.
Individualized and intensive services are tailored for acute or chronic individuals whose condition is so impaired that it precludes them from general population housing. These individuals require stabilization and treatment in the jail's Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU) where the DBT program is run. This program is the CIU's primary treatment modality and it has proven very successful in reducing impulsive and high-risk behaviors such as self-injury, violence, and suicide gestures and attempts. Individuals in CIU participate in individual DBT as well as DBT skills groups . Officers assigned to CIU receive extensive mental health training. Therapists keep abreast of developments in the mental health field by completing continuing education as required by their credentialing bodies.
The Mental Health Services staff works in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services who provide additional therapeutic services for incarcerated offenders. The services provided by our HHS partners include: Clinical Assessment and Triage Services (CATS), Jail Addictions Services (JAS), Community Re-entry Services (CRES), and Project Assisting Transition from Homelessness (PATH).
Finally, Mental Health Services staff is also responsible for the coordination of emergency commitments to state hospitals and for facilitating on-site space for competency screenings ordered by the Court. CIU receive extensive mental health training.