Finding needles in a haystack. Separating the wheat from the chaff. The nature of corrections work is identifying individuals who suffer from a treatable mental illness and implementing the optimal treatment in suboptimal circumstances.

For three years I worked in a psychiatric hospital run by the department of corrections. That the DOC administered the facility is not unusual. The presence of pre-trial detainees in the same units as those already convicted of crimes made it unique. Men who’d been arrested by police and suspected to be laboring under a mental illness would be transferred to the DOC hospital for evaluation before they were indicted or convicted of any crime. Housed in units behind layers of fencing, barbed wire, and the ubiquitous control measures of any corrections facility, they were incarcerated for an evaluation period of around one to two months.

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Joseph H. Baskin M.D.

Psychology Today, July 24, 2018