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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148926 Find in a Library
Title: Inevitability of Mental Health Professionals Being Sued by Inmates: A Clinical and Legal Survival Guide, Part II (From Locked Up: Body, Mind and Soul: American Correctional Health Services Association 1994 Multidisciplinary Training Conference, P 125-132, 1994 - See NCJ-148921)
Author(s): M M Severson
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Health Services Assoc
Dayton, OH 45401
Sale Source: American Correctional Health Services Assoc
11 W Monument Avenue
P.O. Box 2307
Suite 510
Dayton, OH 45401
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper analyzes the reasons for inmate lawsuits against mental health professionals and presents a decisionmaking model for use by clinicians that include the legal, ethical, and security aspects of mental health dilemmas.
Abstract: The inmate population is highly litigious. Liability is often related to issues such as misdiagnosis, inappropriate clinical intervention, breach of confidentiality, and negligence in clinical response time. The necessity of making clinical decisions can put the correctional mental health professional in a defensive posture. Clinicians have an ethical responsibility to assist in protecting the security of the institution and the safety of the prison staff as well as the prisoner; however, clinicians must also consider the impact of such measures as the use of restraints on the inmate's mental health. No perfect method exists by which a clinician can avoid the filing of an inmate lawsuit. However, mental health professionals can use a particular paradigm for decisionmaking to avoid liability. Such a model must address all clinical issues and security concerns, identify all people who should be involved in the decisionmaking process, allow decisionmaking based on professional knowledge as well as the most applicable legal standards, and consider resource availability inside and outside the institution and viable alternative courses of action. 17 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Inmate lawsuits; Legal liability; Offender mental health services; Professional conduct and ethics
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