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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200725 Find in a Library
Title: Developing Programming for the Severely Behaviorally Disordered Female Offender
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:65  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:68-71,94
Author(s): Lynn Cahill-Masching; Amy Ray
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 5
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses prison programs for the severely behaviorally disordered female offender.
Abstract: Some severely behaviorally disordered offenders may suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD offenders exhibit recurrent suicidal behavior, self-mutilating behavior, fear of abandonment, inappropriate and intense anger, and extreme mood changes. These types of cases often leave staff drained, burned out, or even angry. These offenders often show little or no progress despite common interventions, such as medications, short-term counseling, and crisis watches. The Women’s Evaluation Treatment Center at Dwight Correctional Center in Dwight, IL, is a 46-bed inpatient treatment unit that houses several BPD or similar type cases. In implementing the Segregation Treatment Plan for Violent Female Offenders program, the first step is recognition that crisis management alone is not adequate to address the needs of these high maintenance offenders. A multidisciplinary meeting is held of high-level administration, the chief of security, and health care and mental health staff. The main purpose of the meeting is to provide basic education about BPD and suggest treatment options that could be implemented in a correctional setting. The treatment plan goal is to focus on preventing crises before they occur instead of reacting to crises after they occur. The second step includes developing a procedure that rewards appropriate behavior. The next task is to provide consistent and reliable treatment. The group structure of the treatment plan is based on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT was specifically developed as a treatment for women that engage in self-injurious behaviors. One of the beliefs of DBT is that the individuals are doing the best they can, despite any continuing problems or temporary setbacks in treatment. Developing treatment planning for these types of offenders requires the ongoing organization and willingness of all departments in the correctional setting. High-level administration must be willing to support the decisions of an identified treatment team. 2 endnotes
Main Term(s): Female inmates; Mentally ill inmates
Index Term(s): Female offenders; Females; Inmate health; Inmate treatment; Mentally ill offenders; Psychiatric services; Women's correctional institutions
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