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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200726 Find in a Library
Title: Capitalizing on the Differences: Pennsylvania's Response to Challenging Female Offenders
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:65  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:72-75
Author(s): Barbara Doebler; David Patton
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the DAILE (Daily Adult Interactive Learning Experience) program for inmates with special needs.
Abstract: Due to the recent nationwide trend to de-institutionalize mentally ill and mentally handicapped individuals, there is an increase in incarceration of inmates with limited coping skills. Many incarcerated women have difficulties effectively communicating their medical needs to staff and completing standard programming. These difficulties decrease already low levels of self-esteem and increase already high levels of frustration. These vulnerable inmates, through observation and imitation, learn new and pathological methods of coping. Serious incidents and suicidal gestures have created concerns about the State Correctional Institution at Muncy Pennsylvania's ability to provide a safe environment for the inmates. The DAILE program involves a hands-on, interactive philosophy that is unique to prison life in its positive approach to both learning and sanctions. The program has five goals. The first goal is to maintain and operate a daily program to provide structure, support, and learning for lower-functioning inmates. The second goal is to provide a positive, flexible individualized treatment plan for each participant based upon her needs. The third goal is to provide information and programming to inmates in the areas of substance abuse, medical, psychological/psychiatric, social, cognitive/educational, vocational/pre-vocational, and other areas, as determined by needs assessment. The fourth goal is to actively involve staff and other inmates in daily programming. The fifth goal is to be accountable to the Department of Corrections, including daily communication, meeting attendance, regular reporting, and documentation of inmate files, as specified by policy. The program operates 40 hours per week year-round except for major holidays. The program currently includes 15 full-time and 5part-time participants. The average IQ is 71. The most commonly occurring serious clinical diagnosis among the participants is schizophrenia. Future program goals are to purchase computers and software for participants, increase the role of the licensed social worker to include more evaluations and family contacts, and increase the number of participants served, including inmate mentors.
Main Term(s): Medical and dental services; Offenders with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
Index Term(s): Female inmates; Mental defectives; Mentally ill offenders; Persons with cognitive disabilities; Socially challenged; Special needs offenders
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