In a laudable move to combat the shortage of beds in state hospitals, West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino has decided to allow more inmates struggling with mental health issues to be treated within the jail premises by registered behavioral health workers. About 96 inmates with mental disorders, deemed unfit to face trial, can seek professional treatment under a new three-year contract of the existing Jail Based Competency Treatment Program (JBCTP), which has been active since 2010.
According to the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) that administers the JBCTP, it has 90 days from the patient’s commitment to submit a written report to the court about a defendant’s progress toward mental competence. But the shortage of beds in the department’s hospitals has created a backlog of inmates in county jails who need mental health treatment. The initiative offers similar services just as in other state-run facilities such as mental health management, competency restoration, psychotropic medication prescription, and mental, physical and social stimulation.
Experts believe that the new initiative to admit more patients to the program would facilitate faster treatment and reduce their incarceration time due to swifter hearing of their criminal charges. The contract is expected not to exceed $18 million and will be valid till Dec. 31, 2020. However, the DSH would reimburse the Sheriff’s Department up to $41 million for the entire period to cover both direct and indirect costs.
In recent years, the DSH has been finding it tough to get the rising number of offenders, declared mentally unfit to stand trial, admitted to state hospitals for their treatment. According to authorities, programs like the one at the West Valley Detention Center are of much help in reducing the backlog and relieving that burden.
Inmates prone to mental disorders
Statistics suggest high rates of mental health problems amongst inmates languishing in jails across the United States. In the case of female prisoners, the rates of mental health problems can be significantly higher than their male counterparts. This is one of the reasons why they are also most likely to engage in substance abuse. Studies show that mental health disorders can trigger criminal behaviors in individuals. It’s necessary to dissociate mental health patients from criminal or violent acts.
The need of the hour is to ensure mental health screening facilities for all inmates with a heinous criminal background, as they are the ones who face a greater likelihood of succumbing to both psychiatric ailments and substance abuse. A comprehensive approach to treatment can identify and evaluate the underlying causes of poor mental health. Therefore, it becomes imperative for anybody seeking psychiatric treatment to get screened for substance use disorders and vice versa.
Mental health problems are treatable
The current mental health crisis in the U.S. is real as more Americans are struggling with psychological problems than one can even imagine. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that almost one in five adults in the U.S. (43.8 million Americans) experiences a mental illness in a given year. However, less than half of the mentally ill patients receive treatment.
Mental health disorders can be treated with timely medical interventions. It’s always advisable to get treatment at a reputed mental health care facility. Sovereign Health of California offers a variety of customized therapies to treat mental health disorders. Clinicians at our world-class mental health treatment centers in California are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe customized treatments as well as group psychotherapy based on the patient’s requirements. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives to know more about programs offered at our treatment centers.
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