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Mentally Ill Inmates


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Female user Chalchiuhticue 3 posts

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Male user commander 277 posts

Flying Deb, hate to hear of your injury. It would be interesting to know how many brain injuries are suffered from a career in corrections. I know of only two employees for sure. Both injured in the same assault from an Inmate.

Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

I really wonder if it would be possible to find out how many inmates have a brain injury in a facility. Unless the inmate told an officer that he/she had such an injury you wouldn’t know because of the HIPPA laws. Even while I was watching the twice-a-week doctor call with inmates I certainly never would repeat any information I heard the inmate say or the doctor because of the HIPPA law and the doctor/patient confidentiality. I just assume from my experiences that few, if any facilities would send any inmate for rehab if they knew the inmate had such a condition. Unless an inmate has a life-threatening condition the facility seldom sends them to have surgery because of the cost, although the doctor may do blood, x-ray, CT scans, etc.

Female user Flyingdeb 1 post

I am a medically retired felony probation and parole officer from Florida. I am a brain injury survivor, and I have written brain injury, epilepsy, and PTSD poems and prose internationally for the past 16 years. I am a Brain Injury Advocate and maintain a brain injury blog at http://www.noahsarkconsulting.blogspot.com
I am very interested in finding out if there is any rehab for brain injured inmates. Also I am wondering if they are classified as mentally ill?

Male user commander 277 posts

In Ohio, mentally ill Inmates are placed on a Residential Treatment Unit or RTU case load. They are seen by Mental Health Caseload teams. The MHRN disepenses medication to them and is a part of the RTU treatment team. They do not contact family members for anything regarding the Inmate. The treatment team developes a plan of action to assist the Inmate in dealing with the Mental Health illness. It would be up to the Mental Health professional to notify family members of any problems with the Inmate, not the nurse. The medical aspect of his/her treatment is preformed by the MHRN and if need be, the Medical RN. In Ohio, we do not notify friends or family members of an Inmates condition. Our Unit staff for each unit receives calls from family members and usually will inform them of medical issues as far as his health is concerned. Again so much can not be disclosed because of HIPPA. Very touchy subject. But one not designed to be taken care of by a Nurse.

Correction officer jamestown0509 313 posts

Karen I believe that Kodiakbears is on the right track with his response. Its not a question of state law at all, its a HIPPA law violation which is a federal law that you cannot violate as an RN, doctor, PA or other medically trained person. While on the subject its not ethical for a nurse to call the family of an inmate while they are incarcerated about their medical condition, how they are being treated, etc. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t be doing that. First, it probably violates the patient-doctor relationship, it also probably violates the HIPPA law. If an inmate is sent to the hospital a nurse should never call the inmates relatives or friends for any reason because in doing so you might endanger the correction officers going with the inmate to the hospital, doctor, etc. I have seen this firsthand when I was with an inmate in the hospital ER and the nurse said his mother was there to see him. I told the nurse to tell his mother she had to leave the hospital because it was not allowed for her to see him per policy. Certainly no one would want to be responsible for letting a family member visit an inmate in the hospital or doctor’s office which is not secured and bring them contraband.

Male user kodiakbears 2 posts

I don’t think this question can be univerally answered as every agency has a different policy regarding the treatment and evaluation of serious mentally ill (SMI) inmates within their custody. In AZ for example, the inmate’s family is only involved if they have consent to treat power of attorney for the inmate. Otherwise they are not involved in the treatment of evaluation of the inmate’s mental condition. the confidentiality laws prohibit revealing such a condition to a non-authorized person whether family or not. I hope this helps. To answer the question of duty of RN’s this is channeled through the facility health administrator for action.. again for ADOC only per policy.

Buckeye flag Mudflap 293 posts

Did Karen ever get a satisfactory solution to the original question?

Female user Karen 2 posts

I need some advise on the duty of RNs in the correctional setting to contact family of mentally ill patients who are clearly delusional (but do not fit criteria for 302) to fill in gaps in medical history given at intake. PA law would be helpful, or any other resources you would have.

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