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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1997;25(3):375-81.

An introduction to correctional psychiatry: Part I.

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  • 1University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80206, USA.


This article, to be published in three parts, provides an overview of relevant national guidelines/standards for providing mental health services within a correctional setting and describes essential characteristics of a mental health system designed to meet constitutional standards. Part I will provide a brief summary of pertinent epidemiological studies and an introduction to the most widely used national standards/guidelines. Part II will focus on organizational issues within correctional mental health systems, staffing issues, and psychiatric screening/ evaluation processes. Part III will address issues pertinent to treatment programs for inmates with serious mental illnesses, confidentiality, involuntary treatment, and management information systems.

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