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Overview of ODOC Mental Health Services

Mental Health services are provided by a staff of professional psychiatrists, advanced practice psychiatric nurses, psychologists, master’s level psychological clinicians, and social workers employed by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The Mental Health Services unit promotes recovery for inmates with serious mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and/or co-occurring disorders. Services encompass the entire spectrum of care, including screening/assessment, crisis intervention, suicide prevention, outpatient, intermediate, and acute/inpatient mental health services; and reentry services including pre-discharge planning/preparation. Inmates are also provided psychotropic medication services, with medication distributed by the Medical Services Unit’s nurses and pharmacists. In addition to inmate services, the Mental Health staff also provides facility training to employees regarding suicide prevention and awareness of issues related to working with inmates with serious mental illness.

The ODOC definition of a serious mental illness includes symptoms of a DSM (most current edition) mental disorder that causes maladjustment and/or personal suffering to the extent that medication is recommended and prescribed by a psychiatrist or a diagnosis in the groups of psychotic disorders, Bi-Polar, or Major Depression. Recent data indicates 38% of the total population currently exhibit symptoms of a serious mental illness.

Offenders with mental health problems continue to be increasingly overrepresented in the ODOC population compared to the community. The ODOC has developed a recovery model of mental health services that provides an integrated system of mental health care aligned with good correctional management designed to empower offenders with mental illness to attain each individual's maximum level of crime-free employment, self-care, interpersonal relationships, and community participation.

To achieve effective, cost-efficient mental health services, ODOC utilizes a unique mental health management classification information system that provides a concentration of staffing and designated housing for those inmates with the most serious mental illness in the least restrictive conditions that promote individual recovery and resilience while protecting the public. To provide concentrated services, specialized designated housing units have been established at Joseph Harp Correctional Center and Mabel Bassett Correctional Center. The more acute, inpatient care is provided on Mental Health Units (MHUs). Intermediate care and specialized reentry services are provided on Intermediate Care Housing Units (ICHUs), and specialized services for inmates with intellectual disabilities are provided in the Habilitation Program.

Collaborative Mental Health Reentry Program

The ODOC and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) collaborative Mental Health Reentry Program transitions incarcerated inmates with serious mental illness into appropriate community-based mental health services in the community. Discharge Managers employed by ODMHSAS operate out of four DOC facilities (EWCC, JDCC, JHCC, MBCC, NFCC and OSP) and are part of the multidisciplinary treatment team. They coordinate the mental health reentry of inmates with a serious mental illness. Reentry Intensive Care Coordination Teams (RICCTs) are under ODMHSAS contracts to be responsible for engaging with the inmate with serious mental illness prior to discharge and then working with them in the community until they are fully participating in the appropriate community-based mental health and substance abuse services.

A recent outcome analysis of the program that was performed by ODMHSAS showed promising results. Outcomes of inmates served during the first 36 months of the program were compared with a baseline group comprised of similar individuals.

Collaborative Mental Health Reentry Program





Outcome Measure





Inpatient Hospitalizations





Outpatient Service Utilization





Rate of Engagement in Community Based Services





Inmates Engaged in Medicaid 90 Days Post Release





Inmates Returning to Prison within 36 Months





  *The baseline comparison group was comprised of similar individuals prior to program

    implementation (2006).

**These outcomes are derived every three years.



Last Modified on Jan 04, 2023
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