About 40% of the DOC population are individuals with current or a history of mental health issues.
DOC works closely with Correctional Health Services to improve coordination and appropriate information-sharing between health and security staff and provide additional training on working with inmates diagnosed with a mental condition.
To keep seriously mentally ill inmates out of punitive segregation, DOC created CAPS (Clinical Alternative to Punitive Segregation) in 2013 for seriously mentally ill inmates who have infracted.
The CAPS units provide patients with intensive, therapeutic schedules that include morning meetings, multiple day and evening programs, and one-on-one encounters with a wide range of mental health staff, including counselors, psychologists and psychiatric providers. The program has grown from 4 inmates in 2013 to 44 inmates as of July 2017.
Since its inception, PACE has served over 500 individuals; and CAPS has served over 700 individuals.
Created in January 2015 to build on CAPS, PACE (Program to Accelerate Clinical Effectiveness) encourages adherence to treatment, including medication, and jail rules for patient-inmates who struggle to function adequately while incarcerated due to chronic mental illness, risk of acute psychiatric decompensation, and/or behavioral disruption.
CAPS and PACE are considered national models for therapeutic treatment of seriously mentally ill inmates.
Inmates in CAPS and PACE are involved in fewer Use of Force incidents and show lower rates of self-harm than similar inmates in other housing.
There has been a decrease in inmate involvement in Use of Force by 43% in CAPS and by 69% in PACE.
There has been a 72% decrease in assaults on staff in CAPS; and a 63% decrease in assaults on staff in PACE.
An 8-hour Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) mandatory training course helps officers to recognize the signs of distress in mentally ill inmates. The course was rolled out in August 2014 for new recruits. In-Service classes started April 2015. To date, more than 4,000 officers have been trained in Mental Health First Aid.