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Health Care - The Rights of Prisoners to Physical and Mental Health Care

Prisoner Health Care Questions

Due to the confidential nature of health information, only the department's Bureau of Health Care Services can address and respond to any health related concerns you have. The Department of corrections cannot release health information regarding  a prisoner unless that prisoner has signed the "Patient's Authorization for Disclosure of Health Information" form. This form is available on the MDOC website or can be obtained by a prisoner upon request to the healthcare staff at their facility. This form must be signed by the prisoner. The form is valid for 1 year and remains valid if the prisoner transfers to a new facility during that time. Healthcare questions should be directed to 517-373-3629.

Health Services

All prisoners in Correctional Facilities Administration (CFA) institutions will have access to health services, as outlined in PD 03.04.100 - Health Services, regardless of custody level or security classification. If the MDOC determines that a prisoner has health care needs that cannot be met at their current facility the prisoner will be transferred to a facility where those needs can be met.

The prisoner health record is established as soon as possible after the prisoner's arrival at a reception facility. Health care staff also schedules an annual health care screening appointment for each prisoner in a CFA facility within 30 calendar days before or after the prisoner's birthday, unless the prisoner is in the Special Alternative Incarceration (SAI). A DNA sample shall be taken from each prisoner at the annual health care screening unless a sample was previously provided. The prisoner's consent to take the sample is not required.

Prisoners shall submit a Health Care Request form (CHJ-549) to request routine health care services, including reassessment of the need for an assistive device or other service provided the prisoner to meet his/her medical needs. Housing unit staff shall assist illiterate prisoners and others who are unable to complete the form. A locked container shall be provided which is easily accessible to all general population prisoners in which they can place the form; these containers shall be opened only by health care staff and will be collected by health care staff at least daily.

For additional information regarding health services for prisoners, please see PD 03.04.100 - Health Services.

Mental Health Services

Mental health services are available to all prisoners, including appropriate treatment for prisoners who are seriously mentally ill. All prisoners in need of mental health services shall be identified in a timely manner, have reasonable access to care, and be afforded continuity of care, including aftercare planning and follow-up as indicated.  Prisoners admitted to Mental Health Services are given an orientation to their new level of care, and are provided with the Mental Health Services Guidebook which contains information on how to contact rights representatives.

The continuum of mental health services includes the following:

Inpatient Services

Inpatient Services include the Crisis Stabilization Program (CSP), Acute Care (AC) and Rehabilitative Services (RTS). The Crisis Stabilization Program is intended for prisoners whose symptoms indicate a potential mental health emergency and a need for immediate intervention and treatment. Acute Care provides intensive assessment and treatment for prisoners with acute mental illness, severe emotional disorders and possible co-existing disorders. Rehabilitation Treatment Services provides inpatient treatment services to prisoners who exhibit significant impairments in activities of daily living and other social skills.  Prisoners receiving Inpatient Services typically exhibit symptoms of their mental illness that have proved to be resistant to treatment, requiring intensive monitoring and clinical supports to prepare them for a return to a less restrictive level of care in the general population.  

Residential Treatment Programs

The Residential Treatment Program (RTP) is the recommended level of care for seriously mentally disabled prisoners. It offers treatment to those individuals who cannot function adequately in the general population without significant supports and modified behavioral expectations and helps them independently function within the general prison population or in the community following parole release or discharge. This includes a Secure Status Residential Treatment Program (SSRTP) which provides a secure and safe alternative treatment option to prisoners with a serious mental disability who would otherwise be in Administrative Segregation because of assaultive, disruptive or unmanageable behavior.
The Adaptive Skills Residential Program (ASRP) is a specialized housing option for prisoners who have significant limitations in adaptive functioning due to a developmental disability, traumatic brain injuries or chronic brain disorder.

Outpatient Mental Health Program

The Outpatient Mental Health Program (OPMHT) provides mental health treatment to prisoners with a mental disability and/or behavioral disorder that reside in general population. This includes services through a Secure Status Outpatient Treatment Program (SSOTP) which provides a safe and secure alternative treatment option to prisoners with a serious mental disability who, because of behavioral issues which present a risk to the custody and security of the facility, would otherwise be in Administrative Segregation.

Counseling Services and Intervention

Individual and group psychotherapy are available to offenders who have been determined by a qualified mental health professional (QMHP) to have significant psychological disturbances that affect overall psychosocial functioning. It includes, but is not limited to, supportive counseling, brief therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. Prisoners are admitted to and discharged from the counseling program by a QMHP.

Institutional Services are available to all prisoners in the Department of Corrections when clinically indicated. They include, but are not limited to mental health intake evaluations, crisis intervention, suicide prevention services, specialized group therapies, parole board psychological evaluations, and planning for community reintegration.

For additional information, please see PD 04.06.180 - Mental Health Services.