Skip to main content

Mental Health

Prisoners participating in group therapy led by a Qualified Mental Health Professional

Mental Health

Under the direction of the Bureau of Health Care Services, Mental Health Services provides all mental health treatment and services to prisoners in the Michigan Department of Corrections. Prisoners receiving mental health services have access to available facility programming.

The Michigan Mental Health Code provides for the establishment of the Corrections Mental Health Program (CMHP) to provide mental health treatment for prisoners who have developmental disabilities or mental illness and require it. Prisoners with mental illness have been diagnosed with a substantial disorder of thought or mood that significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life. Services provided under the CMHP include acute, residential, and outpatient mental health treatment.

  • The Office of Recipient Rights protects the rights granted to recipients of public mental health services in the State of Michigan.

    The Recipient Rights System safeguards the rights of mentally ill and/or developmentally disabled prisoners by setting forth a system to investigate allegations of rights violation, provide consultation to prisoners regarding their rights, and provide training and consultation to mental health services staff. This system does not affect the regulations and policies of the Department of Corrections relating to the operation of a state correctional facility. In an instance in which a right enumerated in this section conflicts with a regulation or policy of the department affecting the facility's security or the protection of prisoners, employees, or the public, the Department of Corrections regulation or policy shall supersede. 

    The Department of Corrections has a dedicated Recipient Rights Specialist who plays a pivotal role in ensuring a uniform process of implementing Recipient Rights protection for prisoners within the Community Mental Health Program. The Rights Specialist is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 7, P.A. 258, 1974. They also take action to resolve disputes related to apparent violations, act on behalf of recipients to address alleged complaints and safeguard the rights guaranteed in a timely manner. The Rights Specialist independently determines the validity of each allegation based on the preponderance of evidence standard. The contact information for the Rights Specialist can be found in the Mental Health Services Guidebook. 

    Rights Specialist:
    Sara Heydens

  • Inpatient Services consist of the Crisis Stabilization Program (CSP), Acute Care (AC), and Rehabilitation Treatment Services (RTS), which provide 24-hour access to psychiatric care and nursing services seven (7) days per week. The inpatient level of care allows for specialized and intensive mental health programming/treatment not available in the general population at other facilities.
  • The Residential Treatment Program (RTP) is the recommended level of care for seriously mentally ill prisoners who demonstrate significant impairments in social skills and limited ability to participate independently in activities of daily living. The RTP's primary treatment focus is providing skills to enable prisoners to function independently within the general prison population or in the community following parole or discharge. The RTP provides treatment and support services to prisoners who no longer require psychiatric hospitalization but have not progressed to the point where they can function independently in the general prison population. RTP prisoners, who would otherwise be in administrative segregation due to safety/security issues, are housed in the Secure Status Residential Treatment Program (SSRTP).  
  • The Outpatient Treatment Program (OPT) serves three main functions: A point of entry into the Corrections Mental Health Program (CMHP); provides psychiatric services to prisoners residing in general population who have a severe mental illness/disability; and ensures continuity, quality, and accessibility of care for prisoners discharged from a higher level of care. The OPT treats prisoners with moderate functional impairment due to a mental disability who can care for their basic needs and live in the general population setting. 

    The OPT emphasizes correcting thought and mood disorders, interpersonal interactions, and bio-psychosocial rehabilitation. The goal is to help the prisoner cope with long-lasting mental illness and develop relapse prevention plans.

  • The Counseling Services and Interventions (CSI) program is provided to prisoners who exhibit psychological signs or symptoms that negatively affect ordinary demands of life and is intended to offer short-term counseling and support. Prisoners are admitted and discharged from CSI by a Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP). Prisoners served with CSI do not meet the threshold for admission to the Corrections Mental Health Program and don’t require psychiatric provider services.  
  • Institutional Services are provided to all prisoners by a Qualified Mental Health Professional.  These services include but are not limited to:

    • Reception Center Evaluations and Appraisals
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Segregation Monitoring
    • Suicide Prevention Services (screening, assessment, and treatment, etc.)
    • Assessment, Identification, and Referral for treatment of mental illness
    • Parole Board Evaluations
  • Mental Health Services provide special services and evaluations to some unique populations in the Department of Corrections prison system. The following are some of those services offered:

    • Core Programming 
    • Behavioral Collaborative Case Management
    • Gender Dysphoria
    • Guilty But Mentally Ill
    • Michigan Sexual Abuse Prevention Program (MSAPP)
    • Special Alternative Incarceration
    • Substance Use Treatment Services (SUTS)
    • Youthful Offender Program
  • The comprehensive nature of re-entry planning ensures that each prisoner has a detailed outline in place prior to release. This plan covers not only housing needs but also provides for continuity of mental health, medical, substance abuse, and other support services. This approach significantly improves the likelihood of success in the community for the prisoners.

    The primary target populations for re-entry planning are prisoners with mental illness or other special needs who are paroled or discharged to the community. These populations can be subcategorized as follows:

    • High Health Needs Prisoners – includes prisoners with mental illness, medical fragility, and/or intellectual disability as designated by the Parole Board. High health needs prisoners receive individualized aftercare planning pre-release and care coordination services post-release to mitigate their heightened risk of return to prison. Offenders releasing without MDOC supervision receive pre-release planning services only.

    • Prisoners with Offender Success or Traditional Paroles—These individuals are identified by the Parole Board for participation in one of the MDOC Re-Entry In-Reach facilities or are provided a traditional parole. These prisoners are typically receiving Outpatient or Counseling Services and Interventions (CSI) while incarcerated, as they are less likely to be diagnosed with a major mental illness and are not identified as high-risk.
Updated: 05/29/24