Prison settings and related populations (mental health)

Did you know OTs can work in prisons and related areas?
NGBRI= Not guilty by reason of insanity.
Pts = patients
Hx = history
SC = spinal cord
CP = cerebral palsy

A former classmate of mine (class below me) wrote this to me a loooong time ago about one of her rotations (she wrote the first part to me on FB, I responded and asked if I could share, then she shared the discharge status part. It took me over a year to finally post though):

All pts have pleaded NGBRI. I see only men and my case load consists of two higher functioning groups that I see twice a week, one lower functioning group I see twice a week, and two individual sessions one of which I see once a week and the other I see three times a week. They are all on a lock down ward that reminds me of a prison. I have warmed up to all my groups, however, I still remain a bit uneasy with my lowest functioning group….you never know if they will be stable throughout the session or not! I have issues sometimes trying to come up with group activities for that group that will keep their attention for the entire group session. Anyway, I feel as though I have put lots of effort into trying to help theses guys be successful and I have been occupation based and client centered at the same time

The discharge status of the patients at XYZ (my current facility) depends on their judges verdict, how heavy of a sentence they hold, how long they have resided at the facility, and how stable their behavior has been over the last year (among other things). Someone who has committed first degree murder will definitely be residing here longer than someone who has been charged with simple assault or battery. Discharge options range from group homes to nursing homes or being released to family. If a pt has a hx of violence nursing homes will usually not accept them and they have to qualify by other means as well such as different physical disabilities (Low vision, SC injuries, CP, ect.) Many of the pts have HIV from extensive hx of IV drug use and their sexual backgrounds. If this is the case, their only option for discharge is basically being released to family members even if their behavior is exquisite. There are many sad, sad cases…and even though I was very nervous in as my rotation commenced (and still am at times) I will definitely miss some of my pts and I hope I have made a difference in there lives.

Jul 10, 2011 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none