The Behavioral Health (BH) Team in the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) provides evidenced-based, trauma informed assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. The BH Team is committed to delivering services that assist residents in stabilizing and maintaining wellness. The BH Team’s services utilize research-informed clinical services designed to be individualized, strengths-based, and trauma responsive. The MDOC creates environments that encourage and supports residents to engage in recommended treatment programs and services. Residents will be oriented to BH services and guided in how to access care upon intake to any MDOC facility and will have access to a wide array of services offered across all facilities.
- A resident’s participation in mental health services is voluntary except in emergencies or when safety/security are at risk.
- All Behavioral Health services, including Psychiatry, are provided at no cost. Resident’s will not be charged a copay.
- There is a Director of Behavioral Health at each facility available to answer any questions or concerns from residents.
A full-diagnostic mental health intake evaluation outlines what services may be helpful for each resident and aids in developing treatment targets for stabilization and wellness. The intake evaluation occurs at the beginning of each resident’s sentence. Each resident’s voice is essential in identifying how the BH Team can best offer support and services. The results of the intake evaluation will ultimately help create a treatment plan for the resident’s time in the system. Innovative, evidenced-based program recommendations will be added to a comprehensive case plan.
The Department’s BH services vary based every individual’s clinical needs. The BH Team offers individual and group therapeutic services, ranging from short-term solutions focused, cognitive behavioral therapy to longer-term, more intensive psychotherapy. Residents experiencing acute psychiatric needs may be referred to the Department of Correction’s Intensive Mental Health Unit.
Residents can access services by submitting a sick call slip request to meet with mental health staff. Sick call slips can also be used to request information about the treatment offered, to request to be in a group, questions about psychiatric medication, or any other mental health question or concern. The BH Team will meet with any resident upon request and treatment is always available at any point during someone’s incarceration.
It is not uncommon for individuals who enter this system to have a current or past substance use disorder. The Maine Department of Corrections encourage all residents impacted by substances to participate in treatment, even if a resident is unsure if they are ready/need to enter recovery.
For those recommended for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) services, there is an additional assessment to determine the severity of the disorder and the best course of treatment. Residential SUD Treatment is provided at Maine State Prison and Mountain View Correctional Center through a 6 to 9 month evidenced based, intensive treatment program. Outpatient SUD Treatment (both high and moderate intensity) is provided at all sites. The Department also offers Medication for Substance Use Disorder (MSUD). If a resident wishes to be considered for MSUD or wants to learn more about whether this may be a helpful treatment, the resident can submit a sick call slip to the "MSUD Program" expressing their interest or question.
Recovery Coaches are available for support. Residents are encouraged to inquire if they are interested in this service anytime during their incarceration.
Problematic Sexual Behavior Treatment Services
Intake procedures include static and dynamic risk assessments evaluating the need for treatment services targeting problematic sexual behavior. Once identified as meeting the criteria through validated and reliable risk assessment, individuals will be recommended to participate in services designed to assist in understanding and managing problematic sexual behavior. Problematic sexual behavior treatment focuses on understanding what has contributed to issues related to problematic sexual thoughts, urges, or behaviors. Empirically derived treatment programs are offered targeting the development of skills to manage problem sexual behaviors and expanding understanding root causes. Problematic Sexual Behavior treatment services are offered at Mountain View Correctional Facility, Maine State Prison, Women's Center, and Maine Correctional Center.
Medication is often helpful for those struggling with symptoms of mental illness. If a resident is incarcerated with a current prescription for psychiatric medications, a provider will meet with the resident within the first few weeks for an intake to discuss their medications. The intake process allows providers to connect with each resident, learn about their situation, and identify treatment and support that is beneficial to them. Providers will continue to meet with residents during their stay to offer ongoing medication management.
If a resident is not currently prescribed psychiatric medications but would like to speak with someone about medication treatment, they are encouraged to fill out a sick call slip detailing why they feel they need psychiatric medication. A mental health clinician will connect residents to determine the next steps.
Crisis Intervention Services
24/7 mental health crisis response services are available at all Maine Department of Corrections facilities providing crisis assessment, intervention, and stabilization services.
Successful reintegration into the community is a critical aspect of the rehabilitation process. The Maine Department of Corrections is committed to working collaboratively with each resident to provide the opportunity to have continued mental health services once released. The Maine DOC offers additional case management and supportive services to provide continuity of care when transitioning to the community. In partnership with DHHS and other community agencies, the Department works with residents to identify effective and safe plans to support a successful release.