Correctional Service Service correctionnel Canada Canada the 2002 mental health strategy for women offenders jane Laishes Mental Health, Health Services



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Correctional Service Service correctionnel

Canada Canada

THE 2002 MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY FOR WOMEN OFFENDERS


Jane Laishes

Mental Health, Health Services

2002

The author wishes to express her gratitude to all internal and external stakeholders for their input and feedback during consultations on the revision of the Strategy.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


TABLE OF CONTENTS 3

INTRODUCTION 4

SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE 1997 STRATEGY 5

OVERVIEW OF WOMEN OFFENDERS IN CSC 6

CSC Facilities for Women Offenders 6



NEED FOR A WOMEN SPECIFIC MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY FOR WOMEN OFFENDERS 9

GOAL OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR WOMEN OFFENDERS 13

KEY PRINCIPLES UNDERLYING THE DELIVERY OF MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS AND SERVICES FOR WOMEN OFFENDERS 13

ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS ESSENTIAL TO THE DELIVERY OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR WOMEN OFFENDERS 15

Physical Environment 15

Professional Services Delivery 17

Characteristics of Interventions 19

Assessment Services 23

MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT PROGRAMS AND INTERVENTIONS 36

MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES 37

GAPS TO BE ADDRESSED 38

Limitations 38



CONCLUSION 39

APPENDIX A 42

APPENDIX B 45

APPENDIX C 47

APPENDIX F 51

APPENDIX H 54

APPENDIX I 54

APPENDIX J 57

APPENDIX K
58


APPENDIX L 61

TABLE OF CONTENTS







INTRODUCTION

The 2002 Mental Health Strategy for Women Offenders provides a framework for the development of mental health services for all women offenders within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). The Strategy is similar to the 1991 Report of the Task Force on Mental Health which was developed for all offenders, however it acknowledges the mental health needs of women in general, and of women offenders in particular. It outlines the mental health issues and problems faced by women offenders and the treatment, intervention, and programs required by legislation and policy to address these issues. Further, the Strategy describes a continuum of mental health care including assessment, crisis intervention, group and individual counselling, and follow-up as well as the inter-connected nature of all programs and services in support of mental well-being for women offenders.


The Mental Health Strategy for Women Offenders was originally published in 1997. The 2002 version was developed in order to reflect the numerous changes and developments in women's mental health issues in CSC during the intervening five year period. The Strategy was revised by the Senior Manager, Mental Health, Health Services, who authored the original Strategy. For consultation purposes the report was sent to a broad range of internal and external stakeholders and partners for input and feedback including wardens, deputy wardens, psychologists, women's inmate committees, the Office of the Correctional Investigator, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, and other women's organizations.

SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS SINCE THE 1997 STRATEGY

Since the publication of the original Strategy there have been a number of significant developments affecting federally incarcerated women, as follows:




  1. The closure of the Prison for Women in 2000 and the opening of four regional women's facilities and an Aboriginal healing lodge between 1995 to 1997.




  1. The implementation of the Intensive Intervention Strategy (IIS), aimed at better addressing the needs and risks of those women classified as maximum security and women with mental health problems. The IIS provides safe and secure accommodation for these two groups of women while emphasizing intensive staff intervention, programming, and treatment. The IIS is made up of two separate components, the Structured Living Environment and Intensive Intervention in a Secure Environment (Secure Unit).




  1. The evolution of existing mental health programs and services and the development of new mental health programs and services.




  1. An increase in resources for the provision of psychological services at the women's facilities.

In addition, a number of studies of CSC's incarcerated women were undertaken in an attempt to better define the mental health and maximum security populations who were targetted for the IIS. A summary of these reports can be found in Appendix A.


OVERVIEW OF WOMEN OFFENDERS IN CSC

The following provides a general overview of women offenders in CSC, including a brief description of the various accommodation resources available.


As of March 2002 there were 866 women under federal sentence, which is 4% of the federal incarcerated population. Since 1997, there has been an ongoing trend whereby there are more women offenders on conditional release in the community (57.5% or 498) than are incarcerated (42.5% or 368). These figures tend to be the opposite for men, who are from 58-64% incarcerated, with 36-42% in the community.
Whereas, the number of male inmates in federal institutions has undergone a

9% decline over the past five years, the women's population has increased by 12.3%. Half (51.6%) of the incarcerated women and 40% of the women in the community are in the 18 to 34 age group. Specific information on women's security classification offense categories, length of sentence, ethnicity, and the number of Community Residential Facility (CRF) beds available for women offenders in the community can be found in Appendix B.



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