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Law & Policy


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Handbook Of Correctional Mental Health edited by Charles L.Scott, Joan B. Gerbasi (American Psychiatric Publishing) The first practical, clinical guidebook on correctional mental health care that uses hypothetical case vignettes to illustrate important points, the Handbook of Correctional Mental Health is designed to assist mental health professionals in providing effective care to inmates and understanding both the unique living environment and stressors faced by inmates in a variety of correctional settings and the legal context in which they provide that care.

Each of 12 fascinating chapters written by 26 nationally recognized experts is clearly organized by overview, clinical case vignette, and key summary points, following the individual from arrest through probation. Each chapter combines basic background information for providers new to the world of corrections with more advanced material for seasoned correctional providers.

The indispensable Handbook of Correctional Mental Health also offers

*      A practical approach to medication management in corrections, educating providers on the unique risks of pharmacotherapy—risks they may not be aware of when practicing in this setting.

*      A comprehensive overview about how to detect malingering, especially valuable because of the increased prevalence of malingering in this setting and the ensuing special need for providers to receive education and training on this issue.

*      A much-needed chapter on incarcerated women, representing the most up-to-date, comprehensive resource on an issue of increasing importance today, with the female inmate population growing faster than that of male inmates.

*      An excellent legal overview regarding standards of care of providers who work in jails or prisons, particularly useful for individuals preparing for forensic psychiatry or psychology boards because it summarizes the most important forensic clinical issues and relevant legal cases. A unique and separate constitutional standard of care applies to mental health care providers in corrections-a standard that does not apply in the community.

Detailed discussions of unique populations, such as developmentally disabled inmates, and the opposite extremes of correctional settings, from the highest maximum-security prisons where individuals may be locked down 23 hours a day to supervised placement in the community.

Incorporating various viewpoints on potentially controversial issues (such as the prescription of benzodiazepines to incarcerated inmates) and including extensive legal and clinical references that reflect current trends in correctional psychiatry, the Handbook of Correctional Mental Health has a broad multidisciplinary scope that will appeal to psychiatric students, residents, and clinicians; law school students and practicing attorneys; mental health court judges; and social workers, nurses, officers, and administrators who work in correctional settings.


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