Correctional Psychology Practice Standards: Staffing Ratios to Be Based on Jail Population Size

The International Association for Forensic and Correctional Psychology (IAFCP) recently released standards that  proposed guidelines for staffing ratios for specific jail population and correctional settings sizes.

These guidelines recommend that prisons have at least one full-time qualified mental health care professional for every 150 to 160 adult inmates.

Correctional PsychologyIn juvenile facilities, the guidelines recommended a minimum ratio of one full-time mental health professional for every 60 to 75 juvenile offenders in the general facility’s population, and one full-time qualified mental health professional for every 20 to 25 juveniles in a special management unit.

In facilities that offer drug treatment or mental health care, the guidelines recommended that correctional facilities have an even higher ratio of staff to inmates. They suggest one full-time mental health care professional for every 50 to 75 inmates.

What does this mean for facilities who lack the suggested number of psychologists? Will they turn to telepsychology? Telepsychology is a proven effective, cost-saving strategy whereby licensed practitioners within most of the 50 United States and Canadian provinces can deliver legal and ethical services.

These are some of my thoughts. What are yours?

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