Description: This manual provides various types of forms, guidelines, and algorithms which may be used in the assessment and treatment of individuals with psychiatric illness who are incarcerated in correctional facilities.
Purpose: The authors identify their "hope that this book assists the reader in providing adequate health care in a manner that his rational and efficient," while noting it "is not meant to be the definitive work on the subject.
Audience: It is directed at mental healthcare professionals working in correctional environments and detention settings as they evaluate, assess, or treat individuals incarcerated for virtually any offense.
Features: The work is brief (only 200 pages) and consists of 10 chapters, each illustrating a different aspect of the documentation of healthcare of incarcerated individuals. Chapters contain case examples, tables and charts, and sample forms. Some forms have been completed, both correctly and incorrectly, with example information highlighting their use. Each chapter ends with a summary and key points, as well as current references. The forms also are included on a CD-ROM that comes with the book and can be downloaded and modified to accommodate specific facility or personal requirements.
Assessment: It is difficult to compare this work with any others as it is relatively unique for this specific patient population. Undoubtedly working in these clinical environments creates new and difficult challenges, not the least of which is documenting accurately and appropriately, and this manual provides templates and other useful tools for this purpose. Of particular value is the CD-ROM, which allows users to customize their own documents using the basic framework provided by the authors. Chapters are succinct, but dense, and give ample suggestions about some of the best ways to record data which will be useful to others for treatment. This is a very worthy effort and correctional facilities of all kinds would benefit from having this manual as a reference for their mental healthcare providers.