MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS: TREATMENT APPROACHES AND CHALLENGES
The treatment of forensic populations, as with any clinical population, must be tailored to the individuals as well as to their mental illness. There are specific treatment protocols for particular mental illnesses. These treatment protocols need to be paired with individuals based on the unique traits of the individuals and augmented with particular treatment approaches. Forensic treatment practitioners are required to treat a wide variety of mental illnesses ranging from serious personality disorders and psychotic conditions to suicidal and parasuicidal behaviors. In order to treat mentally ill offenders effectively, the forensic treatment practitioner needs to have a thorough understanding of basic mental health disorders and treatments as well as a solid working knowledge of the forensic setting and system.
Additionally, treatment professionals must be well versed in the process of psychotherapy and other treatment approaches for the mentally ill. Many traditional counseling and therapy theories and approaches used with clinical clients are also appropriate for mentally ill offenders (e.g., empathy, unconditional positive regard, and genuineness). However, forensic settings are not conventional treatment settings and may require special considerations. Hence, there are many challenges forensic treatment practitioners face in the treatment of mentally ill offenders.
To prepare for this Assignment:
· Reflect on the type of clients with whom you might work with in the criminal justice system. Consider how their experience with mental illness may influence their experience with the criminal justice system.
· Conduct research in the Walden library on treatment approaches to mental illness in the types of clients with whom you might work.
· Select two challenges related to the treatment of mentally ill offenders in a forensic setting. Think about the steps you would take to overcome these challenges. Finally, consider what treatment approach(es) best addresses these challenges.
The Assignment (3–4 pages):
· Briefly, describe how mental illness may affect the types of clients with whom you might work. Identify the area of criminal justice and type of setting (e.g., prison, jail, community probation, etc.) where might work, including the type of services you might provide in that setting.
· Explain a treatment approach you believe would effectively address the mental health concerns with this client population and why you chose this approach. Be specific. Provide evidence to research to support your recommended approach.
· Explain at least two challenges related to the treatment of mentally ill offenders in a forensic setting.
· Then, explain the steps you would take to overcome these challenges.
· Explain any ethical or legal considerations you would need to consider when providing mental health treatment in a criminal justice setting.
· Explain any cultural or diversity related considerations you may to consider with providing mental health treatment in a criminal justice setting.