Mental Health

Mental Health

There are only 5 full time psychiatrists and 3 psychologists for around 3000 mental health inmates. Most (legitimate) mental health inmates have Axis I disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Axis 1 Includes Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attack, etc. A large number of inmates suffer from Axis II disorders which include personality disorders, and intellectual disabilities. A lot of these disorders are undiagnosed due to a lack of funds and staff. These disorders are crucial in the dispense of justice.

There is yet another problem of inmates feigning psychological illness and getting away with it. The mental health professionals do not run psychometric testing and interview these inmates sufficiently due to the outlandish ratio of inmates to mental health staff. One good psychometric tool is the (Structured Interview of Reported System) (SIRS), and it could be used as a cost effective psychometric weeding tool to separate the fakers from the real inmates that need help, reducing cost in the long run.

I will use the resources we have at HCSO, train and educate existing and new staff as well as lobby with the Texas State Sheriffs Association for the Texas government to open up more mental health facilities for non-violent mental health inmates. I will also support and maintain the growth of the Diversion Program.