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Department of Corrections - Jess Dunn Correctional Center

Location: Taft, Oklahoma
Mailing address: P.O. Box 316, Taft, OK 74463-0316
Funding: $5,000 secondary, not available as primary
Time on site: 12 hrs. secondary
Contact person/Primary on-site supervisor(s): Ada Powell, Ph.D.;
One additional psychologist (currently vacant)

Jess Dunn Correctional Center (JDCC) is located in Taft, Oklahoma, approximately 10 miles west of Muskogee and 45 minutes southeast of Tulsa. JDCC was constructed in 1932 as the Taft State Hospital. The facility was used for many purposes, including a tuberculosis sanitarium and a juvenile home before being opened as the stateís largest minimum-security prison in 1980.

The facility covers approximately 1100 acres, which includes a farm operation. The facility is enclosed with a 12-foot fence with a 30-inch razor wire atop. Video surveillance of facility operations is monitored within Central Control. In 2000, a 43-bed segregated housing unit was constructed, including a camera-monitored observation cell.

In December 2000, Jess Dunn and Eddie Warrior Correctional Centers merged as the Taft Unit. Several positions are shared between facilities. The Warden, business manager, human resources specialist, wardenís assistant, training officer, and postal supervisor perform duties for both facilities. Mental Health coverage is provided by a team of 3 psychologists, 1 psychiatrist (available 1 day per week at each site) and 2 part-time NOPIP interns.

JDCCís work programs include agri-services, greenhouses, facility services and maintenance. Educational services include basic education, college courses, and vocational technology programs. A variety of religious services, recreational programs, and art/crafts are offered.

The inmate population at JDCC is approximately 55% Caucasian, 30% African-American, 8% Native American, 6% Hispanic, and 1% Other. Inmates range in age from 18 to over 65, with the average age of 38. Approximately 42% are incarcerated for violent offenses. 26% of the inmates at JDCC are incarcerated for sex-related offences. 44% of the inmates at JDCC have a history of mental health issues, with 17% of those inmates having significant current concerns.

The population of JDCC is varied in terms of mental health needs, with the majority presenting with co-occurring disorders. The mission of JDCCís mental health services is to provide illness management and recovery services, in coordination with inter and intra-system partners, to reduce or stabilize symptoms of mental illness and adjustment concerns. Mental health staff provides crisis intervention services, service needs assessments, risk assessments, psychological evaluations, individual counseling, medication management, segregation reviews, and psychoeducational/symptom-based groups to manage adjustment concerns of mentally ill inmates. The primary mode of service delivery for chronic mental illness management concerns is through groups, with group assignment based on stage of recovery. Mental health staff are also involved in consultation and staff training services, promoting application of mental health care fundamentals into management of facility operations.

You may wish to visit SAMSHAís website http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/communitysupport/toolkits/illness/ and http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/cmhs/communitysupport/toolkits/cooccurring/ or the GAINS Center website http://www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/pdfs/ebp/Papers/IllnessManagement.pdf and http://www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/pdfs/ebp/IllnessManagement.pdf for a description of the service delivery and treatment model utilized at JDCC.

JDCC is currently involved in a pilot project within OK-DOC in which inmate- consumers who are in recovery from mental illness are trained in skills to serve as Recovery Support Specialists within the facility. This project seeks to determine the efficacy of the application of this evidence-based model, which has a proven record of efficacy in the community, within a correctional environment. The project supports NOPIPís efforts to apply evidence-based research to practice. Opportunities for evaluation of the pilot projectís application and outcomes will be available for the NOPIP intern working at JDCC. See the Peer to Peer Resource Centerís website (http://www.peersupport.org) for a description of Recovery Support Specialist services The tasks of the Recovery Support Specialist are to assist other inmates with mental illness to develop and remain focused self-directed Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP) (http://www.mentalhealthrecovery.com) while providing a point of hope and encouragement that recovery from mental illness is possible within the correctional setting.

The intern duties at JDCC will include provision of group services, crisis interventions, service needs assessment (including psychosocial history), segregation reviews, risk assessments, staff consultations, and individual services. The intern will also have opportunity to lead psychoeducational treatment and/or symptom-based groups depending on expertise and interest. In addition, opportunities for staff training (i.e. stress management, suicide prevention, smoking cessation, mental health, etc.), program evaluations, and participation in facility work committees and suicide intervention teams are available.

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