Survey of Case Law Establishing Constitutional Minima for the Provision of Mental Health Services to Psychiatrically Impaired Inmates
Professor Connie Mayer
Albany Law School
New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 243, 1989
Prison systems are required to offer inmates mental health services that include, at a minimum, an adequate screening and classification system and are required to maintain accurate records to promote continuity in treatment. Adequate psychological treatment is largely determined by the number and type of staff and appears to require at least sufficient procedures to address emergency needs and some access to a psychiatrist. Beyond this, courts vary widely as to what else, if anything, is required to achieve constitutional minima.
The quality and quantity of services that correctional policy-makers choose to provide inmates over and above the “floor” continues to be open for debate. This article is a summary of the cases that create the starting point for that debate.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Date posted: June 10, 2010