Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 23, 2013

Big Muddy report prompts recommendations

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The report states the mental health treatment at BMRCC is considered “inadequate.”

“Mental health treatment at Big Muddy is inadequate, as the sex offender treatment programs are chronically understaffed and there is a backlog for Telepsych treatment. ... Relatively few criminally convicted sex offenders receive treatment while incarcerated, though arguably such treatment would result in greater public safety benefits than treatment for civilly committed inmates who are less likely to be released.”

The report states that in March, there were 974 sex offender inmates at BMRCC, with 173 SDPs housed in a unit with a capacity to house 224; and 94 inmates participating in the voluntary sex offender program, with four on a waiting list.

“Administrators reported that they have struggled to keep the sex offender treatment program staffed,” the report states. “Treatment staff stated that by comparison, Rushville Treatment and Detention Center, which is operated by the Illinois Department of Human Services and houses sexually violent persons, has 30 clinical care staff compared to three at Big Muddy.”

The civilly committed SDPs are kept separate from the voluntary sex offender program, but share staff and programming.

“Inmates reported that the program is understaffed with only one staff member for 94 active participants, and the majority of the groups are peer-facilitated. Inmates reported that there is also a stigma to participating. JHA has some concern that there is a disincentive for participating in treatment where inmates may avoid disclosing information necessary for their treatment due to fear that such disclosure may result in later civil commitment.”

The understaffing is also means the program is counterproductive, the report states.

“Although many inmates commented ont he dedication and hard work of the staff, with only two treatment staff members for 173 inmates, some inmates reported that their treatment is being compromised because at times staff are unable to remember who they are and who said what. This is an obvious problem.”

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