Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Rules & Regulations

Residential Mental Health Treatment Units (Part 320 of 7 NYCRR)

Date filed with the Department of State (DOS): 05/26/2011

DOS #: CCS-24-11-00004

Date adopted: 09/14/2011

Description: To define models of residential mental health treatment units operated by the Department and Office of Mental Health.

TEXT OF RULE

The Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is creating a new Part 320 in 7 NYCRR as follows:

Chapter VI. Special Housing Units        � 320

PART 320

RESIDENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT UNITS

(Statutory authority: Correction Law, �� 2, 112, 137, 401)

Section 320.1     Purpose

This Part defines the models of residential mental health treatment units operated jointly by the department and the office of mental health.

Section 320.2     Residential mental health unit model

A residential mental health unit (RMHU) is a program that includes a separate housing location within a correctional facility designed to address the corrections-based therapeutic treatment of inmates currently diagnosed with a serious mental illness who, due to their behavior, would otherwise be serving a confinement sanction in a special housing unit (SHU) or separate keeplock housing unit. These inmates often present with a complex interplay of antisocial behaviors and psychological factors. The unit is designed to meet the therapeutic needs of the inmates, while maintaining appropriate safety and security on the unit. Although an RMHU is not operated as a disciplinary housing unit, in light of the security concerns associated with the behaviors that resulted in their confinement and other sanctions, inmates on the unit are subject to limitations on the quantity and type of property they are permitted to have in their cells and are afforded access to programs that are more restrictive than those afforded general population inmates, in order to maintain security and order on the unit. After a brief orientation period and absent exceptional circumstances, in addition to exercise, inmates are offered four hours of structured out-of-cell therapeutic programming and/or mental health treatment on a daily basis, except on weekends and holidays.

Section 320.3 Behavioral health unit model

A behavioral health unit (BHU) is a program that includes a separate housing location within a correctional facility designed to address the corrections-based therapeutic treatment of inmates currently diagnosed with a serious mental illness who, due to their behavior, would otherwise be serving a confinement sanction in a SHU or separate keeplock housing unit. These inmates have displayed a marked inability to conform their behavior to societal and/or institutional standards of conduct. They present with a complex interplay of antisocial behaviors and psychological factors that have resulted in their not having benefited from habilitation efforts in the community or rehabilitation efforts during a series of institutional placements. The unit is designed to meet the therapeutic needs of these inmates, while maintaining adequate safety and security on the unit. Although a BHU is not operated as a disciplinary housing unit, in light of the security concerns associated with the behaviors that resulted in their confinement and other sanctions, inmates on the unit are subject to limitations on the quantity and type of property they are permitted to have in their cells and are afforded access to programs that are more restrictive than those afforded general population inmates, in order to maintain security and order on the unit. After a brief orientation period and absent exceptional circumstances, in addition to exercise, inmates housed in a BHU are offered four hours of structured out-of-cell therapeutic programming and/or mental health treatment on a daily basis, excluding weekends and holidays; provided, however, the Department may maintain housing for 38 BHU inmates who are offered two hours rather than four hours of structured out-of-cell therapeutic programming and/or mental health treatment. The therapeutic behavioral unit (TBU) is the functional equivalent of the BHU for female inmates.

Section 320.4 Intermediate care program model

The intermediate care program (ICP) is a program that includes a separate housing location within a correctional facility designed to address the corrections-based therapeutic treatment of inmates currently diagnosed with what is, generally, a serious mental illness. The ICP is a therapeutic community which provides rehabilitative services to inmates who are unable to function in general population because of their mental illness. The goal of the program is to improve the inmates' ability to function through programming and treatment so that they may return to general population. In addition to inmates with a mental illness who cannot function in a general population setting, inmates with a mental illness who have a relatively short amount of confinement time to serve may be considered for keeplock in an ICP during non-program hours. After a brief orientation period and absent exceptional circumstances, in addition to exercise, inmates are offered at least four hours of structured out-of-cell therapeutic programming and/or mental health treatment on a daily basis, except on weekends and holidays. Selected ICP inmates are permitted to temporarily leave the unit to receive therapeutic and other programming in a general population setting. An ICP is not operated as a disciplinary housing unit.

Section 320.5 Intensive Intermediate care program model

The intensive intermediate care program (IICP) is a program that includes a separate housing location within a correctional facility designed to address:
(a) the corrections-based therapeutic treatment of inmates currently diagnosed with a serious mental illness who, due to their behavior, would otherwise be serving primarily long-term keeplock; and
(b) the corrections-based therapeutic treatment of other inmates who require alternate placement from an ICP due to a less than satisfactory custodial adjustment.

The unit seeks to address the therapeutic needs of the inmates, while maintaining adequate safety and security on the unit. Although an IICP is not operated as a disciplinary housing unit, in light of the security concerns associated with the behaviors that resulted in their confinement and other sanctions, inmates on the unit are subject to limitations on the quantity and type of property they are permitted to have in their cells and are afforded access to programs that are more restrictive than those afforded general population, in order to maintain security and order on the unit. After a brief orientation period and absent exceptional circumstances, in addition to exercise, inmates are offered at least four hours of structured out-of-cell therapeutic programming and/or mental health treatment on a daily basis, except on weekends and holidays. Programming is similar to an ICP, with additional therapeutic programs centering on increasing behavioral control and future adjustment to the correctional environment.

Changes in the proposed text are indicated by underlining new text and [bracketing] text to be deleted. Rules that are new are presented as regular text without underlining or brackets. New and/or repealed rules are noted in the description heading at the top of the document.

The complete listing of New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR) is available online through the NYS Department of State website.