SIFC Healthcare Subcommittee – February 2020

Statewide Inmate Council Family Council Healthcare Subcommittee – February, 07 2020

Influenza Vaccination Update (2019)

There was very similar vaccination rate as 2018, 52%. Addressing this and other vaccinations at scheduled health checks has been effective in improving compliance.

Mumps Outbreak Update

In November, 2019 LA County Jail had a mumps outbreak and shortly afterwards Fresno County Jail had one, thus over the last month (1-2020) incubating cases were transferred to California prisons. Six institutions had at least one case. That outbreak is now controlled.

Currently there is no optional or required prison immunization plan for mumps, but cases are quarantined. In the next few months a vaccination registry will be available electronically. When prisoners are transferred or initially processed, their vaccination status will be available.

Mental Health Program Update

1.Suicide prevention

Suicide is a significant problem in California prisons for inmates with mental illness classifications. Programs to support inmates at risk are active at each prison. Families are encouraged to contact prisons if they note any concerning behaviors in their loved ones. At some prisons inmates have their own programs to identify fellow inmates at risk. At San Quentin the My Brother’s Keeper program has been effective in preventing suicides. SIFC encourages Headquarters to support such programs.

2. Milestone Credits for EOP Patients

EOP patients are eligible to receive Milestone Credits; however, there can be logistic problems. Since inmates in EOP programs have a full schedule of required classes and are housed in specific locations, scheduling general milestone eligible classes is difficult.

3. Question was raised about mental health history having a negative impact at parole hearings. The representative of the Deputy Director of mental Health Services was unable to assure members that mental health treatment was confidential and not available to parole department. Follow up next time.

Health Staff and Patient Interactions

Customer satisfaction issues are a concern for health care workers in and out of prison.  To promote respectful behavior it was suggested that some positive recognition be available for health care professionals who are mindful of this need. Letter in the employee’s file or just general letter of acknowledgment was suggested.

Integrated Substance Use Dependency Treatment Program (ISUDTP)

Liz Gransee, Chief Health Care Communications, discussed the Department’s integrated drug treatment program. This program is available to inmates who meet the following criteria:

  1. On MAT (medically assisted treatment)
  2. Release from prison in 15-24 month
  3. High risk (have had an overdose, clinical symptoms of depression, have higher level of care)

It is hoped that 50% of the inmates meeting these criteria will be enrolled in the program

In late February Counselor retraining to include cognitive behavioral intervention will be initiated.  Those inmates who qualify will be housed in supportive units, 250 beds per institution. There are ambassador teams made up of nurses and correctional officers who will communicate specifications of the program to the population.

For those wanting more information about drug treatment Dr Corry Waller, a subsistence abuse physician hired as a consultant by the Department, has a talk on YouTube (Neuroscience 101)