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For Immediate Release

November 28, 2005

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

NH DEPT OF CORRECTIONS INCREASES MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR FEMALE OFFENDERS

(Goffstown, NH) More gender specific programs aimed at mental health treatment are among the new initiatives provided to female offenders at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women in Goffstown.

Female offenders now have improved access to a Mental Health Program Coordinator who conducts intake assessments, group sessions, one-to-one counseling, and provides crisis intervention services.  Medication is prescribed via a medical doctor and/or a psychiatric nurse practitioner who visit the facility regularly.

Many of the female mental health issues stem from domestic violence and the trauma associated with it. NHDOC addresses these trauma needs by providing a safe environment for the offenders. Mental health services are provided by NHDOC staff, volunteers, including graduate level student interns from the University of New Hampshire, and through the Dartmouth Medical Contract administered through New Hampshire Hospital.

“By focusing resources to address the specific needs of female offenders, significant progress occurred in this area this year” Commissioner Stephen J. Curry said.

“Staff resources are maximized by providing medical, education, spiritual and mental health services for the female offender in coordination between the Goffstown secure facility and the Shea Farm Halfway House reduced custody level,” Commissioner Curry added.

Support group therapy programming now provided at the women’s prison includes Self Help-Alcoholics Anonymous, Sexual Offender Therapy, HIV education and workshops, and a bereavement group.

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