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For Immediate Release

March 22, 2010

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

The Department of Corrections Encouraged by Results of Review of Mental Health Treatment in its Facilities

(Concord, NH) A new on-site review of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections Secure Psychiatric Unit – Residential Treatment Unit (SPU-RTU) in Concord by Dr. Jeffrey Metzner, MD, shows the DOC to be in full or partial compliance in all key review areas. Areas that are in partial compliance could be in full compliance by the end of 2010.

Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn said, “This reaffirms the Department’s commitment to provide appropriate and quality mental health care to the offender population.”

Areas where the Department was in full compliance included group therapy opportunities for inmates with mental health concerns, staffing levels in the SPU, patient data management, monitoring of mentally ill inmates, program opportunities for the more restricted population, and suicide precautionary watches.

Areas in partial compliance include the medication distribution protocol, further development of formal treatment plans, and the renovations of the SPU-RTU complex.

Commissioner Wrenn pointed out, “Treatment plans should be fully implemented for all offenders by the fall. The second part of the SPU renovation will begin this year. We regularly review and develop medication distribution policies and those continue to evolve.”

Dr. Metzner is a renowned expert in the area of mental health treatment and care with a practice based in Denver, Colorado. His observations came as a result of an on-site visit and assessment conducted in early February 2010 as part of the Holliday court order on mental health treatment issued in 2007.

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