Corrections Department considers options for inmates’ mental health care

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Vermont Corrections Commissioner Steve Gold says his department is making progress in reorganizing the way mental health services are provided to inmates. The options include providing mental health services through the corrections or health departments, or to contract out the services to a private company or community mental health center.

Gold told a legislative committee this week that his department will do another inmate survey and hold two public hearings on the issue in December. A survey of inmates in April revealed 31 percent had problems severe enough to be placed on the department’s mental health roster.

And an investigation into recent prison deaths concluded that the department needs to do better job of monitoring the quality of its care.

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