The Bridge Program is a jail diversion program designed to divert clients with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system and into community-based treatment and services.
Additionally, NRVCS will provide services to local and regional jail facilities. Per contractual agreements with the jails, the following procedures allow for the provision of non-emergency mental health and substance use treatment services to inmates in Montgomery County and New River Valley Regional Jail (NRVRJ).
JAIL PROCEDURES 1. Jail clinician will triage requests for inmates to be seen. Requests may come from the jail staff, NRVCS agency staff, or directly from the inmate. Concerned family members or friends of an inmate may also contact jail or agency staff to request that an inmate be seen. Requests from jail staff will be prioritized, especially requests from the jail medical staff.
2. At NRVRJ clinical staff shall be certified as Pre-screeners within 180 days of hire and be licensed as LPC, LCSW, or licensed eligible.
3. Jail clinician will complete a brief intake screening to determine the need for further treatment, i.e. psychiatric hospitalization or on-going counseling. Jail clinician will make the appropriate referral, as needed, for further treatment. Clinician will alert psychiatric staff should a client need to be evaluated for medication.
4. If assessment for a psychiatric crisis, including possible hospitalization, is needed on an emergency basis for an inmate, the jail clinician will request that emergency services staff come to the jail to evaluate the individual.
5. Clinicians will make every effort to work with jail personnel to have an appropriate work space in which to interview and provide treatment for the inmate(s) and will make every effort necessary to ensure the safety especially when interviewing potentially dangerous inmates.
6. Agency staff who are providing services in the jail should immediately alert jail personnel to any concerns they have about the safety of the space provided.
7. On-going consultation/treatment in the jails will be documented in an abbreviated chart format. Charts will be entered in the electronic health record and will include:
a. Individual admission information
b. Progress Notes
c. Individual Discharge Form
8. Ongoing services in the jails may include individual counseling, psycho-educational groups, and/or psychiatric services.
BRIDGE Program Expectations • Each client, upon completion of their intake assessment, will work with staff to develop an individualized treatment plan based upon their needs. However, each client will be expected to complete any services that are recommended to them in that treatment plan, typically involving a combination of group counseling, individual counseling, case management, and/or peer support services.
• Clients are expected to contact staff on a weekly basis.
• Clients are expected to complete a release of information for the referral source.
Eligibility Criteria • Eligible individuals must have some degree of legal involvement, and be referred to the program as a condition of bond, probation, or court sentencing.
• Eligible individuals must exhibit behaviors consistent with a mental health disorder and must meet diagnostic criteria upon staff evaluation.
• Eligible individual must not possess any charges related to sexual offenses or seriously violent crimes (individual cases may be taken into consideration).
• Eligible individuals must live within the New River Valley.
• Eligible individuals must be motivated for change and voluntarily agree to participate in the program.
Referral Process Potential clients for referral may be identified through local area jails, commonwealth attorneys, defense attorneys, magistrates, judges, or probation officers.
At time of identification, referral sources can contact Bridge staff (540-961-8380) to schedule a time for an initial eligibility screening (PER) to be completed with the client.
Phone screenings are also available to clients who are present with the referral source at the time that the referral is made.
If found to be eligible, the referral source will be notified via preferred communication method (fax, E-mail, letter, phone).
After the referral source is notified of eligibility, paperwork mandating the client to services must be sent to Bridge staff. This paperwork can be sent accordingly:
From Probation – Glenn Mathews (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
All Other Sources – Joy Badalis (Fax: 540-759-7914)
Upon receipt of this paperwork, the client will be contacted to schedule a clinical intake. After the completion of this appointment, the referral source will be sent monthly compliance reports detailing the client’s level of engagement and/or any factors that may be impacting their successful completion of treatment.
Compliance Notification • Clients are required to respond to Bridge Staff upon outreach for services within 5 business days. Failure to do so will result in notification to referral sources of noncompliance.
• Failure to comply with the treatment plan (unexcused absences, excessive cancellations, lack of communication, failure to follow through, etc.) will be reported to the referral source within 3 business days.
• Any positive drug screens will be reported to the referral source within 24 hours.
DISCHARGE AND TRANSITION If the individual drops out of service prior to completing treatment goals, the clinician/case manager will attempt to make contact to determine the cause, and to provide referral information as needed. If the individual is not making progress or is not cooperating with services, consideration may be given to terminating the service. If action is taken to terminate services, every effort will be made to involve the individual, family member (if appropriate), other treating providers, and referral source (if appropriate).
Again, referral information will be provided to the individual prior to the discharge if warranted. Any individual receiving psychiatric care and medication at the time of discharge will be notified by medical services of the importance of medical oversight, and provided information about their options, including less restrictive services such as medication maintenance.
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