University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Explosive growth in the population of seriously mentally ill inmates in prisons has created new demands for mental health services. Increased public expenditures for such services require increased accountability. This article identifies essential elements of an adequate system of mental health care in a correctional environment. It describes the common areas of vulnerability when the adequacy of correctional mental health services is challenged in court. It proffers several arguments in favor of a proactive program of monitoring the adequacy of mental health services in correctional facilities. Finally, the paper suggests specific areas and methods for monitoring both by internal quality assurance or quality improvement programs and by external bodies, including court-monitoring bodies.

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