Rikers Island Mental Health Services

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Last Update 3/3/17

Match Day Progress Updates:
Friday 3/3/17) -

AMKC Intake: 1 position open
AMKC PACE Assessment: 1 position open
GRVC PACE Acute Care Unit: Closed
GRVC PACE 730 Unit: Filled/Closed
GRVC RHU: 1 position open
RMSC CAPS/PACE: Filled/Closed
RMSC ITU: 1 position open
RMSC MO: 1 position open
RNDC MO: 2 positions open

Contact Information

Name of Externship: Rikers Island Mental Health Services/NYC Health + Hospitals Correctional Health Services (CHS)

Name of Director/Coordinator: Cindy Ho, Psy.D.

Street Address:

Not Available
Email Only

Telephone: 347-774-7778

Email: Cindy Ho, Psy.D.

General Information

Start Date: First Tuesday after Labor Day - 9/5/2017

End Date: Last Friday in August - 8/31/2018

Appropriate for:

Clinical & Counseling

Scheduling (e.g., required/optional days of week, # hrs per day, total hours per week, flexibility in scheduling):

Minimum 16 hours/week

Required level of readiness (any prior experiences or level of training required for applicants):

Priority is given to applicants from APA-accredited programs in clinical psychology. However, applications from school, counseling and combined clinical programs may be considered as well. Prior to beginning the externship, all applicants must have completed two years of graduate training, including theory courses and previous practica in both psychological testing and psychotherapy. Further, applicants must be students in good standing within their respective graduate psychology programs, as demonstrated by a letter from their respective academic training directors attesting to such.

Preferred level of readiness(any prior experiences preferred for applicants):

Students with at least 2 years of graduate training and previous practicum placements.

Is there a stipend for externs?

No

Application Process

Do you permit applications before January 17th, 2017?

No

When is the notification dates?

Monday, February 27th, 2017, at 9am. Offers will be made between 9am and 5pm by email only.

What materials need to be submitted?

  • Cover letter - To indicate the specific track(s) you are applying to, detail your clinical interests/experiences, goals for the externship year, and mutual fit between your goals/interests/experience and offerings of the training program
    Please limit to 2 tracks per applicant.
  • Updated cirriculum vitae
  • Graduate transcript (unofficial transcript is acceptable)
  • 3 Letters of recommendation - At least one of which must be from an individual clinical supervisor closely familiar with your clinical skills, level of maturity, and personal qualities
  • 1 Writing sample - Case conceptualization with identifying information redacted, except for AMKC PACE Assessment Track, please submit an integrated assessment report

How should it be submitted?

The above application materials must be sent in one email to the Coordinating Manager, Ms. Edna Lopez (Edna.Lopez@nychhc.org) and cc Director of Student Training, Dr. Cindy Ho (hoh7@nychhc.org.) Please entitle the email "2016-2017 Externship Application for XXX Track - Ms. Jane Doe/Mr. John Doe from XYZ University Clinical Ph.D. Program."

Any details of the application process (e.g., interviewing, time frame, how decisions are made):

Not specified.

Description of Externship

The New York City jail system is the second largest in the nation, with approximately 10,000 individuals aged 16 years and older incarcerated at any given time in 12 facilities (9 facilities on Rikers Island and 3 borough jails). Approximately 25% of admissions will receive mental health services through the Division of Correctional Health Services (CHS) of the New York City Health + Hospitals. The psychiatric service strives to provide safe, holistic and evidence-based therapeutic interventions for the diverse range of mental health issues that face the population, from serious mental illness to the natural struggles that accompany incarceration. The service provides some of the most comprehensive and unique treatment modalities in the country, including specialty housing units for individuals with serious mental illness, a 24-hour on-call psychiatric service, robust creative arts programming, a strong DBT training program, clinics in each of the facilities, substance use treatment, integrated re-entry services, and relationships with multiple training institutions throughout the city.

The psychology externship program with CHS/New York City Health and Hospitals offers different tracks that provide opportunities to work on specialized units that serve male and female patients who present with a vast range of psychopathology and who are at different stages of justice involvement. The psychologists who provide weekly supervision to the externs serve as Clinical Supervisors in all of the specialty units. In addition to individual supervision, didactics will be offered weekly by facility. Other training activities include weekly Journal Club, where a research article relevant to correctional mental health is discussed, monthly Grand Rounds where outside speakers are invited to present on topics relevant to forensic and correctional psychology, and CIT training.

Most tracks (except for PACE Assessment) are primarily treatment-focused. However, psychological testing opportunities are available in all units under the supervision of the Director of Psychological Assessment.


Tracks of Externship:

  • AMKC Intake Unit (Adult Males)- AMKC is an intake unit services inmates who are new arrivals at Riker’s Island. AMKC is a 24/7 facility with MH and medical available around the clock. AMKC also provides Methadone treatment to those individuals who are detoxing. AMKC serves as a gateway at the island exposing externs to every diagnosis and condition. The setting at AMKC GP is similar to that of a CPEP/ER. Extern in this track will learn to conduct accurate assessment of patient's current level of functioning, ability to function in GP versus MO, as well as suicide risk assessment.
  • AMKC PACE (Program for Accelerated Clinical Effectiveness) Assessment Unit (Adult Males) is a 18-bed unit located in AMKC specifically for patients who are in need of psychological assessment. The purpose of the PACE program is to provide a robust, evidence-based therapeutic environment by offering a continuum of care to meet the diverse clinical needs of specific groups of mentally ill patients in the New York City jail system. Through the provision of intensive assessment and treatment in a tailored therapeutic milieu, the PACE unit is designed to encourage adherence to treatment and jail rules for patients who struggle to function adequately while incarcerated due to chronic mental illness, risk of acute psychiatric decompensation, and/or behavioral disruption. This specific PACE unit focuses on individualized and comprehensive mental health assessment in order to optimize treatment. Psychological testing includes personality, intellectual functioning, neurocognitive, and functional abilities. A team-based approach, that includes DOC and MH, is utilized in order to provide the best care for the patients. Interns/Externs placed at this unit are required to have psychological assessment experience and can expect to master their testing skills including tailoring assessment batteries, conducting clinical observations, analyzing assessment results, writing reports, and providing feedback to the patient and team.
  • GRVC RHU (Restrictive Housing Unit) (Adult Males) is a 35-bed punitive segregation unit for patients who have recently committed an infraction with a history of suicidal and/or self-injurious behaviors. RHU practices Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and uses this treatment modality to teach patients more effective coping skills. RHU employs a level incentive system, with level three being the highest level, that corresponds to time outside of cell for daily skills-training groups, weekly individual psychotherapy sessions, milieu skills-coaching, and art therapy. The weekly DBT consultation team meeting aims to support team members and ensures fidelity to DBT principles. The weekly joint Level's Meeting with DOC and MH provides an opportunity to support consistency within the staff on the unit and group coherence. Externs placed at this unit are required to have formal training in DBT or/and prior experiences with DBT and can expect to learn application of DBT in short-term individual treatment modality, to conduct DBT skill-training groups, to develop individual behavioral treatment plans for challenging patients and assess treatment progress, be an active participant in the weekly DBT consultation team meeting as well as the weekly Level's Meeting with DOC.
  • GRVC PACE (Program for Accelerated Clinical Effectiveness) 730 (Adult Males) is a 25-bed unit for patients returning from State hospital who are pre-identified as high risk for psychiatric decompensation. Often these particular patients have a history of treatment noncompliance and multiple admissions to either Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center or Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center for fitness restoration. On PACE 730, doctoral-level students have the opportunity to carry a caseload of individual therapy patients and run fitness restoration, CBT for psychosis, Substance Recovery and Motivational Interviewing groups. Students also play an active role on the multidisciplinary treatment team which is made up of a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health Clinicians, Mental Health Treatment Aide Supervisors, Mental Health Treatment Aides, Creative Arts Therapist, Discharge Planning Social Worker, and Forensic Case Managers.
  • GRVC PACE (Program for Accelerated Clinical Effectiveness) Acute Care Unit (Adult Males) is a 25-bed unit for patients who are severely mentally ill and at risk for psychiatric decompensation. PACE ACU was developed in order to provide the most effective and clinically appropriate method of deterring individuals with mental illness from Bellevue Hospital and placing them in an intensive treatment setting. The therapeutic environment is housed with an interdisciplinary clinical team, which offers tailored treatment to each individual. All members of the team, including the patient, are active participants in the creation of each treatment plan. This unit utilizes the Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) curriculum for daily groups, weekly individual psychotherapy sessions, and art therapy groups. Externs placed at this unit can expect to learn how a structured token economy can assist in medication compliance, develop individual treatment plans, conduct individual therapy, conduct groups, learn to assess danger to self and others, as well as learn the steps to hospitalize a patient, and be an active participant in team meetings.
  • RMSC CAPS (Clinical Alternative to Punitive Segregation)/PACE (Adult Females) is an 18-bed treatment unit for the most acute and challenging female patients who have been served an infraction by the Department of Corrections (DOC). The program is designed to encourage adherence to mental health treatment and jail rules by those who have had difficulty doing so because of serious mental illness. Through the provision of intensive treatment in a tailored therapeutic milieu, the CAPS/PACE units are designed to encourage adherence to treatment and jail rules for patients who struggle to function adequately while incarcerated due to chronic mental illness, risk of acute psychiatric decompensation, and/or behavioral disruption. RMSC CAPS/PACE patients are afforded the same mental health programming, inclusive of the points structure, individual and group therapies, and crisis management responses. The program strives to maintain or restore a patient to her highest possible level of functioning via clinical interventions. The interdisciplinary CAPS/PACE team addresses the patients’ complex behaviors in a therapeutic milieu with a progressive treatment paradigm. The program strives to maintain or restore a patient to his/her highest possible level of functioning via clinical interventions. Major goals include building enhanced coping skills, improving communication, and promoting insight and competency in managing one’s mental illness and emotional/behavioral dysregulation. Continuity of care and a team-based approach in collaboration with DOC as appropriate is emphasized on these units. Externs placed at this unit would have training opportunities that include: conduct individual therapy sessions, conduct groups, development of treatment plans, development of behavioral treatment planning, and be an active participant in the weekly treatment team meetings. Additionally, depending on the development of the RHU programming, there would possibly be training opportunities for more formally trained DBT practitioners including short-term individual treatment modality, to conduct DBT skill-training groups, to develop individual behavioral treatment plans for challenging patients and assess treatment progress.
  • RMSC ITU (Intensive Treatment Unit) (Female 16+)is a mental health treatment unit that integrates psychodynamic, relational, cognitive-behavioral, and systems theories utilizing a trauma lens within a multicultural framework and tailors treatment to meet the individual mental health needs of our patients. Patients who are transferred to the ITU have gone through an interview process with the Clinical Supervisor and have agreed to engage in treatment while at RMSC. There is a referral process: patients can self-refer, patients can be referred by their clinician at the MH Clinic, and/or patients can be referred by another program or DOC. Patients are required to attend weekly DBT skills groups, art therapy, and individual sessions. Psychoeducation groups are offered on a rotating basis and are open to all patients. In addition to weekly individual supervision provided by the clinical supervisor, the clinical team meets weekly for consultation team meeting. Every two weeks the clinical team meets to review patient’s individual levels which are announced in a community meeting on the housing unit. Externs placed on this unit are expected to carry a small caseload of individual patients, develop individualized treatment plans and provide short-term psychotherapy, lead and co-lead psychoeducational groups, be an active participant in the weekly team meeting and the bi-monthly levels meeting, and consult with DOC as needed. Externs who have formal training in DBT and/or prior experiences with DBT can expect to learn the application of DBT skills groups, lead and co-lead DBT skills groups, and provide short-term individual DBT sessions. For externs interested in psychological testing and assessment, this may also be opportunities for such.
  • RMSC MOs (Mental Observation Unit) (Female 16+) are 90-bed (45 beds/unit) units that provide enhanced mental health services for patients with serious mental illness. Treatment includes daily clinical rounds and group therapy, art therapy 2-3 times per week, and weekly individual therapy. Patients who require suicide watch are housed on the MO units and seen twice a day to assess risk and need for suicide watch. A Level System is utilized to reinforce treatment compliance. Various treatment modalities are utilized, including, DBT, CBT for Psychosis, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and trauma informed treatment. The MO team engages in daily case conferences. The MO team works closely with the Elmhurst Hospital Prison Ward clinical team to refer patients for inpatient hospitalization when a higher level of care is indicated, as well as providing continuity of care when patients are discharged from the hospital to Rikers Island. Externs are an integral part of the MO team and are expected to have a caseload of individual patients, assist in crisis intervention, conduct group therapy, and complete psychological assessment for differential diagnosis.
  • RNDC MOs (Mental Observation Unit) (Adolescent Males) are 30-bed (15 beds/unit) units that provides enhanced mental health services for patients with serious mental illness and those who require added support to function adequately during incarceration and supports adolescent patients who require a higher level of care due to their significant mental health histories and/or current mental status. Externs at RNDC will primarily carry a caseload of adolescent male patients and have the opportunity to perform individual psychotherapy and co-lead adolescent DBT skills-training groups on these units. Students will develop a proficiency in conducting mental health intake assessments, psychosocial evaluations, diagnosing, and formulating patient specific treatment plans. Students will be part of an interdisciplinary treatment team and able to actively participate in clinical case conferences, DBT consultation team meetings and levels meetings. Students are encouraged to be creative and opportunities are available for externs to conduct additional therapy groups focusing on issues relevant to the adolescent population. Please note that students placed in RNDC are expected to be onsite from 2pm-10pm for at least two days due to youths being in school in the morning until 2pm. If students are approved for more than two placement days, the third day can be from 11am-7pm.

Populations commonly served:

  • Adolescents - Males 16 & 17
  • Females - 16+
  • Adults - Males 18+ with adjustment disorders, mood disorders, severe mental illness, & personality disorders
  • Ethnic Minorities
  • Substance Abuse
  • LGBTQ

Training models offered:

  • CBT
  • DBT
  • Psychodynamic
  • Illness Management and Recovery (IMR)

Intervention training experiences commonly offered:

  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Crisis Intervention

Expected number of cases seen at any one time:

Externs typically carry a caseload of 4 to 6 individual psychotherapy patients and have the opportunity to lead or co-lead 1 - 2 groups.

Assessment training experiences commonly offered:

  • Psychological Assessment - Externs placed in the Program for Accelerated Clinical Effectiveness (PACE) Assessment Unit will have the opportunity to conduct between 5-10 psychological assessments, interpret testing results and write integrated assessment reports. However, externs in other tracks will also have the opportunities to administer psychological testings under the supervision of Director of Psychological Assessment.
  • Mental Health Intake
  • Psychosocial/Comprehensive Treatment Plan (PS/CTP)
  • Suicide Risk Assessment
  • Homicide Risk Assessment

Expected number of full assessment batteries completed during externship (defined as administration of a battery of standardized tests):

Externs placed in the Program for Accelerated Clinical Effectiveness (PACE) Assessment Unit will have the opportunity to conduct between 5-10 psychological assessments, interpret testing results and write integrated assessment reports. However, externs in other tracks will also have the opportunities to administer psychological testings under the supervision of Director of Psychological Assessment.

Expected number of assessment reports completed during externship (defined as writing reports based on a battery of standardized tests:

Externs placed in the Program for Accelerated Clinical Effectiveness (PACE) Assessment Unit will have the opportunity to conduct between 5-10 psychological assessments, interpret testing results and write integrated assessment reports. However, externs in other tracks will also have the opportunities to administer psychological testings under the supervision of Director of Psychological Assessment.


Supervision:

Estimated hours/week of individual supervision:

1

Estimated hours/week of group supervision:

5

Estimated hours/week of didactics:

2 : Weekly Journal Club on Tuesdays at 1pm-2pm - Research articles relevant to correctional mental health are discussed
 : Monthly Grand Rounds - Speakers are invited to present on topics relevant to forensic and correctional psychology
Amichaelides 22:13, 7 Jan 2010 (EST)



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