General information about externship site:
Director of the Program: Eugenia Dubus, Ph.D.
Training director, (degree): Eugenia Dubus, Ph.D.
Length of externship (in months): 12
Start Date: 7/1/19
End Date: 6/31/20
How many hours a week are expected of extern?: 16 (two full days)
# of externs to be accepted for 2019-20: 2
Minimum level of readiness (any prior experiences or level of training required for applicants:
This externship is ideal for a third year student who will have had exposure to varying levels of psychopathology.
in diagnostic interviewing, assessment of personality and assessment of
cognitive functioning is required. Experience in the administration
and interpretation of psychological measures is preferred.
Do you provide a stipend? If so how much?: no
Description of the Program:
This site is comprised of two programs for individuals with a serious mental illness: 1) an alternative to incarceration/diversion program and 2) a criminal justice reentry program.
1) The alternative to incarceration program is designed to clinically assess defendants charged with felonies or misdemeanors for the presence of psychiatric and/or substance use disorders, refer eligible defendants to treatment in the community, monitor their progress, and communicate this progress to the Criminal Justice System. Our alternative to incarceration program works exclusively with individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness, with the goal of diverting these individuals away from the traditional correctional system. Instead, the focus is on individualized approaches to rehabilitation and risk management.
The TASC Mental Health team collaborates with the District Attorney's office, the defense bar, and the Treatment Courts to identify and evaluate individuals who may be appropriate for mental health diversion services. Using empirically-validated testing batteries, TASC Mental Health provides in-depth diagnostic evaluation of the defendant including diagnostic, cognitive, personality, malingering, and violence risk assessment, and identifies appropriate treatment resources that can meet the needs of the individual. Results of the assessments are communicated to the courts via forensic reports.
If a defendant is considered eligible for alternative to incarceration through TASC Mental Health and all parties in court agree to this disposition, he or she must take a conditional plea. By taking this plea the defendant agrees to have his or her sentence deferred until he or she has completed the goals of the treatment plan designed by TASC Mental Health, and has been compliant with the rules and regulations set forth by the courts. TASC Mental Health accepts a variety of referrals from the Supreme and Criminal Courts, including the Domestic Violence Court, the Special Victims Court, and the Specialized Treatment Courts. Defendants referred to TASC Mental Health diversion programs have been charged with a variety of violent and non-violent offenses. In addition, they present with a variety of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders, and range in age (16 and up) and cultural backgrounds.
2) The second program, CRAN, is a
criminal justice reentry program for individuals incarcerated at Rikers Island
who have completed their sentences and will be reentering the community. This
program provides assessments and transitional case management support for
seriously mentally ill individuals. Services include outreach to clients before
and after they are released from Rikers, as well as post-release case
management. Case management may include vocational training, assistance with
housing and benefits and
Provide description of Externship:
Psychology externs will be part of a clinical team of Masters-level forensic case managers, a licensed psychologist, and a psychiatrist. Externs will be mostly involved in diversion cases although could also be involved in re-entry cases with clients that are difficult to engage or require psychological testing.
Please note that this is primarily a forensic assessment externship. Doctoral externs will conduct forensic psychological evaluations for the courts with a special focus on violence risk assessment, present cases to the psychologists and psychiatrist during clinical meetings and supervision, and become involved in treatment planning. Once a defendant has been accepted for diversion, externs may be responsible for making referrals to treatment providers, monitoring the individual for progress and compliance, and providing the courts with regular updates on treatment progress. Trainees will be involved in communications with defense attorneys, prosecutors and treatment providers involved in their clients' cases. Most of the evaluations take place in the Supreme and Criminal Court building and in the program's office. Also occasionally, externs may conduct evaluations at other facilities where defendants are housed while being restored to competency.
Decisions about eligibility
for diversion are made based on a variety of factors, such as the presence of a
psychiatric disorder, substance abuse disorder, malingering, level of violence
and recidivism risk, competency to make decisions regarding treatment, and
motivation for treatment. Even though externs will not be conducting CPL 730
evaluations, many of the defendants referred to the CRAN/TASC Mental Health
Diversion Program are psychiatrically unstable at the time of the initial
assessment and an adjudicative competency evaluation may be warranted.
In addition to the clinical experience, CRAN/TASC Mental Health, along with other EAC Network's criminal justice diversion programs, has several ongoing research projects. Externs can become involved in research depending on trainees' particular interests and time availability.
Externs will work directly under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist, the Clinical Director, and will receive weekly face-to-face supervision. In addition, they will attend regular clinical meetings and case conferences.
Note: Although externs will be meeting regularly with defendants, these sessions are for the purpose of counseling and monitoring. This is primarily an assessment and not a therapy externship.
We interview each applicant individually. The interview will be conducted by the clinical director and program director.We may ask applicants to present a case or provide a case vignette of our own.
Intervention and Assessment:
Externs will be trained on how to assess for signs and symptoms that may render a defendant incompetent to proceed and how to communicate this information to the defense attorneys and the courts so that a CPL 730 can be ordered. Externs will learn how to use violence risk assessment instruments (e.g., HCR-20), how to incorporate the results of a risk assessment into a comprehensive report, and how to communicate risk levels to the courts. In addition, externs will be conducting testing for the purpose of diagnostic clarification and personality assessment, assessment of malingering, and assessment of cognitive impairments. Testing materials available include the PAI, MMPI-2-RF, SIRS-2, M-FAST, TOMM, TONI-4, R-BANS, WTAR, WAIS-IV and WASI. Externs will gain knowledge in the areas of public mental health and criminal justice systems. In addition, they will learn to conduct clinical interviewing, personality assessment, and psychosocial assessments, as well as to ulate, conceptualize and present cases, and make appropriate treatment recommendations based on the defendants' level of risk and severity of mental illness and substance abuse. Externs will also be trained in how to implement a Cognitive Behavioral intervention to target criminogenic thinking, which they will then utilize in their monitoring of their individual clients.
Expected number of full assessment batteries completed during externship (defined as administration of a battery of standardized tests): 2
Estimate # of integrated assessment reports per year: >10
If offering Rorschach, which scoring systems used: Exner
Estimate hours/week of individual supervision: 1
Estimated hours/week of group supervision: 1
Estimated hour/week of didactics: 1
Estimated co-therapy hours with supervisors: n/a
Context of didactics (seminars, Grand Rounds): case conferences, seminars
Estimated informal open door "curbside" supervision: as needed
Describe direct supervision:
Externs will meet with clinical director for 1 hr a week to go over their caseload and writing. The clinical supervisor will encourage externs to develop thier own clinical decision-making regarding evaluation and report writing. The supervisor will both be observed and observe the extern and provide direct feedback regarding the use of interviewing techniques and diagnostic assessments. One hour of group supervision with the whole team is also included. During group supervision, difficult cases are discussed and the team provides feedback to externs and other team members.
Externs will have access to the full support of the team, as well as fellow externs. In the event only one extern is accepted, monthly meetings with externs in other sites can be arranged.
Is the agency readily accessible through public transportation?: yes
Wheelchair accessible: yes
Are home visits required as part of the trainee's duties?: no
Is a transportation stipend provided?: no