dcsimg

Career Story: Director Of Psychological Services At A Prison

Director Of Psychological Services At A Prison

Job Title: Director Of Psychological Services

Type of Company: I work for the sheriff's department in the house of corrections and with pre-trial detainees.

Education: MA, Clinical Psychology

Previous Experience: I took many volunteer jobs working with the blind and children with head injuries. I worked with the elderly. My first job after graduating from college was on a crisis team. This provided me with endless amounts of experience and I was able to continue this job until I completed my masters.

Job Tasks: I am the Director of Psychological Services at a correctional institution. This job has many variables. All inmates are seen at intake by a qualified clinician. Using the evaluation he draws up we are able to assess the psychological, substance abuse and classification status of an inmate and determine where and how to house him. All inmates who arrive on psychotropic medications have their medications reviewed and approved by their psychiatrists (with release of information) and then see our own psychiatrist for continuation and consistent care. Inmates who test positive for drug or alcohol abuse or dependence may be recommended for a medical detoxification and/or programs and education. If inmates are thought to have symptoms of mental illness, they will be sent for further assessment and observed for several days to determine their needs.

Psychological Services also assesses detainees for suicidal thoughts or intent. The clinician helps determine the need for services and intervention for the inmate. Interventions can vary in scope, from recommendations for a medication evaluation to suicide restrictions and observation with crisis counseling to acute psychiatric hospitalization in a secure institution.

We also work with the correctional staff, training them to do suicide assessments, cope with mental illness and perform critical incident counseling. We also help determine when someone is acting out due to mental illness.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of this job is that corrections is a secure environment with a fast pace and many different personality and mental health issues.

The worst part of this job can be observing the sad lives of the inmates and seeing the devastating effects that drugs and alcohol and mental health can have on someone's life. It is also sad to see the limited number of resources available to people like this when we try to integrate them back into the community.

Job Tips:
1. You should really visit a correctional facility see if this is the kind of environment you could work in, with the slamming doors, keys and security staff.

2. You need to be licensed and have your Masters degree. Education is very important.

3. You need to be an independent worker and have confidence in your clinical abilities . And it helps to find a good supervisor that you can confide in and whose advice you respect.

Popular Schools offering Psychology Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology

  • Programs: Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology, M.A. Psychology, Online Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master, Bachelor

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology, Graduate Certificate of Completion in GeroPsychology, M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Geropsychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.

  • Programs: MA in Psychology, General Psychology, MA in Psychology, Health and Wellness Psychology , Doctor of Psychology, Sports and Performance Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate
Argosy University
Alameda, Ontario, Orange, Phoenix, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Psychology (BA), Psychology (BA) (Online), Clinical Psychology (PsyD), more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Doctorate, Master

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Associate of Arts in Applied Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology, Bachelor of Arts in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: AA in Psychology, Bachelor of Science: Psychology: Criminal Psychology, Bachelor of Science: Psychology: Life Coaching, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor

Concordia University, Nebraska offers accredited Master of Education and Master of Science degree programs online to help advance your career and become a transformative leader.

  • Programs: Master of Human Services - Community Health, Master of Public Health - Community Health Education
  • Degrees: Master
Intercoast Colleges
Anaheim, Fairfield, Rancho Cordova, Riverside, West Covina

Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

  • Programs: Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
  • Degrees: Certificate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Psychologists

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Psychologists, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104