Thank you for considering Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (WHS) in your pursuit to achieve experience and training working with a diverse and underserved population in a correctional setting. WHS is a for-profit corporation that has a long-term contract to provide the mental health, medical, dental, and pharmacy services for all 30 Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) prisons, providing services to 28,000 individuals in custody. Services are provided in accordance with American Correctional Association (ACA) and National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) standards, as well as in accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement set forth by the Federal Court in the 2016 Rasho et al. vs IDOC agreement to provide quality mental health care. Mental health policies and procedures were updated with a focus on suicide prevention and mental health treatment for seriously mentally ill residents. Continuous quality improvement and audits ensure high quantity and quality of mental health care in IDOC. WHS proudly operates a diverse mental health training program for interns in clinical psychology. Continuous education, training, self-care, and safety are emphasized for all staff and trainees. WHS mental health department focuses on the physical, emotional, and social well-being of individuals in custody and staff.
The mental health program offers a range of services, including: Comprehensive mental health evaluations, treatment planning, individual and group therapy, re-entry planning, referrals for hospitalization, psychiatric care, multidisciplinary coordination of care, and linkage referrals for aftercare. Evidence-based techniques are utilized including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and mindfulness-based approaches.
The JTC serves both male and transgender individuals in custody ages 18 and older who are convicted of felony offenses and sentenced to a determined amount of time in a state prison, with most individuals in custody serving between a five to ten-year sentence. There is opportunity to work with a wide range of ages, including youthful offenders and geriatric offenders. Individuals in custody present with a broad range of psychopathology. Individuals in custody receiving mental health treatment are most commonly diagnosed with substance abuse disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders including PTSD, and characterological issues with Antisocial-Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder being prevalent. Individuals in custody are predominantly persons of color from low socioeconomic backgrounds. There is diversity in terms of religion, culture, sexual orientation, and gender identity, offering a wide range of experience for interns.
The WHS internship in clinical psychology at the Joliet Treatment Center (JTC) within IDOC emphasizes assessment, treatment planning, and crisis intervention, while evaluating for suicide risk and secondary gain, as well as therapeutic intervention. Graduates of the internship program will be well prepared to work independently in correctional, forensic, community mental health, psychiatric hospital, private practice, and trauma-focused employment. A focus of the program is to create a safe environment of learning and growth in a challenging environment. We require open discussion, processing, and consultation of challenging cases and experiences that interns face as they grow into their roles as autonomous practitioners. Our training philosophy emphasizes collaboration and development of skills within a multidisciplinary team. Interns collaborate regularly with psychiatric providers, clinical counselors, field services staff, medical staff, and custody staff.