Forensicare provides a 24 hours a day, seven-days a week, specialist mental health service at the Melbourne Assessment Prison (MAP). A wide range of services are provided to meet the often complex needs of prisoners arriving at the prison, the reception prison for men in Victoria.
As part of a comprehensive reception program operating at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, Forensicare conducts a detailed mental health assessment of all prisoners received in to custody at the prison. Particular attention is given to prisoners who:
- have an identified history of mental illness or a demonstrated history of suicidal behaviour or intent in the past two years
- express suicidal ideation or recent self-harm behaviour
- are aged seventeen years of age or younger
- have attracted a significant amount of media attention
- have been imprisoned solely on charges which relate to domestic violence and/or are brought under theFamily Law Act or which relate to a breach of an intervention order.
Acute Assessment Unit
A 16-bed short stay assessment unit is provided for prisoners thought to be mentally ill and/or at risk. The multi-disciplinary staff in the unit provide psychiatric assessments and a range of short-term interventions and support. The assessments are used to determine future treatment and detention needs. Prisoner participation in the services provided within the Acute Assessment Unit is voluntary.
Referrals to the unit are made from the Reception Assessment Program and other male prisons in the state (both public and private), include –
- acutely disturbed/suicidal prisoners requiring close observation
- prisoners who are thought to suffer from a psychiatric illness and who need assessment and early treatment
- unconvicted persons remanded by courts for psychiatric assessment
- prisoners requiring psychiatric assessment for releasing authorities or future placement in the mental health or prison system
Forensicare provides a wide range of mental health outpatient services, generally for prisoners identified during the reception process as requiring outpatient assistance. These services ensure that ongoing review and monitoring is available at all times.
A psychiatric outpatient clinic, conducted by Forensicare nursing staff and supported by consultant psychiatrist and psychiatric registrar sessions, operates Monday – Friday and Saturday morning. In addition to referrals from the Reception Assessment Program, referrals are accepted from prison staff and the medical practitioner at the primary health outpatient clinic. Staff from Outpatient Services also participate in the case planning of prisoners with complex needs, follow up crisis calls from the previous evening and participate in debriefing exercises following serious incidents.
After Hours Crisis Intervention Service
Operating seven days a week, 24 hours a day, the After Hours Crisis Intervention Service is provided across the prison by Forensicare mental health nurses, supported by on-call Medical Officers and Consultant Psychiatrists. The service assesses prisoners and provides appropriate advice and support to assist prison staff manage difficult situations and behaviours thought to require further mental health interventions.
MAP is located at 317-353 Spencer Street, West Melbourne VIC 3003. For visitor information visit the Corrections, Prisons & Parole website.