Behavioral health a key part of inmate rehabilitation

CONCORD — Nearly half of the individuals who are admitted to New Hampshire Department of Corrections facilities each year receive behavioral health treatment. The department offers an array of behavioral health group and treatment opportunities to the patients in its care and custody. Each Department of Corrections site has a dedicated set of behavioral health staff including licensed social workers, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors, licensed psychiatric providers and other clinical staff to support these patients and their individual needs.
Corrections Commissioner William L. Wrenn said, "The Department of Corrections has become one of the largest providers of mental health treatment in the state of New Hampshire, and we address this every day through some of the over 80 different programs and treatment offerings available."
There are specific groups that provide support for co-occurring disorders, criminal and addictive thinking, coping skills, understanding and dealing with feelings, managing anxiety, self-esteem, social skills, grief support and recreational therapy. There are many treatment modules that focus on life after release and reintegrating into society.
The Department of Corrections has also adapted evidence-based national programs such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Gender-specific treatment modules such as Men's Work, a national curriculum, focus specifically on male psychology and psychotherapy. Women's Adjustment and Support and Seeking Safety assists women in developing coping skills and managing issues related to trauma.
The department runs several specialized treatment units including a Wellness Unit at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin and the New Hampshire Correctional Facility for Women in Goffstown. This is a voluntary unit for men and women at these facilities to address their mental health needs.
The Focus Unit operates at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility, which is reserved for men who are engaging in substance use while incarcerated to encourage a treatment approach rather than discipline.
The Residential Treatment Unit at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord is a voluntary unit for men who are struggling to adjust and live in the department's regular prison housing units.
The Secure Psychiatric Unit in Concord is an involuntary unit for men and women who are civilly committed or statutorily transferred for treatment of dangerousness associated with their mental illness.
An Intensive Outpatient Program at the Concord and Goffstown facilities is a voluntary intensive substance-use treatment group that meets three times a week for men and women in these facilities to address their addiction.
The Intensive Sexual Offender Treatment Program in Concord is for men who are assessed with sexually deviant behavior in need of intensive treatment in a modified therapeutic community with the correctional facility. A Sexual Offender Treatment Program operates in Goffstown for females with the same behavioral needs.
A comprehensive list of behavioral health treatment offerings for patients in the care of the Department of Corrections can be found at