Zur Institute, INNOVATIVE RESOURCES and ONLINE CONTINUING EDUCATION Sign In
New Users          

ONLINE CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

 

Dual or Multiple Relationships for Psychologists and Mental Health Practitioners in Prisons, Jails, Correction & Detention Facilities

Resources

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.
 

This page provides resources regarding the ethics of often mandated and unavoidable multiple relationships in prisons, jails, correction and detention facilities.

 

Overview

Like the military, correctional settings are very unique environments for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and other mental health practitioners. Some have described it as practicing in a foreign country with its own language, customs, and rules. When it comes to dual or multiple relationships, there are two main areas where correctional settings, such as prisons, jails, and other detention facilities, require special understanding and special attention.

Treated/Therapist vs. Expert/Evaluator: In certain correctional and forensic settings, clinicians or treating psychologists are expected and/or mandated to serve also as court appointed evaluators and testify in court as experts. At times, forensic psychologists are required to provide reports regarding their psychotherapy patients' competency or fitness to stand trial, and may also be mandated to provide sanity reports. While forensic dual relationships of treater-experts is generally frowned upon (see articles on Forensic Dual Relationships), correctional settings are unique as such dual relationships may not be avoided as the courts or the facilities' regulations may mandate it.

Multiple Loyalties and Primary Responsibility for Safety: In prisons, jail, and detention settings, treaters or clinicians have a primary loyalty and legal responsibility to the institutions and concerns with security. For example, a clinician, in these settings, who hears about an escape plan must report it to the correctional staff. Similarly, a clinician who is aware of potential violence or harm in the correctional environment must repot this as well. The concerns with security and safety is above clinicians' or treaters' loyalty or responsibility to the welfare of their prisoner patients. Another dual role within forensic and correctional fields has been described as dissonance - experienced by practitioners - when attempting to adhere to the conflicting roles and conflicting ethical requirements associated with client well-being and community protection and safety.

 

Online Resources

 
Additional Resources

  • Elliott, W. N. (2002). Managing offender resistance to counseling: The 3 R's. Federal Probation, 66, 172-178.
  • Scott, N. A. (1985). Counseling prisoners: Ethical issues, dilemmas, and cautions. I, 64(4), 272-273.
  • Ward, A. S. & Ward, T., (2017). The Complexities of Dual Relationships in Forensic and Correctional Practice: Safety vs. Care. In Zur, O. (Ed.) Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy and Counseling: Unavoidable, Common and Mandatory Dual Relations in Therapy. New York: Routledge.
  • Ward, T. (2013). Addressing the dual relationship problem in forensic and correctional practice. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18/1, 92–100. Abstract.
  • Ward, T., Gannon,T. A. & Clare-Ann Fortune, C (2015). Restorative Justice–Informed Moral Acquaintance: Resolving the Dual Role Problem in Correctional and Forensic Practice. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42/1: pp. 45-57.

Extensive Reference List on Dual and Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy & Counseling

Top of Page

 

Accommodations for Disabilities                   Clinical Updates Email Sign Up                  Refund & Course Exchange Policies


     

  APA NBCC NAADC ASWB

      Twitter Facebook LinkedIn YouTube

Online CE Courses
CE Board Approvals
60 Essential Clinical Forms
HIPAA Compliance Kit
Private Practice Handbook
Free Online Resources
Organizational Discounts
Site Map

Teaching
Consulting
Expert Witness
Issues Facing Teenagers
Boundaries & Dual Relationships
About Us
Info for the General Public
ADA Policy & Grievance
Privacy, Disclaimer, Terms of Use, DMCA


© 1995 - 2018 ZUR INSTITUTE, Inc.             Ofer Zur, Ph.D. Director             Contact Zur Institute, Inc.