Please note that Standards referenced throughout this FAQ often apply to multiple sets of PREA Standards. Along with different standard numbers, the different sets of standards use different terminology to refer to the population they house including “inmate,” “detainee,” and “resident.” When referencing a standard that applies equally to all facilities covered under PREA, the language in the question and answer will, unless specified, refer to the Adult Prisons & Jails standard numbers and use the term “inmate” to refer generally to the populations in those facilities. The FAQ search functionality uses the standard numbering from the Adult Prisons and Jails, regardless of the specific setting. When a standard is selected, the search will identify all FAQs related to that standard across all standard settings.
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Under what circumstances would medical and mental health care providers who provide services to inmates or residents off-site (only) be subject to the criminal background records check requirements of standard 115.17 (115.117/115.217/115.317), the contractor training requirements under standard 115.32 (115.132/115.232/115.332), and/or the specialized training requirements for medical and mental health care providers in standard 115.35 (115.232/115.332)? Must a formal contract for services exist for these requirements to be triggered? Are the specialized training requirements ever triggered in the case of off-site medical or mental health providers, for instance, when there is no health care available at the facility and so all health care is provided off-site?
Medical and mental health care providers who provide services to inmates or residents off-site (only) are not subject to the criminal background records check requirements in standard 115.17 (115.117/115.217/115.317), the contractor training requirements under standard 115.32 (115.132/115.232/115.332), and/or the specialized training requirements for medical and mental health care providers in standard 115.35 (115.235/115.335). Generally, inmates and residents are taken off-site for medical or mental health care when the required services are not available at the correctional facility. In many rural or isolated locations, the facility’s access to medical and mental health specialists, even off-site, is very limited. As such, requiring facilities to only utilize off-site medical or mental health providers who have complied with the PREA background check and training requirements could impede inmate access to necessary medical and mental health care. When inmates or residents are taken off-site for medical or mental health care, they are generally transported and supervised by correctional staff, though they should have private contact with the medical or mental health provider during an examination or therapy session. Should an off-site medical or mental health provider engage in inappropriate or abusive behavior towards an inmate, the inmate will have the opportunity to report the incident upon leaving the provider’s office.
Revised September 28, 2015. Original posting date June 20, 2014.