Mental health monitoring removed in Passaic County, New Jersey

Mental health monitoring removed in Passaic County, New Jersey

(L-R) Allison Genberg, Dr. Joel Federbush, Bob Orrick, Mallory Zelaya, Sylvia Guzman

After a five-year federal monitoring period, our mental health team at the Passaic County Jail in Paterson, New Jersey, recently achieved 100 percent compliance in their Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) monitoring.

A 2008 class action lawsuit was filed by the ACLU and Seton Hall University School of Law on behalf of inmates unhappy with conditions in the jail. MOUs were agreed upon by both parties in 2011, following three years of negotiations.

The progress for the mental health team was slow but steady in the early years of the monitoring period, but Passaic County’s decision to partner with Corizon Health for its medical service, in addition to mental health services, made an immediately noticeable difference. Corizon Health brought to the team a wealth of resources and experience allowing the mental health team to organize its care and show easily measured progress. Some key areas of compliance were discharge planning, suicide risk reduction, and reducing use of force incidents with rostered mental health inmates—a topic that Northeast Regional Director of Psychiatry Dr. Joel Federbush and Mental Health Services Coordinator Allison Genberg, LCSW, have now presented on at both the National Commission on Correctional Health Care’s (NCCHC) annual conference and the New Jersey State Warden’s Conference.

Congratulations to Dr. Joel Federbush, Allison Genberg, Mental Health Clinician Sylvia Guzman, MA, and Mental Health Clinician Mallory Zelaya, MS, on a job well done.