LaTrelle Jackson (Committee Chair), Larry Lawhorne (Committee Member), Cheryl Meyer (Committee Member)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Dementia is a chronic disorder of the mental processes generated by brain injury or disease, and is characterized by gradual, irreversible loss of memory, judgment, functional abilities, health, and identity. While dementia can occur in individuals that would not be considered "aging" it primarily occurs in people over 60 (Christodoulou, 2012). Dementia recognition and assessment in prison is currently an overlooked issue in the United States. There are few examples of research regarding best practices for addressing dementia in corrections, including the standard protocols, policies, and procedures for screening and managing the needs of inmates with dementia. This qualitative study was designed to collect data that will inform best practice recommendations for dementia recognition and assessment in the prison population. Seven Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections employees from three correctional institutions were interviewed using a semi-structured format to gather data related to current dementia recognition and assessment practices. Participant responses were formed into themes using the thematic analysis model (Braun & Clarke, 2006) for data interpretation. Key themes identified include a lack of employee training, the utilization of screening tools for assessing dementia, and a lack of identified policies for dementia assessment. Best practice recommendations generated from this study include providing employee training on effective strategies for dementia identification and assessment, creating a standardized process for diagnosing dementia in prison, and dedicating more resources to this ever-increasing concern.
Department or Program
School of Professional Psychology
Year Degree Awarded
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