Scenario: You are the commander of three shifts of corrections officers (COs) working around the clock in a maximum-security cellblock in a state penitentiary. You have an exceptionally good group of COs who have managed to intervene in most potentially violent problems without incident. They have developed an effective network of prison informants form the inmate population.
There is a Middle-Eastern man, about 65 years old, who is serving a life sentence for the honor killing of his own daughter. He has been in the prison for about 10 years. Your COs report to you that his mental state appears to be deteriorating. He is a moderately religious person and feels there is no reason for terror violence. Every time an article about terrorism or the threat of terrorism is published in the newspapers provided by the prison library, the inmate reports to the COs that there is a planned violent takeover by groups sympathetic to those terrorist causes related in the news. The Middle-Eastern terrorist sympathizers are incarcerated in the same cell block as the 65-year-old Middle-Eastern man. There are a number of American-born persons of Middle-Eastern descent incarcerated in the cellblock, and the inmate seems to have access to them as a sort of religious leader for prayer services and advice.
At first, you took him seriously, but when he started to explain who the extremists were and what their mission was, you began to realize that he was just selecting inmates in the cellblock and identifying them as potential inmates with violent intent. He would make up stories about the manufacture of makeshift weapons in the middle of the night. He would indicate that the Middle-Eastern terrorist sympathizers within the prison extremists had contacts with other organized inmates throughout the prison and a comprehensive riot and takeover of the prison was being planned. Several prison staff members working in the infirmary have been identified by the inmate as sympathetic to the extremists’ cause, and he has accused them of helping provide weapons and other materials.
Please respond to the following questions:
- There are several types of disorders that may apply, please select one that you believe is appropriate and may be affecting this complainant. Why did you select that disorder?
- What types of referrals are available for a mentally ill person of this sort?
- How should you continue to handle this inmate’s reported intelligence information, and why?
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