Offender Rights Part 1: Medical and Mental Health Care

Offender Rights Part 1: Medical and Mental Health Care 

Even though they are incarcerated, offenders still retain some of their rights. Perhaps one of the most important of these is the right to adequate medical and mental healthcare. In this course, you will learn about the major U.S. Supreme Court decision that confirmed offenders’ rights to health care, and you will examine ways that correctional staff may or may not become liable for denying or delaying this health care. In addition, considerations related to suicide, HIV/AIDS, and forcibly medicating offenders are discussed.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 1.50 STC credit hours.

American Jail Association Certification


This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy


This course has been approved by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for 1.50 hours. CJA Lesson Plan #6101

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-OR1-V2
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 11/30/2023
Learning Objectives:
List 3 amendments to the U.S. Constitution that relate to offenders' key rights to medical and mental health care.
Explain the standard for liability required in civil rights actions lawsuits.
Identify 7 guidelines for avoiding liability related to medical and mental health care.
Describe 3 areas that cases involving suicide focus on and 3 issues related to HIV/AIDS liability.
List 4 criteria that generally need to be met before forcibly giving medication to a detainee or inmate.

Section 1: Introduction A. About the Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Liability Issues A. Meet Officer Ben Riley B. Key Rights C. Estelle v. Gamble D. The Standard for Liability E. Deliberate Indifference F. Medical Liability G. Negligence and Medical Care H. Avoiding Liability with Medical and Mental Health Care I. Doctor-Patient Privilege J. “Agents of the Doctor” K. A Case About Offender Millings L. Confidentiality M. Review Section 3: Considerations around Suicide and HIV/AIDS A. Focus of Suicide-Related Lawsuits B. Suicide Prevention Plan C. Report Suspicions D. Documentation E. Make Referrals F. Important Note G. HIV/AIDS Liability H. HIV/AIDS and Confidentiality I. Review Section 4: Forcibly Medicating Offenders A. When Offender Refuse Treatment B. Criteria to Meet C. Involuntary Medication: Mental Health Disorders and Washington v. Harper D. Review Section 5: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributors C. Resources D. References E. Congratulations! F. Exam G. BrainSparks

Staff Writer: Tracy Mullins, M.Ed.
Tracy G. Mullins is the Curriculum Designer for Public Safety at Relias. Tracy has a B.S. in the Administration of Criminal Justice and a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology. Prior to joining Relias Learning in 2017, Tracy worked in various capacities for the American Probation and Parole Association for 22 years. As a Research Associate and Sr. Research Associate, she worked on a variety of federally funded projects focusing on leadership, juvenile justice, victim services, tribal justice, and offender issues. Her responsibilities on these projects include researching justice issues, writing curricula and other publications, and delivering training and technical assistance. From 2010-2016, as Deputy Director of APPA, Tracy managed its grant division, as well oversaw its e-learning initiatives, which included writing and developing online training courses. Disclosure: Tracy Mullins, M.Ed. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Linda L. Bryant, J.D., Sworn Jail Officer
Linda L. Bryant, J.D. is veteran public safety official and legal expert. She served as the Deputy Attorney General for Virginia for Criminal Justice and Public Safety where she supervised a team of over 80 attorneys who represented the state's public safety agencies in state and federal courts. She and her team provided legal advice on public safety matters and policy development to the Governor of Virginia, the Secretary of Public Safety, all public safety agencies and the state legislature. Her duties also included providing legal advice to and overseeing all litigation against the state Department of Corrections. She also served for nearly 18 years as a state prosecutor, where she prosecuted thousands of cases focusing her efforts on violent crime, serving as lead trial attorney on over 40 murder cases. During that time she also taught as an Adjunct Professor at the College of William and Mary law school. She also served on the Working Group that developed the "21st Century Principles of Prosecution, Peace Officer Use of Force Project" for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Ms. Bryant is currently the Assistant Superintendent and Compliance Attorney at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, a jail with an average daily population of approximately 1100 inmates. The jail houses special needs inmates to include those with serious medical and mental health concerns. Disclosure: Linda L. Bryant, J.D., Sworn Jail Officer has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; Entry level Psychologists; Intermediate level Marriage and Family Therapists; Intermediate level Professional Counselors; Intermediate level Social Workers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections, Public Health Facilities.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.