Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in prison: a treatment protocol

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Center for Mental Health Services Research



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity; Central Nervous System Stimulants; Clinical Protocols; Humans; Massachusetts; Prisoners; Substance-Related Disorders


Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Prescribing controlled substances in correctional settings can create challenges for security, nursing, and psychiatric staff. Some inmates, including those with functionally significant attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, can benefit from such treatment. This article describes the development of a protocol for the treatment of prison inmates with ADHD that attempted to address a broad range of concerns including disparate diagnostic and treatment standards among prison psychiatrists, conflicts between stakeholders, and medication misuse and substance abuse among inmates. The protocol provides criteria in four main areas: diagnosis, current functional impairment, treatment in general, and treatment with stimulants. Stakeholders had mixed reactions to the protocol.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2009;37(1):45-9.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID