Learn more about the Services the Department of Corrections provides.

The Division of Medical and Forensic Services is the entity charged with providing constitutionally appropriate health care (medical, dental, and behavioral health) to those in the care and custody of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections. In collaboration with community partners, our approach to health care is to improve the overall health of the population we serve, promote a positive patient experience, and reduce the per capita cost of care.

Our healthcare delivery system is designed to meet the needs of the approximate 2,500 residents, who are in our system, for both chronic and acute condi-tions. This is achieved by the availability of outpatient services, residential services, and infirmary level inpatient care for both medical and psychiatric ser-vices. Hospital level of care for medical needs is accomplished through partnerships with various community hospitals. The Secure Psychiatric Unit pro-vides a forensic level of care for acute psychiatric issues.

Medical services offered include individual appointments for chronic and acute conditions, sick call, and an infirmary level of care for intensive observation that does not require hospitalization. Dental services include preventive interventions, remediation of acute conditions, and provision of dental appliances. Psychiatric services offered are outpatient services for mental health and substance use disorders. In addition, there are specialized housing units for treat-ment of paraphilic disorders, mental health disorders and substance use disorders.

Patient education is integral to helping keep residents healthy. To that end, Division employees offer individual education and a variety of groups and well-ness fairs to meet the needs of our residents.

Medical and Nursing Services

Medical providers (physicians and advance practice registered nurses) and nurses offer a continuum of services to meet the health care needs of residents at our prison facilities. Those new to our system are offered a comprehensive assessment to identify and treat acute and/or chronic needs. When medically necessary, referrals are made to community hospitals, services, and specialists to meet the unique needs of the individuals we serve.

Inpatient care is available in our infirmaries and is a place for those who do not need hospital level of care but require more immediate medical oversight for conditions than is available on an outpatient basis. Hospice care is also available and is supported by resident workers who are specially trained to work with those needing end of life supports. 

Outpatient care is offered in our health services centers. Residents are treated, provided follow up appointments, receive medications and triaged for emergencies by nurses and providers. Providers and nurses also provide sick call daily at our prison facilities to ensure that medical needs are being met.

Dental Services

Dental services are provided on site at three locations: NNHCF, NHCFW, and NHSP-M by a team of dedicated dental professionals. Organizing clinics so that both basic dental hygiene and dental procedures occur in a timely fashion is an important aspect of the health care program provided to residents.

Pharmaceutical Services

Under the leadership of a Chief Pharmacist, our team of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians ensures medication is packaged and available to be administered to those in our care. The Chief Pharmacist chairs a monthly Pharmaceutics and Therapeutics Committee comprised of the heads of our healthcare disciplines serves as a cost-containment body as well as monitoring prescribing practices and trends, reviewing our formulary as well as overseeing the safety and security of medications.

Allied Health Professionals 

The Division’s Allied Health professionals are a critical part of our healthcare system. Consisting of a nutritionist, physical therapist, and recreational therapists, this group provides services that ensure the diverse needs of those in our care are met. 

The Division’s nutritionist works in collaboration with food services in conducting reviews of menus and ensuring nutritional guidelines are met as part of an on-going quality improvement process at all sites. An annual nutrition analysis is conducted every year to ensure that basic nutritional needs are being met. Our nutritionist collaborates with nursing and medical staff to prioritize areas for patient education and individual consulting. 

Physical therapy services are provided at all sites by a licensed physical therapist. Focusing on treatment and improving the physical functioning of those served, our physical therapist provides direct care and coordinates services provided by external orthopedic specialists. 

Recreational therapy is specific to the Secure Psychiatric Unit, Residential Treatment Unit, and the NHCFW. By providing structured activities and individual skills-building, recreational therapists encourage improved self-management through better use of leisure time, development of coping skills and learning effective communication techniques.

Behavioral Health Services

The Division of Medical and Forensic Services is committed to serving those in our care with a wide range of services designed to enhance wellness, learn new skills, and encourage behavioral change. These individualized services include psychiatric treatment, sexual offender treatment, and treatment for substance use disorders. Emergency behavioral health services are available and delivered via a crisis intervention model resulting in a short-term crisis management plan.

The Division has implemented a community behavioral health model adapted to a correctional setting to assist residents in the management of behavioral health issues. The range of services offered are designed to address both acute and chronic needs. Acute needs are managed on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Exacerbation of a chronic behavioral health issue or onset of suicidal feelings can be managed by emergency assessment visits from our clinicians or with an inpatient admission to the Secure Psychiatric Unit (SPU). Ongoing needs are addressed through medication management, individual therapy, group therapy, and skill-building activities.      

Other levels of care in the NHDOC system provide for admission to one of our behavioral health residential units: The Residential Treatment Unit for men located in Concord; the Wellness Block for men located in Berlin; and the Wellness Block for women located in Concord. The Wellness Units continue to show that a combination of clinical services based on a commitment to change will show positive results. These units are designed to support residents toward the achievement of personal goals while emphasizing the power that is derived from a positive group and milieu experience. Promoting a sense of community is the philosophy driving these units in order to prepare participants to be part of a positive community culture while in prison as well as for preparation for life after prison. Participants in these units identify the value of good communication skills as problem-solving techniques versus the use of violence. Participants in the wellness units also have to participate in at least one of the following committees: Steering, Welcome, Activities, Health and Safety, Art, Peer Support, and Changing Social Norms. Participation in these units is voluntary. 

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Services

 The DOC is committed to providing quality intervention services to assist residents in managing addiction issues. Different levels of care are offered starting with, if needed, detoxification on a medical unit. Intensive interventions are offered at each facility as well as a less intensive curriculum. Relapse prevention and aftercare services are also offered via support groups for those who have completed treatment. 

The Focus Unit, which is a residential unit that provides substance use disorder treatment services with an emphasis on rehabilitation and wellness, is available to men at NNHCF and for women at NHCFW. Goals of the Focus Unit are to help individuals re-learn behaviors and develop coping skills/wellness strategies for managing substance use disorders. Participants are assisted with follow up services after completion of the Focus Unit program.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services remain a vital component of our SUD treatment services. This service is for those with opioid addiction. The NHDOC now offers a wide range of pharmaceutical agents to help those with an opioid use disorder (OUD). This service is available to residents at all facilities who complete the screening process and demonstrate a readiness for change.

Mail Services

Individuals in our custody may send and receive mail from their loved ones and friends. Letters can be up to ten (10) pages in length, must be written in blue or black ink on white paper. The envelope must contain the name and ID number as well as a return name and address. All mail is subject inspection com-ing in and leaving the facility.