The Solano County Jail Counseling Program
Wright Institute graduate student clinicians provide individual counseling services to inmates of the Solano County Jail located in Fairfield, CA. The jail houses approximately 800 inmates in two locations, 15% of whom are women. Approximately 35% of inmates are on psychotropic medication and are followed by the jail medical/psychiatric service. Many inmates report histories of sexual/physical abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and/ or being a witness/victim of community violence. Many struggle with drug and/or alcohol abuse and grew up/live in poverty. Most people in jail come from marginalized social groups (e.g. African Americans and Latinos) who have experienced racism and discrimination as formative life experiences, and are more likely than the general population to attend schools that failed to meet the educational needs of students experiencing extreme stress and trauma. At the same time, many inmates have committed serious offenses that threaten the community security.
The main goal of the clinical work is to promote inmate and societal welfare by supporting positive inmate life choices and increasing their chances of building a meaningful, sustainable life upon release. Clients bring a broad range of concerns to therapy, giving student clinicians experience with a variety of presenting problems. Clients are screened for appropriateness by the clinical supervisor, and are seen in the "mod" where the client resides.
Services are provided under a contract with the Solano County Sheriff's Department and are funded through the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Michael Castelli, Ph.D.
Jail Program Clinical Supervisor
Crystal A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Director of Solano County Jail Counseling Program
"My experience at this practicum site was exceptional. The supervision and support I received from my two individual supervisors and the Wright Institute were incredible. Before entering this practice site, I was concerned that it would be difficult to find empathy for the individuals I worked with, as many of them had committed horrific crimes. However, by the end of my term at Solano County Jail I developed unconditional empathy for every client, and I truly understood the Wright Institute's message of training 'Clinicians to Society.' This was an outstanding opportunity; this practicum changed the way I work with clients and was key in determining the therapist I strive to be."
"Working with the inmates at Solano County Jail reminded me of my own frailty and kept me in touch with my humanity and humility."