From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

I am a Licensed Psychiatrist working in the California Dept. of Corrections. Working daily with inmates, male & female, with a mental health designation and a significant security designation. Levels of impairment range from those who struggle with "adjustment" disorders and what are termed "Axis I" disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety, disorders of compulsivity) and nearly always concomitant chemical dependencies , to those who will eventually transition to (and from) state hospitals. I strongly suspect that mental illness - if we understand it as a bio-psycho-social condition - does not explain their criminal behaviour. Some of the most frightening "interactions" involved working for more than a year with patients who, because of the unmanageable natural of their behaviour (which was directly attributable to their mental illness - were held within the confines of CA's Death Row at San Quentin State Prison. Within the past 5 years, I have received a major head injury (which includes the necessity of continuously taking medications to prevent seizure), and 4 orthopeadic surgeries for injuries sustained in defending custody staff. While impossible to prove, I also was treated twice for community-acquired pneumonia, and once for viral meningitis. I am grateful for the "benefits" I receive.

I am also a graduate of St. Vladimir's Seminary and, because of intervening circumstances, completed all aspects of the Doctor of Ministry Degree with the exception of the final project. Some may refer to my work as "ministry," a "ministry of the laity," as it were, but I tend to see this as a euphemism for not being of the "ordained" ministry, a singer, or a church school educator. And so it goes...