RBGG’s Michael Bien provided background and commentary for a recent VICE Tonic story, “The Prison System is Designed to Ignore Mental Illness.”  Michael comments on the issues raised when prisoners in need of counseling are channeled into group therapy sessions.

“After we got court orders for California prisons to do group therapy, we learned that some of the sessions were not effective,” Bien says. “The sessions wouldn’t be tailored to one condition and every time people showed up, there would be different inmates in the group. The whole point of a group is that you are developing relationships and trust with those people. If it’s different people every time, you’re not going to want to talk about what’s really on your mind, especially in prison where you are already worried about confidentiality.”

VICE is the world’s preeminent youth media company and content creation studio – Tonic is a VICE website and digital video channel that covers wellness, science and big-picture health issues.