Washburn University in Topeka has denied it dismissed a Lawrence man and psychology graduate student from an internship at a Topeka prison because of an incident involving his ADHD medication.
An attorney representing Washburn alleged in a response to a federal lawsuit by Ryan Talley, 30, against the university that faculty members had concluded keeping Talley in his internship at the Topeka Correctional Facility “constituted harm or potential harm to clients through observable conduct.”
Talley as a graduate student worked at an internship engaging in individual and group psychotherapy with patients at the women’s prison from October 2009 to March 2010 under Correct Care Solutions, a health care contractor for the prison.
Washburn’s response alleges Talley violated institutional policies by returning to the prison when no Correct Care Solutions staff members were present, inadequately documenting contact with clients, being unable to follow or accept professional supervision and being unable to address issues regarding his contributions to the treatment of clients at the prison.
“Plaintiff’s conduct was inconsistent with the established professional standards and expectations for the conduct of graduate student therapists-in-training as described in publications given to (Talley) and all psychology master’s degree students when beginning the program,” Washburn’s attorney Arthur E. Palmer wrote.
An attorney for Talley in October filed the lawsuit accusing Washburn and Correct Care Solutions of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because they dismissed Talley based on his ADHD diagnosis and his need to use the prescribed medication Adderall to treat it. Talley alleged in the suit that he had permission to take his daily dosage of Adderall into the prison but that Correct Care Solutions and Washburn officials became upset when a prison guard on March 22, 2010, stopped him and prohibited him from bringing the medication inside without swallowing it all in the guard’s presence.
Talley’s suit also alleges Washburn officials never informed him of “any tangible reason for his dismissal.”
But attorneys for Washburn and Correct Care Solutions denied those claims in their responses to the suit.
U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia has not yet set any hearings in the case.