The Atlantic ran a three-part article by Andrew Cohen regarding SOLITARY CONFINEMENT TORTURE and the mentally ill. Roughly 60% of the inmates in sensory deprivation cells are mentally ill, and 80% of those in solitary confinement are African Americans. That equals RACIAL AND HEALTH DISCRIMINATION in a nation that goes to WAR over crimes against humanity. An excerpt from part three says: The Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment," and it's hard to imagine anything more cruel than punishing a mentally ill person for the manifestations of his illness. Yet this allegedly occurs regularly at the ADX/Supermax facility. Indeed, one of the fundamental concepts in American law is that we generally do not criminalize conduct by people whose minds do not have the requisite "criminal intent" at the time of the commission of the crime. This is why we don't prosecute people who are adjudged to be mentally incompetent. See this link for the full article: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/06/supermax-the-constitution-and-mentally-ill-prisoners/258587/
MY RESPONSE: America shouldn't prosecute people who are adjudged to be mentally incompetent. However, we prosecute them and also EXECUTE some patients, with or without a death warrant issued by a court. Consider Kelly Thomas, Larry Neal, Tim Souders, and many others who were killed by police and jail guards. Be reminded of Jeff Wood and Andre Thomas who presently await execution in Texas and all the mentally ill and retarded people who were already executed in America. I responded to the Atlantic article with a comment I will attempt to post as a comment to this discussion strand. Thank you, Andrew Cohen and The Atlantic, for helping to bring ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL.
The Eighth Amendment prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment," and it's hard to imagine anything more cruel than punishing a mentally ill person for the manifestations of his illness. Yet this allegedly occurs regularly at the ADX/Supermax facility.
Indeed, one of the fundamental concepts in American law is that we generally do not criminalize conduct by people whose minds do not have the requisite "criminal intent" at the time of the commission of the crime. This is why we don't prosecute people who are adjudged to be mentally incompetent. See this link for the full article: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/06/supermax-the-constitution-and-mentally-ill-prisoners/258587/
I published a comment to Andrew Cohen's article in The Atlantic that is entitled "Supermax: The Constitution and Mentally Ill Prisoners" (Part 3 of 3). Three paragraphs with two links are below:
Thank you for the article about TORTURE OF AMERICA'S MENTALLY ILL CITIZENS. I will try to share it with members and visitors of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI), an online advocacy organization that is heavily censored. We advocate to DECRIMINALIZE MENTAL ILLNESS, but cyberstalkers were assigned to curtail our work, because PRISON INVESTORS DELIBERATELY WITHHOLD MENTAL HEALTH CARE TO PROFIT BY IMPRISONING SICK PEOPLE. The mentally ill are victimized by discrimination to a greater degree than any other group in the USA. They are wrongly imprisoned, brutalized and even killed, but investigations and prosecution are often withheld. Approximately 1.25 million of the nation's 2.5 million inmates are mentally ill (over half).
The good news is that the United States Department of Justice recently certified assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs. Program participants are mandated to accept psychiatric treatment, and their subsistence needs are met. AOT program participation reduces homelessness, arrests, hospitalizations, and imprisonment by up to 85%, compared to participants' experiences three years before joining the program (New York Kendra's Law results). Every acute mental patient exiting jails, mental hospitals, and prisons should be ordered into an AOT program to move them from the revolving door in and out of correctional facilities. That would possibly save their lives and/or the lives of others, plus save taxpayers the expense associated with criminal investigations, trial and CRUEL imprisonment of our mentally dysfunctional relatives and neighbors. See WRONGFUL DEATH OF LARRY NEAL http://WrongfulDeathofLarryNeal.com to learn about a disabled man, my brother, who was secretly arrested for 18 days, murdered in custody, and his family is denied records or explanation about his essential government kidnapping and murder. Dogs are not allowed to be murdered, but the mentally ill are considered disposable. We at AIMI believe acute mental patients and their families should have at least DOG JUSTICE. Google my poem and petition, "Dog Justice for the Mentally Ill." Looking forward to sharing your work and reading parts 1 and 2 in this series. Blessings, from Mary Neal, director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill and of Dog Justice for Mentally Ill http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/aimi (end of my comment at The Atlantic)
HOMELESSNESS, PRISON AND DEATH MUST STOP BEING AMERICA'S ANSWER TO MENTAL ILLNESS. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED FOR HAVING A COMMON, TREATABLE HEALTH CONDITION. The DOJ certification of AOT programs is a major improvement. Please advocate for AOT programs to be enacted in every city for outpatients, and petition officials to build or re-open mental hospitals for people who have done violent crimes and/or lack the wherewithal to live unrestrained. Prison is the wrong environment for America's mentally challenged population. Thank you, AIMI members and online guests, for joining this important justice quest!
This post was modified from its original form on 21 Jun, 3:47