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Oct 25, 2009

California inmate, Jeremy Smith, has been schizophrenic since childhood.  He was arrested for hitting another mental patient in a mental health facility.  He caused no lasting damage.  That act of aggression from Jeremy, a sick young man, has already costed California taxpayers over $70,000 per year, because Jeremy is isolated in the "hole," which is solitary confinement.  His mom reports that Jeremy was sentenced for EIGHT YEARS.

Allegedly, Jeremy said some things to a prison guard that were not nice.  Now he faces additional sentencing for making "terrorist threats."  This is how a simple battery on the part of a mentally ill person can easily turn into life in prison - SOMETHING YOU, THE TAXPAYERS, FINANCE - the criminalization of mental illness.  Please pray for Jeremy and his mom, Care2 member, Gina.  Pray for all mentally ill people in dark, 9' 6' cells today, where they are usually naked and always alone.  Pray for our officials who allow this to continue.

Please sign Jeremy's petition for justice at this link - treatment, not punishment for mental illness.

Below is a copy of his current pending charges.


Criminal Case Information - Case Details
criminal case information/calendar menu / search results / case details

Defendant Information:Name:SMITH, JEREMY  Birth Year:1977

Case Information:Court Case #:MF008647A  Filing Date:03/05/09 Related Case #:None
 Arrest Date:N/A

Bail Amount:$100000.00
Bail Status:N/A
Bail Type:N/A

CountTypeCodeSectionCharge DescriptionCharge DispositionDisposition Date

Sentence Information
  ** n/a - no convicted charges **

Scheduled Hearings
Notes: 1. For Metropolitan Division cases: If the Div/Dept is 1-17, A-K or T then the Div/Dept is your courtroom number. If the Div/Dept is other than those listed in the previous sentence see the information desk near the escalator for your courtroom number.
 2. If a defendant has more than one hearing scheduled for the same date and time, he or she should appear on the felony case first.
 3. Calendars for each court may periodically change as court schedules are modified by court personnel. Persons viewing the court calendar assume full responsibility for appearing at the proper date and time and at the proper court irrespective of the information contained herein.

Hearing Date/TimeHearing LocationDiv/DeptHearing Type
09/10/2009, 08:30AM Metro Division - 1415 Truxtun CC HEARING ON REPORT: PC 1368-1370 
10/15/2009, 08:30AM Metro Division - 1415 Truxtun CC HEARING ON REPORT - PC 1368 
11/25/2009, 09:00AM Metro Division - 1415 Truxtun RH READINESS 
12/07/2009, 09:00AM Metro Division - 1415 Truxtun 01 JURY TRIAL 

Defendant nameSMITH, JEREMY 

 © 2008 Superior Court

EXPERIENCE. Please join our effort to decriminalize mental
illness. No one deserves to be punished for having a disability.

Jun 7, 2009
The Obama administration is making some commendable policy changes for America. One of President Obama's first executive orders strengthened the Freedom of Information Act. He also signed an executive order to end prison torture in the War on Terror camps. The Bush administration USDOJ issued orders to torture detainees in the prison camps. Prisoners within America also suffered gross abuses and death. Under that administration, my family was refused any assistance resolving the 2003 secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal, my mentally ill brother, a heart patient. Shelby County Jail in Memphis repeatedly and falsely denied having Larry incarcerated until his death after 18 days of secret arrest. The USDOJ allowed Larry's jail death to go without investigation because "equal justice" was not applied to protecting the rights of mentally ill Americans. Even their right to life was not protected, which is reminiscent of how mentally afflicted citizens were killed outright in Nazi Germany.

During Ronald Regan's presidency, many mental hospitals were downsized or closed. Tens of thousands of former inpatients were left to fend for themselves. Many of them and sick people who came after them lived homeless on the streets of our cities. Scores slept in shelters if they were not deemed too unruly. Others became "bag ladies" who carried their meager possessions around in shopping carts. Thousands slept under America's overpasses and behind dumpsters. Many of them froze, died of medical neglect, starvation, botched arrest attempts, and some were easy prey for street criminals. Over time, the lack of attention and resources for our most vulnerable citizens became the predominant reason for horrific murders done to and by persons who would have been hospital inpatients.

The so-called "deinstitutionalization" of mental patients also caused America's astronomical prison population, the largest in world history. Criminalizing mental illness and prejudicial sentencing laws account for 1 in every 99.1 Americans being imprisoned today, and 1 in 9 young black men. Once incarcerated, the mentally ill generally suffer more cruel punishment than other detainees, comprising 60% of those warehoused in solitary confinement. The recidivism rate among the mentally ill is very high, as punishment does not resolve their issues or deter their illness from manifesting itself in unacceptable ways.

The VIDEO at the article below shows Nafiza Ziyad's bipolar crisis on an Atlanta MARTA train in 2008. The video illustrates the complete loss of control some schizophrenic and bipolar victims experience when their conditions go untreated. No one in such a health crisis should be punished any more than a person with diabetes who blacks out at the wheel would be imprisoned. The answer is better treatment access, including enforced care if the patients are too sick to recognize their own illness.

Enforced Treatment vs. Prison for Acute Mental Patients and Updates, by Mary Neal

Criminalizing mental illness may be done in part to increase profits to prison investors. Mental hospitalization and community care could provide humane alternatives to mentally challenged citizens, reduce overcrowded prison conditions, reducie the taxpayers' burden, and increase public safety. It costs no more to treat mentally ill offenders in hospitals if they are violent or in their communities if they are not violent than it does to imprison them - usually in cruel conditions such as solitary confinement.

Our prison industry budget is over $50 BILLION per year. Each inmate costs taxpayers up to $50,000 per year to warehouse in jail. Therefore, the more people who are incarcerated, the more money prison investors make. The worse crime offenders commit, the longer their prison sentences. A 30-year-old murderer can easily cost taxpayers over $3 million if he gets a life sentence. Death penalties are illegal for the mentally ill; however, it is done. Each death row inmate costs taxpayers around $90,000 PER YEAR MORE than maximum security prison inmates.


The quickest and least costly way to address many justice problems in the U.S. is to decriminalize mental illness. Mentally dysfunctional people number 1.25 million of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the U.S. Acute mental patients incarcerated for violent crimes should be transferred away from prisons and into secure mental hospitals. It costs no more to treat them in mental hospitals than it does to treat them in prisons. Prisons are for punishment, rehabilitation, and crime prevention. Sick people cannot be punished or rehabilitated into a state of mental health, and a secure mental hospital would serve as well as prison for crime prevention. Hospitalization for violent mentally ill offenders would be more humane and afford society equal protection compared to imprisonment. Furthermore, hospitalization would be more just, because many of those incarcerated were incapable understanding their Miranda rights or contributing to their own defense.

Most mentally ill inmates were arrested for non-violent offenses like vagrancy and drug usage. Drugs and alcohol are frequently used by people with mental health issues to self-medicate. They attempt to "get their heads on straight" without seeking professional help. Psychiatric treatment is not affordable for most, and mental health services have been reduced in communities. Once incarcerated, they often get time added to their original sentences due to their lack of ability to cooperate with rules reducing the likelihood of early paroles.


In New York City, a group of offenders exiting prison were put in an ASSISTED OUTPATIENT TREATMENT PROGRAM (AOT) under KENDRA'S LAW. Kendra's Law participants were given subsistence assistance for food and housing, and they had court-ordered treatment. The choice of whether or not to accept psychiatric treatment was taken from the participants, and they thrived!

Kendra's Law participants experienced better than 85% reduction in their rates of homelessness, incarceration, and hospitalization when compared to their records three years prior to joining the program. KENDRA'S LAW WORKS, and this has already been proved. The fact that there were 85% fewer arrests among Kendra's Law participants means communities were also much safer because there was LESS CRIME.

With better than 85% success rate, why don't more municipalities apply Kendra's Law to mentally ill persons exiting prisons and mental hospitals? Legislation needs to be changed. Presently, enforced treatment is considered as being an infringement on the rights of mental patients, until there is a smoking gun or dripping knife. It could also be that Kendra's Law works TOO well. An 85% reduction in the arrests of mentally ill offenders would mean a corresponding loss in revenue to PRIVATE PRISON INVESTORS. It is more profitable to leave acute mental patients free and untreated in society and withhold provisions for their housing and food. Most untreated acute mental patients can be counted on to break the law at some point and commit crimes ranging from simple vagrancy to murder, then become prisoners.

Families of mentally challenged Americans have too little say in determinations that impact their own lives as they wrestle with mental health issues among their loved ones. Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill ("AIMI") was established to help identify and advance means for more mentally challenged persons to be successfully integrated into society and restored to wholesome living. AIMI endeavors to put forth the point of view held by human rights activists, family members, and many psychiatric patients who are directly impacted by mental health legislation. THERE IS A BETTER WAY TO ADDRESS MENTAL ILLNESS THAT IS MORE HUMANE, COST-EFFECTIVE, AND SAFER THAN IMPRISONMENT. Homelessness, prison and death must cease being America's answers to mental illness. These are currently the only options readily available for middle-class and indigent acute mental patients.

Rep. Johnson (D-TX) put forth H.R. 619 to reinstate Medicaid payments for inpatient mental health treatment, which would make long-term hospitalization available again for acute mental patients as well as short-term crisis intervention that could prevent tragedies. Assisted Outpatient Therapy programs should be immediately applied for mental patients exiting jails and hospitals. With those two changes, many families would be saved the unnecessary trauma of having their weakest members suffer incarceration for crimes they did not understand or lacked the wherewithal to avoid, and billions of dollars which presently go to imprisoning the mentally ill could be used for more constructive, humane purposes.  No one can be punished or rehabilitated into a state of mental health, and hospitals for acute patients would serve better than prisons for containment and treatment.

Many famous people have or had mental illness, including scientists, entertainers, and world leaders.  (See a partial list at Mary's page at the link below.)  Unless they are/were wealthy, they would likely be imprisoned in solitary confinement in 21st century America at great expense to taxpayers.

Read more about AIMI's quest to decriminalize mental illness at the links below. Your feedback on this important issue is invited.

Mary Neal

Dog Justice - now translated into three languages!

Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill

Mary's Page:




Address: P.O. Box 7222, Atlanta, GA 30357

AIMI Photo Album:

Radio Interview: Real Talk with Brothas Keepa - May 2008: "Mental Illness in the Black Community"

Reference Links:



More Information:

decriminalizementalillness, kendra'slaw, larryneal, maryneal , AssistancetotheIncarceratedMentallyIll, AIMI, DogJustice, LarryNeal, PTSD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Prisoners, PrivatePrisons

Jun 6, 2009

Ronnie Holloway claims he was on his routine nightly walk when Passaic Police Officer Joseph J. Rios III attacked him. (Courtesy:

(above): Ronnie Holloway  was on his routine nightly walk when  Officer Joseph J. Rios III attacked him. (Courtesy: NorthJersey. com)


From ABC News:

"The tape shows Holloway, 49, waiting outside Lawrence's Grill and Bar restaurant in Passaic when a police cruiser pulled up and a female officer asked him to zip up his sweatshirt. Holloway appears to comply, but Rios jumps out and begins hitting him with his fists and a baton.

"The scene shows baby strollers and other pedestrians walk by in the downtown retail section of this community of immigrants and working poor.

"Holloway does not appear to resist, and at one point, Rios seems to stand him back up and then slam him into the police cruiser.

"'These cops know him,' said Holloway's lawyer Nancy Lucianna of Fort Lee, N.J. 'He's lived in the town for 25 years, does the same routine every night. He goes out after dinner, takes a walk, and paces back and forth.'"

Police beating of schizophrenic caught on tape - what are your comments? ====== Police Beating of Schizophrenic Caught on Tape
Bar Video for Criminal Activity Catches Alleged Police Brutality

Ronnie Holloway's eyes were still black and blue one week after he was allegedly beaten by a Passaic, N.J., police officer -- an attack that was inadvertently caught on a video surveillance camera.

Holloway, who is on medication for schizophrenia, joined more than 80 others outside that community's city hall Saturday to demand that Officer Joseph R. Rios III be fired.  

Soft-Spoken Man Now Confused by Police

Lucianna said Holloway, who is a "soft-spoken, almost childlike" man who lives with his mother, has never had a police record of any kind.

"He is compliant and calm with medication," she told

His mother, Betty Holloway, said that without the surveillance tape, the truth about what happened would never have been revealed.

She said the female officer at the scene never tried to stop the officer as her son was beaten to the ground. Both Holloways deny he had a drug problem.

Betty Holloway said her son had always respected police before this incident.

"Now, he is confused and doesn't know what to think," she told ABC reporter Stacey Sager of New York affiliate WABC.

Passaic police refused to comment for Rios, a 7-year veteran of the police department is still on active duty, according to local police reports.

The Holloways have filed a complaint with the police's internal affairs department demanding an investigation. They are also asking for the state country prosecutor's office to bring criminal charges against Rios and are filing a suit against the department for police brutality.

"We are looking for the police department to suspend the officer pending an investigation, " said Lucianna. "And I don't think this will take too much time -- maybe 15 minutes -- because the videotape speaks for itself. We don't want this to happen to anyone else."

One of the demonstrators at Saturday's rally -- Shawanna Barksdale of Passaic -- claims she, too, had been pulled from her car two years ago by Rios in a case of mistaken identity.

"I'm really upset this happened again," said Barksdale, a 30-year-old phlebotomist with three children, ages 15, 9 and 2. "It's still bad enough to be emotional."

She said Rios had jumped into her barely stopped car as she was pulling over to assist her sister, who was parked by the side of the road.

"He just attacked me," she told "He jumped in my vehicle and dragged me out by my hair. I still had my foot on the brake and wasn't even parked. He told me to get out with no explanation why, then hit me and cussed at me."

Barksdale said she was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and obstruction with a vehicle. Those charges were later dropped, but no action was taken against the police.

Police Shouldn't Hurt Us

"I remember that," said her cousin, Khadijah Barksdale, 15, who was babysitting for the three children while Shawanna Barksdale was at the rally. "He hit her, and she had to defend herself any way she could."

"I think [the officer] should be charged with something and fired," she said. "That's just not right because he has a gun on him and all the power. He's a policeman. He shouldn't be hurting anybody."

Holloway was charged with "wandering or loitering or remaining for the purpose of obtaining drugs."

Video surveillance was set up at Lawrence's Grill and Bar to catch criminal activity. On May 29, the day of the alleged beating, the shift manager was told there had been a police incident outside and reviewed the recording.

The tape, according to Holloway's lawyer, was sent to the Passaic Police Department, "who did nothing about it."

The tape was eventually made public by the Bergen County Record newspaper.


The black eye and a telling surveillance video
demonstrate that Ronnie Holloway (above), who
is on medication for schizophrenia, was beaten
during an altercation with Passaic Police.
Video at
http://www.1010wins .com/VIDEO- -Police-Investig ate-Passaic- Beating-Tape/ 4546752
Mar 7, 2009

PLEASE NOTE AND PROMOTE.  Thank you.  Care2News Network Link: 

Beheader Vince Li Found Criminally Not Responsible
Health & Wellness 


VINCE LI, the schizophrenic man who decapitated a fellow passenger on a Canadian Greyhound bus last year and proceeded to eat his flesh, has been found to be insane and will not be criminalized for his acts, but will be treated for mental illness instead.  (Directly to the article:


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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