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Mar 7, 2010

Dog Justice

JAIL, HOMELESSNESS, AND EUTHANASIA — UNACCEPTABLE SOLUTIONS

From the website, Wrongful Death of Larry Neal
http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/story/story08.html

A young mother became alarmed in her local grocery store when she realized that her active three-year-old son was no longer trotting along behind her as she shopped. She and the store personnel hurriedly searched up and down the aisles looking for him and calling his name. They found the little tot sitting on the floor near the checkout on aisle 7, surrounded by colorful candy wrappers. He had opened dozens of different candies and sampled each one! His mouth and chin were covered with chocolate, and melted candy was smeared across his shirt and on the floor around him.

In a similar incident, my brother, Larry, walked into a supermarket one summer day, taking the opportunity to enjoy the air conditioning, for it was oppressively hot outside. As he walked down the fresh food aisle, his eyes fell on the rows of plump, sweet grapes. He stopped at that display, and with no effort to conceal his actions, Larry began to eat the grapes. They were cool and good, and he laughed aloud, delighted at how pleasant they tasted. Larry was interrupted in his consumption by an angry clerk who was yelling and pointing at him, directing the store guard to restrain that thief while the police were called. In fact, Larry was no more a thief than the three-year-old, because neither of them was acting out of malice, and in both scenarios an essential element of crime was missing: intent. Indeed, neither the three-year-old boy nor my mentally ill brother, in his diminished capacity, was capable of planning and executing a real crime.

The child rebelled when his mother lifted him away from the sweet feast. The youngster began to cry loudly and struggle against his mother to get back to “his” candy. But the boy’s mother was bigger and stronger than he was, and she effortlessly carried him away from the scene of his “crime.” Contrarily, no one in Larry’s family was big or strong enough to extricate him from the many situations his mental illness caused as he wandered at will the streets of Memphis. Indeed, Larry’s family was not allowed to either restrict his movements or enforce psychiatric treatment and drugs to help him. After all, mentally unstable people like Larry have their rights!

There are those organizations that denounce enforced hospitalization and treatment of the mentally ill, calling such intervention a violation of civil rights. The sincere efforts of such organizations may benefit those mentally ill persons who manage to stay clear of our nation’s jails; however, for thousands of others like Larry, it is just as unreasonable to expect them to run their own lives without psychiatric drugs and restraint as it would have been for the young mother to allow her little boy to finish the candy at his leisure and then find his own way home. Let those organizations fight not only for the rights of the moderately mentally ill, but let them also fight for inpatient care for mentally ill men and women who are today serving time for committing crimes they cannot even understand as well as for scores of mentally ill persons who are homeless, living under wretched conditions and deprived of treatment that might restore them to wholesome lives. (Visit the website for more information on Larry - how he lived, how he died.)  ____________________

Please join the 230 members at Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally ill and the 230,000 members of NAMI in supporting H.R. 619 to resume Medicaid funding for inpatient psychiatric care.  That will help people in crisis to have short-term hospitalization to stabilize them, and it would provide long-term care for patients whose conditions require containment and constant monitoring.  Long-term hospitalization is requried for violent patients as well as harmless people like Larry who cannot function at an acceptable level because of acute mental illness.

I know criminalizing mental illness cannot last much longer.  America has too many decent people in decision-making capacities.  All voters are in decision-making capacities, so that means YOU.  Please contact your representatives today and ask where they stand on H.R.619 to fund inpatient care for psychiatric patients, and tell them where you stand.  I hope you and your representatives will stand with NAMI and AIMI members as we seek to give ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL.

Blessings,

Mary Neal
http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/

Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
http://www.Care2.com/C2c/group/AIMI

Feb 25, 2010

.
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill ("AIMI") members support H.R. 619
to resume Medicaid funding for inpatient psychiatric treatment, proposed by Rep. Eddie Johnson (D-TX), a former psychiatric nurse.  It was largely the removal of Medicaid funding that attributed to America's current deficit of mental hospitals and criminalizing mental illness.  However, since 1.25 million mentally ill people are now imprisoned, taxpayers did not save anything by closing inpatient facilities and reducing community care options, and the nation's indigent acute mental patients suffer cruel incarceration.  In fact, 60% of inmates enduring solitary confinement prison torture are mentally disabled.  One hundred percent of police officers I polled agree that prisons and jails are the wrong places for mental patients, but police have nowhere else to take sick people when psychiatric crises require police response.  Many people are demanding CHANGE.  America must come out of the Dark Ages when acute mental patients were locked away in dungeons as they are now.  Our 111th Congress has responded to our outcry against this injustice by proposing legislation to address criminalizing mental illness and other issues related to mental health. Please get informed so that you can help our representatives enact laws for a saner, safer, less expensive, and more humane approach to mental illness - treatment, not punishment for being sick.  Use the GovTrack link below to review our representatives' proposed solutions.  Join GovTrack and elect to track the bills you care about.  Note that most proposed bills never make it past first base in Washington.  When it comes to rescuing Americans with mental disabilities and creating safer communities, nothing will work unless YOU do.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) declared its support for passing H.R. 619 in January.  NAMI is America's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness and has over 200,000 members. Visit the NAMI online at this link: http://www.nami.org/  Numerous other mental health organizations support H.R. 619, including Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC).   TAC states, "By excluding Medicaid payment for inpatient psychiatric care, the federal government is in effect blocking treatment for people with severe mental illness." TAC's link: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/ 

As of February 25, 2010, GovTrack link had one hundred seventy-seven (177) pending bills under the subject "mental health."  They include bills specific to veterans, Native Americans, women's health, teen and children's mental health, and more.  Please immediately contact your representatives and support Rep. Johnson's H.R. 619 to amend the Social Security Act XIX and restore Medicaid funding for inpatient psychiatric treatment for crisis situations and long-term care, and support other legislation on the list that you care about.  

     GovTrackUS - a civic project to track Congress
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/subjects.xpd?type=crs&term=Mental+health

Mental health bills

[At the link above] are the bills that are related to the "mental health" subject term. Click the Add Tracker button to the right to subscribe to this subject term. The following is a list of current pending legislation in Congress. These bills and resolutions have been proposed by Members of Congress but may not have had any action taken on them on their path to becoming law. In fact, the vast majority of proposed legislation never becomes law.

READ MORE ABOUT H.R. 619 AT THIS LINK:  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-619

H.R. 619: To amend title XIX of the Social Security Act to remove the exclusion from medical assistance under the Medicaid Program of items and services for patients in an institution for mental diseases.

Many of our representatives are working to reduce America's prison cost, which is $50 billion annually (around $180 billion per annum with police services and court costs added).  They introduced bills that could increase safety for mentally ill citizens as well as police officers and the communities they service IF the bills are passed.  Like Rep. Eddie Johnson, who introduced H.R. 619, other members of the 111th Congress want to  restore mentally challenged people to a wholesome existence by treating rather than continuing to punish sick people for being sick.  Numerous talented artists like Elvis Presley, Sean LeVert, and Brittany Spears have/had mental health issues.  Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and some world leaders also have/had that health issue, just as one in five Americans do.  Let us work with our 111th Congress to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and decriminalize the common, treatable health condition.  We likely have scientific geniuses locked away in prison cells right now, along with many of our veterans who suffer from PTSD.

Not all acute mental patients who are behind bars can be treated and released back into society.  Some are too sick and their untreated mental illness led them to commit offenses that are too horrifying.  That is why Rep. Johnson's H.R. 619 is so important.  The justice system needs an alternative to prisons for acute mental patients.  Short-term inpatient treatment in SECURE HEALING FACILITIES is required for patients experiencing a mental health crisis to PREVENT atrocities such as suicides and murders, and long-term commitment must be made available for the criminally insane who are now sentenced to life in prison or execution like Andre Thomas.  Andre Thomas is on TEXAS DEATH ROW, where he eats his body parts because he is so mentally disturbed.  Browse online for AIMI's petition to save Andre Thomas, Sgt. Russel, and other mentally ill people from execution.  None of them would have committed violent crimes had they been treated appropriately and timely for their mental illness. 

Thank you for everything you do to reduce America's prison costs while giving ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL.

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. ~ Proverbs 29:2

Mary Neal
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill ("AIMI")
http://www.Care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI
MaryLovesJustice, P.O. Box 153, Redan, GA  30074-0153

Feb 20, 2010

This is a web page from our website, Wrongful Death of Larry Neal, at this link - http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/

REMEMBERING LARRY

Larry was a remarkable person. Our mother reports that Larry suffered from an extremely high fever with a case of mumps at age nine. Until that time, Larry was like other children, but he was never completely rational after that. Whether or not that fever caused Larry’s problems is not understood. Diseases of the mind are still scientific mysteries.

Despite his mental illness, Larry was intelligent and literate. Larry had an almost photographic memory, and as a youngster, he loved to recite at our school’s weekly talent shows. Larry could recite verbatim the Webster Dictionary for as long as he was allowed time on stage. On his “bad” days, Larry sang and recited very loud and constantly. Larry would often deliver the Preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, and Bible verses. My siblings and I had an advantage over other students of American History because Larry repeatedly recited these great works. For all we know, Larry may have died reciting them. Despite his frequent and lengthy periods as an inpatient throughout his adolescence and early adulthood, Larry managed to complete 10th grade. The trouble with schools having students recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning is that many grow up, like Larry and me, actually believing that they have a right to “freedom and justice for all.” As children, we unequivocally believed the pledge applied equally to our family, our neighbors, and to everyone across America. I now realize that although the rights guaranteed under the Constitution should apply to all Americans, some must work very hard to make them a personal reality. For over four years, we have been doing just that in our quest for justice for Larry.

Larry was a patriot. When our brothers grew up, the Viet Nam war was underway, and Ed, who is two years older than Larry, volunteered for the Marines, and Larry immediately tried to enlist, too. Of course, Larry was rejected, but it was in his heart to be a soldier. One day after Ed returned home safely from war, Larry found his long military coat in the closet. Although it was a warm spring, Larry strutted around our little town for days wearing that coat proudly! He even boarded the bus taking students to my high school wearing that very coat. Since everyone in town knew Larry’s problems, the principal of the high school humored Larry and allowed him to attend a music class. None of the students is likely to ever forget that day!

Larry was a loving person, often giving away his money and clothes to other unfortunate people. Had Larry been a threat to society, he might have been hospitalized rather than jailed, thus saving his life. Although he lived in a State-appointed care home, Larry telephoned and visited his Memphis-area family members daily, always affirming his love for us before ending his call or visit. We assume that Larry was not allowed to call during his fatal incarceration, or he certainly would have telephoned for help.

Some of Larry’s relatives may still be embarrassed about his irrational behavior, having been teased often about our “crazy” relative. But I am not ashamed to say I had a handsome, loving, and very intelligent brother named Larry Morris Neal, and he was mentally ill. It is painful to consider the possible scenarios under which Larry may have died: Mace? Taser blasts? A heart attack brought on by terrifying hallucinations due to deprivation of Larry’s psychiatric drugs? We will never quit trying to uncover the truth about Larry’s secret incarceration and death. Larry’s family has a right to full disclosure.

Please contact your congressional representative today and demand that hospitalization replace incarceration for the mentally ill people in your state. http://www.house.gov/writerep

 

Aug 27, 2009

 

Please Note -- CARE2 NEWS NETWORK - http//www.care2.com/news/member/513396753/1232816

Abused Mentally Ill Man's Lawsuit Against CCA Private Prison Dismissed

Health & Wellness  (tags: CCA, MentallyIllPrisoners, DecriminalizeMentalIllness, PrisonProfiteers, FrankHorton, NashvillePrisonSystem, AssistanceToTheIncarceratedMentallyIll, AIMI, MaryNeal, wrongfuldeathoflarryneal, SolitaryConfinement, PrisonerTorture )

Mary
- 2 hours ago - tennessean.com

NOTE IN THE HEALTH & WELLNESS SECTION OF CARE2 NEWS NETWORK - http://www.care2.com/news/member/513396753/1232816


What happens when a mentally ill inmate is imprisoned naked for nine months living in filth in dark solitary confinement and is so abused and traumatized that he can only speak gibberish when released? Judge dismisses family's lawsuit, of course!  In fact, the judge said the severely mentally ill inmate who was incoherent from abuse including being gassed in jail should have filed a grievance.

Since poor Mr. Horton did not take time out from being mentally ill and file a grievance about his abuse, his lawsuit was dismissed when his grandmother filed suit on his behalf.  Mr. Horton was too busy living in his own excrement, with his hair matted and his skin diseased without any exercise, doctor's care, or anyone to ever say a kind word to him to file any grievance, Judge.  And after he got out of solitary confinement, he was so traumatized that his poor old grandmother tried to sue on his behalf.  But still, Mr. Horton did not snap out of it and file a grievance.  Well I thought a lawsuit was a grievance, but common people don't know all the loopholes, do we?

Tennessee jails are something else!   See http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com
hot!!!  click here - 4 comments

DOG JUSTICE, by Mary Neal

Too bad you weren't a dog, my brother
In my heart, I cried
Many more people would care about you
And wonder why you died

You had no spots or floppy ears
You never fetched a ball
Instead, you were a human being
But poor, black, and flawed

You died in jail for mental illness
I know down in my heart
Your death would be investigated
If only you could bark

Dog deaths get swift justice
Their abusers are sent to jail
Poor Mama would have closure now
If you'd had a wagging tail

But you were made in God's image
And some day, I have no doubt
The mentally ill and American dogs
Will have at least equal clout

                         by Mary Neal
                         
http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com

 

 

 

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

Author

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