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Mar 27, 2010

Yes, you can make a difference!

Exciting news to report! We have a congressional bill to support that will help decriminalize mental illness in America!  A life is a terrible thing to waste.

Please VOTE for H.R.619 to replace prisons w/ hospitals for acute mental patients. The link below will take you to OpenCongress.org where you can use your voice to say to our elected officials, “We care about the least of these, His brethren: naked, sick prisoners.” (Matt.25:36) http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h619/show

Please agree that millions of citizens should not be left imprisoned or live under the threat of prison because their health care needs are not addressed.  Support H.R.619: Medicaid funding for psychiatric hospitals instead of prison cells for mentally challenged people – a change that will save money and restore lives!

Thanks in advance for voting. Please invite others!

H.R. 619 gives us the opportunity to
end discrimination against mentally ill citizens. Families of acute patients watch loved ones spiral downward mentally from lack of treatment until many of them eventually wind up homeless, imprisoned (sometimes after avoidable atrocities), or dead.  Please tell your representatives we want mental hospitals, which are important for community safety, reducing prison costs, and protecting human rights. 

As we go about our lives, there are 1.25 million mental patients imprisoned, some of whom have no criminal charges but were arrested on lunacy warrants.  Others have done horrible crimes because they could not get the psychiatric treatment they needed.  There is a simple song we sang in my old, wooden Methodist church when I was a child that seems to apply to the 1 in 5 Americans who have mental illness - "Do Not Pass Me By."  Below is my tweet to the 111th Congress today:

@cxs Mentally ill citizens sing fr prison "Please don't pass me by" 4 #health care. Pass H.R.619 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ-f4c9Zh_U

Treatment Advocacy Center, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and numerous other mental health organizations and advocates support H.R.619.  NAMI's letter of support is at this link:  http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1405992

Most congressional bills never reach the House floor for a vote, but die in committees.  H.R.619 was introduced on January 21, 2009, and it is still being reviewed by committees.  Your help is needed.  So far, the bill that could decriminalize mental illness in America has gotten no major news coverage although over half the inmates in facilities across the country are mentally ill. To learn more about the negative impact that criminalizing mental illness has on society and individual people, you are invited to visit the website below.   Thanks for your interest in helping the least of these, His brethren!

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

JAIL IS THE LAST THING THAT MENTAL
PATIENTS NEED, AND TOO OFTEN, IT IS THE VERY LAST THING THEY
EXPERIENCE. Please join our effort to decriminalize mental illness. No
one deserves to be punished for having a disability.

Jul 7, 2009
Taser Torture In America - Please Sign the Petition

A Call For Congressional Hearings
http://www.petition2congress.com/2/1822/taser-torture-in-america-call-congressional-hearings/


The petition language:

Dear Senator Reid, Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Black Caucus:

We call on our Congress to speak out and organize public hearings on the systemic human rights violations occurring with Federal funding against black, Latino, Native American and other Americans.

While there continues to be considerable media and congressional attention to torture in Guantanamo, there is comparatively little attention to the mounting evidence of human rights violations in the streets of America by a number of police departments across America, including torture and killings of black children, women and men through-out the United States through the use and abuse of Tasers.

We want Congress to stand up with us against the police pre-trial electrocution of black children, women and men by taser.

We believe that few Americans support spending our tax dollars on torture, which violates our moral, religious and legal traditions.

Most Americans expect an American policing policy that ensures the rights of all individuals regardless of race, greed, color, national origin, sex, disability or political or religious affiliation.

We believe most Americans would favor Congressional hearings as to whether our own U.S. police, policing policies and actions violate Federal and International laws prohibiting human rights violators.

Evidence of widespread police abuse of tasers is more than enough to warrant our concern and justify a congressional inquiry.

We propose that Congress undertake serious oversight into the extent to which our taxes are funding human rights violations and torture by tasing, and provide an alternative roadmap to the restoration of our democratic values. We want Congress to make sure that police pre-trial electrocution of black children, women and men by taser stops.

1. We are calling on the U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department to aggressively fulfill its most basic mandate of enforcing the law. Torture by tasing is a crime, and the Justice Department is the right place to initiate an independent top-to-bottom investigation of the torturing of black children men, women and children by local police jurisdictions throughout the United States. It's important that the general public understand the 'use of force continuum' used by law enforcement officials, and how it is abused by many in the law enforcement community. (See the use-of-force-continuum provided by the blog Electronic Village) Note: Although there is a Justice Department Review of TASER-related Deaths the on-the-spot pre-trial electrocutions continues.

2. Congress should investigate whether US police tasing policies violate Federal or international civil and human right laws, including the U.N. Convention against Torture, and international covenants against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of citizens even in cases of so-called "state emergencies".

3. Congress should require the effective regulation of Taser use and require police/ citizen review panels by Federal, state and local police and security agencies, including strict adherence to international human rights standards, or act to defund all such Federal, State and local police and security agencies who violate taser use regulations that would be established by Congress. No Federal stimulus dollars should be used to purchase tasers.

We ask the Congress to hold congressional hearings to reach its own conclusions regarding the use and abuse of tasers, particularly as it relates to minority group members such as blacks, Native Americans and Latinos.

As you know the UN's Committee against Torture has declared that Taser use can constitute a form of torture, while USA: Amnesty International has an on-going concern about the use of tasers on American citizens. With all the conversation about the Bush torture memos and torture in the United States, we the undersigned bring up the issue of torture of black Americans at the hands of police in the United States. We urge you to stand up against the police pre-trial electrocution of black children, women and men by taser.

ADD YOUR SIGNATURE HERE: 
http://www.petition2congress.com/2/1822/taser-torture-in-america-call-congressional-hearings/



I added text to my letter:

Amnesty International reported in Dec. 2008 that the Taser death toll was 334. But Dr. Kohler, Chief Medical Examiner of Summit County, Ohio, was ordered by the court to change her determination of the cause, manner, and mode of death in autopsy reports for three men who died during confrontations with law enforcement and delete all references to death by Taser. She appealed and lost. Therefore, MEs across America were taught that courts will not tolerate them reporting Taser deaths. Dr. Kohler was ordered to change the cause of those three deaths from "homicide" to "accidental" and "undetermined." They would have broght the official Taser death toll to 337 before New Year's Day 2009. Read about this case of the judge overruling the medical examiner at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Ohio-Court-of-Appeals-Affirms-pz-14826061.html


The Ohio courts' ruling put MEs across the U.S. on notice to downplay Tasers' role in deaths. Furthermore, MEs are on the same county payrolls as police officers. Some MEs have been caught lying about deaths involving law officers and were prosecuted.  Because many judges, medical examiners, and politicians own Taser stock, suing for death by Taser is like suing those people personally. The same is true of trying to sue jails and prisons since the advent of private prisons.

If there are Congressional Taser hearings, demand to see the stock portfolios of all judges and medical examiners who have input in Taser-death trials, as well as their spouse's and children's portfolios. Also check the portfolios of the congresspersons on the hearing panel. Only if this is done will families of Taser victims be compensated fairly for such deaths. To know how far courts and politicians will go to protect police in the wrong, read about THE COCHRAN FIRM FRAUD online.   
http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com

Thank you for all you do to uphold justice.


**************************************************

Here is a beautiful waterfall that reminds me of AIMI and all Care2 members - a series of waterfalls all coming together to make something lovely!




Not only are waterfalls beautiful to look at, but they are powerful, too.  Have you ever heard a waterfall roar?  What a strong sound!  The waterfall applies constant pressure to the hard rock, and it is capable of eventually changing the rock formation! 

Remember, elected officials care about what voters care about, and voters cannot care about problems they do not know about.  Inform someone today!  Please grab the link to this petition and send to your friends.

Unfortunately, mental patients are probably tasered more than any other group.  Tasers are not non-lethal; they are less lethal weapons.  I think that on occasion, Tasers have saved lives.  Officers needed to diffuse a situation and did not have to use live ammo.  But Tasers should not be used unless officers are in a situation where it is worth killing someone, because that is the risk the police officer is taking.  I don't think Tasers should ever be used on six-year-old children or 72-year-old great grandmothers, and this has been done.

WE NEED CLEAR GUIDELINES FOR TASER USAGE.

How long has it been since you emailed your representatives to express concern about indescriminate Taser usage?  This petition is your chance and an opportunity for your friends to help crash rocks!  Please add your stream of water to those of many others. 


Mary Neal
ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL
http://www.Care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI

May 25, 2009
Please send an email and support hospitals for violent mental patients who suffer cruelly in jails, and support Assisted Outpatient Treatment programs (like Kendra's Law) for non-violent mentally ill offenders. 
criminal_justice@webb.senate.gov

It costs no more to treat violent mentally ill persons in hospitals than to "treat" them in prison, and a prison environment (especially solitary confinement, which is the usual case for acute patients) does nothing to promote their healing.  It costs significantly less than either jail or hospitalization to treat mentally ill offenders who are non-violent in their communities.  Assisted outpatient treatment programs have a better than 85% success rate in reducing homelessness, arrests, hospitalizations and re-arrests of mentally ill offenders, and can restore many sick people to wholesome living.  Please read this brief description:
http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1056090
 
All that is needed in many cases of acute mental illness is the same thing that is required for high blood pressure or diabetes - constant monitoring and treatment.  That has been lacking ever since laws were put in place that prevent non-consentual treatment.  Many mentally ill people do not recognize they are sick, and their families are prevented from ordering them into treatment due to ridiculous laws that require waiting until there are smoking guns and dripping knives or a Tasered body lying at the feet of police officers to prove that a sick person needed help.

Senator Webb from Virginia introduced a bill on March 26, 2009 – "The National Criminal Justice Act of 2009" in attempt to revamp the prison system on a number of fronts. 
 
For those of you directly affected by incarceration it will behoove you to take the time to educate yourselves about this Act, subsequently offering your then educated opinions and suggestions to Senator Webb. His email address is: criminal_justice@webb.senate.gov
 
The Institute has written to Senator Webb about his efforts, and we encourage you also to do the same after reading his legislation, letting him know you've been made aware of his efforts by the Institute (if in fact it is a true statement) if you were not aware of it prior to this email. We strongly encourage you to "tease out" issues within the legislation that aren't addressed or are inferred. Highlight them. State them. Voice your concerns. Present your questions. You know first-hand the pitfalls, the contradictions, and hypocrisy of prison sentencing, delivery of healthcare etc. No better people are equipped to zero-in on the politics of prison then the very people it effects....YOU.  You know first hand through experience.  He does not. Let him hear from you.
 
Below are links that will provide you with information about this Act. In addition, the legislation itself is attached to this email for your reference and review.
 
 
P
 
Mar 28, 2009 ... For a Senator like Webb to spend his time trumpeting the evils of .... most politicians in most circumstances to do what Jim Webb is doing ...
 
I encourage you also to cross-reference his Bill with the June 2006 "Report of The Commission on Safety and abuse in America’s Prisons". The complete report can be accessed and ordered free of charge at: http://www.prisoncmmission.org
 
Mary Neal
http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
http://Care2.com/c2c/groups/AIMI

JAIL IS THE LAST THING

 

 MENTAL PATIENTS NEED ... AND TOO OFTEN,

 JAIL IS THE L-A-S-T THING THEY EXPERIENCE.

 Please join us in our quest to decriminalize

 mental illness in America. NO ONE should be

 punished for having a disability.

ARADE Magazine | Why We Must Fix Our PrisonsWhy We Must Fix Our Prisons. By Senator Jim Webb. published: 03/29/2009. Prison inmates. Inmates at a facility in California, a state that spent almost $10 http://www.parade.com/news/2009/03/why-we-must-fix-our-prisons.html

 

 
 
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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