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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

Aug 20, 2009

Assisted outpatient treatment

SUMMARY: Forty-three states permit the use of assisted outpatient treatment, also called outpatient commitment. Assisted outpatient treatment is court-ordered treatment (including medication) for individuals who have a history of medication noncompliance, as a condition of remaining in the community. Studies and data from states using assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) prove that AOT is effective in reducing the incidents and duration of hospitalization, homelessness, arrests and incarcerations, victimization, and violent episodes. AOT also increases treatment compliance and promotes long-term voluntary compliance.

* * *

Assisted outpatient treatment is court-ordered treatment (including medication) for individuals who have a history of medication noncompliance, as a condition of remaining in the community. Typically, violation of the court-ordered conditions can result in the individual being hospitalized for further treatment.

Forty-three states permit the use of assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), also called outpatient commitment. The seven states that do not have assisted outpatient treatment are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Nevada and Tennessee. Florida adopted an AOT law on June 30, 2004.

 

Assisted outpatient treatment reduces hospitalization Several studies have clearly established the effectiveness of assisted outpatient treatment in decreasing hospital admissions.

Data from the New York Office of Mental Health on the first five years of implementation of Kendra's Law indicate that of those participating, 77 percent fewer experienced hospitalization (97 percent versus 22 percent).1

A randomized controlled study in North Carolina (hereinafter "the North Carolina study"), demonstrated that intensive routine outpatient services alone, without a court order, did not reduce hospital admission. When the same level of services (at least three outpatient visits per month with a median of 7.5 visits per month) were combined with long-term AOT (six months or more), hospital admissions were reduced 57 percent and length of hospital stay by 20 days compared with individuals without court-ordered treatment. The results were even more dramatic for individuals with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders for whom long-term AOT reduced hospital admissions by 72 percent and length of hospital stay by 28 days compared to individuals without court-ordered treatment. The participants in the North Carolina study were from both urban and rural communities and "generally did not view themselves as mentally ill or in need of treatment."2

In Washington, D.C., admissions decreased from 1.81 per year to 0.95 per year before and after assisted outpatient treatment.3 In Ohio, the decrease was from 1.5 to 0.44 and in Iowa, from 1.3 to 0.3.5

In an earlier North Carolina study, admissions for patients on assisted outpatient treatment decreased from 3.7 to 0.7 per 1,000 days.6

Only two studies have failed to definitively find assisted outpatient treatment effective in reducing admissions. One was a Tennessee study in which it was evident that "outpatient clinics are not vigorously enforcing the law" and thus nonadherence had no consequences.7

The second was a study of the Bellevue Pilot Program in New York City in which the authors acknowledged that a "limit on [the study's] ability to draw wide-ranging conclusions is the modest size of [the] study group." Additionally, during the period of the study, there was no procedure in place to transport individuals to the hospital for evaluation if they did not comply with treatment orders. As in the Tennessee study, nonadherence to a treatment order had no consequences. Although not statistically significant because of the small study group, the New York study suggests that the court orders did in fact help reduce the need for hospitalization. Patients in the court-ordered group spent a median of 43 days in the hospital during the study, while patients in the control group spent a median of 101 days in the hospital. The difference just misses statistical significance at the level of p = 0.05.8

Assisted outpatient treatment reduces homelessness

A tragic consequence for many individuals with untreated mental illnesses is homelessness.  At any given time, there are more people with untreated severe psychiatric illnesses living on America's streets than are receiving care in hospitals.  In New York, when compared to three years prior to participation in the program, 74 percent fewer AOT recipients experienced homelessness.

Assisted outpatient treatment reduces arrests

Arrests for New York's Kendra's Law participants were reduced by 83 percent, plummeting from 30 percent prior to the onset of a court order to only 5 percent after participating in the program. When compared with a similar population of mental health service recipients, participants in the program were 50 percent more likely to have had contact with the criminal justice system prior to their court order.

The North Carolina study found that for individuals who had a history of multiple hospital admissions combined with arrests and/or violence in the prior year, long-term assisted outpatient treatment reduced the risk of arrest by 74 percent. The arrest rate for individuals in long-term AOT was 12 percent, compared with 47 percent for those who had services without a court order.9

Assisted outpatient treatment reduces violence

Kendra's Law resulted in dramatic reductions in the incidence of harmful behaviors for AOT recipients at six months in AOT as compared to a similar period of time prior to the court order.  Among individuals participating in AOT: 55 percent fewer recipients engaged in suicide attempts or physical harm to self; 47 percent fewer physically harmed others; 46 percent fewer damaged or destroyed property; and 43 percent fewer threatened physical harm to others.  Overall, the average decrease in harmful behaviors was 44 percent.

The North Carolina study found that long-term AOT combined with intensive routine outpatient services was significantly more effective in reducing violence and improving outcomes for severely mentally ill individuals than the same level of outpatient care without a court order. Results from that study showed a 36 percent reduction in violence among severely mentally ill individuals in long-term assisted outpatient treatment (180 days or more) compared to individuals receiving less than long-term assisted outpatient treatment (0 to 179 days). Among a group of individuals characterized as seriously violent (i.e., committed violent acts within the four-month period prior to the study), 63.3 percent of those not in long-term AOT repeated violent acts while only 37.5 percent of those in long-term AOT did so. Long-term AOT combined with routine outpatient services reduced the predicted probability of violence by 50 percent.10

Assisted outpatient treatment reduces victimization

The North Carolina study demonstrated that individuals with severe psychiatric illnesses who were not on assisted outpatient treatment "were almost twice as likely to be victimized as were outpatient commitment subjects." Twenty-four percent of those on assisted outpatient treatment were victimized, compared with 42 percent of those not on assisted outpatient treatment. The authors noted "risk of victimization decreased with increased duration of outpatient commitment," and suggest that "outpatient commitment reduces criminal victimization through improving treatment adherence, decreasing substance abuse, and diminishing violent incidents" that may evoke retaliation.11

Assisted outpatient treatment improves treatment compliance

Assisted outpatient treatment has also been shown to be extremely effective in increasing treatment compliance. In New York, the number of individuals exhibiting good service engagement increased by 51 percent (from 41 percent to 62 percent), and the number of individuals exhibiting good adherence to medication increased by 103 percent (from only 34 percent to 69 percent).

In North Carolina, only 30 percent of patients on AOT orders refused medication during a six-month period compared to 66 percent of patients not on AOT orders.12 In Ohio, AOT increased compliance with outpatient psychiatric appointments from 5.7 to 13.0 per year; it also increased attendance at day treatment sessions from 23 to 60 per year.

AOT also promotes long-term voluntary treatment compliance. In Arizona, "71 percent [of AOT patients] ... voluntarily maintained treatment contacts six months after their orders expired" compared with "almost no patients" who were not court-ordered to outpatient treatment.13 In Iowa "it appears as though outpatient commitment promotes treatment compliance in about 80 percent of patients while they are on outpatient commitment. After commitment is terminated, about three-quarters of that group remained in treatment on a voluntary basis."

Assisted outpatient treatment improves substance abuse treatment Individuals who received a court order under New York's Kendra's Law were 58 percent more likely to have a co-occurring substance abuse problem compared with a similar population of mental health service recipients. The incidence of substance abuse at six months in AOT as compared to a similar period of time prior to the court order decreased substantially: 49 percent fewer abused alcohol (from 45 percent to 23 percent) and 48 percent fewer abused drugs (from 44 percent to 23 percent).

 

ENDNOTES

1 N.Y. State Office of Mental Health (March 2005). Kendra's law: Final report on the status of assisted outpatient treatment. New York: Office of Mental Health.

2 Swartz, M.S., J.W. Swanson, R.H. Wagner, et al. Can involuntary outpatient commitment reduce hospital recidivism? American Journal of Psychiatry, 156:1968-75 (1999).

3 Zanni, G. and L. DeVeau. Inpatient stays before and after outpatient commitment. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 37:941-42 (1986).

4 Munetz, M.R., T. Grande, J. Kleist, and G.A. Peterson. The effectiveness of outpatient civil commitment. Psychiatric Services 47:1251-53 (1996).

5 Rohland, B.M. The role of outpatient commitment in the management of persons with schizophrenia. Iowa Consortium for Mental Health, Services, Training, and Research (May 1998).

6 Fernandez, G.A. and S. Nygard. Impact of involuntary outpatient commitment on the revolving-door syndrome in North Carolina. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 41:1001-4 (1990).

7 Bursten B. Posthospital mandatory outpatient treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry 143:1255-58 (1986).

8 Policy Research Associates, Inc. Research study of the New York City involuntary outpatient commitment pilot program. (December 1998).

9 Swanson, J.W, R. Borum, M.S. Swartz, et al. Can involuntary outpatient commitment reduce arrests among persons with severe mental illness? Criminal Justice and Behavior 28: 156 (2001).

10 Swanson, J.W., M.S. Swartz, R. Borum, et al. Involuntary outpatient commitment and reduction of violent behaviour in persons with severe mental illness. British Journal of Psychiatry, 176: 224-31 (2000).

11 Hiday V.A., M.S. Swartz, J.W. Swanson, R. Borum, and H.R. Wagner. Impact of outpatient commitment on victimization of people with severe mental illness. Am J Psychiatry 159:1403-1411, 2002.

12 Hiday, V.A. and T.L. Scheid-Cook. The North Carolina experience with outpatient commitment: A critical appraisal. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 10:215-32 (1987).

13 Van Putten, R.A., J.M. Santiago, and M.R. Berren. Involuntary outpatient commitment in Arizona: A retrospective study. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 39:953-8 (1988).

Jul 29, 2009

I read that at Am Liberals that the Virginia Tech families want the case re-opened about the man who shot their loved ones.  Many other families have been impacted by violence against their members by persons with a long history of mental illness.  The mentally ill themselves are most often victims of their own dysfunctions and the way the system responds to their conditions - tasering, shooting them, imprisonment at great expense to taxpayers - rather than treatment.  See http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com

Why is this allowed to continue?  Simply so that the mentally ill can be preserved UNTREATED and land in prisons and jails.  Private prison facilities use mentally ill persons as commodities.  Currently, American taxpayers pay around $50 BILLION per year for prison fees, and over 1/2 of those imprisoned are mentally ill people who should be under MANDATORY TREATMENT in their communities or if they did violent crimes, they should be hospitalized without their agreement being needed. 

I am CENSORED and ENDANGERED because I advocate for enforced care for mental patients, something that would cost prison profiteers dearly because Kendra's Law already proved that program participants experienced around 90% reduction in incarceration, hospitalization, and homelessness once they were enrolled in the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Program (AOT).  

The Virginia Tech families are right to demand answers.  As more soldiers transition home with PTSD, we should all demand changes in the way mental illness is treated in America.  Sgt. Russel is NOT the only soldier who did numerous consecutive tours of duty and lost his sense of reason.  Before there are more VA Tech incidents - maybe while YOUR teens are at the mall - demand an end to the existing laws that mentally ill persons must "prove to be a danger to self and others."  Why must we wait until there are smoking guns and dripping knives and bodies here and there before a mental patient gets Enforced Treatment -- but not in his hospital or in his community where he should have, but in PRISON, so that rich prison owners and investors can profit?

Already, there is a marked increase in the criminal acts being done by veterans - particularly veterans from the present overseas conflict.  Our military personnel will soon transition home and many will become prisoners of war like Sgt. Russel.  Someone has to die before mental patients are treated IN PRISONS, when they should have gotten care before the tragedies.  But who must die before the next vet gets care?  Been to the mall lately?

I am also CENSORED and ENDANGERED because of this and because I write about my mentally ill brother who was held under SECRET ARREST and murdered, and authorities REFUSE his family any records or accountability - Freedom of Information Act Request re: Shelby County Jail and The Cochran Firm Fraud -

FOIA REQUEST TO USDOJ RE: LARRY NEAL AND THE COCHRAN FIRM FRAUD   http://my.nowpublic.com/health/foi-request-usdoj-re-larry-neal-and-cochran-firm-fraud

President Obama's executive order to strengthen the FOIA does not matter when it comes to hiding the truth about Larry Neal's murder in Shelby County Jail in Memphis, TN in 2003.

I am CENSORED and suffer from CYBERSTALKERS and in-person STALKING to prevent my telling the world about the PLAN to preserve mental patients untreated for future arrest and to prevent your knowing about my brother's murder.  Tonight I found that my RSS feed from Care2 has been deactivated so you would not be able to read the truth about either of these things.  See this that shows my feed was deactivated three weeks ago, although the setting is still set to feed.  There are huge GAPS in the data that went to RSS, also.
NOW THEY STOPPED MY RSS FEED FROM MY SHAREBOOK 
 
SEE THIS - the feed ends three weeks ago.  They also were choosing what to feed.  Censorship is intolerable.  What is the problem?  All we discuss is decriminalizing mental illness, anti-death penalty advocacy, and ending police brutality.  ARE THOSE TABOO SUBJECTS ON CARE2 - the network for people who CARE?: 

Mary Neal's Sharebook

Jul 19, 2009

NOTHING that is done to address mental illness outside of prison will work without instituting Assisted Outpatient Treatment Programs (AOTs).  These programs combine subsistence assistance with MANDATORY psychiatric treatment. That is why mentally ill offenders who are taken through mental health court only experienced  a 20 to 25% rate of improvement.  Although any decrease in imprisonment among the country's most vulnerable citizens is valuable to the mentally ill, their families, and taxpayers, the rate of improvement could easily and inexpensively triple under AOTs.

Mentally ill people who exit hospitals and jails usually stop taking their meds and keeping psychiatric appointments very quickly due to a condition that makes it impossible for them to know that they are even sick, called  "anosognosia."  As a result, they lapse back into psychosis and eventually do something worthy of incarceration.  Homelessness, arrests, hospitalizations, and incarcerations drop up to 90% among the mentally ill who are in AOT programs compared to their experiences of three years prior to participating in the AOT.  It is cheaper than prison by far (imprisoning the mentally ill costs the normal $50,000 per year PLUS up to another $100,000 for special needs.) 

Frequently, released psychiatric patients quit their treatment upon release from jails and hospitals because of anosognosia and commit crimes ranging from simple vagrancy to murder, like 32-year-old Na Yong Pak, a woman who was released from a mental health facility in Georgia last year despite her family's protests, and she promptly murdered her mom - burned her to death.  See this family's tragic story here:
http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2009/02/11/burned_woman_mental.html

There has been ZERO reduction in costs to taxpayers on behalf of the indigent mentally ill resulting from closing hospitals and reducing services in the communities. In fact, there was a significant increase in shifting the sick from hospitals and community care to the prison system.  The mentally ill are not going to jails instead of into treatment to save money or to save sick people from institutionalization.  The difference is WHO gets the money - private prison profiteers rather than hospital and outpatient treatment providers.

Methods and reasons for decriminalizing mental illness are explained in the article HUMAN RIGHTS FOR PRISONERS MARCH, as well as an explanation as to why the inexpensive, highly effective, lifesaving approach is not more broadly applied.  See the article at this link:
http://my.nowpublic.com/world/human-rights-prisoners-march-was-postponed-weather 

COMMENT CONTINUES AFTER THE VALUABLE ARTICLE BY DR. GROHOL.

Mary Neal
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
Http://www.Care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI

************************
Imprisoning People with Mental Illness
By John M Grohol PsyD
July 18, 2009

People with mental illness are increasingly ending up being imprisoned, rather than in the mental health care system where many of them belong. With the down economy, states and counties — who are primarily responsible for the health of the indigent — cut social services first. And with most public psychiatric hospitals long-since closed, people who have a mental disorder end up being warehoused not in hospitals, but in prisons.

Yes, we succeeded in closing down the state mental hospitals. But we moved the population not to outpatient facilities, but to our prisons.

Now, finally, people are realizing the short-sightedness of locking people with mental illness up, as the spiraling prison costs of doing so become a burden to cash-strapped local governments.

In Philadelphia, a new mental health court has just started, meant to divert people away from prison and into mental health treatment. By doing so, the hope is that they can reduce the incidence of mental illness within prisons, and provide better care for people with a mental disorder in the process.

The new court is part of an approach called “sequential interception,” which includes programs designed to intervene so that people with mental illness don’t get caught up in the criminal justice system - or even killed by it. [...]

The court and the CIT are responses to a complex problem that began decades ago when the closing of state hospitals released mentally ill people into the community without adequate support or services.

Decades later, the high numbers of mentally ill people occupying prisons - some reports put the number at 30 percent of the inmate population - suggests that in too many cases, prisons have replaced state hospitals.

Imagine that — up to 30 percent of prisoners could have a treatable mental disorder. And guess what kind of mental health care most prison systems offer? Limited, if any (federal prisons tend to do a better job in this area than state-run prisons, but none come close to offering the kinds of services one would typically find in their local community).

Human Rights Watch has called out the U.S. prison system for its warehousing of the mentally ill and giving them inadequate care:

In 1998, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were an estimated 283,000 prison and jail inmates who suffered from mental health problems. That number is now estimated to be 1.25 million. The rate of reported mental health disorders in the state prison population is five times greater (56.2 percent) than in the general adult population (11 percent).

Women prisoners have an even higher rate of mental health problems than men: almost three quarters (73 percent) of all women in state prison have mental health problems, compared to 55 percent of men.

“While the number of mentally ill inmates surges, prisons remain dangerous and damaging places for them,” said Jamie Fellner, director of Human Rights Watch’s U.S. Program and co-author of a 2003 report, “Ill-Equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness.” “Prisons are woefully ill-equipped for their current role as the nation’s primary mental health facilities.”

Prison systems are horrifying places to be in the first place. They are even more so for someone who is suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and doesn’t have access to standard treatments for them. The previous Human Rights Watch report noted:

Inmates with mental illness are often punished for their symptoms. Being disruptive, refusing to obey orders, and engaging in acts of self-mutilation and attempted suicide can all result in punitive action. As a result, the report noted, prisoners with mental illness often have extensive disciplinary histories.

Frequently, the prisoners end up in isolation units. “In the most extreme cases, conditions are truly horrific,” the report stated, adding:

Mentally ill prisoners locked in segregation with no treatment at all; confined in filthy and beastly hot cells; left for days covered in feces they have smeared over their bodies; taunted, abused, or ignored by prison staff; given so little water during summer heat waves that they drink from their toilet bowls. … Suicidal prisoners are left naked and unattended for days on end in barren, cold observation cells. Poorly trained correctional officers have accidentally asphyxiated mentally ill prisoners whom they were trying to restrain.

These are conditions one would expect in a third-world country. Not in the U.S. And not for people who are often most in need of compassion and care.

What research is there to show such mental health courts help? On Friday, a study was released that showed a 20 to 25 percent improvement in offender outcomes under the mental health court system in Minnesota.

Those who did not go through the specialized court got arrested again in less than three weeks.

Sociologist Henry Steadman, who heads the New York-based policy research group, said it’s important to view those numbers in context.

“Taking a hard-core, challenging population that has failed repeatedly in all three systems: criminal justice, substance abuse and mental health,” Steadman said, “and has cycled and is a particularly challenging group, and have come up with an intervention that is a 20 to 25 percent improvement on almost all the measures. My evaluation is that’s pretty damn good in today’s world.”

Indeed. While mental health courts don’t result in immediate cost savings, after about a year and a half, the savings start to add up. And of course, those 20 to 25 percent of people who go through such programs are leading far better lives than if they were stuck behind bars in prison.

But in the end, it’s not really about costs, is it? It’s about treating humans with basic dignity and respect, and taking care of those who need treatment and care. A society is judged in part by how they take care of their most vulnerable and sick citizens. Today, our society just got a little bit better.

Dr. John Grohol is the CEO and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/07/18/imprisoning-people-with-mental-illness/


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

THERE IS NO MYSTERY AS TO WHY 1.25 MILLION MENTALLY ILL AMERICANS ARE IN PRISON.  IT HAS TO DO WITH MONEY, AS DR. GROHOL SAID, BUT NOT SAVING TAXPAYERS MONEY. 

IT HAS TO DO WITH PRISON PROFITEERING AT THE EXPENSE OF SACRIFICING THE WEAKEST MEMBERS OF OUR SOCIETY. 

CRIMINALIZING MENTAL ILLNESS IS DONE TO BENEFIT PRISON PROFITEERS, LIKE EXCESSIVE SENTENCING, DENIAL OF DNA TESTING RIGHTS, DENIAL OF NEW TRIALS WITH SUBSTANTIAL EVIDENCE OF DOUBT, MANDATORY THREE-STRIKES LAWS, AND MANY WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS, WHICH RESULT MOST OFTEN FROM INADEQUATE DEFENSE BY PUBLIC DEFENDERS. 

SOME BELIEVE THAT PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFFICES HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF CAPITAL.  THE OPPOSIT IS TRUE.  EVERY INMATE, WHETHER INNOCENT OR GUILTY, COSTS TAXPAYERS AROUND $50,000 PER YEAR TO INCARCERATE.  THEREFORE, PROVIDING POOR LEGAL DEFENSE ACTUALLY COSTS MORE MONEY TO THE TAXPAYERS WHEN INNOCENT PEOPLE GO TO PRISON.  A 30-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO IS SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON COSTS TAXPAYERS AROUND $3.5 MILLION DOLLARS. THAT AMOUNT CAN BE MORE THAN DOUBLED IF THE INMATE IS OR BECOMES CHRONICALLY MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY ILL.  THEREFORE, PROVIDING INADEQUATE LEGAL SERVICES IS TERRIBLY EXPENSIVE EVEN IF IT RESULTS IN JUST ONE WRONGFUL CONVICTION, NOT TO MENTION THE UNJUST HUMAN SUFFERING.

MOST INSTANCES OF IMPRISONING MENTAL PATIENTS ARE VIOLATIONS AGAINST THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS, BECAUSE SO MANY OF THEM LACKED AN UNDERSTANDING OF THEIR MIRANDA LAW (GIVING ACCUSED PERSONS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT WHAT THEY SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST THEM).  ACUTE MENTAL PATIENTS ALSO USUALLY LACK THE ABILITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR OWN DEFENSE AT TRIAL.  NA YONG PAK'S BROTHER REPORTED THAT AFTER SHE BURNED THEIR MOTHER TO DEATH WITHIN 12 DAYS OF RELEASE FROM THE MENTAL HOSPITAL, NA YONG HAD NO IDEA WHATSOEVER WHY SHE WAS IN PRISON.  WHAT GOOD IS IT THAT TAXPAYERS SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS "PUNISHING" PEOPLE LIKE NA YONG.  THEY RECOGNIZE THEY ARE BEING TORTURED IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, COLD AND NAKED, BUT MANY OF THEM HAVE NO IDEA WHY THEY ARE MADE TO SUFFER. 

PRISONS ARE CALLED "CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS," AND THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS PUNISHMENT FOR WRONGDOING. PRISONS ARE ALSO SUPPOSED TO BE REHABILITATION FACILITIES, EVEN THOUGH PRECIOUS LITTLE IS DONE TO REHABILITATE INMATES.  IN ANY CASE, ACUTE MENTAL ILLNESS CANNOT BE "CORRECTED" BY PUNISHING SICK PEOPLE, AND IT CANNOT BE "REHABILITATED."  MENTAL ILLNESS IS A HEALTH CONDITION AND MUST BE TREATED, NOT PUNISHED.  THE VICTIMS OF THE DEVASTATING ILLNESS NEED CARE, LIKE VICTIMS OF HEART DISEASE, DIABETES, OR ANY OTHER CHRONIC ILLNESS. TREATMENT OF MENTAL ILLNESS CERTAINLY DOES NOT RISE TO THE COST OF OVER $3.5 MILLION REQUIRED FOR LIFETIME IMPRISONMENT AFTER EXPENSIVE TRIALS THAT SICK PEOPLE MAY NOT EVEN UNDERSTAND. 

NATIONWIDE APPLICATION OF KENDRA'S LAW FOR NON-VIOLENT MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS AND HOSPITALIZATION FOR VIOLENT SICK PEOPLE WOULD SAVE BILLIONS ANNUALLY OFF AMERICA'S PRISON BUDGET AND RESTORE 1.25 MILLION AMERICANS TO A MORE WHOLESOME EXISTENCE.  AOT PROGRAMS HAVE THE CAPACITY TO FACILITATE MOVING MANY MENTALLY ILL OFFENDERS FROM BEING A TAXPAYER BURDEN TO BECOMING TAXPAYERS, THEMSELVES. 


Prison Profiteering Is Lucrative by duo   WHENEVER THERE IS A SOCIAL ILL, LOOK AT THE MONEY TRAIL AND SEE WHERE IT LEADS.  THERE IS ALWAYS A MONETARY CAUSE FOR EVERY SOCIAL PROBLEM.  ( link: 1 Timothy 6:10 )

WHATEVER THE PROBLEM, CHECK AND SEE WHO PROFITS, whether it is a matter of war and peace; poor prison rehab programs; withholding treatment from the mentally ill unless they have the wherewithal to seek psychiatric services (reserving them for prison); environmental injustice; equipping all police officers with Tasers that they do not recognize as being merely less lethal, not "non-lethal"; inadequate public school education (keeping people ignorant); ousting God from public everything (so the Government will be the highest authority in the minds of the people), the proposal of forcing all U.S. citizens to choose between accepting a potentially harmful or deadly H1N1 vaccine or be incarcerated in FEMA camps, etc.  Someone profits from every social problem.


Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. ~Ecclesiastes 5:10
http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=LOVE+OF+MONEY&qs_version=31

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

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Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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13
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New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
Feb
12
by Just C.
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 \\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\nW hy this is important\\r\\nAs a community comprised of members actively using the tools provided by this site to accomplish needed improvements to various aspects of all life (animal, human, environmental), we, the undersigned, are her...
Feb
1
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Message to the President, and to the Congress:It\\\'s very simple. We can aim for a UNIVERSAL Standard of $15 an hour Minimum Wage for ALL - that would be {frugally} a living wage these days. One should not have to be employed, and on government assista...
Jan
29
by Jack S.
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The Winter issue of my BSC NEWS is available now at www.burlingtonseniorcente r.com
Jan
26
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\\nThis is my Message that I send every week or so, to the President, my Representative, and my two Senators. {And in this instance, to the Vice President also.} \\r\\nThe Majority of the people of this country, approve that the President {and Vice Presi...
Jan
23
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\\nWe declare that no man nor nation nor race have a greater right than others to enjoy the fruits of their work, as the ecological sphere is our common condition of life http://www.beat s4change.org/aims.htm Nous déclarons qu\\\'auc...
Jan
22
by Just C.
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\\n\\r\\n\\r\\n \\\"The only thing necessary for the triumph\\r\\n\\nof evil is for good men to do nothing.\\\" ~ Edmund Burke ~ \\n\\r\\n\\n
Jan
18
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I feel Care2 members should KNOW about the \\\"work from home\\\" ads, RECRUITING \\\"MULES\\\" TO CARRY OUT ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES. Just like the Drug Cartels do... A person who was recruited unwittingly by one of these ads, was given in a seattleweekly.com arti...
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\\nEvery week or every other week, I send a Message to the President and to my Representative and Senators. This is the text of my latest:\\r\\nI have just sent the following message to President Obama; and I believe all Congresspersons need to hear it a...