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View Diary: Stop Blaming Newtown Tragedy On Mental Illness (301 comments)

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  •  I've seen mentally ill people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, poligirl

    treated very shabbily even here at DK - and by very senior  FPers.  The problem is pervasive.

    Yeah, I don't see how US society at large has made any progress fighting stigmatization.  Any progress seems limited within the families and professionals involved.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:43:01 AM PST

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    •  I was in a jury pool once that was (4+ / 0-)

      being asked by the state to convict a guy who showed up in a prison jump suit with no shoes and waived at all of us with the biggest grin saying "Hi!" when he walked in.  He was happy as a clam and SO happy to see all of us.  Like an excited, enthusiastic four year old.

      He was charged with attacking a woman at a bus stop with an umbrella. It was clear that the guy was completely nuts and didn't even have a clue what was happening to him.  Initially, I wondered if they were taking prisoners' shoes away from them in court.  I was not empaneled on the jury and checked in with my Dad who was a defense attorney at the same court.  I wanted to ask him about shoe policy.  

      Turns out that the guy was as mentally ill as he appeared to be - he didn't wear shoes because no one could convince him it was a good idea - and he probably suffered from something like schizophrenia although I don't know for sure.  In any case, I asked why he was in court and not at a hospital.  My father's flat and short response was, "They don't do that anymore.  They put them in jail now."

      That was a number of years ago now.  He's probably either dead or back at the bus stop chasing invisible demons with umbrellas.  Not exactly helpful to anyone, sadly.

      •  interesting anecdote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ice Blue

        My understanding is that NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity) is harder to get in court these days almost everywhere.

        I've worked with some mentally ill people in a former career in social work.  My wife though has been a forensic psychologist for many years.  Her patients are the ones found NGRI in situations where they killed someone.  Schizophrenia and depression are the usual culprits.  They are put away for life in high security and are treated relatively well.  They aren't sentenced per se, but they are given a "Thiem date" which indicates when (if ever) they can be released.

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:20:26 AM PST

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        •  A bit more than anecdotal. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smartdemmg, Brit

          My father's mix of clients between the sane and criminal and the mentally ill changed over the 25 or so years he was a defense attorney.  The number of mentally ill clients increased and more and more services were cut.  By the time I was in that jury pool, it was pretty standard for him and his colleagues to represent people who really should have been handled by mental health services professionals according to him.

      •  Years of being a cab driver (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ice Blue, Satya1, inclusiveheart, Brit

        I had a contract with the local psychiatric hospital and emergency room. They'd use our cabs to drive people from one to the other. Not infrequently, I'd pick someone up from the ward still in the same condition as when I'd dropped them off. It was rarely more than a few days apart. This was state-funded, so there was no money to keep most people. I'd be given a voucher to drop them off. Where, you ask?

        Anywhere. They got to choose.

        I've seen a lot of things and people with serious thought disorders are at the top of my list.

        These people do not receive adequate treatment, and yes, they are often put in-custody for violence, but sadly, let out due to violence as well. I presume most wind up in jail later.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:53:08 AM PST

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