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Posts Tagged ‘ mentally ill inmate ’

Robert is going to a hospital after months in jail!

Jan 9th, 2021

Languishing in the Smith County jail since April 2019, isolated in a single cell and untreated, Robert Paquin was beaten up—not uncommon for people experiencing mental illness in a local jail. His aunt asked Dalila for help, reporting that Robert had stopped eating, and worst of all, was being pressured to plead to a felony that would put him in prison for three years. Because of the work of TJP advocate Dalila Reynoso and her fundraising to hire a “low bono” attorney Brett Harrison, and because of coordinated efforts of TJP’s director Krish Gundu and the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, Robert was further evaluated by a forensic psychiatrist who declared him to be insane during the incident—and charges were dismissed. Robert will be moved to a long-term medical facility. His aunt told Dalila, “Y’all saved his life! You really did!””

When a loved one with mental disorders is arrested

Oct 1st, 2015

If your loved one has a mental health diagnosis and is arrested, it can be helpful to fax a letter to the county jail and request that your loved one be screened for placement in a mental health unit. (Or you can deliver your letter in person to the jail.) Here are instructions for what information

One easy way to stop a destructive cycle in our jails

Dec 22nd, 2014

Mentally ill Texans caught up in the criminal justice system do not fare well, for the most part. The complexities of their illnesses and the limitations of the county jails lead to nightmare situations, but there is one contributing factor that could be changed: currently, mentally ill people are dropped from the Medicaid rolls and benefits are TERMINATED after 30 days in a county jail. Read this editorial from the Houston Chronicle about a common sense solution to correct this situation in the coming legislative session.

National report matches our reports from Texas families

Oct 20th, 2014

The American Friends report to the UN describes the inhumanity of the U.S. justice system and the mistreatment of humans in our prisons and jails. Family members across Texas are reporting on similar conditions in many in our Texas county jails. Will Texas legislators step up and demand changes?
“At the close of 2012, the U.S. led the world in incarceration rates1 with over 2.2 million adults held in prisons and jails. Why is this the case? Deeply flawed policies focusing on punishment − not healing or rehabilitation − have created a pipeline through which economically disadvantaged populations are funneled into prisons and jails. Incarcerated individuals are frequently exposed to deplorable, cruel, and dangerous conditions of confinement that no human being should experience.”

When your mentally ill loved one is incarcerated

Mar 20th, 2014

You need to to get help for your loved one as soon as they are arrested. If nobody at the jail will talk to you about this, ask the lawyer to get this information to the right person at the jail or contact us at info@texasjailproject.org ….And remember this advice on the next page:
“In the letter you fax to the jail, do NOT discuss any criminal charges. Medical information only!”

New York Times Story on Henderson County Jail

Jan 18th, 2014

In this new story picked up by the New York Times, a Henderson county lawyer complains about a judge who has the nerve to speak out about jail operations. “He has absolutely no business trying to be a doctor from the bench,” says Robert Davis. Of course, Judge Tarrance has all the business in the world doing that, since people have reported ongoing neglect and mistreatment –numerous cases! Texas Jail Project heard from a woman last week who was forced to stay in a cell totally naked and denied her right to call a lawyer or bailbondsman. And like most of the inmates, she was not yet convicted, but was being held pretrial.
So the county is outraged by a judge who took the unusual steps of ordering medical care and going public? We say it’s about time.

Use of Solitary in Our County Jails

Jun 24th, 2013

During the last session, we informed lawmakers about the need for study of how county jails use solitary confinement or seclusion cells for housing mentally ill inmates. But the Texas Sheriffs Association and others forced the removal of county jails from SB 1003, and the questions remain. Reporters and lawyers and families ask us for information and the jails stonewall everyone, as more and more cases are revealed, where mentally ill people are being locked in solitary cells for weeks and months–growing sicker and often committing suicide. Here is the one page information handout we have on use of seclusion; let us know if you’d like to help us work on this issue.

Harris County Jail: Mental Health Pioneers or Not?

Jan 16th, 2013

Texas Jail Project asks for input on the following blog about the Harris County Jail’s specialized psychiatric care. We also want to know if any other jails across Texas are creating similar mental health units or implementing “best practices” or training officers to help inmates with mental disorders, to prevent inmates from getting sicker or from committing suicide.

Author and retired deputy warden Carl ToersBijns says “events inside the Maricopa County Jail prompted me to look at other jails nationwide and seek the differences in both the operational aspect of things and the treatment levels of mentally ill inmates incarcerated in our jails and prisons…..

New Director of Jail Commission: Brandon Wood

Dec 6th, 2012

In late 2012, Brandon Wood became executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) after former director Adan Muñoz retired.

Sister Describes “A System Designed for Confusion”

Nov 11th, 2012

Imagine your loved one, out of his or her mind with a terrible mental problem–incarcerated in a local jail. On the next page, a Texas Tribune story tells of a tragic end for such a person. (“Llano County Jail Death”) Now we have received a personal note that describes just how difficult it is to deal with the system when trying to help a mentally ill person inside a jail:
“My brother had been incarcerated for months in an East Texas county jail and due to mental illness needed transfer to a mental health facility…We had called several different advocacy organizations with no success and I was just so thrilled and relieved when I spoke to Diana. She was the first to take an interest and start looking into my brother’s case.”