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Posts Tagged ‘ mentally ill ’

TJP: Dallas diversion plan urgently needs expanding

Sep 27th, 2020

In this NBC 5 interview last week, Texas Jail Project co-founder Diana Claitor agreed with Dallas County DA John Creuzot in applauding Dallas County’s new diversion plan for people experiencing mental illness. Since it only will serve 15 people at the start, Claitor believes it’s a modest plan.
“It needs to be larger, more widespread, better funded. But if this is the way to get it off the ground, go for it,” said Claitor.

How to help a person with mental illness who has been arrested

Oct 9th, 2015

Having a loved one arrested who has mental health issues is a scary and overwhelming situation. Family members are often forced to become advocates, to ensure their loved ones get the proper mental health screening, medications, and treatment. They can make an important difference in how the person in jail is treated.

Here is list of first steps to take to advocate for your loved one’s safety and health.

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

A Texas Vet and His Demons

Dec 15th, 2014

The Marshall Project has published Maurice Chammah’s new story about Marine veteran Adan Castañeda with the subtitle, “Does he belong in a prison or a hospital?” Looking at his history of mental illness and trauma, it seems obvious that the 28-year-old former scout sniper needs psychiatric care in a hospital. But when he goes on trial, he could receive a long sentence in TDCJ, despite the fact that he did not injure anyone when he shot up his parents’ house. During the more than three years he’s been held pretrial in the Comal County Jail, he has deteriorated. His mother reports that Castañeda no longer always remembers his service, and he often expresses fear and paranoia. While she believes her son can be well again, she doubts that outcome is possible in a prison setting.

Mentally ill Texans have to rely on ER and jails

Apr 14th, 2014

Texas is behind everybody in providing help to mentally ill people, and a recent study finds that we actually incarcerate more people with mental disorders than we treat.
In this story, we see an example of this broken system in the life and death of Michael Dutton.
“When he confessed to a parole violation in order to get himself back into the hospital — the only place he knew to get the help he needed — he was sent to prison instead, to serve his nine-year sentence. Eventually he quit taking his medications, began lashing out at guards and fellow inmates, and ended up spending long periods in solitary confinement.”

TX Observer Story Exposes Lack of Accountability

Jun 26th, 2013

This article from the June, 2013 issue of the Texas Observer, covers the death of a mental patient, shot and killed by a deputy. Author Diana Claitor (TJP director) provides details about a Texas Ranger investigation that some might call a coverup, while analyzing the interface of local mental health providers and law enforcement.
““Most officers in all states will spend more of their career dealing with the mentally ill than they will armed, assaultive or fleeing individuals,” says Kevin Elliott, a retired Los Angeles sheriff’s officer who’s now a Ph.D. candidate in criminal justice policy at Texas State University. “Yet most law enforcement officers, including sheriffs’ deputies, receive only a few hours [of training to deal with mentally ill prisoners], compared with more than 150 hours of firearms, self-defense and physical fitness training.”