Monday, February 24, 2014

Am I a Bad Person? (Re-published)

Families in Mental Health Crisis, what are your greatest fears about your relatives with serious mental illness (SMI)? Suicide? Police violence? Incarceration? Homelessness? Violent outbursts during which you or others could be harmed? All of these are VALID concerns. Many families who find no help for their relatives with SMI give up and suffer from guilt because of their abandonment. I wrote an article some time ago called "Am I a Bad Person?" about a sister who had given up on her schizophrenic brother. People need and deserve assistance with sick loved ones. Therefore, we must support H.R.3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act," introduced by Congressman Tim Murphy. 

This article was emailed to to Stephanie Armour at, on April 14, 2015, well ahead of the June 9 deadline for public comment regarding the president's conversation about resuming Medicaid for inpatient treatment of mental diseases. Medicaid insurance coverage for mentally ill Americans never should have ended, and it would not have ended had it not been for people seeking increased wealth through private prisons and jails, where over half of America's inmates are mentally ill people who were denied treatment in order to criminalize their mental illness. I encourage everyone who reads this article to also email Armour and support the resumption of Medicaid insurance for mental illnesses. While the nation passed national health care insurance, it is scandalous that people with mental illness would be completely omitted in order to continue extracting prison profits from taxpayers. If you need help composing an email supporting the resumption of Medicaid insurance, please send Armour a link to this article from our "Dog Justice for Mentally Ill" blog, which is

I wrote: Ms. Armour, please accept the following article in support of the resumption of Medicaid insurance for persons with mental illness in the United States of America. Please confirm receipt by sending a confirmation to each of my three email addresses above (my Internet communication is compromised as I am an advocate for the People who are used for prison profits). Thank you in advance.

Adults with SMI need assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs that provide continuous monitoring and psychiatric care and subsistence assistance for food and housing. They need police officers need crisis intervention team (CIT) training in order to conduct lunacy arrests without violence to the patients or themselves. Like any chronic illness, people with SMI may need inpatient treatment from time to time. H.R.3717 also provides for more inpatient hospital beds by resuming Medicaid insurance for certain mental health care facilities. Join us in giving Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill and also help people who are at greater risk for incarceration due to SMI. Below is a modified version of my article, "Am I a Bad Person?"

Am I a Bad Person?

1)  A woman wrote to WAGblog seeking reassurance that she is not a "bad person" because she gave up trying to care for her severely mentally disturbed brother after their parents died. Letting go is hard. Even when a caregiver feels she has to break ties to protect herself or have a life aside from being a caregiver, one never truly lets go. Love is a binding tie. 

2)  People who discontinue caring for an adult with acute mental illness should not feel guilty. It is very challenging to protect acute mental patients from themselves and save them from being victimized in a world where they are considered least. Our system too often withholds treatment until AFTER crimes, then imprisons rather than hospitalize sick people. For some families, this creates an element of danger. That was the case for Theresa. Oregon built a new mental hospital since Theresa's horrible death at her brother's hand.

3)  My mother struggled with my brother, Larry, for many years after he was "deinstitutionalized" along with hundreds of thousands of acute mental patients who were released in the 70s. Larry was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia before puberty following a mumps infection that apparently went into his brain. He lived mostly in a mental hospital for over 20 years. His trial visits home never worked out for long, yet he was eventually evicted when Medicaid became unavailable for psychiatric inpatients. For over a decade after hospital release, Larry resided with his family. Larry was non-violent, but his actions put him in serious danger. We were unsuccessful in attempts to have Larry re-committed except for short-term crisis intervention.

4)  One day, Larry was walking by a neighbor's home and heard a baby crying. We have many nieces and nephews. Larry thought the baby was asking him for comfort, so he climbed into the nursery window to attend to the baby. Luckily, the homeowner did not panic and kill Larry. Can you imaging going into your baby's nursery and seeing a strange-looking man you don't know rocking your child? The baby was safe with Larry. He was not as delusional as the Arizona man in this article: "Murder for Christmas: Schizophrenic Man Bludgeoned Youngsters." After the nursery incident, Larry was sent to the hospital briefly.

5)  Larry's family could not protect him from the situations his mental imbalance created after hospital release made him "free." It was particularly hard for my mother to let go, but she was getting old and was very concerned for Larry's safety. Our congressman helped to arrange for Larry to become a ward of the State and live in a care home. Unfortunately, care homes have minimal rules. Patients are not forced to take their meds and they can come and go as they see fit. Sometimes, patients who are in care homes really need to be in a hospital, like the man who stabbed a New York baby while the child's nanny took her on a walk: - but the hospitals are closing.

6)  Making Larry a ward of the State was not the solution that we hoped it would be. Larry was not dangerous to others, or he might have been re-committed. He had a toothless grin and a song, if you had time to listen, for everyone he saw. Then he would recite long historical documents or Bible verses very loud. He would immediately share the money we gave him, then beg others for handouts, which is illegal. According to the law, Larry should have qualified for hospitalization because of the danger he was to himself, but that did not happen. He was a "frequent flyer" in Memphis Shelby County Jail, which would call his family or social worker when he was arrested for misdemeanors, such as public nuisance charges. That happened in July 2003, when he spat on a nurse who was taking Larry's blood pressure. He said the cuff was too tight, and his mind had not progressed much beyond age 8 when he initially contracted mental illness.

7)  Incarceration is a usual outcome for people with advanced mental illness like Larry. He suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. Prisons have replaced hospitals and community treatment centers for mentally challenged people in America. There are now 1.25 million mentally ill people incarcerated, and they comprise 60 percent of inmates in cruel solitary confinement. Gas, restraint chairs, and Tasers are used to control them. Some are killed. Once arrested, mental patients often get time added because they do not understand or lack the wherewithal to obey the correctional facility's rules of behavior. Sometimes, prisons keep them just because. That happened to Nick Sauve, Terrell Scott, and many others. Some are warehoused in jails and prisons for many years with trials denied.

8)  Larry Neal felt that he had a schedule to keep that involved walking about 10 miles a day. Once he got hit by a car crossing a major street. As soon as he was able, Larry was back on his route. He would begin by having breakfast with one of our brothers. From there, he would walk several miles to McDonald's where they allowed him to sit for hours over a few cups of coffee. Then he would go to a recreation center that may have been especially for acute mental patients like Larry, but it is closed now. In any case, he would go there and watch TV, shoot pool, etc. 

9) The center Larry frequented had an attendant to monitor the patrons, so Larry felt safe there despite his paranoia. The problem is that Larry would walk those 10 miles to keep his "appointments" without dressing properly for the winter. He got pneumonia repeatedly. Once, when he was just out of ICU for pneumonia, he left the hospital and walked about 5 miles to have his usual breakfast with our brother wearing only a hospital gown (the back was open) and paper shoes in sub-freezing weather.

10)  At one point, Larry was transferred to a home much further from his "route," but he walked approximately 20 miles round-trip to keep his imaginary appointments. Larry's hospital bills for numerous bouts of pneumonia and being hit by a car, plus his misdemeanor arrests for inappropriate behavior were probably no less expensive than hospital commitment. Taxpayers saved no money when mental illness was made a crime. Taxpayers pay from $15,000 to $168,000 annually to warehouse each inmate, and up to three times as much for those who are in solitary confinement, like death row prisoners are and inmates with acute mental illness and other diseases. Lifelong schizophrenic patient Jeremy Smith has been in "the hole" for years, and he recently faced life in prison for talking rudely to a prison guard. He was accused of making a "terrorist threat."

11)  Approximately 1 in 5 Americans has some form of mental illness, and most people function well under treatment like people with any other chronic health condition, such as diabetes. However, some acute patients need constant supervision in a facility with a trained, compassionate staff. Patients in that category are not necessarily dangerous, but they endanger themselves. Larry asked a lady for a dollar one day, and the way he phrased it - "Gimme a dollar, lady. Come on, I know you've got a dollar; gimme a dollar" - made her feel like she was being robbed. Things like that get mentally ill people arrested. 

12)  Sometimes mentally ill people are picked on by bullies in their communities who find their conditions amusing. One homeless mentally ill veteran in California was doused in gasoline and set afire. He burned to death. In 2014, a man shot two homeless men to death as they slept on the ground in Atlanta. Homelessness is a usual outcome for acute mental patients after their families give up trying to keep them. Consider a case in Florida when one homeless mental patient killed another. Violence on the homeless often involves a mentally ill victim.

13)  The availability of hospital space for non-violent mental patients became pretty much non-existent after Medicaid funding for inpatient treatment ended decades ago. Hospitals across the country downsized dramatically or closed altogether. Although Larry would be sent to the hospital to be stabilized during a crisis, he never stayed over a month, and usually much less. Hospital closures continue nationwide. Meanwhile, our prison population swells as acute mental patients eventually do something to qualify for arrests - offenses from simple vagrancy to gruesome murders. DOES THIS YOUNG WOMAN BELONG IN PRISON? SEE a film I call "Bipolar Crisis on Atlanta MARTA Train" at this link:

14)  Approximately 1.25 million mental patients are imprisoned today, which means there is no savings for taxpayers in punishing sick people for having mental dysfunctions rather than hospitalizing them or providing community-based care. But it is much worse for the patients to be imprisoned rather than hospitalized, as police officers lack the training and some lack the temperament to be psychiatric caretakers. Consider how my brother died under secret arrest, described in his website at the following url: 

15)  Remember Tim Souders' death in a Michigan prison while on a restraint table for four days without food or water. Maybe they forgot him. Souders' death is presented in this television documentary - a "60 Minutes" presentation: - 

16)  In Tennessee, Frank Horton's life was spared by a benevolent guard. Frank had been in solitary confinement cell for nine months without medical or psychiatric attention, exercise, or hygiene. The floor to his solitary prison cell was covered with feces and urine, and he likely would have died if the guard had not reported his dangerous circumstances to the Department of Health.

17)  Mental hospitals are sorely missed. Many prisoners suffer since mental illness was criminalized. It does not have to be this way. It is less expensive to treat sick people than to punish them for having a common health condition, and many can be restored to wholesome lives. Please join Treatment Advocacy Center, AIMI, and other mental health advocacy organizations in supporting H.R.3717, a congressional bill to do the following on a limited basis:
    (1) enact assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs that mandate continuous treatment and give subsistence assistance; 
    (2) provide for crisis intervention training for police officers and prison guards to avoid violence against the mentally ill; and 
    (3) resume Medicaid insurance for mental hospitalization. 

18)  There are other provisions of H.R.3717. Read them all online. PLEASE ASK YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TO SUPPORT H.R.3717 - "The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" - which was introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) in December 2013. He is a former psychologist who understands mental illness.

19)  We sympathize with the sister who wrote the comment at WAGBlog about having to give up being caretaker for her brother. The burden on families is great. That is why I feel certain that once the 10 million family members and human rights advocates know about H.R.3717, they will gladly support the bill. We must let Americans know that an alternative to criminalizing mental illness is available. I hope you will help by sharing the news. There is opposition to the bill that would affect private prison profits, so it will take effort on our parts. H.R.3717 could possibly save billions of dollars annually on America's prison bill, which is currently around $100 billion per year. Prison investors' earnings are compounded by possibly hundreds of billions more from prison slave labor, which is sold to major corporations and deprives "free" Americans of jobs at minimum wage, union scale wages and benefits. When I checked, H.R.3717 had 77 co-sponsors who were Republicans, but only 38 co-sponsors were Democrats (115 total). 

20)  Study the states that have representatives refusing to co-sponsor H.R.3717, and notice if mentally ill people are brutalized or killed under the color of law in those states (by untrained police or correctional officers in jails and prisons). No accurate count is available, but "Killed by Police (dot) net" is a website that attempts to inform the public of police killings by using news reports. Be aware of the fact that many deaths by police are censored; therefore, whereas "Killed by Police (dot) net" is more accurate than the FBI tally, the true number of casualties is unknown:

21)  In addition to police killings, many mentally ill people die in custody by murder, neglect, and natural causes. Those deaths are NOT reported on "Killed by Police (dot) net," and some of them may not be reported anywhere at all. For instance, Larry Neal's secret arrest and his murder, which happened after 18 days of incarceration, remain America's secret. Christopher Lopez was dead for 17 months before San Carlos Correctional Facility in Colorado reported his demise to the Department of Health (Lopez was another mentally ill inmate). Brenda Anderson, a released prisoner from Texas, reports that the murder of a female mentally ill inmate named Mary was not reported to her family until they tried to visit her on Mother's Day, weeks after her demise.

22)  Acute mental illness affects all people in our society whether or not someone with that condition is a relative or close friend. Acute mental illness is the only health disability that is criminalized and punishable by imprisonment, and that usually happens AFTER a patient has proved to be a danger to self and others through some violent act. Save money, increase community safety, and restore hundreds of thousands of Americans to more wholesome lives by helping to pass H.R.3717. Please read H.R.3717 and review more information about its status, co-sponsors, etc., at

23)  Subcommittee hearings were held on H.R.3717 on April 3, 2015. While we hope for passage of that bill, we must also recognize that there are individual mental patients and families who have already suffered irreparable damage by the system's callous disregard for mentally disabled people's civil and human rights. Throughout the nation, families suffered Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS) from their vain efforts to extract their vulnerable loved ones from the justice system. Mental capacity diminished for many mentally ill people who were held in solitary confinement torture for years, and some for decades. Others have wandered the streets homeless, dodging arrest for vagrancy, eating out of the trash. Thousands were killed. H.R.3717 proposes positive changes for hereon, but what of those who have already been irreparably harmed? That is where "AIMI vs. USA" lawsuit in International Court will help, if the lawsuit is successful. 

24) LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME (LAS) is a form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is a psychic injury, not a mental illness. It is a personal injury that develops in individuals assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals, and fraud. In the law, people with mental disabilities are protected from the brutality and murders they suffer by the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), the Civil Rights Act, the Convention Against Torture, and Executive Order 13107, implementing human rights treaties. Families are shocked and stressed when they learn that those protections are not actually applied to their mentally challenged loved ones, which is fraud. Protracted litigation leading to LAS often results in physical as well as psychological damages to the affected parties, especially to mothers of mentally ill teens and adults who are jailed rather than treated. 

25)  Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill plans to file "AIMI vs. USA" in 2015 to win restitution for mentally ill Americans and immigrants who were negligently and/or cruelly treated under the color of law in America. Health discrimination causes great pain and suffering, and it yet continues throughout the country. "AIMI vs. USA" is suing only for money, much of which will be used to compensate up to 100 mentally ill claimants for their negligence and abuse and compensate their family members or next friends who suffer from Legal Abuse Syndrome or who are due compensation for wrongful deaths. 

26)  Most mothers like mine take their adult children's mistreatment particularly hard. For instance, Terrell Scott's mother had a heart attack when she was only in her 40's due to the stress she endures trying to prove her son's innocence and extract him from prison. Scott has been incarcerated nearly six years but is denied a trial in the Pennsylvania. Holly Alston has suffered through her son's rape, his suicide attempts to escape being treated worse than a dog, his exposure to HIV virus, as well as Scott's severe beatings by other inmates, which blinded him in one eye, dislocated his jaw, and rendered him without hearing in one ear. These injuries were incurred in beatings which prison guards allegedly ignored. 

27)  Some mothers nearly die from Legal Abuse Syndrome stress, and most are unable to give their spouses and younger children the kind of home they would have if not for their older children's mental illness being criminalized rather than addressed like other chronic health conditions with treatment and not punishment. Incarcerating the most vulnerable member of one's family is hard on everyone, and killing sick people leaves many grieving survivors, probably most of whom have never been compensated for wrongful deaths. My family never was.

28)  People who have been victimized by untreated mentally ill people are also invited to join "AIMI vs. USA," like the families of six people who were killed in Santa Barbara, California after parents reported to police that their son was dangerous. "AIMI vs. USA" also accepts claimants who are police officers' survivors. For example, Olga Garcia's son, Robles, was incarcerated for 14 days in Texas, during which time guards refused to administer his psychotropic meds. Then he was beaten and released from jail in physical pain as well as psychiatric crisis. The sudden withdrawal of his medication negatively impacted Robles. Before that arrest, Robles was a happy young father who had just completed barbering college. But within 12 hours of jail release, Robles shot and killed a police officer. Robles' mother is a claimant to "AIMI vs. USA," and the family of the slain police officer can be, also.

29) A Wall Street Journal article reports that the United States President is interested in recieving public comments regarding resumption of Medicaid insurance for psychiatric inpatients, which would make it possible for mental hospitals to have more beds, and fewer people would be incarcerated or killed during lunacy arrests for lack of proper psychiatric treatment. Write to Stephanie Armour at the Wall Street Journal before June 9. Please email your support for resuming Medicaid to treat mental illness and drug addictions at the same rate as physical health problems.

30)  Thanks in advance for all that you do to help give Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill and reduce the risk of arrest for vulnerable persons. A life is a terrible thing to waste. We need success for H.R.3717 - "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" to help restore sick people to wholesome living and success for "AIMI vs. USA" in order to compensate people for damages already incurred. Sharing the information in this article is one way to help give "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill" and those at greater risk of incarceration due to their "illegal" health condition, for which most of them were denied treatment prior to their alleged offenses.

31)  Our sincere regards go to the sister who commented at Pam Wagner's blog about  abandoning her role as the caretaker for her schizophrenic brother. Many people who love their sick relatives find themselves in similar situations - having to give up on a loved one for their own protection. It is a grossly unfair predicament that would be unnecessary if AOT programs and Medicaid insurance for psychiatric inpatients were possible throughout the country. Please visit Pam Wagner's blog today for moving visual art, poetry, and articles revealing the challenges of schizoaffective disorder at the url,

Mary Neal, Director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
Phone 678.531.0262 or (571)335-1741
(If I get your voice message or email, I will respond within 24 hours; if not, please try again. Communication is challenging around these issues.)

Thank you for giving Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill.
It would be illegal to keep a dog in a tight space 23 hours a day and gas or Taser him for barking. It would be illegal to put a dog in deadly restraint for control. That happens to mentally ill people routinely in the nation's correctional facilities. What happened to Larry Neal? Why are we still asking that question after nearly 12 years? Cover-ups regarding the wrongful deaths of mentally challenged inmates and free people in the USA are common and vile.
Mentally Ill People Deserve Dog Justice!
This article contains 4 introductory, unnumbered paragraphs, 31 numbered paragraphs, 14 urls and 3 email addresses. I count them because unlike lobbyists for big corporations, YOUR representatives -- human rights advocates -- are censored in the United States of America.

Repeat of Paragraph 1: Families in Mental Health Crisis, what are your greatest fears about your relatives with serious mental illness (SMI)? Suicide? Police violence? Incarceration? Homelessness? Violent outbursts during which you or others could be harmed? All of these are VALID concerns. Many families who find no help for their relatives with SMI give up and suffer from guilt because of their abandonment. I wrote an article some time ago called "Am I a Bad Person?" about a sister who had given up on her schizophrenic brother. People need and deserve assistance with sick loved ones. Therefore, we must support H.R.3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act," introduced by Congressman Tim Murphy.

Who Has or Had Mental Illness?


Famous jazz singer and musician Nina Simone had a reputation for volatility. In 1985, she fired a gun at a record company executive whom she accused of stealing royalties. Simone said she "tried to kill him" but "missed". In 1995, she shot and wounded her neighbor's son with a pneumatic pistol after the boy's laughter disturbed her concentration. According to a biographer, Simone took medication for a condition from the mid-1960s and onward. This was known only to a small group of intimates and kept out of public view for many years. Simone's bipolar disorder was revealed in the biography "Break Down and Let It All Out," written by Sylvia Hampton and David Nathan in 2004 after her death. (Wikipedia)

Bipolar Disorder? Schizophrenia? Manic Depression? Alzheimer's? Dementia? PTSD? Post Partum Depression? Autism? Drug/Alcohol dependencies? See who else has or had challenges:

Buzz Aldrin (astronaut) · Adam Ant (musician) · Ludwig van Beethoven (composer) · Napoleon Bonaparte (political leader) · Tim Burton (artist, director) · Lord Byron (poet) · Dick Cavett (television journalist) · Winston Churchill (politician) · Charles Dickens (author) · DMX, Dark Man X (Earl Simmons) (musician, actor) · Robert Downey Jr. (actor) · Richardy Dreyfuss (actor) · Patty Duke (actress) · Ralph Waldo Emerson (author) · Carrie Fisher (Actress, writer) · Larry Flynt (publisher, activist) · Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (Writer) · Connie Francis (singer) · Stephen Fry (actor, comedian, writer) · Peter Gabriel (musician) · Alan Garner (novelist) · Matthew Good (musician) · Philip Graham (publisher, businessman) · Macy Gray (musician, actor) · Graham Greene (English Novelist) · Ivor Gurney (English composer, poet)· Sean LeVert (singer) · Patrick Kennedy (Congressman) · Elvis Presley (singer, actor) · Britney Speers (singer) · Michael Jackson (singer, dancer, actor, humanitarian) · Somebody you love

People should be able to seek assistance for mental health issues and drug/alcohol dependencies without fear of reprisal, and we all should be free to advocate for people with these issues without censorship. Please sign my PETITION TO FREE MARY NEAL

With treatment, more acute mental patients would be able to live unrestrained by their illness or prison bars. Today, 1.25 million people with mental illness are incarcerated, and most nonviolent offenders have or had drug and alcohol dependencies. Nina Simone sings "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" at the embedded video below. We can help restore people to wholesome living by advocating to decriminalize mental illness and supporting better access to treatment for mental disorders and drug and alcohol dependencies. Learn more from articles in this "Dog Justice for Mentally Ill" blog and during our Blogtalkradio weekly episodes of "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill."

Mary Neal, director
Website: Wrongful Death of Larry
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
Dog Justice for Mentally Ill

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dorothea Dix pleads for a state mental hospital

Dorothea Dix advocated for acute mental patients who were interned in jails and prisons across America before she began her work over a century ago. At the end of her life, less than .07 percent of America's prison inmates were mentally ill. Dix had successfully lobbied state legislators to establish around 40 mental hospitals where mental illness was treated and not punished. Today, 1.25 million people with mental illness are imprisoned in the USA. Additionally, mentally disturbed persons comprise around 50% of the people injured and killed during police incidents the officers have not been trained to address. Only six Democrats currently support the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act," H.R.3717, a congressional bill that would open more psychiatric beds and train police officers in crisis intervention. We congratulate Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX) and Rep. Ami Bera (CA) for becoming the latest two of only six Democrats who support H.R.3717. Please write to your congressional representatives and ask them (especially Democrats) to co-sponsor H.R.3717. Please forgive the antiquated language in the following letter from Dorothea Dix, who was an advocate on behalf of acute mentally ill people in the 1800s.

[Insane persons kept in jails or poorhouses]

Black and white portrait of Dorothea Dix
Dorothea Dix, in an undated portrait . About the photograph
I admit that public peace and security are seriously endangered by the non-restraint of the maniacal insane. I consider it in the highest degree improper that they should be allowed to range the towns and country without care or guidance; but this does not justify the public in any State or community, under any circumstances or conditions, in committing the insane to prisons; in a majority of cases the rich may be, or are sent to Hospitals; the poor under the pressure of this calamity, have the same just claim upon the public treasury, as the rich have upon the private purse of their family as they have the need, so have they the right to share the benefits of Hospital treatment. Urgent cases at all times, demand, unusual and ready expenditures in every community.

If County Jails must be resorted to for security against the dangerous propensities of madmen, let such use of prison-rooms and dungeons be but temporary. It is not long since I noticed in a Newspaper, published near the borders or this State, the following paragraph: “It is our fate,” writes the Editor, “to be located opposite the County Jail, in which are now confined four miserable creatures bereft of the God-like attribute of reason: two of them females; and our feelings are daily excited by sounds of woe, that would harrow up the hardest soul. It is horrible that for the sake of a few thousand dollars the wailings of the wretched should be suffered to issue from the gloomy walls of our jails without pity and without relief. Were our law-makers doomed to listen for a single hour each day to the clanking of chains, and the piercing shrieks of these forlorn wretches, relief would surely follow, and the character of our State would be rescued from the foul blot that now dishonors it.”

In nearly every jail in North Carolina, have the insane at different times, and in periods varying in duration, been grievous sufferers. In Halifax County, several years since, a maniac was confined in the jail; shut in the dungeon, and chained there. The jail was set on fire by other prisoners: the keeper, as he told me, heard frantic shrieks and cries of the madman, and “might have saved him as well as not, but his noise was a common thing he was used to it, and thought nothing out of the way was the case.” The alarm of fire was finally spread; the jailer hastened to the prison: it was now too late; every effort, (and no exertions were spared,) to save the agonized creature, was unavailing. He perished in agony, and amidst tortures no pen can describe.

In illustration of the blessing and benefit of Hospital care in cases long and most cruelly neglected, I adduce the following examples recorded by Dr. Hill, and corresponding with many cases under my own immediate observation since 1840. “Two patients,” writes the Dr. “were brought to me in 1836, who had been confined in a poor-house between eighteen and twenty years. During this period they had not known liberty. They had been chained day and night to their bedsteads, and kept in a state so filthy that it was sickening to go near them. — They were usually restrained by the strait-waistcoat, and with collars round their necks, the collars being fastened with chains or straps to the upper part of the bedstead, to prevent, it was said their tearing their clothes. The feet were fastened with iron leg-locks and chains. One poor creature was so wholly disabled by this confinement, that it was necessary for the attendants to bear her in their arms from place to place after she was brought to the Hospital; she shortly acquired good habits, and was long usefully employed in the sewing-room. The other was more difficult of management but soon gained cleanly habits, and now occupies herself in knitting and sewing, and that, after having been treated for years like the lowest brute. Another case was brought in chains, highly excited; five persons attended her; in six days all restraints were removed; and she walked with her nurse, in the patients’ gallery. In June, she was discharged from the wards quite cured, and engaged as assistant in the kitchen.

Iredell jail, is isolated and had just passed into the charge of a newly appointed officer, it would hardly be just to remark severely upon very dirty and neglected condition. The County poor-house, a few miles from Statesville, is situated in a singularly secluded spot, remote from supervision and often observation, and is a model of neatness, comfort, and good order: having a most efficient master and mistress, especially the latter, upon whose cares in these institutions by far the most is dependent. All in all, this was in much the best condition of any poor-house I have seen in North Carolina, neat, plain, and decent, it would do credit to any State; but it is no fit place for the insane. Since I was there, in September, a highly respected citizen writes me that a young woman has been sent to the poor-house so violently insane, that it is quite unfit she should remain there. Also a man has in that County, very recently become so violently mad as to be quite unmanageable, and having no Hospital in the State, they have confined him, with, chains and manacles, hand and feet, and do as best they can. A subscription paper has been circulated for the purpose of raising funds to send him to Columbia, S. C. Other painful cases exist in this, as in the counties which I have visited, and from which I have heard; most of which I do not feel at liberty, through their domestic and social position, to designate; but they plead in heart-reaching language for the early establishment of a State Hospital.

[Insane persons kept at home]

Of the few examples of many which exist, to which I shall now refer in private families, the following have quite recently come under my observation: A poor but industrious farmer in the western part of this State, the father of a numerous family, became insane; it was in vain to control him in his own dwelling, he was furious and he was conveyed to the County jail here his sufferings were aggravated and his malady exasperated: I can not tell for how long a time the lone dark dungeon echoed to his moans and cries, nor at what cost the county maintained human life, unaiding its sufferings and necessities. In process of time the paroxysms of violence subsided, and finally he was transferred to the humble log cabin of his aged widowed mother, a lone woman dwelling upon the mountains. There I found the infirm, afflicted mother, and the insane son. Amidst tears and sighs she recounted to me her troubles, and as she wept she said, “the Lord above only knows my troubles, and what a heap of sorrow I have had in my day, and none to give me help. There he lay, in the jail, cold and distressed, mightily misused; if I could have got money to send him off to where they care for such spells, for they do say crazy folks can be cured, I should have had him in my old age to take care of me, but I am poor and always was, and there is no help here. Ah well, many and many is the long night I am up with him and no sleep or rest, anyhow; this cant last always; I shall die, and I dont know what is to come of him then.”… Had there been in North Carolina, a State Hospital, timely care might have secured a permanent cure. It is almost too late to assure this now, but instead of restoration is life-long expense and life-long suffering.

In Lincoln County, near a public road, stands a decent dwelling; near by is a log cabin, strongly built, and about ten feet square, and about seven or eight feet high; no windows to admit light the square logs are compactly laid; no chimney indicates that a fire can be kindled within, and the small low door is securely locked and barred. Two apertures at right angles, ten inches long by four wide, are the sole avenues by which light and air are admitted within this dreary cabin, so closely secured, and so cautiously guarded. You need not ask to what uses it is appropriated: the shrill cries and tempestuous vociferations of an incarcerated maniac will arrest you on the way, and if you alight, and so far as the light received as before described will allow, examine the interior of this prison, you will discern a ferocious, filthy unshorn, half-clad creature, wallowing in foul, noisome straw, and craving for liberty. The horrors of this place may not be more definitely described; they can hardly be imagined: the state of the maniac is revolting in the extreme.

This creature, is a man — insane for more than thirteen years — for a long time suffered to range the country far and wide, addicted to mischief and disposed to violent acts. For assuring public and private safety, his family have adopted the only alternative of confining him upon their own farm, rather than seeing him thrown into the dungeon of the County jail. Of these two evil conditions, I confess, I see no choice. The family though enjoying the means of decent livelihood, when unburthened by extra expenses, have not the means of sending him to a distant Hospital. The rich may partake the benefits such institutions afford: the poor must suffer, agonize, and bear heavily out, by slow-killing tortures, their unblessed life! Are there no pitying hearts, and open hands that can be moved by these miseries?

[Treatment of the insane]

Moral treatment of the insane with a view to induce habits of self-control, is of the first importance. Uniform firmness and kindness towards the patient are of absolute obligation. The most exact observance of truth should be preserved in all intercourse with the insane. They rarely violate a promise, and are singularly sensitive to truthfulness and fidelity in others. They rarely forgive an injury and as seldom betray insensibility to kindness and indulgence. Once deceived by a nurse or attendant they never a second time bestow their confidence upon the same individual.

Moderate employment, moderate exercise, as much freedom as is consistent with the safety of the patient, and as little apparent anxious watchfulness with cheerful society should be sought. The condition of the patients must determine the number of nurses in a ward. The general opinion is holden that all patients do better without special nurses, wholly devoted to their care.

“The proper mental and physical employment of the insane,” says Dr. Kirkbride, “is of so much importance that the full treatment of this subject would be to give at once a treatise on the insane and on insanity. Whatever it maybe, it must embrace utility, and it is well to combine both physical and mental occupation. Active exercise in the open air, moderate labor in the gardens, pleasure grounds, or upon the farm, afford good results. Short excursions, resort to the work shops, carpentering, joining turning, the use of a good library&c.,&c., are aids in advancing the cure of the patient." Sedentary employments are not in general favorable to health. The operations of agriculture seem liable to the least objection. There is a limit to be observed in the use of labor as a moral means; for there are always some patients to whom it is decidedly injurious. This effect is manifested oftenest in recent cases.

Dr. Ray says that it is an error to suppose that the insane can labor as productively and as uniformly as the sane man. The working hours of a patient should seldom exceed six or seven per diem, and not seldom work is altogether intermitted.

The manner in which labor exerts a beneficial influence upon the insane mind differs no doubt in different forms of the disease. In highly excited patients the surplus nervous energy will be consumed, if no other way is provided, in mischief and noise; but let it be expended in useful labor, and although the work may not always be perfectly well done yet the patient thinks it is, and experiences the gratification of having done what he believes is a good thing, and consequently, so far as it goes it is beneficial.

This sentiment of satisfaction in being useful, the guardian of the insane cannot too carefully watch over and foster, since it conducts to self-control and self-respect. Incurables who are able and willing to work, are much more contented and enjoy better health when employed. Even some of the most demented and idiots are found capable or doing something. A young man became a raving maniac, and in three months was conveyed to the hospital, but was already declining into idiocy; soon complete imbecility supervened. He was classed with the idiots in the institution; and considered as past hope of benefit or cure. One day he was observed to amuse himself with some rude coloring and odd figures upon the walls of his room. He was supplied with colours, brushes, and canvass, and soon commenced a portrait: he was now roused, and eager to accomplish his new and attractive work. He was encouraged to renew and repeat his attempts, and finally his mind was restored to its early and rational condition. Thus, careful attention to the daily state of the patient, suggested a method or treatment which resulted in a decided cure. The diseased organs were suffered to rest and their recuperative energies recovered action.

The physician of the hospital at Staunton, in a report of his institution, says, that during the past year, the men patients were chiefly employed in cultivating the farm, working the garden, improving the grounds constructing fences, cutting wood. and attending to stock. The women were engaged in sewing, knitting, spinning, and assisting in various departments of house-work, and other occupations and recreations suited to their sex.

“A patient, insane for more than ton [sic] years, and beyond hope of recovery, considered dangerous to the public safety, and therefore detained at a hospital, converses incoherently and raves wildly, yet finds constant and profitable employment upon the farm; has charge of a stock of cattle and hogs and is scrupulously faithful in the discharge of his duties. Instead of confinement in a county jail, from whence he was removed to the Hospital, in a most filthy, and abject condition. at a cost of little less than three hundred dollars per annum he is here a genteel, orderly, and industrious individual, cheerful, happy, and useful: his labor more than pays all his expenses and supplies him with sufficient indulgencies.”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

AIMI Members Discuss H.R.3717 on Radio

I apologize for the late start to our "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill" Blogtalkradio broadcast on February 19. Please forgive America and/or stalkers. Blogtalkradio reported a DDOS attack, which prevented me from going on air at the appointed time. NSA or whomever does this should get used to the idea that they will NOT hamper my advocacy to pass H.R.3717 like they did when I advocated for congressional bill H.R.619 in 2009. People with acute mental illness deserve advocacy. Rep. Tim Murphy has covered numerous issues in the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" that deserve our support.

Below is a link to the 20-minute broadcast we were able to publish after Blogtalkradio put down the DDOS attack. We invite everyone who would like to give input on the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" to call next Wednesday and EVERY Wednesday and share your viewpoint with our radio audience.

Our first broadcast regarding H.R.3717 was more fruitful. The host was not prevented from starting the broadcast for 20 minutes, which dissuaded her guests on the second broadcast. The February 12 show is at

Join us next Wednesday at 9pm PST for the third broadcast regarding H.R.3717. To speak on air, please call (818)572.2947. Otherwise, please join by computer at

We will NOT be deterred from informing voters that the bill is before the 113th Congress now that would help decriminalize mental illness, reduce violence by police and correctional officers toward mentally ill people by providing additional training for officers, establish AOT programs, resume Medicaid insurance for inpatients in certain facilities, and reduce the stigma associated with psychiatric conditions - common, treatable health conditions.

IF my advocacy for H.R.3717 draws attention to the secret arrest and Wrongful Death of Larry and my family's denial of due process of law, do not think those crimes will not be fully exposed anyway in my book "The Cochran Firm Fraud" and in my lawsuit before the International Court. We will continue to discuss H.R.3717 during our "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill" Blogtalkradio shows until the bill passes. Therefore, call off the DDOS agents, please, and don't bother to send the in-person stalkers. I do not own any prison stock and am not interested in helping anyone protect theirs at the expense of Americans with acute mental illness. 

We congratulate Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX) and Rep. Ami Bera (CA) for becoming the latest two of only six Democrats who have shown they care about a police firing squad killing a black mental patient in Michigan. Please watch the video and determine if police officers need crisis intervention training:

Mary Neal, director
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wrongful Death Lawsuit re Accused White House Gatecrasher, Miriam Carey

Miriam Carey

Should police have shot Miriam Carey, the accused White House gatecrasher? She was unarmed, and police removed her baby from the car first. This does not appear to have been a situation where police felt they were in imminent danger, to my idea. Let's discuss her family's wrongful death lawsuit against the government by The Sanders Firm, P.C. at 9pm Pacific today. Call (818)572.2947. Christopher Bonds is our special guest tonight.

An important health care bill was introduced in December 2013 by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA). It is called H.R.3717, "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act." Among other provisions, H.R.3717 requires more police officers to be trained in crisis intervention methods that should enable lunacy arrests to occur without injuries and deaths. We will discuss the bill on the Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill Blogtalkradio shows on February 12 and February 19 at 9pm PST. More information about "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" is reported in "Dog Justice for Mentally Ill" blog at this url

See also "Justice 4 Miriam Carey" at Facebook

Federal Tort Claim Notice


NEW YORK, January 30, 2014 – Today, after months of “utter” silence by government officials as well as an exhaustive review of all publicly available data, the Carey Family has concluded the shooting of Miriam Iris Carey was “NOT JUSTIFIED” and has filed a federal administrative notice of claim to sue the United States of America; the United States Secret Service – Uniform Division and United States Capitol Police.

Valarie Carey, who is representing the interests of the Carey Family, filed a wrongful death claim against the two government agencies seeking $75 million dollars on behalf of The Estate of Miriam Iris Carey, Mother Idella Carey and minor child EF to compensate them for their great loss of a daughter, mother, friend and confidant.

“While the United States Department of Justice continues with its criminal and civil rights investigation, the Carey Family calls for immediate identification and termination of all police officers, supervisors, managers and other related employees involved in this matter who failed to order the immediate termination of pursuing Miriam and failed to establish firearms control; thereby, collectively causing the avoidable death of Miriam,” says Eric Sanders.

“Unless they are seriously considering criminal charges in Miriam’s case, quite frankly after several months, department policies relating to investigative car stops, vehicle pursuits, use of force, etc., should have been analyzed and applied to Miriam’s case for release to the public. These public disclosures are absolutely necessary because Miriam’s death unfolded right before the international community via live television,” says Sanders.

“The United States Congress using its legislative powers must investigate Miriam’s death. It is in the public’s interest to ensure our government acted responsibly not only from a criminal or a civil perspective but from an internal agency perspective. It is also in the public’s interest avoid a similar tragedy in the future,” says Valarie.

“The framers of the United States Constitution through the Bill of Rights ensured that our basic natural rights, codified as human rights, would forever be so important. Somehow, the Bill of Rights did not apply to Miriam. Miriam’s life did not seem to be so important. Thus far, Miriam’s death is being treated as simple ‘collateral damage’ in the government’s zeal to protect itself from ‘terrorism.’ We need to change that thought process because personal legacies are not more important than human life. The framers of the United States Constitution fought for, died for, and demanded it. We should expect no different in today’s society either,” says Sanders.

About The Sanders Firm, P.C.
The Sanders Firm offers those in the New York City area legal services related and connected to civil rights, civil service rights, criminal law and discrimination. We firmly believe in everyone’s individual rights that are described and guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. We understand that our freedoms and liberties are sacrosanct and that they have been won in many and various hard-fought battles. We are committed in every way to protecting your civil rights. Business Phone: 800-371-4835

Paragraph 1 repeated: Should police have shot Miriam Carey? She was unarmed, and police apparently removed her baby from the car first. This does not appear to have been a situation where police felt they were in imminent danger. Let's discuss her family's wrongful death lawsuit against the government by The Sanders Firm, P.C. at 9pm Pacific today. Call (818)572.2947 Christopher Bonds is our special guest tonight.


Perhaps because we planned to discuss the Miriam Carey execution, we experienced technical difficulties with our February 10 broadcast. The host, Mary Neal, was not allowed to dial the Blogtalkradio channel from her phone but was able to ascertain help getting on air by Rev. Floyd Harris. Christopher Bonds' Internet and phone service were disrupted several hours before the broadcast and remained unavailable until 30 minutes after the broadcast. Eric Sanders, attorney for the Carey family, was arrested on another matter by U.S. Marshals immediately after contracting to represent Carey's survivors against the United States in this wrongful death matter.

A December 2013 article on Carey's fatality that includes statements from attorney Eric Sanders and Miriam's sister as well as the police affidavit was published by WND:
"Why did Capitol cops cut down 'innocent' woman?"

Mary Neal, director
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI)

Seeking Dog Justice for America's Mentally Ill  and Emotionally Disturbed People

Thursday, February 6, 2014

AIMI H.R.3717 Broadcasts Feb 12 and 19

The people who are most discriminated against in the United States are not distinguished by their race but by their mental health status. The mentally ill are the only class of people who are arrested for conduct arising out of a common, treatable health condition. Over half of the nation's incidents of police violence and arrests happen to mentally challenged people. See the graft below by Mother Jones, which shows the percentage of inmates with mental health problems as of 2004 in federal prisons, state prisons, and local jails:

Help will soon be available if H.R.3717 is passed by the U.S. Congress. Please join us on February 12, 2014, on the "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill" Blogtalkradio show to discuss how H.R.3717 "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act" would assist acute mental patients, their families, communities, and all taxpayers. Please call-in at 9pm PST (818)572.2947. Among other things, H.R.3717 provides for (1) inpatient psychiatric treatment using Medicaid insurance, (2) special training for police officers, which should reduce injuries and deaths during lunacy arrests, (3) a national awareness campaign to reduce the stigma associated with serious mental illness, and (4) implementation of assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs, which mandate outpatient psychiatric treatment for participants and provide subsistence assistance for food and housing. AOT programs reduce homelessness, arrests, incarceration and hospitalization by over 80% among program participants. 

AOT programs, which were certified by the U.S. Department of Justice in March 2012, would significantly reduce America's prison costs, currently estimated at $75 billion per year. "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill" members advocate for every mentally ill inmate and patient exiting correctional institutions or mental hospitals to be ordered into AOT programs for continued psychiatric treatment. This is how our most vulnerable citizens can avoid homelessness, prison, and death. The fact that AOT programs already proved to reduce arrests and incarceration indicates that AOT programs significantly improve community safety, relieve prison overcrowding, and help restore people suffering from acute mental diseases to more wholesome living.

H.R.3717 was introduced by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), formerly a practicing psychologist. The mental health bill presently has 34 co-sponsors, only 4 of whom are Democrats. I would like for someone to theorize or explain why more Democrats are not cosponsors of H.R.3717. I posed the question to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in tweets recently (@koffietime) and plan to seek a reply directly from CBC members in my district. Support for H.R.3717 from the CBC seems warranted because deaths and injuries by police officers happen frequently to African Americans with acute mental diseases.

The H.R.3717 radio show will be archived at Blogtalkradio and remain available for public listening. Please join the conversation at 9pm PST on February 12, 2014 (10pm Mountain, 11pm Central, and 12midnight EST). Call (818)572.2947 or join by computer at 
Everyone with an interest in mental health law is invited to discuss H.R.3717 with us on February 12. We will continue the discussion on February 19.

Please read H.R.3717 and review more information about its status, co-sponsors, etc., at . See also H.R.401 "Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2013," introduced by Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL).

JAIL IS THE LAST THING MENTAL PATIENTS NEED ... AND TOO OFTEN, IT IS THE LAST THING THEY EXPERIENCE. Please join our quest to decriminalize mental illness in America. No one should be punished for having a disability. Please contact your congressional representative today and demand that hospitalization and outpatient treatment replace incarceration for the mentally ill people in your state. Support H.R.3717.

Please assist us by sharing this invitation and/or the url to our radio broadcasts with mentally ill people and their families as well as prisoner activists, mental health organizations, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, lawyers, congresspersons, students, law enforcement officers and administrators, and others who may have input or an interest in mental health law in the USA. Thank you for helping to give ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL. 

Mary Neal, director
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI)

Seeking Dog Justice for America's Mentally Ill People