Human Rights Demand (Sunday and Monday at 3pm EST)
Justice for All (Monday at midnight EST)
Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses and friends of people suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe PTSD, and other serious brain disorders are invited as well as persons who work with our mentally ill citizens or advocate for them.
I regard the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on CIT training as a sign that prison investors in the government do not plan to pass U.S. congressional bill H.R.3717 - Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. The U.S. Senate hearings are planned for April 29 on only ONE provision of the bill: Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for police officers. H.R.3717 also provides for:
~ Medicaid insurance for psychiatric inpatients
~ AOT programs, providing subsistence assistance and mandated psychiatric treatment for persons with acute mental illness who lack the mental clarity to stay on their meds
~ Relaxed HIPPA laws, enabling family members' inclusion in relatives' treatment
Better training for police officers without the other provisions in H.R.3717 might enable more sick Americans to survive their arrests and join 1.25 million mentally ill inmates, but only if police obey their training. Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) originated in Memphis, Tennessee. That is where my mentally, physically disabled brother, Larry Neal, was secretly arrested in 2003, incarcerated for 18 days while police denied having him, and murdered. His kidnapping and death are treated like a national secret rather than investigated and handled by due process of law. A mentally dysfunctional teen was killed by police there in 2012. In fact, 23 people in Memphis were killed by police officers in 2012 and 2013. CIT training in a culture where police accountability is seldom demanded will not significantly enhance the safety of mentally challenged people or anyone else. Continuing to react to mental health crises AFTER a person proves to be a danger to self and others compromises our sick citizens AND our communities. But this keeps the prisons full, and that seems to be the plan.
Yes, we tire of reading about mentally ill people brutalized and killed by untrained police officers, but moreover, we tire of a system that allows mental illness to go untreated until a person proves through violence that he/she is a danger to self and others. We tire of seeing disabled Americans homeless and hungry because their basic needs are ignored. We tire of prison investments taking precedence over the welfare of sick Americans and community safety.
You do not need an appointment to speak on the broadcasts Sunday and Monday, April 27 and 28. The first five callers will be accepted for each of the three shows.
Please support H.R.3717. Learn more about how this bill can prevent psychiatric crises that lead to altercations with police officers in the first place.
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearings announcement is below:
Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans:
Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety
Hearing Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights
Link to details on website: http://goo.gl/6oLil7
Date: April 29, 2014
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
NOTE: Sometimes there are late changes to room assignments for hearings. We encourage interested parties to check the Committee's website the day of the hearing to confirm the location. Keep track here: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov
Description: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate’s Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights, will chair a hearing entitled “Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety.” Because of inadequate social and mental health services, law enforcement officers have increasingly become the first responders for individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities who are in crisis.
Recent high-profile tragedies have demonstrated the need for law enforcement officers to receive additional training to safely address these situations. State and local law enforcement agencies have taken the lead in developing innovative solutions, such as Crisis Intervention Teams. Localities that use these approaches have seen fewer injuries and deaths among officers and people with mental illness or developmental disabilities, increased jail diversion rates, fewer lawsuits following crisis incidents, and stronger ties with the mental health and disability communities. This hearing will explore how Congress and the Executive Branch can support and strengthen these efforts.
Hearing Attendance: This hearing is open to the public. Interested members of the community are encouraged to attend. For planning purposes, the Committee requests that those planning on attending indicate their intent to come by completing an online RSVP at: http://goo.gl/2dmgSH
Statements for the Record: Chairman Durbin invites stakeholders to offer their perspectives and experiences on these issues by submitting written testimony to be included in the hearing record. These statements help educate Committee members about this issue and are important to demonstrating community interest.
Statements must be submitted as a PDF or Word Document of 10 pages or less, and should be emailed to Durbin_Testimony@Judiciary-dem.Senate.gov as early as possible, but no later than Monday, April 28, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Please note that the Subcommittee cannot accept previously published information, such as newspaper articles or reports, as a statement for the record.
Senator Dick Durbin is Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. The Subcommittee has jurisdiction over all constitutional issues, and all legislation and policy related to civil rights, civil liberties and human rights. The Ranking Member of the Subcommittee is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).
The Honorable Denise E. O'Donnell
Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance
United States Department of Justice
Washington , DC
First Deputy Superintendent
Chicago Police Department
Plano Police Department
The Honorable Jay M. Quinn
Fourth Judicial District of Minnesota
National Council on Disability
1331 F Street, NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20004
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About the National Council on Disability (NCD): NCD is an independent federal agency of 15 Presidentially-appointed Council Members and full-time professional staff, who advise the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy, programs, and practices.
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Please listen to the voices in support of H.R.3717 Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act that have already been recorded at "Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill" Blogtalkradio show on February 12 and at
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill. Mary Neal, director.
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 into a deadly restraint chair for control. But this happens to mentally ill Americans routinely in the nation's jails and prisons. What happened to Larry Neal? He was a black disabled man, and his wrongful death in police custody is covered-up rather than treated with due process of law because crisis intervention training started in Memphis, Tennessee, where Larry Neal was kidnapped and murdered in 2003. This proves that CIT alone will NOT prevent brutality and deaths, neither will it prevent people with serious mental illness from going into crisis and being arrested. See "Wrongful Death of Larry Neal." (Google it)
Dog Justice for Mentally Ill
Wrongful Death of Larry Neal