Lawyers: Mentally ill need services, not prison
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Criminal defendants with mental illness who commit minor crimes are too often ending up behind bars, according to defense attorneys, who say there aren’t enough mental health services or in-patient beds available for them.
Supervisory Assistant Public Defender Bevin Salmon, who works at Superior Court on Elm Street in New Haven, where less serious criminal cases are handled, said it is frustrating to see his mentally ill clients incarcerated because there aren’t enough treatment spots for them.
“I’ve been doing this for about 13 years, and it has been a constant problem,” Salmon said. “Having more treatment options in the community is a good thing, instead of warehousing them in jail.”
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Denying treatment to sick Americans while bombing in other countries, purportedly for human rights, is ludicrous. Frankly, I think this is happening because our lawmakers, Justice Department personnel, judges, prosecutors, forensic lab technicians, law enforcement supervisors and officers, and others who serve the public in criminal justice are also prison investors, and the mentally ill comprise 1.25 million of the 2.3 million prisoners in America. To switch from punishment to treatment for mental illness would negatively impact decision makers' stock portfolios for those investing in private jails and prisons and vending companies that service them. Even probation has been privatized. Therefore, denying treatment, which leaves our communities less secure, increases crimes and opportunities to imprison sick people. Taxpayers save nothing and are more at risk by criminalizing mental illness, but it is a matter of who benefits financially: psychiatrists and social workers and psychologists and hospitals and clinics vs. private prisons and jails and probation companies plus the many companies that service same as well as companies that use prison laborers (at slave wages - little to nothing), which negatively impacts opportunities for employment for "free" Americans.
In a nutshell, I feel that the entire nation is doing what two Pennsylvania judges were indicted on RICO Act racketeering charges (and sentenced to prison) for doing. The judges reportedly withheld funds needed to upkeep public juvenile correctional facilities and channeled children into their co-conspirators' private jails for a huge profit (whether or not the children deserved incarceration). Incarceration had disastrous results for the children and their families. Prison investors in government positions withhold funds that are needed to have more mental hospitals, clinics, and drug treatment programs in order to channel mentally ill persons and drug addicts into prisons for the same reason that motivated the Pennsylvania judges who were incarcerated. If the nation is really serious about eliminating mass incarceration, the first step would be to demand that public officials who own prison stocks must divest themselves (and their spouses and children) of the stocks or resign. For public officials, especially lawmakers, judges, prosecutors, etc. to own prison stock is a conflict of interest, in my opinion. Thank you for your opinion on this matter. See the results of criminalizing mental illness in "Dog Justice for Mentally Ill" blog athttp://DogJusticeforMentallyIl... >>> Blessings.