Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Solitary Chosen Over Hospital for TN Man

"SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IS CONSIDERED MORE THERAPEUTIC THAN A HOSPITAL FOR A BRAIN DAMAGED YOUNG BLACK MAN." The following is an update on Bernard Johnson, a young man with traumatic brain injuries and serious mental illness stemming from a fall at age 5. Johnson fell roughly 18 feet from his apartment onto his head. The lawsuit connected with his injuries was settled, and Johnson's award was placed in a trust account more than 20 years ago. Despite having hundreds of thousands in this trust, Johnson has lived homeless and has been incarcerated since June 2015 for the lack of bail money.

Johnson's family and Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI) finally managed to get Johnson's trustee, Lacy Hayes, Jr., Esq., of Pennsylvania, to say he would release $5,100 bail money from Johnson's trust. But Hayes said he has to be asked by the "right" person - Jarad Williams, Esq. of the Jim Williams and Associates law firm in Tennessee. But the lawyer Hayes said must make the request for Johnson's bail money disclaimed any dealings with Bernard Johnson's trust. In fact, Johnson's grandmother, Ms. Mary, said Jarad Williams seemed offended that Hayes would connect him with the trust.

Meanwhile, the district attorney in Johnson City, Tennessee (the state where my mentally, physically disabled brother was secretly arrested and killed by undisclosed means in 2003) now reportedly says Johnson is "too brain damaged" to be released from Washington County Detention Center where he suffers in solitary confinement. A disability rights representative visited the jail today. Ms. Mary was given to understand that Washington County Detention Center personnel said Bernard's many doctors have been WRONG in their diagnosis of mental illness for over 20 years. Bernard lived in a home in Pennsylvania for brain damaged children from age 5 until he graduated from high school, but Washington County Detention Center reportedly proclaimed that Bernard is not mentally ill at all.

Johnson's grandmother reports that the jail had x-rays taken of Johnson after she asked AIMI for help. His mother, grandmother, and fiance' were featured on "Human Rights Demand" radio show recently, and an article about Johnson was published at "Dog Justice for Mentally Ill" blog to help convince his trustee, Mr. Hayes, that Bernard needs a little of his trust fund money to bail out of jail immediately, if Hayes still has the money as he should. But it now seems that Johnson is not intended to be released even if he is able to make bail.

Washington County Detention Center reportedly recognized that Bernard has severe bowel problems and a traumatic brain injury like his family said, but not bipolar disorder, manic depression, or anxiety like those Yankee doctors diagnosed him with in Pennsylvania. Southern jailers know what's best for a buck like Johnson who was about to marry Jeana Willis, a white woman: solitary confinement. The district attorney is reportedly requesting the court to remove the possibility of Johnson's release on bail.

If treatment is sought by Tennessee for Johnson, it will likely be in the prison ward of a state hospital. Johnson had an "illegal" bipolar crisis during which he screamed at Jeana, and a neighbor called police who charged Johnson with assault. Mentally challenged people like Johnson are very lucrative for the prison profiteering system. To acknowledge Johnson's mental illness might necessitate dropping the charges, and that is not intended to happen. Even if Johnson dies, his family, as black people, will not be allowed to complain.

Johnson's family arranged for his transport to Vanderbilt University Hospital, one of the nation's best, but the Johnson City district attorney obviously thinks jail is more therapeutic for what ails him. The one mental illness that Johnson might be diagnosed with in Johnson City is drapetomania, a disease that made Africans flee slavery and not stay in their "proper places."

This may be the first time a mentally ill man faces bail revocation to be kept in jail and away from an acclaimed hospital precisely because he is brain damaged. Jail is no longer the last resort for sick Black men. Solitary confinement has taken priority over hospitalization for such people in the minds of decision makers. Americans must remove the conflict of interest decisions makers have and insist that they divest themselves of corporate stock in order to serve the people. They must divest or resign if mental illness is ever to be decriminalized in America.

If Johnson's loved ones continue to demand his trust money to pay his bail and maintain their stance that Johnson should never have been arrested, they might find their phones tapped, their computer security compromised, and people following them when they leave home. I experience those abuses since I demanded information and records about Larry Neal's wrongful death, which followed 18 days of secret arrest in Memphis, Tennessee's Shelby County Jail (see the "Wrongful Death of Larry Neal" at the fourth link below). That was twelve years ago, and the struggle continues.

Divest or Resign http://DivestorResign.blogspot.com
Bernard Johnson Dying in Custody
Bernard Johnson radio broadcast on Human Rights Demand
Interviews with Women who Love Him
Secret Arrest and Wrongful Death of Larry Neal

MaryLovesJustice, Director
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill

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