Friday, April 11, 2014

News and Commentary from the Treatment Advocacy Center
April 7 - April 11, 2014
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"Mentally Ill Often Leave Jail Sicker Than When They Entered"Ten times more individuals with serious mental illness are residing in state prisons and county jails today than in the nation’s remaining state mental hospitals, according to a new study from the Treatment Advocacy Center.
“The Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: A State Survey” found that, in 44 states, the largest institution housing people with severe psychiatric disease is a prison or jail. Nationwide, the study reports an estimated 356,000 mentally ill inmates compared with 35,000 public hospital patients.
The survey provides state-by-state illustrations of how protocols for treating mentally ill inmates who are deteriorating or acutely ill create obstacles that leave inmates without treatment for extended periods or indefinitely, especially in county jails. READ IT ALL....
"'Zookeepers Are Not Allowed to Keep Animals Like This'" 
Solitary confinement is often used as a punishment for behaviors that are symptomatic of severe mental illness. In fact, an estimated one-third to one-half of inmates in isolation “have some form of mental illness” and the isolation makes it exceedingly difficult for mental health practitioners in the jails to treat patients. 
"Criminalization: Our National Thinking Disorder" 
Our new study found we have placed more than 300,000 severely mentally ill individuals in prisons and jails that are neither equipped nor staffed to handle mental illness. It is a situation that is grossly unfair to both the inmates and the corrections officials and should be the subject of public outrage and official action. 
"Video Testimony on Where the Hospital Beds Have Gone"
If you missed it on C-Span, testimony from a recent House subcommittee hearing examining the disappearance of psychiatric hospital beds is available on YouTube. Founding Treatment Advocacy Center executive director Mary Zdanowicz was among four witnesses at a House subcommittee hearing on Murphy’s “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.” READ IT ALL....
"If I Get Sick Again, Please Give Me Laura's Law" - personally speaking
"It's civilized, not criminalized. It gives me my right to live, participate and recover in the community,” a woman with serious mental illness writes about assisted outpatient treatment. “Some people — who have never been in jail, homeless, or state hospital — say they do not want “forced” treatment. They say it is an abuse of our civil rights. They have no idea what force means." READ IT ALL....
A big thank-you to Dottie Pacharis, whose opinion piece was published in Ground Report.

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