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Mental Unhealth and Prisons

Thanks for publishing information about mental health issues and prisoners. We expect to see a major increase in forensic [mentally ill] prisoners as we roll into the future and close down more state hospitals while simultaneously underfunding community resources for the mentally disabled.

As they say, "shit happens" and in our increasing desire to punish wrong-doers, more and more persons are transinstitutionalized. Putting aside class and race issues for a moment, it is not enough that we filled the jails with people whose problems are largely tied into patterns of substance abuse and we do not provide any substance abuse treatment, but we will also re-incarcerate the mentally ill in ever increasing numbers.

However this time, treatment will consist of medicating a person into being a drooler. Submit to medication or remain in your cell, that is the reality of most folks, and how the DOCs get around forced medication restrictions, something they have been blocked from doing, in large part, in most state hospitals.

By the way, how many people are locked down in "super-max" places and classified as level 5 [who] also have a major psychiatric diagnosis? How did they get there? Ever think that maybe their behavior, as charged, was consistent with their diagnosis? Do you think that being locked in 24 x 7 is good for their mental recovery, I mean, is social isolation beneficial for the mentally ill? Do you think they get quality treatment in super-max? Do you think they get worse?
E.D., CT Legal Rights Project

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