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“Mentally ill inmates overwhelm PA jails”

Segment Link

This April 11, 2017 segment of Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane talks about mental health services for those with mental illnesses who have been incarcerated in Pennsylvania.

“In this hour, Marty talks with FRED OSHER, director of health systems and services policy at the Council of State Governments Justice Center about Stepping Up and its objectives. JOHN WETZEL, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections, joins the discussion to address the potential impact of this plan on PA state prisons. BRUCE HERDMAN, chief medical director for the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, discusses the care needed for these inmates”[1]

“Mentally ill on hold without treatment: Norristown State Hospital lacks rooms for defendants deemed incompetent for trial”

Article Link

This July 15, 2016 article by Kaitlyn Foti found on the Mainline Media News website talks about the extremely long waiting list for beds at Torrance State Hospital and Norristown State Hospital Forensic Units.  The article talks about the impact not only to the person who is on the waiting list, but also their family, the flow of inmates through jails, and the financial impact faced by having to hold someone in jail who is on a waiting list for treatment.

“Federal suit says state provides inadequate mental health care”

Article Link

This December 1, 2015 article by Joe Smydo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks about a federal lawsuit being filed by the Disability Rights Network against the Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services citing inadequate mental health care as the reason for the suit.  Warren State Hospital, Torrance State Hospital and Mifflin County Jail are where the 3 people the suit focuses on are located.

“Pa. state prisons transform mental health care, but is it working?”

Article Link

This April 17, 2015 Penn Live article talks about ongoing changes in the Pennsylvania Prison System as it pertains to inmates with mental health issues.

 

“Their View: End the criminalization of mental illness”

Article Link

This article on the Centre Daily Times website talks about the criminalization of mental illness and what happens to those who are mentally ill and are incarcerated.

“Pa. Corrections Workers Finish First Phase of Mental Health Training”

Article Link

This July 20, 2015 Newsworks article found on the NBC10.com website talks about the first phase of training received by a number of law enforcement officers and judges in Pennsylvania

“Law helps boost mental disabilities awareness”

Article Link

This July 19, 2015 article on theTimes-Tribune.com website talks about some of the details found in a bill that was recently passed requiring training for certain judges and law enforcement officers to turn the tide and prevent incarceration from being the go-to solution to mental health issues.

“Pa. DOC meets aggressive goal for mental health training”

Article Link

This June 23, 2015 CorrectionsOne.com article talks about the Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections meeting their goal of achieving an aggressive goal to carry out more mental health training to correction staff.

“It’s not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males”

Article Link

This June 18, 2015 article on the SALON website, talks about the many ways that those with mental health issues are losing more and more rights because non-mentally ill people assume myths are facts.  Those who have followed my blog for some time probably have realized I generally don’t do many posts about anything having to do with crimes that the media has decided were the result of mental illness, but this article really hit home as it described how those with mental illnesses are scapegoats and are in many ways being thrown under the bus  as opposed to being treated with the same dignity or respect that non-mentally ill people enjoy.  I have felt for some time that when it comes to a court of law, involving any kind of violent act, that the court should focus on whether the evidence says the accused could have committed the crime or not, and that mental health issues need to be an after thought with evaluations used to help decide what services the person needs whether they are incarcerated or not.  I have never seen media make diabetes the focus of a court case I also have never seen the media make cancer a focus of the court case when a violent act was committed.  So since I have been told for many years that “just like a diabetic has to take insulin for the rest of their life, I will have to take medication for my mental illness for the rest of my life” doesn’t it seem fair to say that ‘just like a person with a mental illness stands trial based on their illness, then so should the person with diabetes stand trial based on their diabetes’.  As for those of you thinking that it makes no sense to try someone who committed a violent crime based on their diagnosis of diabetes, why would you assume it’s OK to do just that when it is a person diagnosed with a mental illness?  both are illnesses and both need treatment, but only those with diabetes are allowed to be treated as a person and not an illness by society.

“Pa. Department of Corrections names new mental health advocate for offenders”

Article Link

This May 21, 2015 article on The Patriot-News talks about the experience that Lynn Patrone brings with her as she takes on the role of mental health advocate ensuring that inmates get proper mental health care while they are incarcerated and upon release.

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