Posted in EVENTS

CRIMINALIZATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS QUESTION

CRIMINALIZATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS QUESTION:

What would be your approach to reduce the number of people with disabilities who wind up on a path toward homelessness or prison? What is your stance on diversion and re-entry services, and if so what strategies do you favor?

Posted in EVENTS

CRIMINALIZATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS

CRIMINALIZATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS

Introduction

Many people with disabilities – especially those with mental illness and traumatic brain injuries – are unable to obtain treatment, services and housing, and end up homeless, hospitalized, in jail or prison. Once in jail or prison, they can languish for weeks or even months awaiting assessment of their ability to stand trial, or waiting for a bed in the state hospital, where they can have their competence restored.

 

The state recently settled a lawsuit – “Trueblood” – that will reduce the time people with disabilities spend in jail awaiting assessment. The judge in the case now requires assessment of competency to stand trial within two weeks, and where appropriate, hospitalization to restore competency to stand trial within a week.

 

However, the appropriate response to the “criminalization of mental illness” isn’t just to reduce the amount of time people with mental illness spend in jail – the answer is to provide the treatment and support to keep people out of the criminal justice system in the first place. The settlement requires the state to create additional services to divert people to treatment. In order to meet the terms of the Trueblood settlement, the Legislature will need to appropriate millions of dollars, primarily to the mental health system.

Posted in EVENTS

October 25th – Legislative Forum on Disability Rights

October 25th  -Legislative Forum on Disability Rights

Due to a great turnout and informative responses from the candidates, we ran short of time to get the candidates positions on all our questions. Below are questions that were not covered followed by questions submitted from our audience.