Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Maine Criminalizes Mental Illness

A RECENT REQUEST to Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill :

Hi, everyone. My name is Steve Lewicki and I am the Coordinator of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. We've got a desperate situation in Maine with correctional officers working at the state psychiatric hospital using Tasers, pepper spray, and force on patients. There is also a bill to transfer 30 people who have been deemed incompetent to stand trial or not responsible for their crimes to the state's max prison. Is there anyone that can advise me on strategies to improve and/or prevent this?
Below is a video that demonstrates the issues that Mr. Lewicki describes in Maine: "Mentally Ill in Prisons" at YouTube http://youtu.be/9MOTKHlhKeY . If you have suggestions for Mr. Lewicki, please post them as comments here, or TRY to email me at MaryLovesJustice@gmail.com . Emails and phone messages not answered within 24 hours were not actually received. (I am censored. Municipalities are under contracts with private prisons and jails to keep them at a certain occupancy.) If you have influence over Maine, please address these inhumane, immoral conditions. WHY on earth are correctional officers working in mental hospitals? Why are mental hospital inpatients being treated like prisoners in War on Terror camps and controlled with Tasers, pepper spray, and FORCE instead of having compassionate, skilled hospital staff who use tranquilizers, straight jackets, and rubber rooms? Why are mental patients who were found to be incompetent to stand trial being imprisoned instead of hospitalized in Maine?

Can you help with this situation, Governor Paul LePage?

Can you address these issues, Mr. Joseph Pointe, Commissioner of the Department of Corrections in Maine?

Can you help your institutionalized mentally ill patients and inmates in Maine, Mr. Romney?

Is there something you can do about brutality to the mentally dysfunctional citizens in Maine, Senators?

The United States Department of Justice is responsible for protecting the rights of disabled Americans and all institutionalized persons. Will you address the abuses against the mentally ill in Maine hospitals and prisons, Attorney General Eric Holder?

Department of Justice Main Switchboard
Office of the Attorney General Public Comment Line 202-353-1555
To call component officials, see the Directory of Department Officials

Why are hospitalized mental patients being TASERED, sprayed with pepper spray, and strong-armed into submission by prison guards? Are dogs treated that badly in Maine's kennels? Does "maximum security" mean SOLITARY CONFINEMENT TORTURE? Does the law permit Maine's most vulnerable citizens to be denied trials and committed to PRISONS? Only 60% of the nation's incarcerated mental patients receive psychiatric treatment behind bars. 
The budget for National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2013 was $639.7 billion. Please consider using part of those funds to provide substantial mental hospital space in Maine and every state, plus make assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) programs available for mental patients exiting jails and hospitals. Especially after the recent Navy Yard killings, American officials must realize that removing barriers to timely treatment for mental illness is providing "national defense."
We recognize that municipalities may have contracts with private prison owners to keep their facilities filled to a certain capacity, as reported by "Think Progress" at  http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/09/20/2658701/private-prison-firms-quotas-cells-coffers/ , but the mentally ill must not be reduced to prison commodities. Decision makers over Maine and the USA, please do unto others as you would have them do to you and your sick or addicted family members. Please do not Taser, pepper spray, and brutalize the mentally ill, and do not continue to sentence acute mental patients to prison without trials. We live in the 21st century, not the Middle Ages. Justice Clarence Thomas has a sick nephew, and Vice President Joe Biden has a niece who causes him concern. Every family has someone who is mentally ill, a condition affecting one in five Americans to some degree.

Please give ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL in the State of Maine and throughout America. Officials over justice in Maine should contact Prisoner Advocacy Coalition and advise Mr. Lewicki of appropriate actions that will be taken in connection with his request.

Mentally Ill in Prison, a video by nstephenson2

Note: The narrator of the film showed a picture of Larry Neal and misrepresented him as being another mentally ill man who was arrested for child support and killed while in custody. Larry Neal was actually secretly arrested for 18 days and murdered in Memphis Shelby County Jail in 2003 by means that have not been disclosed.

Mary Neal
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill

Wrongful Death of Larry Neal

Dog Justice for Mentally Ill
Eleven links, seven photographs, and one video are in this article.

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