Fair Punishment Proj
90% of death row prisoners executed in 2017 showed signs of mental illness, intellectual disability, severe trauma, and/or innocence. PDF
Fair Punishment Proj
90% of death row prisoners executed in 2017 showed signs of mental illness, intellectual disability, severe trauma, and/or innocence.
Issues in Mental Health Nursing
A Preventable Death in an Arizona Prison
March 9, 2013 By Solitary Watch Guest Author
Guest Post by Carl ToersBijns
Carl ToersBijns worked in corrections for over 25 years, holding the positions of a correctional officer, chief of security at a mental health treatment center, program director, associate warden, and deputy warden of administration and operations in both the New Mexico and Arizona Departments of Corrections. He specializes in consulting and developing strategic plans for sound correctional practices, mental health treatment, security threat groups, training and staff development. He has published three books in the Wasted Honor Trilogy, as well as the book Gorilla Justice: Caged War Veterans, the Mentally Ill and Solitary Confinement, and has written blog posts on Corrections.com and as a guest writer for Yahoo. In the Anthony Lester case, he has been interviewed several times by local media on the subject of correctional practices and issues surrounding Lester’s death
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The nightmare started in 2009, when a young Native American man named Anthony Lester was convicted of his first felony offense–one count of aggravated assault for a stabbing that took place during a foiled suicide attempt–and sentenced to twelve years in an Arizona prison. Tony Lester had been diagnosed with schizophrenia while still in high school; he heard voices and had a history of mutilating and otherwise harming himself. He clearly needed help, so his family asked the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) to honor the court order that was issued by the judge hearing the case. That judge had stated that Lester should be housed in a mental health treatment unit rather than in the general population, where there is no immediate provision to treat those with severe mental illnesses, who have difficulty coping and functioning while incarcerated.
The ADC ignored the court order and housed Lester to Tucson State Prison, infested with Native American gangs demanding Lester pay protection for his presence on the yard. Tony Lester shared his concerns for his own safety with prison officials, and was segregated in a detention unit until his protective custody process was completed. The family informed officials of Lester’s mental illness, and their response was that this particular inmate was manipulative and trying to avoid living on the yard where he faced gang extortion.
Several times the family tried to get their point across–that Lester suffered from a debilitating mental illness, and that he was court ordered to remain on all psychotropic medications. The family was shocked when they found out that inmates have the right to refuse their medications and that Lester was still being housed in a tiny detention cell awaiting final disposition on his protective custody. While isolated in detention, Lester decompensated and was put on a suicide watch.
Then, on July 11, 2010, the family received a call at 11:45 pm, telling them that Tony Lester had been taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A call notifying them of his death came three hours later, 2:45 am. An investigation was conducted and the death was ruled a suicide by razor blade. The razor blade that Lester had used to mortally wound himself had been given to him by mistake by an officer who forgot to remove the razor from the prisoner’s personal hygiene kit, less than two days after he had come off a suicide watch.
When the first responders arrived, they did not enter the cell immediately, as they alleged they could not see Lester’s hands and feared he had a weapon hidden. They waited for more staff to arrive and safely removed the cellmate who reported the fact that Anthony Lester was hurt and bleeding badly. (Since Anthony Lester was asking for protection from Native American gang members, he should never have been double-bunked with another Native American who knew of Lester’s suicidal ideations and self-harming behaviors.)
At the time the emergency incident was called in, one sergeant and four correctional officers and one video recorder operated by a correctional officer entered the cell and offered no first aid or assistance to the inmate. Instead, Tony Lester lay in the upper bunk, bleeding, waiting for help to arrive. Barely breathing on his own and moaning the words “help,” he was told by the officers that help was on its way. No one tried to stop the bleeding by applying pressure to Lester’s wounds, until EMS staff arrived to take him to the hospital. By then it was too late. Anthony Lester bled to death with half a dozen people standing by, doing nothing.
The family and an investigative reporter from KPNX New 12, a local television station, fought for two years to have the video released and made public. The graphic video (which appears below) was finally aired at the end of last month. It drew the attention of an Arizona lawmaker, Minority Leader Chad Campbell, who promised a full legislative oversight hearing on Anthony Lester’s death.
Lester is only one of many prisoners who have died in Arizona during the administration ADC Director Charles L. Ryan, a former contractual employee of the Department of Justice who oversaw portions of the Iraqi prison system (including Abu Ghraib before the scandal broke out). Another was Marcia Powell, a women with mental illness who baked to death in the sun in an outdoor holding cell. Several others have killed themselves, often in isolation units, in a state prison system with a suicide rate that is well above the national average.
An interview with Dr. James Gilligan revealed alleged violations of the Eight Amendment and other human rights violations, as the video reveals this expert’s opinion that the Department of Corrections did not fulfill its custodial and constitutional responsibilities toward Tony Lester, and ignored his basic civil rights.
15 hurt in prison fight are out of hospitals (azstarnet.com)
Arizona Prison Ends Fight Involving 400 Inmates (abcnews.go.com)
solitary watch: “SICK & in SOLITARY” (inprisonedwomen.wordpress.com)
Arizona prison ends fight involving 400 inmates ()
400 Inmates Fight: Prison Watchdog Groups Speak Out (theepochtimes.com)
A Preventable Death in an Arizona Prison (solitarywatch.com)
FORTRESSES of SOLITUDE from SOLITARYWATCH (inprisonedwomen.wordpress.com)
400 inmates were fighting for hours in Arizona – even THEY can’t get along!!! (bonjublog.com)
Red Sox-Pirates Live: Jon Lester Looks for Third Straight Solid Start As Sox Welcome Pirates to JetBlue Park (nesn.com)
15 inmates injured in Tucson prison fight out of hospitals (azstarnet.com)
A Longitudinal Study of Violent Behavior in a Psychosis-Risk Cohort. Brucato G1, Appelbaum PS1, Lieberman JA1, Wall MM1, Feng T1, Masucci MD1, Altschuler R1, Girgis RR1.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2018 Jan;43(2):264-271. doi: 10.1038/npp.2017.151. Epub 2017 Jul 26.
A Longitudinal Study of Violent Behavior in a Psychosis-Risk Cohort.
Brucato G1, Appelbaum PS1, Lieberman JA1, Wall MM1, Feng T1, Masucci MD1, Altschuler R1, Girgis RR1.
There is a lack of insight into the relationships between violent ideation, violent behavior, and early, particularly attenuated, psychosis. Our aims were to examine the relationships between baseline violent behavior and violent ideation and outcome violent behavior and conversion to psychosis in at-risk individuals. We longitudinally assessed 200 individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis for violent ideation and violent behavior using the Structured Interview for Psychosis-Risk Syndromes (SIPS), and rated these according to MacArthur Community Violence categories. Fifty-six individuals (28%) reported violent ideation at baseline, 12 (6%) reported violent behavior within 6 months pre-baseline, and 8 (4%) committed acts of violence during the follow-up time period. Information about violent ideation was obtained only by indirect, but not direct, inquiry about violent ideation. Both violent ideation and violent behavior at baseline significantly predicted violent behavior (RR=13.9, p=0.001; RR=8.3, p=0.003, respectively) during follow-up, as well as a diagnosis of psychosis (RR=2.3 and 2.4, respectively; both p<0.001), independent of more than 40 clinical and demographic variables. The targets of the subjects’ violent ideation at baseline were completely different than their subsequent targets of violent behavior. Violent behavior occurred within 7 days (SD 35 days) of a diagnosis of syndromal psychosis. These data suggest that checking carefully for violent ideation and behavior in clinical high-risk patients is essential, as these have predictive value for conversion to psychosis and likelihood of violence in the future.
PMID: 28745307 DOI: 10.1038/npp.2017.151 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28745307
On Tuesday, April 28, Cold Case detectives with the Major Crimes Division obtained Natasha McKenna’s completed autopsy report from the Department of Health, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
As quoted from the Report of Autopsy regarding Natasha McKenna,
“Cause of Death: Excited delirium associated with physical restraint including use of conductive energy device, contributing: Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar Disorder”
“Manner of Death: Accident”
Detectives are still awaiting examination reports for the medical equipment that was utilized to monitor McKenna’s vital signs prior to paramedics responding to the Adult Detention Center.
As is customary in all complex criminal investigations, forensic analysis of all potential evidence, though time intensive, is standard to ensuring all proper and fair conclusions are reached based on accurate and detailed facts. This detailed and thorough investigation, once complete, including all evidence collected, including the recently received medical examiner’s report, any audio or video recordings, witness statements, and…
View original post 72 more words
Graphic Video Shows Natasha McKenna, Mentally Ill WomanVideo Mentally Ill Woman, Tased in Jail Before Her Death
curi56September 18, 2015UncategorizedEdit from my blog http://www.colouredjustice.wordpress.com
“Graphic Video Shows Natasha McKenna, Mentally Ill WomanVideo Mentally Ill Woman, Tased in Jail Before Her Death”
PERHAPS VIDEO MAKES PROBLEMS – PLEASE GO TO
Mentally Ill Woman, Natasha McKenna Is Tased To Death By Deputies On
PERHAPS PROBLEMS WITH VIDEO- GO TO
Graphic Video Shows Natasha McKenna Tased in Jail Before Her Death
A Virginia sheriff’s department released a video today showing the in-custody events leading up to the death of mentally-ill inmate Natasha McKenna after she was shot with a Taser multiple times by authorities. The video’s release comes just days after a Fairfax County official decided not to seek criminal charges in connection with the deadly incident.
The 48-minute long video posted on YouTube starts with a filmed statement from Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid discussing this week’s announcement that criminal charges would not be brought, and explaining that various media reports about what happened compelled her to release the Video.
“There is no better way to share what actually occurred than to make this video availability for the community to view in its entirety,” Kincaid said. …
and explaining that various media reports about what happened compelled her to release the Video.,
The 48-minute long video posted on YouTube starts with a filmed statement from Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid discussing this week’s announcement that criminal charges would not be brought
“Graphic Video Shows Natasha McKenna, Mentally Ill WomanVideo Mentally Ill Woman, Tased in Jail Before Her Death”
Mentally-ill female inmates housed in male facility: report
Ombudsmna says Canada’s federal prisons, “serve no underlying correctional or rehabilitative purpose.”
10 hours ago
October 31, 2017
Some female inmates with serious mental-health conditions are being sent to a men’s facility for treatment, a practice the federal prison ombudsman calls “completely unacceptable” in a new report.
Canada’s correctional investigator, Ivan Zinger, also said that while the use of solitary confinement has decreased significantly in the past few years, conditions “continue to be problematic” and Indigenous inmates are still overrepresented.
In his first report since being appointed to the job in January, Mr. Zinger focused on the conditions of confinement in Canada’s federal prisons, which “serve no underlying correctional or rehabilitative purpose.”
The wide-ranging report touched on everything from poor food quality, unsatisfactory work opportunities and unsafe transport vehicles, making 17 recommendations to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). It also calls for terminally ill inmates to be able to access medical assistance in dying, as well as a safe tattooing program in federal prisons….THE GLOBE AND MAIL
How brain scans can tackle the stigma behind mental illness
New techniques may soon be able to identify children at increased genetic risk for psychiatric illnesses.
Image: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon NOT AVAILABLE!
This article is published in collaboration with
25 Oct 2017
Professor, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Wayne State University
As a psychiatrist, I find that one of the hardest parts of my job is telling
Parents and their children that they are not to blame for their illness.
Children with emotional and behavioral problems continue to
suffer considerable stigma.
Many in the medical community refer to them as “diagnostic and therapeutic orphans.”
Unfortunately, for many, access to high-quality mental health care remains elusive.
An accurate diagnosis is the best way to tell whether or not someone will respond well to treatment, though that can be far more complicated than it sounds.
I have written three textbooks about using medication in children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. I know that this is never a decision to take lightly.
But there’s reason for hope. While not medically able to diagnose any psychiatric condition, dramatic advances in brain imaging, genetics and other technologies are helping us objectively identify mental illness.
Knowing the signs of sadness
All of us experience occasional sadness and anxiety, but persistent problems may be a sign of a deeper issue. Ongoing issues with sleeping, eating, weight, school and pathologic self-doubt may be signs of depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Separating out normal behavior from problematic behavior can be challenging. Emotional and behavior problems can also vary with age. For example, depression in pre-adolescent children occurs equally in boys and girls. During adolescence, however, depression rates increase much more dramatically in girls than in boys.
It can be very hard for people to accept that they – or their family member – are not to blame for their mental illness. That’s partly because there are no current objective markers of psychiatric illness, making it difficult to pin down. Imagine diagnosing and treating cancer based on history alone. Inconceivable! But that is exactly what mental health professionals do every day. This can make it harder for parents and their children to accept that they don’t have control over the situation.
Fortunately, there are now excellent online tools that can help parents and their children screen for common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder and more.
Most important of all is making sure your child is assessed by a licensed mental health professional experienced in diagnosing and treating children. This is particularly important when medications that affect the child’s brain are being considered.
Seeing the problem
Thanks to recent developments in genetics, neuroimaging and the science of mental health, it’s becoming easier to characterize patients. New technologies may also make it easier to predict who is more likely to respond to a particular treatment or experience side effects from medication.
Our laboratory has used brain MRI studies to help unlock the underlying anatomy, chemistry and physiology underlying OCD. This repetitive, ritualistic illness – while sometimes used among laypeople to describe someone who is uptight – is actually a serious and often devastating behavioral illness that can paralyze children and their families.
Image: The Conversation
Through sophisticated, high-field brain imaging techniques – such as fMRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy – that have become available recently,
we can actually measure the child brain to see malfunctioning areas.
We have found, for example, that children 8 to 19 years old with OCD never get the “all clear signal” from a part of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex. This signal is essential to feeling safe and secure. That’s why, for example, people with OCD may continue checking that the door is locked or repeatedly wash their hands. They have striking brain abnormalities that appear to normalize with effective treatment.
We have also begun a pilot study with a pair of identical twins. One has OCD and the other does not. We found brain abnormalities in the affected twin, but not in the unaffected twin. Further study is clearly warranted, but the results fit the pattern we have found in larger studies of children with OCD before and after treatment as compared to children without OCD.
Exciting brain MRI and genetic findings are also being reported in childhood depression, non-OCD anxiety, bipolar disorder, ADHD and schizophrenia, among others.
Meanwhile, the field of psychiatry continues to grow. For example, new techniques may soon be able to identify children at increased genetic risk for psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
New, more sophisticated brain imaging and genetics technology actually allows doctors and scientists to see what is going on in a child’s brain and genes. For example, by using MRI, our laboratory discovered that the brain chemical glutamate, which serves as the brain’s “light switch,” plays a critical role in childhood OCD.
What a scan means
When I show families their child’s MRI brain scans, they often tell me they are relieved and reassured to “be able to see it.”
Children with mental illness continue to face enormous stigma. Often when they are hospitalized, families are frightened that others may find out. They may hesitate to let schools, employers or coaches know about a child’s mental illness. They often fear that other parents will not want to let their children spend too much time with a child who has been labeled mentally ill. Terms like “psycho” or “going mental” remain part of our everyday language.
The example I like to give is epilepsy. Epilepsy once had all the stigma that mental illness today has. In the Middle Ages, one was considered to be possessed by the devil. Then, more advanced thinking said that people with epilepsy were crazy. Who else would shake all over their body or urinate and defecate on themselves but a crazy person? Many patients with epilepsy were locked in lunatic asylums.
Then in 1924, psychiatrist Hans Berger discovered something called the electroencephalogram (EEG). This showed that epilepsy was caused by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The specific location of these abnormalities dictated not only the diagnosis but the appropriate treatment.
That is the goal of modern biological psychiatry: to unlock the mysteries of the brain’s chemistry, physiology and structure. This can help better diagnose and precisely treat childhood onset mental illness. Knowledge heals, informs and defeats ignorance and stigma every time.
Please rescpect them in their own dramatic life!