Archive for August, 2015

Young Black Man Jailed Since April for Alleged $5 Theft Is Found Dead in Cell (from @Truthdig)

A young black man who reportedly had mental health problems was found dead in jail in Portsmouth, Va., after spending almost four months behind bars without bail on suspicion of stealing groceries worth $5.

Source: Young Black Man Jailed Since April for Alleged $5 Theft Is Found Dead in Cell (from @Truthdig)


Special Report Countdown: Anxiety Disorders


The Role of Psychiatry in Sex Offender – Trauma And Violence

The Role of Psychiatry in Sex Offender Management News | August 28, 2014 |

Special Reports, Forensic Psychiatry, Sexual Offenses, Trauma And Violence

By H. Martin Malin, PhD and Fabian M. Saleh, MD

– See more at:

http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/special-reports/role-psychiatry-sex-offender-management?GUID=EDA1E24C-CAAD-4FD9-9772-789E98E1AA61&rememberme=1&ts=27082015#sthash.PWiowZWr.dpuf


HEALTHCARE NOT barbaric criminalization of MENTAL ILLNESS

Brave New Films
Dear Annamaria,

More than half of all suspects shot and killed by police were suffering from mental illness – this is More than half of all suspects shot and killed by police were suffering from mental illness – this is crazy.

Criminalizing Mental Health • This Is Crazy • Part 1 of 3 • BRAVE NEW FILMS https://youtu.be/WC-isYWovG4 via @YouTube

 

And over 300,000 Americans in prison today have a mental illness diagnosis.More than half of all suspects shot and killed by police were suffering from mental illness – this is crazy.

.

That’s why today we are releasing part one of our new series, This is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Illness. This three part series today we are releasing part one of our new series, This is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Illness., not the barbaric criminalization of it.

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You see it almost everyday in the media now: confrontations with people that have mental illness and the Police—Criminalizing Mental Health • This Is Crazy •

Part 1 of 3 • BRAVE NEW FILMS https://youtu.be/WC-isYWovG4 via @YouTube

and

https://youu.be/WC-isYWovG4 via YouTube

far too many times these encounters end with death. Or, mentally ill people find themselves in a totally abusive and dysfunctional prison system, instead of getting the appropriate care they so desperately need.

Part one of this series shows what happens when police are not properly trained to deal with people with mental illness. And shows that there is a totally doable and cost effective solution – Crisis Intervention Training – that the majority of police departments still don’t use!

This is crazy.

Mental health needs to be treated, not criminalized.

Watch the video. Learn about what we can easily do differently, if enough people push for it.

And post this video to all 2016 presidential candidates’ Facebook pages, so together we can call on them to come out for humane police trainings, not more tasers and abuse for mentally ill people!

Onward,

Robert Greenwald, President
BRAVE NEW FILMS

P.S. Support more films like This is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health. Donate to Brave New Films today.

 

Politicians Urged To Help Safeguard Benefit Claimants With Mental Illness


Restraint of inmate without food is part of a troubling pattern, sheriff’s watchdog says

Restraint of inmate without food is part of a troubling pattern, sheriff’s watchdog says

“…he recent handcuffing of an inmate without food for 32 hours is part of a troubling pattern of similar mistreatment in the Los Angeles County jails since the beginning of last year, the Sheriff’s Department’s independent civilian watchdog said Sunday.

Inspector General Max Huntsman cited three additional incidents in which inmates were allegedly tethered to objects for prolonged periods.

During one that Huntsman called “particularly humiliating,” an inmate was restrained naked in an area where visitors to the jail could see him. Another at the North County Correctional Facility resulted in 14 jail employees, including nine supervisors, being reassigned to jobs where they had no contact with inmates.

In another case, an inmate was restrained for a long period in a way that was physically uncomfortable, Huntsman said. ….(AND DON´T FORGET, that inmates are humans and emotions

One mentally ill inmate was handcuffed to a chair for 32 hours and given only one glass of water and no food. Another was restrained completely naked in full view of visitors.

Incidents like these reveal that Los Angeles county jails have a pattern of improperly restraining inmates, according to a report released this weekend by the county inspector general. Unruly or violent inmates are regularly tethered to chairs or tables in the nation’s largest county jail system, according to the investigation, which was first reported by the L.A. Times.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-sheriff-jails-20150713-story.html

http://fusion.net/story/165933/l-a-county-jails-have-record-of-improperly-tying-up-inmates-investigation-says/

 


Another Reason to Oppose the Death Penalty – No more death Penalty.

 

Another Reason to Oppose the Death Penalty

i
No more death Penalty.
New research finds a convict is more likely to be sentenced to death if he has an untrustworthy face.
Death chamber and electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in 1923. (Photo: Everett Historical/Shutterstock)
Death chamber and electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in 1923. (Photo: Everett Historical/Shutterstock)

If you support the death penalty, in spite of the many compelling arguments to the contrary, you must concede it is only morally acceptable if carried out in a fundamentally fair way. Surely the decision to impose this most final of punishments must not be subject to the biases or whims of jurors or jurists.

Well, newly published research suggests who lives and who dies is determined, to a significant degree, by gut-level instinct. It finds the decision to impose a death sentence is based in part on a completely irrational construct: Whether the convict has what is perceived as a trustworthy face.

This finding “suggests an alarming bias in the criminal justice system,” conclude the study’s co-authors, University of Toronto psychologists John Paul Wilson and Nicholas Rule. “Put simply, one’s face may determine one’s fate, at least in the judicial domain.”

“Perceptions of trustworthiness from faces, which have high consensus but questionable validity with regard to actual behavior, affect criminal sentencing.”

It has long been known that, consciously or not, people tend to size up strangers based on their facial characteristics. A 1996 study found we use such visual metaphors as “wide-eyed innocence” and “crooked character” to quickly determine whether someone is worthy of our trust.

But would this sort of mental shortcut come into play when making the weighty decision of sentencing a convicted murderer to either death or life in prison? To find out, Wilson and Rule collected photographs of 371 men on Florida’s death row (nearly the entire population), and an equal number of inmates convicted of first-degree murder but sentenced to life imprisonment.

The 742 images were broken up into sets of around 100 each. Individual faces were then rated for trustworthiness (along with other factors including Afrocentricity and attractiveness) by 208 Americans recruited online via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.

“We found that people who look less trustworthy were more often sentenced to death for first-degree murder,” the researchers report in the journal Psychological Science. “Perceptions of trustworthiness from faces, which have high consensus but questionable validity with regard to actual behavior, affect criminal sentencing.”

It’s conceivable, of course, that our instinctive judgment of trustworthiness is sometimes accurate. So to take that issue out of the equation, Wilson and Rule collected a second set of facial images—this one from the Innocence Project. It featured 37 men who were wrongly convicted of, and served time in prison, for a serious crime before being exonerated. Twenty had been sentenced to life in prison; 17 received the death penalty.

Their faces were judged for trustworthiness by an online panel of 39 Americans. Once again, “faces perceived as less trustworthy were more likely to be sentence to death,” the researchers report. “Thus facial appearance affects real-world criminal sentencing independently of actual guilt.”

Altogether, the results paint “a somewhat alarming picture of how systems of legal punishment are vulnerable” to irrational decision-making, the researchers conclude. “People who look less trustworthy receive harsher criminal sentences,” they write, “and overgeneralization of traits from their faces appears to be responsible for this effect.”

Can a system with such egregious built-in bias truly be justified?

source: http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/another-reason-to-oppose-the-death-penalty