Archive for September, 2015

Delaware Cops Beat Mentally Ill Man when his Quadriplegic Wife was Unable to Follow Order to Stand up

Source: Delaware cops beat mentally ill man when his quadriplegic wife was unable to follow order to stand up

Delaware cops beat mentally ill man when his quadriplegic wife was unable to follow order to stand up

Travis Gettys

A physically and mentally disabled couple said Delaware police beat the husband during an early morning drug raid at a relative’s home.

The Rehoboth Beach couple said state police found Ruther Hayes, a disabled veteran who takes medication for schizophrenia, giving a sponge bath to his wife, Lisa, when they burst into her mother’s home June 30, 2014, looking for two relatives, reported The News Journal.

Police arrested two nephews at the home, but only one of them was charged with a drug crime, and he eventually pleaded guilty to one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers with the…

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Graphic Video Shows Natasha McKenna. Mentally Ill Woman, Tased in Jail Before Her Death

Graphic Video Shows Natasha McKenna Tased in Jail Before Her Death

Image via YouTube

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Mentally Ill Woman, Natasha McKenna Is Tased To Death By Deputies On Video

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Why a broken heart really hurts

Why a broken heart really hurts

The secret of how our mind processes emotional pain ought to change our outlook, says psychologist Sian Beilock

'BROKEN FLOWERS' FILM - 2005 ‘Neuroscientists have discovered a link between physical and social pain’: Bill Murray as an ageing Don Juan in Broken Flowers. Photograph: Rex Features

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“He Had Fresh Head Injuries”: What Ohio Has Been Doing to Mentally Ill Boys

January 15, 2015January 15, 2015

“He Had Fresh Head Injuries”: What Ohio Has Been Doing to Mentally Ill Boys

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“He Had Fresh Head Injuries”: What Ohio Has Been Doing to Mentally Ill Boys

Parents can’t keep children alone in their rooms for 1,964 hours. But Ohio allegedly does.

| Thu Apr. 3, 2014 8:49 AM EDT


An Ohio juvenile correctional facility placed a child, who was on suicide watch and psychiatric medication, in solitary confinement for 1,964 hours between April and September of last year, according to the Department of Justice. Referred to as “K.R.” in court documents, the boy’s longest uninterrupted stretch of solitary confinement lasted about 19 days. And his experience isn’t unique: Four juvenile correctional facilities in Ohio imposed almost 60,000 hours of solitary confinement on 229 boys with mental-health needs in the second half of 2013, according to the government agency.

These details, and other harrowing accounts, are included in a March 12 lawsuit filed by the the Justice Department against the state of Ohio, Republican Gov. John Kasich, and others, on the basis that the state’s excessive use of solitary confinement among children with mental-health issues is unconstitutional. The lawsuit names four state juvenile correctional facilities that are engaging in confinement practices that “will cause irreparable harm to these youth,” according to the agency. “The way in which Ohio uses seclusion to punish youth with mental health needs victimizes one of the most vulnerable groups in our society,” Jocelyn Samuels, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a March statement.

Electric shocks. Withholding food. Social isolation. Read MoJo’s investigation into the infamous “School of Shock.”

“We have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for youth and staff, and seclusion is used as a last resort to maintain safety and order so that we can help youth change their lives,” Frances Russ, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Youth Services, which is named in the lawsuit, tells Mother Jones. Under the agency’s policy, youth placed in seclusion are supposed to be checked visually by staff every 15 minutes and visited daily by personnel. Russ couldn’t comment on whether this protocol was followed in the case of K.R. and other children mentioned in the lawsuit. The Justice Department notes that at one facility, mental-health staff visited briefly each day, but did not deliver adequate treatment.

In the past few years, there has been growing research on the harm solitary confinement inflicts on adult prisoners. A United Nations expert on torture said in 2011 that solitary confinement should never be inflicted on adults for more than 15 days, noting that scientific studies have documented mental damage after only a few days in isolation. Mother Jones contributor Shane Bauer, who spent four months in solitary confinement in Iran, has called solitary confinement in US prisons comparable to the horrific conditions he experienced abroad, if not worse—people regularly spend years or decades in solitary in the United States. But while solitary confinement of adults has recently gotten some attention, the seclusion of children is a practice that largely still occurs in the dark. “No one knows exactly what is happening to children behind bars, and no is accountable,” says Amy Fettig, senior staff counsel for the ACLU’s National Prison Project (NPP). “If this harms adults so terribly, what does it do to kids who are still growing and developing?”

The Justice Department has recently started taking action on solitary confinement of juveniles, as part of the Obama administration’s push to stop discrimination against mentally disabled Americans. In addition to the Ohio case, in February, the Justice Department intervened in a case against Contra Costa County, California, over the solitary confinement of children with disabilities in juvenile hall. In one example, a 17-year-old was placed in a solitary confinement for 60 days because he was hearing voices, and eventually “began smearing feces in his cell” and suffered a psychotic break, according to the agency.

As Alison Parker, director of the US Program at Human Rights Watch explains, children with mental illness or disabilities often have a difficult time following the rules, so they’re the first to be put in isolation. “The irony is that placing them in seclusion can exacerbate the same illness that led to the behavior,” she says. According to research released by the Justice Department, more than 50 percent of suicides of children detained at juvenile facilities occurred while they were isolated alone in their rooms.

The Justice Department’s Ohio lawsuit is an expansion of a previous complaint. In 2008, Ohio agreed to reform two juvenile correction facilities after the Justice Department found numerous problems, including the overuse of solitary confinement. Since then, one of those facilities closed and the other is closing. But last week, a US District judge granted the Justice Department’s request to expand the lawsuit to additional facilities. The judge ruled that there were “new and more serious violations of the constitutional rights of youth via the excessive use of seclusion and denial of adequate mental health treatment.”

The Department of Justice also sought a temporary restraining order to stop the state from putting children with mental-health needs, like K.R., in solitary isolation for more than three consecutive days while the lawsuit is ongoing. The order has not yet been granted. In January, an attorney cited in Justice Department legal documents who interviewed K.R. noted that, “Staff and the client both reported that he bangs his head frequently. He had fresh head injuries as I spoke to him. Something drives him to self destructive behavior and whatever has been tried so far does not seem to be working.”

Ohio is fighting the request for a restraining order, arguing that the state is already largely complying with the Justice Department’s requirements, and “at the very least, there is no constitutional violation.” Asked whether K.R. and other at-risk youth designated by the Justice Department are still being put in solitary confinement as of this writing, Russ said, “When seclusion is used, youth continue to receive all services including education, behavioral health services, recreation, and more.”

Ohio doesn’t have a law on the books barring solitary confinement of kids in juvenile detention centers or correctional facilities. At least seven states have restrictions in place, but most don’t. And it’s a practice that’s widespread across the United States. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called for an end to the practice among juveniles, the mentally ill, and pregnant women in a hearing last year, but, so far, no such federal law exists. Ian Kysel, a fellow at the Georgetown Law Human Rights Institute who testified at Durbin’s hearing, says that the solitary confinement of children is nonetheless illegal under federal and human rights law.

The Justice Department argues that children in solitary in Ohio aren’t always getting adequate education and mental-health treatment. Advocates say that it’s hard to know what happens in facilities in the United States, because data is scarce.

Civil liberties organizations interviewed children serving time in adult prisons who had been subject to this form of isolation in 2012. “There is nothing to do so you start talking to yourself and getting lost in your own little world. It is crushing,” Paul K, who spent 60 days in solitary when he was 14, told the researchers. “You get depressed and wonder if it is even worth living.” A teen held at Rikers Island in New York—which, as a city facility, is exempt from the state’s ban on solitary confinement—recently told the Center for Investigative Reporting that his longest stretch in “the box,” a six-by-eight-foot cell, lasted four months. “There’s so many people that have been in that cell and screamed on that same gate, it smells like a bunch of breath and drool.” …

“Mentally ill inmates ‘warehoused’ in Colorado solitary confinement!”


December 1, 2013December 1, 2013 i added this photo

“Mentally ill inmates ‘warehoused’ in Colorado solitary confinement!”

Some Risdon inmates in solitary confinement fo...
Some Risdon inmates in solitary confinement for years: reports (Photo credit: publik16)

Mentally ill inmates ‘warehoused’ in Colorado solitary confinement

                                                     Published time: July 25, 2013 01:58                                                                                                     


On any day, chosen at random in 2012, the Colorado Department of  Corrections (CDOC) housed between 537 and 686 mentally ill  inmates in solitary confinement – with an average stay of 16  months, according to a new report from the American Civil  Liberties Union (ACLU)

AFP Photo / Getty Images / Kevork DjansezianAFP Photo / Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian



Prison inmates struggling with severe mental illness make up more than half of those held in solitary confinement across Colorado prisons.

  On any day, chosen at random in 2012, the Colorado Department of  Corrections (CDOC) housed between 537 and 686 mentally ill  inmates in solitary confinement – with an average stay of 16  months, according to a new report from the American Civil  Liberties Union (ACLU). 

  A typical prisoner in solitary confinement is held for 23 hours a  day in a small, often windowless cell without access to a phone.

  They are usually given one hour of outdoor time per day, or  allowed access to an exercise room with a small amount of  equipment.

The conditions frequently lead inmates, even ones who  were otherwise healthy before isolation, to states of psychosis,  where they “bang their heads against the wall in an effort to  drown out the voices in their heads,” the ACLU said. 

Warehousing mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement is  not only costly, cruel, and unlawful, its puts the public at  serious risk,” wrote ACLU attorney Rebecca Wallace, who  drafted the report. “When mental illness goes untreated, or is  made worse by solitary confinement, it can lead to criminal or  antisocial actions once a prisoner is released, leaving the  public to suffer the consequences.” 

Medical physicians and human rights advocates have consistently  classified solitary confinement as inhumane, as a form of  torture, and cruel and unusual punishment – the last of which is  prohibited by the US Constitution. 

  Courts have agreed, with a California judge refusing to dismiss a  suit brought earlier this year by inmates in solitary confinement  at the state’s notorious Pelican Bay supermax facility. The  lawsuit, which California officials sought to have thrown out,  revealed that as of 2011, over 500 inmates had been isolated in  security housing units (SHU), administrative jargon for  isolation, for over ten years. Seventy-eight others were in the  SHU – pronounced “shoe” behind bars – for two  decades. 

  The ACLU report determined that prisoners with mental  deficiencies are more likely to be sent to the SHU because they  are less likely or simply unable to follow the rules. Once there,  they “appear to have no road out of severely restrictive  confinement.” 

With many states slashing budgets for mental hospitals and  treatment funding, prisons have increasingly become inundated  with prisoners unfit for confined life. Just a few days, though,  of isolation can introduce an inmate to hallucinations,  difficulty thinking and other lasting effects. 

The restriction of environmental stimulation and social  isolation associated with confinement in solitary are strikingly  toxic to mental functioning, producing a stuporous condition  associated with perceptual and cognitive impairment and affective  disturbances,” wrote former Harvard Medical School  Psychiatrist Stuart Grassian, as quoted by Think Progress. “As  a consequence, the practice has been deemed torture, cruel and  inhuman treatment, and a ‘living death.’”

BODY&SOUL-EXPRESSION = ART! This artist illustrated mental disorders as monsters


This artist illustrated mental disorders as monsters

Posted 4 days ago by in offbeat

In this series of illustrations, mental illnesses are reimagined as monsters – designed to encapsulate the nature of various conditions and render them as a conceptualised, vanquishable foe.

The project, created by artist Toby Allen, was undertaken to help deal with his own anxiety.

He told

I found that drawing my worries and fears as little monsters would help me think about them differently and make my anxiety feel more manageable.

I imagined that my anxiety could be overcome by giving it a physical from, giving it a visible weakness that I could learn to exploit.

So he designed an Anxiety monster:

Mental disorders illustrations

After receiving acclaim and support from his friends, he decided to do the same for other mental illnesses as a long term project.

I also wanted to try and educated people about mental illness and maybe even reduce the stigma surrounding it, through helping viewers to understand what it’s like to have one of these conditions.

Mental disorders illustrations

Toby says it’s important to research each condition thoroughly and he spreads his work over months, sometimes years, with careful consultation before he conceptualises the ‘monsters’.

The illustrations themselves don’t take very long to create. The majority of time is spent on the research and conceptualisation stages.

Mental disorders illustrations

The ‘Real Monsters’ artwork was created digitally, using techniques and processes that mimic watercolour and other traditional mediums.

Toby says his favourite design is probably anxiety and it is probably strongest for being based on his own, personal experiences.

Mental disorders illustrations

I also really like the design for Selective Mutism, as it’s intentionally one of the cutest monsters in the series. This condition is more common in children so I want to reflect that with a sweet and childlike creature design.

Mental disorders illustrations

Since posting the illustrations on his blog and on Tumblr, Toby has received acclaim and support from those who have identified with his images.

The response has been amazing. I regularly receive heartfelt and sincere emails from people who wish to thank me for creating the work, as if I created it especially for them.

Mental disorders illustrations

People seem to be able to easily relate to the artwork and imagine their condition as something less abstract or insurmountable.

Something about it might make them laugh or simply feel a little bit better about their condition and it also helps to provide a talking point with family members who maybe don’t really understand what its like to have one of these conditions.

Mental disorders illustrations

This can really help to make the illness feel like less of a burden.

Due to the sensitivity of the subject matter, I have received a few negative responses but that’s to be expected, and I respect people’s opinions.

To see the full range of ‘monsters’ see below.

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

Mental disorders illustrations

More: A healthy mood is contagious, depression isn’t

More: Two hours of social media a day linked with depression in young People–b1i4HXh_re


Three Deputies Arrested for Beating Mentally Ill Afro-American Man to Death

Three Deputies Arrested for Beating Mentally Ill Man to Death


Three Sheriff’s deputies in Northern California have just been arrested for beating a man to death in his jail cell. The deputies are being charged with murder, conspiracy and assault under the color of authority.

Three deputies were arrested this week on murder charges for beating a mentally ill man to death in a California jail. Although he had already served his five-day sentence, the victim remained in police custody for two weeks while waiting for a bed to open up at a nearby mental health hospital. Witnesses have recently come forward asserting that the deputies entered the victim’s cell and viciously beat him to death as he begged for mercy.

Held on misdemeanor drug and theft charges, Michael James Tyree, 31, was sentenced to five days…

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California Agrees to Overhaul Solitary Confinement in Prisons

California Agrees to Overhaul Solitary Confinement in Prisons

byPriyanka Boghani

California’s prison system agreed on Tuesday to change how and when it uses solitary confinement, a decision that could reduce the number of inmates in isolation there by more than half.

The agreement settles a lawsuit brought by inmates held in isolation for a decade or more at the state’s Pelican Bay State Prison.

Solitary confinement means prisoners spend 22 hours a day or more locked in a cell with very little human contact. Plaintiffs in the case, Ashker v. Governor of California,charged that such conditions violated the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the lack of any meaningful review of their confinement violated their rights to due process.

Under the agreement, California, which is home to the nation’s second…

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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Did It – Texas Executes Man Who Is Mentally Disabled, and More

Wobbly Warrior's Blog

Texas Governor Rick Perry did it – he executed a man who’s mentally disabled with a 61 IQ, despite the Supreme Court ruling a decade ago that executing the mentally disabled violated the 8th Amendments protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Curiously, the same Supreme Court that ruled such executions are unconstitutional denied a last minute appeal by 54-year-old Marvin Wilsons attorneys in one final bid to save their client’s life. Rather than employing science and medicine to determine if an inmate is mentally disabled, the state of Texas uses John Steinbecks Of Mice and Men – basically using Lenny from the novel as a benchmark for mental retardation. Marvin Wilson didn’t meet the criteria – and now he’s dead. At least Governor Perry will have another applause line at the Republican debate should he decide to run for President again.

via On the News With Thom Hartmann: Texas Gov…

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