Treatment Not Jail; Incarceration Will Fail

I participated in my very first press conference yesterday about the failure of the jail system in treating the mentally ill. The system doesn't have the training, experience, or facilities to treat the mentally ill. They belong in hospitals or other health care facilities. Nancy Speer whose son Ben Warren has been incarcerated in the Santa Barbara jail for eleven months organized the event and spoke out in front of the jail about her son's treatment and condition he supposedly has self-mutilated himself and has refused food and water. On two occasions he was sent to a local hospital's psych ward and rehydrated but not medicated and brought back to psychological balance. Now he is back in jail in a safety cell naked and only covered with a light quilt. Neither his mother nor his psychiatrist is allowed to visit him. Nancy Speer speaking yesterday in front of the Santa Barbara jail Nancy then introduced me. However, I could not speak from my experience with the inhumane … [Read more...]

Thoughts about Tucson

I've been so down lately. Yesterday it was so bad I actually succumbed to sleeping half the afternoon away. And that is not like me, at least not lately. Perhaps it was because my ankle was hurting such that I could barely walk up and down the stairs imagine me side-stepping my way up and down? And I'm the one who never ever complains about aches and pains. Well this morning the ankle is better. I forced it to be better by working it out at the gym. I think the vibrating power plate helped. But my mood isn't better. And when I looked at the lead photo in today's LA Times I realized why. It's that tragic shooting in Tucson last Saturday. Today was the first funeral for the victims the young girl, nine-year old Christina Green. It breaks my heart. I cry when I think about her and how much her family is grieving. I know what it is like to grieve for a dead child, so I am grieving with them. I cry with them. Every time I think of her death, I start crying. I'm also grieving … [Read more...]