Excellent articles by the Tribune’s Otto and follow-up editorial.
However, one editorial comment may lack insight.
“Many of the attacks occur in the hospital’s forensics admissions
wards. . . . .”
“One forensics unit in Alabama, the Taylor Hardin Secure Medical
Facility has succeeded in cutting its use of restraints without a
corresponding rise in attacks, an impressive performance.”
“One of its strategies is doing more competency evaluations in jail,
not at the hospital. Western State could benefit from that practice.”
The editorial staff is probably not aware of problems created for the
jail and for the truly mentally-ill patient placed in a jail setting.
We have learned from you-all that jail is often the worse placement for
a mentally-ill person, and when combined with the typical delays (out of
sight -out of mind) in completing the forensic evals, the patient
(offender) often decompensates miserably. The jail is not a hospital
and cannot dispense needed medications to the “accused” in the same
manner as a mental hospital. A sound-minded person can have difficulty
with being locked down in a the jail setting, but a mentally-ill person
can have his schizophrenic paranoia fed by the setting. There is a
difference between the offender looking for a way-out via the mental
defense, and the truly mentally-ill who should go to the hospital