About

Blog

The Case for Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Reform

22 Oct 2020

By David E. Geiger, MEE, PE

Horror stories abound in the world of treatment for those with brain illness. For example, in the 1950s there was a group of people who moved to shut down psychiatric hospitals in favor of community mental health centers. They never set foot in a psych hospital and never treated a patient. Their influence lasted decades and brought us to where we are today.

Where are we today? Patients live in the street with drug addictions. Or they are incarcerated and “treated” by corrections officers who have no training in the field. Suicide is up. We hear horror stories from parents who try to get help for their child, but the law says their child cannot be given treatment against his will. The illness gets worse and worse until he kills somebody – a danger to himself or others, says the definition – and then he can be put in jail, given “treatment” and a criminal record.

My parents had a similar problem with me and testified to it in court at the trial. I had become a menace to society and ended up in the criminal legal system. Have you ever heard of such a thing? The jury acquitted me, however. It could have been avoided, but the burden of care falls upon the family in this system, and they had no idea where to go and told that to the judge.

Pete Earley, a former journalist with The Washington Post, had that problem with his son who also ended up in the criminal legal system before he received “treatment” in jail. Parents are sometimes advised to put their child in prison so that he can get “treatment.” Note that the three largest providers of mental health care in America are jails, according to Alisa Roth, who is a journalist and author of Insane: America’s Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness.

Insurance companies provide no help. They have the power to overrule the doctor’s medical decisions and advice.

Written in the memory of Deborah L. Levy, Ph.D., who passed October 15, 2020. I was told by Linda Stalters, founder and CEO of SARDAA, that she greatly supported me.

To read the full article, access David Geiger’s blog at www.davidegeiger.com/blog.

David Geiger is a licensed and awarded electrical engineer who spent 7 years in psychiatric hospitals and over 40 years since 1979 in the courts as a result of his schizophrenia.

 

My Life as an Artist With Psychosis

11-16-2020

By David Meyers The funny thing about my musical and artistic sides: these parts of me did not start to come out until about the time of my diagnosis ...

Schizophrenia from the Point of View of an Emergency Clinician

11-12-2020

Submitted by David E. Geiger, MEE, PE I met Lynn Nanos, LICSW (Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker) through my website. She is a graduate of C...

The Case for Mental Illness and Criminal Justice Reform

10-22-2020

By David E. Geiger, MEE, PE Horror stories abound in the world of treatment for those with brain illness. For example, in the 1950s there was a group ...

Fair Chance for Housing Bill Introduction and Hearing

09-26-2020

By David E. Geiger, MEE, PE I submitted articles in the past that dealt with housing discrimination for those who got out of prison or the psychiatric...

How a Brain Injury Enabled the Help I Deserved But Wasn’t Getting

09-25-2020

By  David Meyers Most of my life – before I gained the recognition of having the serious mental illness of bipolar – was bright, activity-filled...