Waco To Hire 11 Cops.. Not Medical Staff… To DEAL with Mentally Ill??!

Source: Waco Tribune

 

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Local government leaders are hoping to keep more mentally ill people out of jail by hiring 11 new sheriff’s deputies trained in mental health issues.

Using a proposed $2.5 million annual grant from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office would deploy an around-the-clock team to respond to mental health cases around a six-county region. The officers would have knowledge of medications and local treatment options as an alternative to incarceration.

McLennan County commissioners and Waco City Council members heard presentations on the program Tuesday and voiced support for it.

“I’m prepared to take a leap of faith and go with this program,” County Judge Scott Felton said. “You can burn up a lot of money in that jail with folks with mental illnesses, and they come out in no better shape than (when) they went in.”

Jail officials have said that nearly a quarter of those in the McLennan County Jail at any given time are on medication for mental health issues. The mentally ill are more likely to be jailed repeatedly and are more expensive to house than other inmates, and they are often chronically homeless, county officials say.

Local law enforcement has been trying to focus on taking mentally ill people for treatment, but that can tie up an officer for several hours, said Barbara Tate, executive director of the Heart of Texas Region MHMR.

She said the new mental health team, which includes caseworkers, would handle about 1,200 cases a year, responding directly through dispatched calls or being summoned by regular officers who encounter a problem with mentally ill people.

“It would relieve police officers of a tremendous amount of time they’re currently spending on individuals whose primary problem is a mental health crisis,” Tate said.

Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman said the program would be a “tremendous help,” and similar programs in places such as Williamson County have proved their value.

If the grant is approved, the money could be available in September and renewable on an annual basis.

The city and county would be required to spend $60,000 in matching funds for the program.

Existing deputies

The county already has six mental health deputies, including two funded by the state. The grant would expand the number to 17 total, with five of those stationed in surrounding counties.

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What fresh new hell is this now? Are they kidding? Let’s not mention how soldiers with PTSD were forced on the ground in the midst of gunfire and screams of ‘Get on the ground or I’ll fucking kill you.’ Let’s look past the abhorrent treatment of them in jail by refusing medicines and threatening them with solitary confinemen… We won’t mention them trying to sell their jailhouse shrinks to the people suffering from the after effects of Twin Peaks like a candy bar at the commissary… Help was based on cash, not need.

Pardon me for my politics here, but I read this and thought ‘his had to have come from that idiot in Washington… ‘ and sure enough…
From the Washinton Post…

And on the surface, this sounds like, okay, maybe they are trying to help people… But then. Read closely..

In a speech yesterday, Hillary Clinton urged the U.S. to reduce its prison population. “It’s a stark fact that the United Stations has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows,” she said.

A heart-breaking truth is that part of this increase is due to a widespread failure to treat mental illness. After public psychiatric hospitals in the early 20th century came to be criticized for inhumane and disturbing treatments, beginning in the 1950s there was a movement to deinstitutionalize mental health and treat patients in more community-based treatment centers. At their highest peak in 1955, state mental hospitals held 558,922 patients. Today, they hold about 35,000 patients, and that number continues to fall.

The Democrats are saying Mental Health Facilities aren’t doing a good enough job in April, and so their answer this month is add a bunch more cops. has been known for almost 200 years that confining mentally ill persons in prisons and jails is inhumane and fraught with problems. The fact that we have re-adopted this practice in the United States in recent years is incomprehensible. Prison and jail officials are being asked to assume responsibility for the nation’s most seriously mentally ill individuals, despite the fact that the officials did not sign up to do this job; are not trained to do it; face severe legal restrictions in their ability to provide treatment for such individuals; and yet are held responsible when things go wrong, as they inevitably do under such circumstances. This misguided public policy has no equal in the United States.

Even more troubling is the fact that they can MEDICATE you even if you refuse it. Some more of that ‘we are keeping you from harming yourself and others’ crap from DC…

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What process is due under the U.S. Constitution when a prison or jail seeks authorization for administration of nonemergency involuntary psychotropic medication?

In 1990, the United States Supreme Court held that an inmate with mental illness need not be imminently dangerous before being medicated over his objection and that authorization may be determined in an administrative hearing rather than a judicial one.

In the seminal case of Washington v. Harper, 494 U.S. 201 (1990), Walter Harper, a Washington state prison inmate, sued the state of Washington claiming that his due process rights were violated when antipsychotic medication was administered over his objection without the state first providing a judicial hearing. He also alleged that medication could not be administered over his objection unless a judge found him incompetent to make his own medical decisions.

Washington v. Harper addressed only antipsychotic medications (also known as neuroleptics) used to treat psychoses. Injectable medications are not limited to antipsychotics and virtually all state involuntary medication policies govern both antipsychotics and other psychotropics. Only a few state policies make a distinction between antipsychotic medications and other psychotropics (e.g., Massachusetts and Minnesota).

Pursuant to the Washington State Department of Corrections policy, authorization for the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medications was decided in an administrative hearing conducted before a three-member special committee consisting of a psychiatrist and a psychologist, neither of whom may be involved in the inmate’s treatment at the time of the hearing (referred to in some states as a nontreating psychiatrist and a nontreating psychologist) and a representative of the correctional facility. The inmate was afforded procedural protections, including notice of the hearing, an opportunity to be heard and to present witnesses, and a right to appeal the committee’s decision. The policy empowered the committee to authorize medication only upon a finding by the psychiatrist member and at least one other member that the inmate met the criteria stated in the policy.

The Supreme Court upheld Washington’s policy, reasoning that:

“There can be little doubt as to both the legitimacy and the importance of the governmental interest presented here. There are few cases in which the State’s interest in combating the danger posed by a person to both himself and others is greater than in a prison environment . . . We confront here the State’s obligations, not just its interests. The State has undertaken the obligation to provide prisoners with medical treatment consistent not only with their own medical interests, but also with the needs of the institution. Prison administrators have not only an interest in ensuring the safety of prison staffs and administrative personnel, but also the duty to take reasonable measures for the prisoners’ own safety.”

The Court rejected Harper’s claim that medication could not be administered over his objection if he was competent to provide informed consent but refused to do so. The Court also upheld the state’s criteria for administering involuntary medication, which required that an inmate with mental illness be “gravely disabled” or pose a “likelihood of serious harm” to himself, others or property. The Court based its decision on prison officials’ interest in maintaining a safe environment to protect corrections officers and prison staff, as well as the obligation to provide for the medical needs of its prisoners.

Source: TAC Reports

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Now, we all know that between the biker massacre, the stupid woolly mammoth money, and the funds suddenly rolling in for new cops to handle sick people, it’s obvious that the officials of Washington drink from the stream that flows from Obama’s ass. But check this out:

The Los Angeles Police Department’s mental evaluation unit is the largest mental health policing program of its kind in the nation, with 61 sworn officers and 28 mental health workers from the county. The unit has become a vital resource for the 10,000-person police force in Los Angeles.

Cook County ‘s Mental Health Issues

The ‘cop’ part of this article is snuck in at the bottom…

In addition, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., recently introduced legislation that would add county and municipal corrections employees to the National Health Service Corps, enabling them to qualify for up to $50,000 each in federal student loan relief. After Cook County health workers were excluded from the program in 2011, 11 left Cermak, officials said.

Preckwinkle and Sheriff Tom Dart support the bill, officials said.

Minneapolis Jail Goes Crazy
‘We are at a crisis’

Delays under the 48-hour rule are not limited to urban jails. Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said he wasn’t surprised when he received two letters in the past few weeks explaining the lack of available beds at Anoka-Metro. He is sympathetic that DHS may be too overwhelmed and understaffed to handle the growing number of 48-hour law inmates, but his colleagues have been talking about this problem for several years.

“It’s just a struggle across the board,” Hodapp said. “It’s a bad problem and it’s getting worse. We are at a crisis across the state and we need more action.”

Mississippi Jumps In Too

The sheriff wants the state legislature to take action.

“It’s a strain on the jails that’s trying to watch this young lady because you have to check on her every 15 minutes to try to make sure that she don’t harm herself and you have to try to keep her away from other inmates,” said Sheriff March.

There are only 35 Forensic Service beds for the entire state for pre-trial evaluations and treatment. Holmes county isn’t alone.

Rankin County jail administrator Lt. James Rutland says they are holding 6 inmates awaiting mental evaluation to stand trial.
The longest has waited two years.. Medication for the mentally ill there can range from $75.00 per month per inmate to $475.00 depending upon the prescription.

The costs can take a toll on small county jails like Holmes.

… New York

The Behavioral Health/Criminal Justice Collaboration project is also exploring the idea of training police officers in behavioral de-escalation techniques and mental health first aid. Mr. Ruetten said he already conducts trainings like these for probation officers and some corrections officers in the area.

Ideally, he said, a large portion of incidents could be resolved at the scene with the proper training.

“The hope is that training will help (officers) identify people dealing with mental issues and de-escalate the situation,” he said.

In a report presented at the summit, Mr. Ruetten referred to the Emotionally Disturbed Persons Response Team used in Rochester. Prior to the team’s training, police officers were injured on 12 percent of responses to mental health incidents. After the training, no officers were injured, and the use of force dropped from 20 to 3 percent.

Austin has 144 ‘Mental Health Officers’

In addition to the Crisis Intervention Team, APD has 144 mental health officers who have additional training to assist with mentally ill people.

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I try my best not to become one of those weird truther people who hoard pork n beans and buries a school bus to live in. However… Who DOESN’T think about all those articles that claim the government is going to  start declaring freedom fighters and veterans crazy and carting them off to jail while reading this stuff? Who ever heard of training cops in mental illness? And when Hillary and jails in half the states in the Union are singing Jailhouse Rock to the tune of mental illness? At the very least, I can’t help wondering if we are only one step away from cops being allowed to declare someone ‘mentally ill’ right then and there and then take them to jail and medicate them out of their gourds for the rest of time.. If they are lucky. Remember Miriam Carey?

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