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Florida Gov. Rick Scott is a huge asshole


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OK, I have several reactions to this.

 

Primarily, I feel so sorry for this woman.  Not only is she treated as a criminal, she also has her name spread all over media.  Perhaps that is a good thing if she is willing to be a martyr for the cause.  I was taken into custody and handcuffed last year, but I entered the system as a delirious person on the highway and taken to the hospital, and not arrested.  I was so fortunate not to have entered into the system as an offender.  If I had been arrested it would would have ruined my chance to work, or to do volunteer work for some organizations.  Volunteering is all I have right now to keep me occupied.

 

Next, I did some internet research and I am stunned that my State is not last in spending for the mentally ill.  We are usually 49th or 50th in almost every category of poverty, education or health care.  We often say “Thank god for Arkansas.”  They say “Thank god for Mississippi.”  (No, I am not trying to initiate another god debate.  It's just a phrase.  And besides, this is the bible belt.)

 

Finally, I find it so sad that we do not have more halfway houses for the mentally ill (or any others for that matter) who enter the criminal justice system.  That is, a place where they can receive meds, counseling and job training.  California spends 47K per prison inmate.  (Simple math:  20*47k= $940,000.)  Why can’t this be spent for non-violent inmates?**

 

The answer to the last point may be that it is hard to locate mental halfway houses.  We tried to make my childhood house a halfway house for the mentally ill but the neighbors banded together and blocked the zoning request.  But, the halfway houses could be located close to prisons if necessary.

 

When I was in the hospital last time I was delusional.  My idea was that I was going to use my “fame” to establish a foundation to partially fund halfway houses with the rest of the money coming from the government.  When I got out of the hospital I was still delusional and spend some time trying to build a website for that purpose.  That idea has now crumbled with the knowledge that my name will not be enough to lead such a movement.  It is still my dream.

 

What am I missing in this analysis?

 

**”A recent study (2006) by the U.S. Department of Justice found that more than half of all prison and jail inmates have a mental health problem compared with 11 percent of the general population, yet only one in three prison inmates and one in six jail inmates receive any form of mental health treatment.”

http://www.jaapl.org/content/35/4/406.full

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I think the lack of funding for mental health services is part and parcel of the stigmatization of mental illness.

Heh, also, water is wet. This has been your obvious update.

...mental illness is seen as some kind of moral failure by a lot of people, I think?

Edited by Stickler
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...mental illness is seen as some kind of moral failure by a lot of people, I think?

I think a lot of people see it as a personal failure more than anything else...

But back to the main topic. It is ridiculous that we're spending so much money on prisons and law enforcement, when a lot of "criminal" problems are really mental health problems. If we could treat mental health crises as crises rather than criminal problems, it would be better for the patients, and it would cost the state a lot less than it would to lock up the mentally ill.

Then again, this would reqire a massive overhaul of the criminal "justice" system, mental health training for law enforcement, as well as a lot of initial investment in accessible public mental healthcare and community-based programs to help the mentally ill. Unfortunately, I don't think this would fly in the current political climate in the US...

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