Friday, December 23, 2005

The Grinch in Florida

A youth with bipolar disorder who gets in trouble when not taking his medication steals a six-pack of beer from a neighbors garage. Whether through court intervention or not, clearly what is needed is a way to keep that young man on his medication. That solution was not so clear, however, to Circuit Judge Ric Howard of Citrus County, FL. Judge Howard’s answer for Adam Bollenback? A ten-year prison sentence designed to "break his spirit."

Bollenback has served 40 months already - almost seven months per beer. When he went into jail, Florida had no mechanism to order him to treatment in the community. If the clemency board releases him, he will reenter a world where assisted outpatient treatment is an option.