Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"He deserves to have a better life than being crazy"

Today's Wall Street Journal has an excellent article called “No Way Out: Trapped by Rules, The Mentally Ill Languish in Prison.” The reporter notes that …

Once imprisoned, mentally ill inmates are rarely paroled. Some "max out" their sentence, serving at least 85% of their term, and are released. With nowhere to go, and with a recidivism rate higher than that of the general prison population, they often end up back where they started …
And when they are discharged, as readers of this blog know too well, too many will slip through the cracks.

The prison will discharge Mr. Smith with two weeks of medication that Mr. Smith says he won't take, because a "genie in my rectum" told him he doesn't need it. He says he has heard the genie for as long as he can remember. Throughout his life, he says, he has used drugs and alcohol to quiet the voice.
The prison doctor interviewed in the same article says: "He deserves to have a better life than being crazy." We couldn't agree more.