Monday, August 20, 2007

Advocating from an ivory tower

We always assumed that Michael Allen and his cronies at the Bazelon Center (Michael is a former employee) were just ignorant of the science behind the need for commitment laws, or perhaps too busy to actually READ the statutes on outpatient commitment and thus assumed the worst. They certainly are eager to shut down the nation’s psychiatric hospitals, so one would think they would be strong proponents of outpatient commitment – a way to get people help in the community.

Is it possible that they have been in that ivory tower for so long they don’t actually know what life is like behind bars if you have a mental illness?

How else can you explain Michael Allen’s bizarre comment on NPR that he doesn’t know if it is worse for a person with a severe mental illness to be in a psychiatric hospital or in prison.

We wish someone would push Bazelon and their ilk to offer some real solutions – it seems now that they are opposed to psychiatric hospitals, mental health courts, and outpatient commitment. So perhaps they have no choice but to downplay the victimization and brutality that face people with mental illnesses who are locked up. After all, if Michael Allen has his way, looks like that is where more and more of them will be ending up.

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