Friday, March 14, 2008

Jails, prisons, and preventable tragedies

Approximately 218,000 individuals with severe psychiatric disorders are incarcerated in the nation’s jails and prisons at any given time. That means, sadly, stories like the one below are not as uncommon as we might think.

In Auburn, California near Sacramento, 46-year -old Herman "Tim" Van Bragt, fatally stabbed his mother’s friend earlier this week.

Van Bragt had dreamed his mother’s friend Robert Haggquist was going to kill his mother. When Van Bragt was home alone with Haggquist he fatally stabbed the 72-year-old.

Van Bragt’s mother said he had stopped taking medication for bipolar disorder:

She said her son subsequently stopped taking medication for his bipolar condition and crashed his vehicle.

"I'll never get over it. My son is very sick with bipolar disorder."

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