Thursday, January 31, 2013
Reasons for the Governor to form a Interagency DOC/DMH Advisory Board
Up to 20% of the inmates at DOC [Dept of Corrections] have serious mental illness [SMI]. 95% of these inmates will be eventually released into society. They frequentfully drop out of treatment, violate their parole, commit a psychotic crime, or are arrested on nuisance charges.
Up to 80% of the in-patients in the DMH [Division of Mental Health] have court issues. This can be relatively minor charges to very serious charges like murder and cannibalism. A high percentage of this SMI patients are released to the community for follow up in group homes. If the SMI patient refuses to cooperate, he is either re-admitted to the hospital or is re-arrested on another charge and is sent to jail, prison, or released to the streets.
Most civil commitments for psychiatric treatment eventually end up treated in the community on an out-patient commitment. Fifty percent to Two thirds of psych patients on outpatient commitment are non-compliant. There is no regular supervision with realistic consequences of patients on an out- patient commitment.
SMI patients on commitments are frequently arrested and the criminal court or police have no knowledge of the person’s civil commitment of psychiatric treatment.
There are no resources to hospitalize all of these non-compliant persons on outpatient commitments. At any given time there are about one thousand dangerous and SMI court committed patients living in the community who are non-compliant with treatment and supervision. Many of these SMI patients are arrested for a wide range of crimes and the criminal court does not know that the civil court has placed this individual on a civil commitment.
SMI inmates at DOC tend to stay longer and are much more expensive to manage. It is very common for SMI inmates to go to jail or prison on minor charges and then get much more serious charges while in custody and stretch out a sentence of a few months to sometimes ten years.
The Incompetent to Stand Trial [ICST] laws are out of date and cause many problems and expense. For example, a SMI is arrested. He is held in jail many months till a court date. He is then found incompetent. He is sent to Logansport State Hospital to be treated. Most of the time with treatment, the SMI patient becomes competent and is returned to jail. He has to wait at jail several months for a court date. He quits taking his medications and by the time he goes to court he is psychotic and incompetent again. He may be in this revolving door for years.
The “Guilty But Mentally Ill” laws are out of date and inefficient.
Sex Offenders my benefit from life long civil commitments.
There are more injuries from SMI patients. SMI inmates get injured more frequently. Staff are injured more frequently by SMI.
There is no routine monitoring or reporting of the dangerous and serious mentally ill. A SMI with a court commitment could buy a gun legally and get a gun permit.
We have to do something. We need change now.