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Your Mind is Under Arrest

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posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 11:19 PM

At the Houston Police Department, a licensed clinical social worker or caseworker rides along when police answer an emergency call regarding a person presumed to be mentally ill. Some 30 of those ride-along professionals now work out of that department's relatively new Mental Health Division.


Maybe I'm old school, but this is pretty interesting. Who really calls the shots now? Drum up a good "where's my baseball" skit and you just might slip through the justice system unscathed.

In Wisconsin, there is a similar task force called "crisis intervention response teams", ready to diagnose in a moments notice. Their calling it an innovative approach to law enforcement and see it picking up traction around the country.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), which supports the Houston and Madison initiatives, is also monitoring other BJA-supported "specialized police response" demonstration sites in Los Angeles; Portland, Maine; Salt Lake City, Utah; and the University of Florida. Together, the six pilot programs are expected to provide new law enforcement tools and techniques aimed at steering mentally ill persons suspected to be lawbreakers toward medical treatment whenever that's deemed more appropriate than locking them up.

Sounds good on paper, but how successful will it be? Can a mental behaviorist really change the outcome of an arrest? What about before the cop pulls the trigger?

Houston Police Department cites the case of one chronically mentally ill man with schizophrenia on whom the county had spent $142,241 over the course of 18 arrests, 32 separate contacts with the police, 12 separate psychiatric clinic admissions, and jail and prison stays that, combined, lasted for about eight months.

The definition for mental illness seems to broaden with every televised shooting. Regardless of the prison we already find ourselves in, getting placed on psychiatric drugs to avoid arrest seems fine at first, until you find yourself in a whole new prison altogether. You are free to come and go, while transforming into another non disruptive member of society.

There's "the person who put the TV in a cart at Walmart, didn't try to hide that fact and walked straight out the door with the TV," Henry said. "When the sales clerk caught up with him, he said 'I'm receiving satellite communications from God. This TV doesn't belong to you.'"

HaHaHa!!! Beam me up Scotty...

"In the past, we threw that person in jail. We focused on the criminal component of the event, rather than looking at the person ... He's got an active diagnosis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. And it used to be that after we arrested that person, and then let that person out of jail, we'd say just 'Good luck.'"

Man, what a crap system. You broke law, we arrest you, don't care, don't want to know you, chew you up and spit you out. If you were really someone who needed the help, the whole experience probably would make you feel even worse.

I've been in a holding cell before and just did push-ups and meditation all night. It was hardly a terrifying experience. But some of those who are mentally ill are still very self away and the way they process the outcomes of their actions can be very different than you and I.

The officer, for example, does a criminal background check, while the ride-along counselor, social worker or caseworker is trolling his or her laptop for medical records and signs of where medical treatment fell apart.

What if we're all a little crazy? That's what I'm wondering when it comes to this new approach. When I don't fit into a predefined square of sheepness, what will they think of me?

Whether a crisis team rolls out depends mainly upon answers to the standard questions posed by 911 dispatchers, which are designed to assess the mental stability of individuals who are the subject of emergency calls.

Oh, so now the dispatcher is the psychoanalyst? What are these standard questions they speak of? Do their socks match? Are their pants on backwards? I don't like being defined if you know what I mean.

"When an officer and a clinician arrive at someone's home or someone's scene, they are very empathetic. They are not charging in. It's not uncommon for an officer and clinician to sit at dining room table to talk "a distressed person" through it for an hour and a half. No one needed an arrest warrant. They needed someone to listen."

Yeah, okay. More like...

"The politicians want to hear the data [about outcomes and cost-savings]," she said. "But real people in the community--myself included--want to hear about how all of this impacts individuals.

How expensive does mental illness cost America? Is it enough to offset a significant amount of state revenue in the courts? Typical politician, taking all the credit without an ounce of sympathy.

I hope this program works the way it was intended to and doesn't turn into a mass drugging of the beautifully diverse population of crazies we call the USA. Please, share your thoughts and enjoy this music while you do.

edit on 6-4-2015 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 11:26 PM
They tried this in Toronto, but unless I'm mistaken, it was for budgetary reasons that the program was discontinued. I think they can sometimes diffuse a situation that could easily escalate and get out of hand.

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 11:35 PM
We used to have mental hospitals, now we just throw everyone in jail. Spend any time in a jail, and you'll see quite a few people that probably deserve to be under the supervision of a psychiatrist and not a correctional officer.

Mentally ill people also need more than just pills. Psychotherapy is helpful at getting to and understanding the causes of mental afflictions. A lot of mentally ill people aren't very good about sticking to their medicine, so having some other form of talk-therapy or treatment is very valuable.

The problem is, our society today is so greedy. We only care about ourselves, and anything that keeps us from gratifying the whims of our egos. Homeless people? Not my problem. Crazy guy? He's in the way, make him disappear please! We forget that these are someone's child, someone's father, or someone's brother or sister. These are people, just like us. We're fortunate not to be in their position, and it's shameful that we want to shove them in a jail and forget about them...or dope them up on drugs and shrug our shoulders when they stop taking them and wind up in jail.

Anyone of us could be one of these mentally ill people. Would we honestly want to be treated the way we are currently treating them? Imagine how terrifying the world already is without people treating them like they're less than human.

posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 11:46 PM

originally posted by: aboutface
They tried this in Toronto, but unless I'm mistaken, it was for budgetary reasons that the program was discontinued. I think they can sometimes diffuse a situation that could easily escalate and get out of hand.

The question is, would the mental health worker's presence alone change the way law enforcement handle their clients during arrest? What about people on drugs? Stun gun them so they're not a threat to themselves and let the social worker handle it back at the station?

posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 12:03 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

One would hope that the presence of a competent health worker would curb the LEOs perceived propensity for shooting first and asking questions later . However running around with a knife randomly threatening people would (i think ) make most people fit into the crazy class . Example only . Perhaps they may be able to assist in de-escalating situations or not letting the situation grow to the point of violence in the first place . A very good idea in theory but if someone came at me with a knife i am not reaching for the pepper spray . Lets hope they get this down pat , its a start .

posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 12:15 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Anyone of us may find ourselves in that situation. I would have thought that mental hospitals were worse than prison. Lots of restraining, experimental medicine and treatment, possibly a few more rounded edges than a typical jail cell.

All the programs designed to help our society have been hijacked, twisted and rereleased as slave bait. When the workers take it home to the nest, the disease spread and kills the offspring before they even get a chance to hatch.

posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 12:27 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

Gotta say . Love that avatar , of topic but WHO cares . See what i did there .

posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 05:56 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

I think that this thread is very important! The addition of specialist officers or personnel being added to police departments, in order to deal with people who exhibit signs of mental illness, has been something which I think the police in the US have needed for a very long time, based on the number of times when proper intervention from authorities would have saved not only the lives of the individual, but may have saved other lives as well.

Many people have died, or needlessly suffered because the officers responding to situations which have involved persons who were incapable of reason at the time, had no conception of how to approach the situation at all, or even properly identify what the situation actually was! Getting personnel with that specialist training, onto street level, with the responding officers, is a GREAT idea, and it needs supporting. I also believe that something which would benefit both policing, and public safety, will be an increase in mental illness being identified in the first place, and this program is bound to result in such an increase.

It is hard to know, when someone is stumbling through the street, shouting at lamposts, and kicking everything which comes within the arc of their foot, whether they are drunk or otherwise intoxicated, or simply mentally unfit to be out and about unsupervised, and trained persons being on hand to make that identification will improve results for everyone. But this sort of program needs to be backed up to the hilt. By that I mean, that the local authority MUST ensure that there are enough psychiatric ward spaces for EVERY person who needs them, which will mean that no one goes without who has a need (which is only right, assuming one has decent elements of compassion, mercy, and love in their heart, necessary to understand the fact) AND mean that fewer people who have lost touch with reality, will be in a position to negatively effect the lives of others.

If this system is not backed up, if mental health provision is not extended, commensurate with the improvement in identification and interaction with those who suffer from maladies of the mind, and require significant assistance/temporary convalescence, or for that matter permanent secure care, then the programs success will be limited. If it is backed up properly, this can only have a positive effect on society as a whole, in the area affected by the program.

I wish everyone involved the very best of luck!

posted on Apr, 7 2015 @ 06:42 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

The inclusion of a trained professional riding along with street cops is an excellent idea. It puts a new feature into play for the cops. They gotta watch themselves and how they tend to operate with the few tools that they carry (handcuffs and bullets). Society has long-since moved past the concept of brute force being an answer to minor problems. Except where the police are involved, those tactics are still allowed--the standard, actually--on the street.

The problem is complicated by the continuing grown of drug abuse, personal economics, and the violence that largely stems from those factors. The umbrella organization in control of the police lacks the funds, especially newly found or desired funds, to shift their position on this dynamic change in social behaviors. So they punt. They get sold a bill of goods by outside companies to provide more intense, no-nonsense training, that frequently results in a war-like mentality of "Shoot First." --As they say all of the time at the end of an episode of "COPS," "We get to go home at night to our families," as they high-five themselves. Yet, the system has failed in its primary duty. The person bleeding to death at their feet has been a victim of an accumulation of several factors that in retrospect could probably have kept them upright if not a productive member of society.

Almost daily we hear of what is probably unnecessary killing of (not quite) innocent people that are suffering from mental problems. Along with that news story usually will be followup stories of how those events sparked lawsuits against some aspect of the establishment of a few millions bucks or so. How many ride-along counselors can be supplied by some of that money? But even that begs the question. Here I am suggesting that as a possible aid in preventing such situations when, a highly trained professional is riding along with a street cop will not be in a position of authority but only riding "shotgun" as an observer or on-board consultant.

Why do we have tazers that are weapons of punishment rather than a tranquilizer dart gun that we use on a wayward moose loose in the streets or a hapless bear that climbs a suburban tree? The whole approach is faulty.

posted on Apr, 8 2015 @ 07:54 AM
The psychiatry in this country is an industry, plain and simple. There is a reason dozens of more arbitrary, insane and completely irrational mental sicknesses are made each year in that stupid DSM catalog. The most recent ones they are trying to add in defy all reason and logic, to say the least.

I can't remember where i read it, but there was a psychologist back in the 1940 or 50's that had cured people of their mental diseased by eliminating all of the synthetic stress, worry, and obligations in their life. They moved them out of the loud, discombobulating city with all of its noise, smog, towering, cramped infrastructure, and rude people, and stationed them in a nature reserve.

they chilled, soaked in sunlight, and talked. The patient had nothing to rage, rant and rave against. All sources of anxiety and rush were eliminated. Just a natural, care free environment.

They consistently got better. Without meds.

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