There's much to be said about this. It's why I link to a news feed on prison reform. For now I will only say that Johnny Okie, a profoundly ill young man, was convicted quickly yesterday by a jury of his peers.
According to a Frontline documentary, a quarter (500,000) of the 2 million Americans in prison are mentally ill with 16 percent (320,000) classed as severely mentally ill. Make that 320,001. A young man who was arguably difficult and a drug abuser was driven to murder a friend and his father by insufficiently treated schizophrenia. He will spend the rest of his life in the Maine prison system. Other than adding him to the list of the suffering who are out of sight, out of mind, how is this in any way a good idea?
I cannot begin to say how disappointed I am in my fellow Mainers, nor how sad I am for his mother, Karen.
The whole public broadcasting documentary, "The New Asylums," can be seen online.
1 day ago