Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Colorado will no longer lock up people who are suicidal or in mental health crisis

That is the title of this article I reviewed today. "It soon will be against the law in Colorado to lock people in jail when they are picked up on mental health holds. The legislation signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday also increases funds for a network of crisis-response teams, walk-in mental health treatment centers and transportation to treatment from rural areas. The legislation, which takes effect Aug. 9, was passed in combination with a state human services department budget request to spend $9.5 million in marijuana tax funds, which will pay for two-person mobile crisis teams to intervene in mental health-related police calls, among other new services." Why am writing about Colorado is because I was in jail when I had my breakdown for committing a crime while I was mentally ill. When I first arrived at the jail they had me visit a psychiatrist she took an immediate dislike to me. She told me she did not like me and would not put me on medication. I went back to the cell block six and  for the first time in all the time I did in prison and the county jail I got into a fight. They put me in the infirmary and I did about four months there. I never ordered commissary all the time I was locked up I had money but I thought the jail was trying to get my signature and would not sign for my commissary.  I did not buy cigarettes until I was at the state hospital and on medication. Usually when you go to jail your actually go to the commissary and purchase without your signature. Although because I was in that fight I never went back to general population. When I was at the state hospital I tried to get out and had to meet the board and who was on the board but that psychiatrist and she went out of the room I did not bring up what she did to me because I wanted out. I did not get out.
The article continues: "'Colorado had been one of only six states that allowed putting people who are suicidal or having mental health episodes behind bars. The law, Senate Bill 17-207, bans the use of jails to house people who are a 'danger to themselves or others' but have not committed any crime.
'This bill is a huge step toward removing the stigma associated with mental health crises,' one of the legislation’s sponsors, Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley, said in an emailed statement. 'We want people to know that a crisis is not a crime, and that they can get the help they need in times of emergency.'" Why do I feel this is a good idea and practice is because it is hard if you are insane and in jail. I did not get out of the state hospital that time and I said to myself the only way I will get out is myself so I asked to go to the circle program at the time it was the best drug and alcohol treatment center in Colorado. After I did three months there I did about six more months and they release me on conditional release that was five year of UAs and other hoops to get off.
The article ends: "Current state law allows for detainment in a jail for up to 24 hours for a person on a mental health hold. Within a day, the person must go to a health facility for evaluation and treatment, but in rural areas, the nearest mental health center often is hours away. The situation leaves sheriff’s departments with three options: driving the person to another town and leaving the community with one fewer law officer; holding the person in jail; or releasing the person back to the community." I was respected though in jail when I came back to Denver to ask the Judge to release me and I was on medication they other inmates did not mess with me this time because they found out I was from the state hospital and did not mess with me or my things in fact I was on the phone and a guy who stole some cigarettes from me gave them back when I was on the phone and said he was sorry so there is a lot that goes on in jail considering mental illness.

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