After Winning Job Back, DCF Youth Worker Waits To Learn Fate

dcf-workerAt the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, where the tension is palpable, Re’Sean DuPree was known as a go-to guy among his fellow youth services officers, the men and women who watch over the young offenders during their every waking moment inside the sprawling detention center.

Source: After Winning Job Back, DCF Youth Worker Waits To Learn Fate

Novel financing plan infuses $11.2 million to treat drug-addicted Connecticut parents

PFS is “helping to set a new bar for solving the nation’s complex challenges of drug addiction in Connecticut.

As a concerned citizen I’m #Concerned to know if the money allocated for this project could have been better spent on providing mental health and rehabilitation services to prison inmates upon release.  Think on this: No matter how much money a community spends on providing rehabilitation services for either individuals or families as a unit – it is ultimately up to the individual to want to make a change in their lives and then seek help.

Drug Violation Arrests in Connecticut, 2001-2005I’m #Concerned if there was a ratio analysis conducted on the number of individuals that have had repeat rehabilitation services is equivalent to the number of repeat offenders (i.e. recidivism).

Note:  Rehabilitation after incarceration works,  see the lives of Mayor Ganim of Bridgeport, CT and Governor Rowland of New Haven, CT.

Secondly with $11.2 allocated of philanthropic means why was an established program in Stamford Connecticut (and other surrounding areas, Greenwich, Norwalk and Bridgeport) known as The Liberation House not provided one red cent in grant money.  This may be apples and oranges, but nonetheless this program has always assisted both individuals and families in spite of the local medical and mental health services that should have been provided by Optimus were being rejected because of the inability to manage the influx of clients (someone who is currently receiving services).  Optimus would deny care if the individual was referred from Liberation House.

PFS is “helping to set a new bar for solving the nation’s complex challenges,” said Rafael López, commissioner for the U.S. Administration on Children, Youth and Families, on Wednesday

MIDDLETOWN –  With a fresh infusion of $11.2 million in philanthropic and private capital via a new financing framework, Family Based Recovery Services can reach up to 500 Connecticut families over a five-year-period.

Sources:

Novel financing plan infuses $11.2 million to treat drug-addicted Connecticut parents

National Substance Abuse Index

New York Times Ganim

New York Times Govenor Rowland

Medical Marijuana Program Continues to Grow

The number of patients in the state of Connecticut receiving medical marijuana treatment keeps growing, now at 13,440

According to an article in the CT News Junkie, “The number of patients in the state of Connecticut receiving medical marijuana treatment keeps growing, now at 13,440…”

Of course it the number of patients smoking weed would rise for at least 2 reasons:

  1.  Addiction;
  2.  Friends who are addicts want a supply;

A story in Psychology today states, “A realistic concern for recreational users of marijuana is whether or not they will become addicted. There are no easy answers to this question. In my opinion, the most unbiased book on this and other related topics is The Science of Marijuana (2008). The Science of Marijuana is written by Leslie L. Iverson, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Cambridge in England. In the book, he reviews decades of international research on marijuana, both laboratory research and survey research. Based on his review of the scientific literature, between 10 to 30% of regular users will develop dependency. Only about 9% will have a serious addiction. For an excellent post on the biology of marijuana addiction see http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-addiction/201001/is-marijuana-addictive-you-can-bet-your-heroin”

The demand has been so great that one of those dispensaries, Bluepoint Wellness in Branford, recently received permission from a local zoning commission to move into a much bigger space across the street from its current location on East Main Street which is 5 minutes away from Branford High School located on 185 E Main St, Branford, CT 06405.

According to (Kajstura, 2014),Connecticut’s drug free school zone laws require mandatory minimum sentences of up to 3 years for certain drug-related offenses committed with 1500 feet of a school, day care, or public housing.  The facility is currently a 5 minute drive and approximately 32 minute walk from the high school – oh, but this is legal distribution!

Source: CT News Junkie

Gumbiner, J. (2010, December 5). Is Marijuana Addictive. Retrieved from https://www.bing.com/search?q=why+is+marijuana+addictive&pc=MOZI&form=MOZLBR

Prison Policy Initiative – http://www.prisonpolicy.org/zones.html

 

Church offers Alcoholics Anonymous-inspired recovery program for racists

“…this comes at a time when the subject of racism in America is front and center…”

 Alcoholics Anonymous states the following, “While there is no formal “A.A. definition” of alcoholism, most of us agree that, for us, it could be described as a physical compulsion, coupled with a mental obsession. We mean that we had a distinct physical desire to consume alcohol beyond our capacity to control it, and in defiance of all rules of common sense. We not only had an abnormal craving for alcohol, but we frequently yielded to it at the worst possible times. We did not know when (or how) to stop drinking. Often, we did not seem to have sense enough to know when not to begin.

“Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.”

Narcotics Anonymous,  a derivative of Alcoholics Anonymous defines an addict as, “… Very simply, an addict is a man or woman whose life is controlled by drugs. We are people in the grip of a continuing and progressive illness whose ends are always the same: jails, institutions, and death.”

King James states: (1) Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (2) James 4:7 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (3) Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.  One must personally  make a serious commitment to be free from bondage. It takes determination to follow through to the Lord’s victory. “Slaves who love their chains can never be free”

Trinity’s pastor Rev. J. Nathan King, stated, “…this comes at a time when the subject of racism in America is front and center…”

Front and center maybe, however racism as always been around the corner, the white house, the black and brown house,  the south, the north and across the water.  We show movie clips and videos about Frankenstein, some teachers have students write book reports about the story and rarely have I heard the teacher speak to the blatant racism of the folks in town. Frankenstein in this writer’s opinion is the clearest picture for our young students to see, understand and  identify when racism rears it’s ugly head.

Wikipedia (a collaboration of definitions by random individuals) never mentions the word racism in it’s  summary it actually states,

“…Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. At the same time, it is an early example of science fiction.”

This writer strongly suggests that unlike alcoholism, drug addiction and generational curses,  racism is a taught behavior.  How does one get “addicted” to racism?  When was the last time you read a story about a person losing their home and family because they gave their money to a racist, any racist? When have racist been locked up for selling, buying, stealing or abusing racism?

Source: Church offers Alcoholics Anonymous-inspired recovery program for racists

Narcotics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

King James Version

Is Providing Access to Healthcare After Release from Prison Enough?

Mental Health Care in Jail

Is Providing Access to Healthcare After Release from Prison Enough?

Providing health care after release is a great program, however, most mental illness requires constant review, which does not occur inside the prison walls.  Alana Horowitz Satlin wrote in the Huffington Post, “A 2006 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that over half of all jail and prison inmates have mental health issues; an estimated 1.25 million suffered from mental illness, over four times the number in 1998. Research suggests that people with mental illness are overrepresented in the criminal justice system by rates of two to four times the normal population. The severity of these illnesses vary, but advocates say that one factor remains steady: with proper treatment, many of these incarcerations could have been avoided.”

Connecticut’s Department of Correction’s Disclaimer reads: “The Department of Correction provides comprehensive health care to the offender population that meets a community standard of care, and includes medical, mental health, dental, addiction and ancillary services, in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and consent decrees. This spectrum of health care is carried out through a partnership the Department has established with the services of the University of Connecticut, Correctional Managed Health Care.”

Suicide Prevention

NCIA’s analysis found that only three departments of correction (California, Delaware, and Louisiana) had suicide prevention policies that addressed all six critical components and that an additional five departments of correction (Connecticut, Hawaii, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) had policies that addressed all but one critical component.  Thus, only 15 percent of all departments of correction had policies that contained either all or all but one critical component of suicide prevention.  In contrast, 14 departments of correction (27%) had either no suicide prevention policies or limited policies — 3 with none, and 11 with policies that addressed only one or two critical components.  The majority (58%) of DOCs had policies that contained three or four of the critical components.

Medicaid Enrollment for Prisoners

Administration officials moved to improve low Medicaid enrollment for emerging prisoners, urging states to start signups before release and expanding eligibility to thousands of former inmates in halfway houses near the end of their sentences.

Health coverage for ex-inmates “is critical to our goal of reducing recidivism and promoting the public health,” said Richard Frank, assistant secretary for planning for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Advocates praised the changes but cautioned that HHS and states are still far from ensuring that most people leaving prisons and jails are put on Medicaid and get access to treatment.

“It’s highly variable. Some states and jurisdictions are having a lot of success” enrolling ex-prisoners, said Kamala Mallik-Kane, a researcher at the Urban Institute who has studied the process. “Others of them have initiatives in place that aren’t reaching the kinds of numbers that are making a dent.”

The 2010 health law made nearly all ex-prisoners eligible for Medicaid in states that chose to expand the state and federal insurance program for the poor. Many welcomed the chance to cover a group with high rates of chronic disease, mental illness and substance abuse problems.

But prisons and jails, burdened with ineffective computers, understaffing and complicated Medicaid enrollment procedures, have been slow to sign up released inmates.

Federal and state prisons let out more than 600,000 people a year. Millions more cycle through jails. But a study published in Health Affairs found prisons and jails nationwide enrolled only 112,520 emerging inmates between late 2013 up to January 2015.

Much of HHS’ guidance repeats existing policy, reminding states that those on probation or parole are eligible for Medicaid and urging states to keep prisoners’ names in the Medicaid computers while they’re locked up. (That eases re-enrollment.)

Inmates are generally ineligible for Medicaid while incarcerated. Prison and jail medical systems care for them.

HHS is “providing encouragement and a nudge” to states to improve sign-ups as well as money to upgrade enrollment computers, said Colleen Barry, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who has studied ex-inmate enrollment. “They understand that this is a technology issue.”

Making up to 96,000 halfway-house inmates eligible for Medicaid is new policy, designed to connect people with care before they’re fully released. Prisoners often move to halfway houses or home detention near the end of their terms, closely supervised but frequently allowed to shop, apply for jobs and see a doctor.

Under the new policy, “if you have a fair amount of freedom of movement” in a halfway house, “you’re not considered an inmate” for Medicaid purposes, said Sarah Somers, an attorney for the National Health Law Program, an advocacy group. “That will be very helpful for a lot of people who are trying to transition out of incarceration.”

Ex-inmates have extremely high rates of HIV and hepatitis C infection, diabetes, mental illness and substance abuse problems. They are especially vulnerable after they leave the prison medical system and before they connect with community doctors.

One study in Washington state showed that ex-inmates were a dozen times more likely to die than the general population in the first two weeks after their release.

Immediate Medicaid coverage “can mean the difference between life in the community and recidivism and even life and death,” Michael Botticelli, the White House’s director of national drug control policy, told reporters.

HHS has been urging states to enroll ex-inmates in Medicaid for years. But the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion made many more of them eligible for coverage, giving policymakers a new reason to promote sign-ups, advocates said.

So far 31 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid under the law.

By Jay Hancock April 29, 2016 Kaiser Health News

 

Killers Amongst Us

 

Children our greatest resource or are they?  From the elite to the destitute the evolution of children is not just of infant to adult, the hallway in between is a force to be reckoned with.  From baby contest to adult pageants; from little league to the All Star game parents have thrived on the ability of their child to excel.    Where other parents thrive on ensuring their child has the latest Jordan sneakers and an opportunity to pay their way with an entry in the NFL.  On the dark side there are the children who fall by the wayside, are pushed off the beaten path or merely have an acute sense of curiosity that will catapult them to make what may appear to be adult decision.

As I watched a law case on television, the case was about a teen who had obtained her learner’s permit we’ll call her, Cynthia.  The permit allowed Cynthia to drive as long as there was a passenger in the vehicle with a “valid” license.  The teen was out driving and according to her, she became tired and allowed her friend (Dorothy) to drive.  An accident occurred and Dorothy’s father sued Cynthia’s mother.  You see Dorothy did not have a valid license and no one in the vehicle did either.  The mother was angry and thought the father had no reason to file a claim.  The Judge asked the Cynthia’s mother if she was aware that Cynthia was driving the car without an adult who had a valid license in the vehicle.  The mother said yes, I was appalled she said Cynthia was a good driver and she let her drive all the time without someone with a valid license.  The judge proceeded to explain to the mother why children cannot obtain a license to drive until they are of age.  That is because the states feel at a certain age the child is able to make good decisions while operating a car, i.e. they can read and comprehend the rules of the road.

Sure, this story is about driving and the inability of a parent to follow the law and teach her daughter to follow the law.  But then there’s the other side or is it really another side.  A teen boy is driving and kills 4 people the defense attorney claims that not only did the boy suffer from “Affluenza – a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation” but that his parents should not be held accountable either for the death of the 4 people.

Juveniles and the Justice System

The law had defined separate rules for juveniles and adults when it comes to crimes as we may be aware of.  In William Blackstone’s book on the Laws of England, he states for a person to be able to commit a crime they must first have a vicious will and be able to carry out their desire to commit an unlawful act.  Children between the ages of 0 and 13 could not be convicted of a felony because they could not understand their actions.  One of the Juvenile Justice systems’ progenitor was the Stubborn Child Law by the Puritans of Massachusetts in 1646 it reads:

The progression of the Juvenile Justice system (making procedure in juvenile courts look more criminal courts) lands in Cook County, Illinois with a compassionate judge by the name of Julian Mack in the first juvenile court stated:

[The child who must be brought into court should, of course, be made to know that he is face to face with the power of the state, but he should at the same time, and more emphatically, be made to feel that he is the object of its care and solicitude. The ordinary trappings of the courtroom are out of place in such hearings. The judge on a bench, looking down upon the boy standing at the bar, can never evoke a proper sympathetic spirit. Seated at a desk, with the child at his side, where he can on occasion put his arm around his shoulder and draw the lad to him, the judge, while losing none of his judicial dignity, will gain immensely in the effectiveness of his work. Julian Mack, “The Juvenile Court,” Harvard Law Review, vol. 23 (1909), 120.]

Equally the progression of violent crimes by youthful offenders and increased and become darker.  Starting with a 14-year-old Kent, whose crimes were B&E and purse snatching to Erin, who killed her entire family over the inability to go out with her boyfriend to the extreme children killing in schools

 

Feb. 2, 1996
Moses Lake, Wash.
Two students and one teacher killed, one other wounded when 14-year-old Barry Loukaitis opened fire on his algebra class.

 

October 24, 2014
Marysville, Washington
Jaylen Ray Fryberg, a popular freshman at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, opens fire in the cafeteria, killing two students and critically wounding three others before turning the gun on himself.

 

The Eighth Amendment provided protections against excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments; it wasn’t until Betts v. Brady that due process must include a court appointed attorney for those that cannot afford one. This was deemed necessary as a result of the case against Gerald Gault (a white male) in 1967 was a 15 year old sentenced to six years until he turn 21 (an adult would have received a $50 fine) for a prank phone call that was considered obscene.  This case was interesting as the mother was not involved, i.e. she never showed up to court, until after the boy had been sentenced.  The Fourteenth Amendments prevent or should prevent states from enforcing any law which would infringe on the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, or deprive any person life, liberty without due process of the law.

  • Heirens – killed 3 people age 17 – Male Caucasian
  • Bosket – killed 3 people age 16 – Male Black
  • Kempe – killed 10 people age 15 – Male Caucasian
  • Pomeroy – killed over 10 people age 14 – Male Caucasian
  • Bell – killed 2 people age 11 – Female Caucasian

 

Which brings us to today, the case of Christopher Simmons (a white male) at age 17 committed murder, tried by a court as an adult at age 18 and was sentenced to death.  Christopher and his friends went to the victim’s home, to steal and kill, used duct tape over the woman’s mouth and eyes drover her to the river and threw her from the bridge.

The State sought the death penalty. As aggravating factors, the State submitted that the murder was committed for the purpose of receiving money; was committed for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with, or preventing lawful arrest of the defendant; and involved depravity of mind and was outrageously and wantonly vile, horrible, and inhuman.  Remember Blackstone’s definition…oh but wait, there more the postconviction defense attorney states:

Simmons was “very immature,” “very impulsive,” and “very susceptible to being manipulated or influenced.” The experts testified about Simmons’ background, including a difficult home environment and dramatic changes in behavior, accompanied by poor school performance in adolescence. Simmons was absent from home for long periods, spending time using alcohol and drugs with other teenagers or young adults. The contention by Simmons’ postconviction counsel was that these matters should have been established in the sentencing proceeding.

Simmons’ sentences were changed from the death penalty to life imprisonment without the eligibility or probation.  The Supreme Court of the US held it unconstitutional to impose capital punishment for crimes committed for persons under the age of 18. Today – Juvenile Law Center filed an amicus brief in Massachusetts opposing the imposition of a mandatory sentence of life without parole on a 16-year-old boy charged with murder. Juvenile Law Center argued that in light of the Supreme Court’s precedent in Roper v. Simmons, the imposition of a life without parole sentence on Mr. Powell was a disproportionate punishment under both the United States and Massachusetts Constitutions.  The Atlanta Black Star reports that the 2012 US Supreme Court ruling on LWOP should be retroactively applied to youths were sentenced before 2012 which would have major implications on Black offenders.

I would be remiss if I did not include the references to murder from the KJV of the Holy Bible.  Numbers 35:16 – 18 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.  And if he smite him with throwing a stone or with a hand weapon of wood the murderer shall surely die.  It further states in verse 19 that the revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.  Furthermore, the Bible states the parents shall not be put to death for the murderous act, but that every man shall be put to death for his own sin.  Lastly, in the O.T. the sixth Commandment – Thou shalt not kill.  If we were to rely solely upon the Bible all individuals who have committed murder would be executed.  Does that mean to include women who have opted for the procedure known as – abortion?  If we’re going to look at the consequences of murder, we must also look at what the Bible has to say about the child which most assuredly is led by the parent.  Throughout the Bible children have been slain, raised up, cast aside, they were liars and thieves, and some had great devotion to the Lord.  Deuteronomy tells us we should teach our children diligently and talk to them. First Corinthians tell us how the hierarchy of the home should be built, Christ the head of every man which is the head of his wife and even the head of Christ – God. Lastly Titus gives us direction on training our young women, teaching them to love their husbands and children and to be self-controlled. If the world were to follow the teachings in the Bible relative to our children, would we have experienced the rash of killings? I would say we would not have experienced as many killings by our children.  Note, the Bible gives us instructions for our children as a unit composed of not only a husband and a wife, but that of the parents who fear the Lord.  I read that the enemy is always lurking around seeking whom he may devour – it does not say seeking to devour it says whom he may. That tells this writer that even the enemy has some knowledge of who is following the Lord and who is not.  Additionally, we hear or if you have not heard that we are no longer under the dispensation of the law but under the dispensation of grace.  If Jesus were to disagree with Himself about His commandments, then I suppose the world as we know it would never have existed.  Remember He said He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill and condemns murders to hell or did He extend hatred…

In this world, there have been great debates and a massive amount of tax dollars spent in the court system over the punishment of the juveniles who commit murder.  In the final analysis, this writer believes that capital punishment should never be an option if one truly believes in redemption, repentance and salvation.  Should our young folks be imprisoned without the possibility of parole, perhaps –  until such a time as we as a family unit to include, the trusted neighbors and our friends and extended family can come together and assist when it appears situations with our children are going awry, it just may take a village to raise our children in this century.

 

MsConcerned

 

 

 

 

References:

Avalon Law at Yale

American Bar Association

Massachusetts Juvenile Law Center

YouTube 20/20 Case of Affluence

The Culture of Affluence: Psychological Costs of Material Wealth by Suniya S. Luthar

USA Today

Atlanta Black Star

Cornell Law

Google Search Engine

King James Holy Bible

 

 

Feedback

 

 

Killers In Our Midst

the boy who killed in the church

The Godfather trilogy directed by Francis Ford Coppola and distributed by Paramount Pictures, starts out with Mr. Amerigo Bonasera stating his love for America.  He goes on to speak about his parenting relative to his daughter’s dating.  One thing that bothers me is that Mr. Bonasera states he gave her freedom, freedom to do what I ask?  She dates a young man outside of their heritage and that doesn’t cause Mr. Bonasera any concern?  She then misses curfew and again Mr. Bonasera is not implementing any consequences to his daughter.  When her honor is stripped from her his love for America does not cause him accept the verdict in the American court of a suspended sentence, but he chooses to take matters into his own hands by soliciting the help of Mr. Don Corleone (The Godfather).  After viewing Anderson Cooper’s episode titled “Killers in our Midst” I become interested in understanding the thoughts that drive those that elect to commit murder.  I have often heard that the violence depicted in rap music drives young Afro American men to behave like the words in the songs, I wonder if the violence depicted, no let me rephrase –  the Killing and Murderous acts depicted on television whether it be in movies or live from Iraq feeds the thoughts and emotions of some of the killers in Anderson Cooper’s piece.

Another point from the Cooper’s piece speaks to the immaturity of the college students saying no and/or setting boundaries with interacting with members of the opposite sex.  Do we as parents teach our children about stalking and the signs and symptoms to look for when this scenario arise.  I think not, I would attempt to say that we only teach our children about issues we have personally dealt with and anything outside of our scope may or may not be discussed as a sidebar conversation when it hits the news as a “Breaking News” item.  So one has to think have we adequately prepared out youngster for living life outside of the home.

Warning signs missed

  • The female killer goes ballistic at the postal building – reasons were unknown. She had a history of mental illness and was able to purchase a gun in New Mexico.  New Mexico has the weakest gun laws, yet she must have known this.
  • The son kills the mother with a hatchet, he attempts suicide, pulls a gun on his friends in Maine. He is released from the psych ward because he does pose a threat of imminent danger.  At 18 years of age he is released from involuntary confinement and 2 months later he kills his mom.  What was his diagnosis, did the mental health workers take into account his behavior when he was admitted?

Andrea Yates’ Children

  • Drowned her children and had the presence of mind to call the police. She suffered in a world of delusion that was exacerbated each time she had another child.  Where was the father?  She heard voices and instructions from Satan. When will the church experts be called in to speak to the spiritual warfare that goes on unnoticed, un-identified or simply rejected?

Who is Most Likely to Kill

  • The mindset of a killer – A study was conducted and there was no clear profile established, however stress, depression and rage are common denominators. If those of the common denominators I would suspect we should see an increase in mass murders given the present state of the economy coupled with this government shut down.

Are the laws incompatible with regard to patient’s rights?  Are the managed care organizations doing enough to ensure that a holistic approach to dealing with mental illness is executed?  In as much as the patient must have his/her needs addressed the guardian of the patients should also be included in the care.  Are the churches ever engaged in providing care for the mentally ill, considering there is often times a lot of talk about hearing voices and receiving instructions from Satan.  The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 –  Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  At first glance one would think that this tells us how the devil works but look more closely.  It also instructs us to “.be sober, be watchful” ….

Unforgotten–25 Years After Willowbrook

Yet in the year 2016 not much has changed for those who have mental illness.

Read more

This is one of the most disturbing movies surrounding human behavior and treatment I have ever seen.  Watching the inhumane treatment of human beings with disabilities was gut wrenching.  I found it very interesting that some parents were either unaware of their children’s diagnosis or simply followed the advice of “society”.  Unfortunately not only in the 1950 did this type of encouragement prevail but it is still apparent today.  There are many adults in group homes because society has put such a strong emphasis on looks and behavior that there are families that would gladly pay for their child to be “awarded” to a group home versus dealing with the child/adult in the home environment.

When the family members speak of the visitation at the institution it almost sounds like the introduction to a horror film.  The young lady that speaks of the screams eluding from the building but not knowing where the screams emerged from is frightening in and of itself.   How unfortunate that the workers did not or simply did not care to reach out for additional funding to provide adequate services.  Basically no one was watching the barn when patients were identified with broken bones on a regular basis.  I shudder to think about the atmosphere of this facility and lack of concern that a physician could tell a concerned parent to shut up when asked about the care of a loved one.

Bernard’s story of being misdiagnosed it utterly amazing.  I ask myself why would an institution seek to keep a patient under lock and key especially one that is not mentally ill and does not cause harm to himself or others.  Was the facility receiving funds for each patient or bed that occupied?  What a tragedy for this young man to have wasted so much of his life in a mental institution when he had a case of cerebral palsy.

This movie is a must see for all who are interested in pursuing a career in the Human Services field.  This is catastrophic picture of the necessity of proper diagnosis, oversight and a genuine desire to help those less fortunate.  This movie should help one understand societal roles and the demands society places on what’s normal and what it acceptable.  This movie gives insight to lack of courage family members have when dealing with other family members that have severe mental health issues.  Additional this movie should serve a strong reminder that we must reach the unreachable and protect the lost.  Human Service workers must stand in the gap and form a bridge for the family and family member that requires assistance.

It’s a sad state of affairs when we discount those that are different from us or those that no longer live up to our standards of normalcy.  We must make a concerted effort to bring together help not only for the individual that has the struggles but we must include a program for the family members to be able to walk through the process and continue to be a source of support.  For example the woman that speaks openly about her embarrassment of Patty the lady with Down syndrome.  If only she had the been connected to the proper institution and been able to learn about the disease and how to cope how much more effective she would have been to assist Patty through her struggles.  Often times we don’t take into account that someone with disabilities actually has feelings and can tell when they are being pushed off, walked away from, discounted as a full-fledged human being with ability to learn and manage some type day to day living.

 

 

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