Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mental Health Services in a Correctional setting

Inmates often have better access to medical and mental health services while they are incarcerated than when they are out on the street.  (Of course I will state that often most seem to not bother to seek services while they are out.)  In a correctional setting, treatment is regimented and defined.  It may not offer the celerity or convenience of a doc-in-a-box, but  you will get treatment.  

I would like to point out on an aside that treatment is regulated on an "As Needed" basis.  Heart attack or broken leg?  You get to ride the ambulance to the hospital, along with matching silver bracelets and a guard to match.  Back pain or toothache?  You aren't going to die from it so we'll get you some ibuprofen until the doctor can see you and determine if you are a drug seeker or are in valid need.  

Today, I want to talk a little about Mental Health Services.  At one time, there was a lot of money flowing from the state and there was a large number of beds at the forensic unit.  Then the funds dried up, and bed space was lost.  Currently, getting any type of mental health involves a lot of waiting.  We had one violent, destructive inmate take approximately 8 months before he was picked up for housing in a proper forensic environment.  

Recently we have been holding the son of a rather... influential family.  They have money, connections, and resources.  But the "kid" was caught red handed, and he confessed to his string of crimes.  I'm not comfortable with discussing the specific mental health treatment he was receiving, but I will only state that it can easily be classified as "minor."  (This requires a lot more discussion, but for his privacy and the fact that this issue/case is ongoing I shall refrain from expounding upon it.)  

Long story short, a few weeks prior to his court case the "kid" stops taking his pill.  And then he acted up in court.  And thus the defense requested a mental competency evaluation.  Normally we see a turnaround of months before an inmate will be picked up for such an evaluation.  BAM!  Pretty boy is out and receiving treatment.  

Money talks, and in the courts you get what you pay for.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Is New Jersey "White Republican?"

I'm from the South.  My wife is from the North.  On the political spectrum, I lean to the Right while my wife leans to the Left.  But neither of us is what the media portrays right wingers and left wingers to be.
But I found the following sentence to be oddly...  Jarring.

"To all the people who have given me advice to stay away from white Republican places like Jersey, Florida, Texas and the South, let me say this."  

Jersey?  White Republican?  Well, some parts of it are.  But even in those areas, it's pretty left leaning for me.  Oddly enough, I find more signs of racism there than where I live in the South.  And don't get me started on the gun laws.  

Obviously, each person has their views skewed by their own perception.  They can perceive something better or worse dependent upon their own personal views.  Thus, the view that white/Republican = Racist.  Quite disappointing.  It merely shows that the writer has preconceived biases, which places them on the same level of perception as the racists that they decry.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013


I keep finding things to post about, but I rarely have time to post them.

For example, before Thankgiving I had a close brush with death.  It was about 4am and I was headed north to work.  There is a portion of the highway that raises into a curving bridge.  It curves right, then left.  Yes, there are a large number of accidents on this bridge when the weather is bad.

So, tooling to work, not many vehicles out that early in the morning.  I saw some headlights and in my sleep addled mind they were in the other lane, separted by a jersey wall.  But I thought "man, those lights are bright."  Normally, they lights get blocked by the jersey wall as they get closer...  But not this time.  I was in the far right lane, the oncoming driver was in the far left lane.  I only had a moment of realization before they passed me.  Heart was beating a million miles an hour, and the only thought I could get out was "Oh S***!"

I was a little rattled and there is no place to pull off for a few miles.  I did not have my bluetooth in.  (I rarely have it in that early in the morning.)  I pulled my cell phone, but I was shaking and dropped it under the seat.  (I didn't find it until I was on lunch break.)  It was 25 minutes before I got to work, so when I called the State Police they thanked me for my input but advised me that there was little they could do.  I knew as much.  Obviously, no accidents reported.