Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I'm outta here: Grits to speak at SA panel on jail overcrowding

I've got to leave soon for San Antonio where I'll be participating on a panel discussion tomorrow on the subject of who is in county jails and why, a frequent topic of discussion on this blog. I'm excited about the chance to speak to a couple hundred practitioners on the subject.

One unhappy consequence, though, is that I can't finish listening to today's Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on TYC. Those of y'all who attended or watched the whole thing, be sure to update the rest of us in the comments as to your impression and what happened that was important or new.

Otherwise, use this string as an open thread to let us know what criminal justice topics you've been watching recently that I may not be paying close enough attention to on Grits. I'll be back in the saddle tomorrow, probably (maybe sooner than later depending on WIFI access).


Anonymous said...

Is the discussion going to be webcast, or are there materials for it?

liquiddaddy said...


Bexar County has spent millions building and maintaning a huge MHMR facility cited in the jail. It is essentially the only treatment option for non Medicare covered adults who otherwise are not subject to any outreach, assessment, or care of any kind because the state no longer pays for this.

About 12% of schitzophrenics are, at some point, engage in violent or assaultive behavior. Left untreated, especially with chronic alcohol or drug use, this outcome becomes a greater risk.

Mentally ill people frighten almost everybody. People with mental illness are often viewed by others as dangerous. With unmanaged, booze-soaked psychotics wandering around unmedicated, minor conflicts with clerks, pedestrians, officials; even drinking from a neighbors water hose, can turn into a police matter, and they eventually find themselves in jail for being sick.

We used to care about other people. I am personally ashamed of how little is understood about the folks who need the most help, and how we dehumanize and scorn the most needy among us.

Your fellow Texan,


Anonymous said...

12 percent sounds lower than the average "healthy" population.

Anonymous said...

The program is not being webcast -- maybe something we should think about for the next one -- but I am sure if you contact Commissioner Adkissons office they can help you out with copies of the materials. And for the record, Scott did a great job this morning.

Anonymous said...