How to help a person with mental illness who has been arrested

Oct 9th, 2015 | By | Category: Conditions in County Jails

MentalPrisonCuts_1_jpg_800x1000_q100-150x100Having a loved one with mental health issues arrested is scary and overwhelming. Family members must become advocates to ensure that proper mental health screening, medications, and treatment are provided.

Here is list of first steps to take to advocate for your loved one’s safety and health. (Thank you to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Schizophrenia.com.)

1. Hand deliver, fax or email a letter asking for your loved one to be screened for placement in a mental health unit. Detailed instructions can be found here.

2. Tell their psychiatrist, case manager, or other service provider that he or she is in jail and ask them to contact the jail regarding treatment plan.

3. Call jail medical staff or administrator to follow up about the mental health history, and politely stress the importance of what medications and continued treatment your loved one needs.

4. Look for Mental Health Courts in your area by searching the Gains Center’s Mental Health Treatment Court locator here. If one is available, let the attorney know that you would like the case brought before this court.

5. Contact your Local Mental Health Authority (LMHA). Use this form to search for the LMHA closest to the jail.  A 24 hour referral line is available specific to your location. LMHAs sometimes offer pre-trial services.

6. If your loved one is not receiving the treatment needed, or is experiencing neglect or abuse, fill out a complaint with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. More information on filing complaints can be found here.

And Texas Jail Project has more information on the front page about people who are found incompetent to stand trail. Or click on http://texasjailproject.org/2016/10/writ-of-habeas-corpus-re-incompetency/

 

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2 Comments to “How to help a person with mental illness who has been arrested”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This information is a life saver! Please use it and take action. scary events take place just for the simple fact that a lot of inmates need help and never receive it. Sometime if they get to a point to finally get treatment, it’s to late. What goes on behind those walls is very inhumane, guards aren’t helpful not medically educated to know when a situation is serious and not bullshit. God bless TJP for getting this information out to public. Your loved who’s need your help. TRUST ME!!!!!

  2. Veronica Marks says:

    I can only imagine how terrifying it would be to have a mentally ill loved one arrested. These steps seem like they would really go a long way to get the loved one the help they need, though. I think tip number two, involving your loved one’s professional caregivers, is one thing that will really grab the attention of the authorities in a situation like this.
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