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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Mentally Disabled Inmates: Invisible and Ignored

Another article that caught our attention Sunday was the article of the lawsuit involving the mentally ill man who was shot and killed by Lawrence County law enforcement.

Law enforcement in the state of Alabama has a major learning curve in how to handle situations involving the mentally disabled.  Contrary to the illusions of Franklin from the MCSO, they do not have the capability of treating the mentally ill, nor does the jail have a 24X7 mental health pod with 24X7 qualified medical professionals running the pod.

We know of one incident where Franklin had a female inmate housed on a 1 million dollar bond because of spice.  The inmate was held for several months without a reduction in the bond.  The family went to Franklin and described the lady's mental illness.  The lady had a felony conviction approximately 20 years ago with no prior incidents until the spice incident according to our recall of the Federal lawsuit.

There is also the lady who was kept in jail for seven months before being sent for treatment to Tuscaloosa.

Why would you mistreat the mentally disabled for so long before either sending them for treatment or lowering their bond so that their family could arrange appropriate medical treatment?

Mr. Martinez spent seven years in the Morgan County jail and went to and from jail to behavioral treatment facilities for seven years.  Mr. Martinez died from a medical condition that could have been properly treated with adequate medical assistance. Each time Mr. Martinez complained of stomach pain, he was given milk of magnesia and sent back to his pod. Can you imagine suffering for almost a month with excruciating pain with no relief and your medical needs ignored? Our sources said Mr. Martinez death was uncalled for.  How many times did Mr. Martinez' attorney talk to him while he was in jail?.  Did he know that Mr. Martinez was sick?  Did he ever explain to the court why Mr. Martinez had been in jail or a mental facility for seven years without a hearing?  Was Mr. Martinez' bail ever lowered allowing him an opportunity to bond out of jail so he could receive proper treatment?

Mr. Martinez never got his day in court.  Everybody lost.  How many people have been placed in the Morgan County jail to suffer their illness alone without adequate treatment?