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RHODE ISLAND Prison & Criminal Justice Discussions Topics and conversations dealing with the State of Rhode Island - Department of Corrections, Criminal Justice System, Prisoner & Family Support, News & Information, visitation, mail, parole, probation, etc.

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Old 03-24-2017, 09:14 PM
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Default Prisons or Psychiatric hospitals?

Since the "lunatic asylum" (I hate that term) / psychiatric hospital system was eliminated, prisons have turned into the default institution for people with psychological issues.. I saw it first hand, and it sucks..

Reading this just reminded me about it and one guy I met while doing time in the feds.. He was in for stealing mail, and being "violent" with a postal inspector a few times..
I know people dealing with this are often taken advantage of, but I'm glad to say that the other inmates on my yard were protective, and patient with him and a few other guys that most might call "bugs"..

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The director of behavioral health at the state Department of Corrections lamented Thursday that the prison system is functioning as the largest psychiatric hospital and substance treatment facility in Rhode Island, and yet it's staffed with only 11 social workers serving about 3,000 inmates.

"That is our staff," Louis Cerbo told the 19-member Special Legislative Commission to Study and Assess the Use of Solitary Confinement in Rhode Island. He estimated that on any given day 400 to 500 inmates in the system are diagnosed as having serious, persistent mental illness.
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Last edited by David; 03-24-2017 at 09:16 PM..
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:41 PM
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Default Prisons or Psychiatric hospitals?

I don't think we have old school lunatic asylums in modern prisons, but many facilities have defacto psychiatric wards. I don't know the answer, and I'm sure the DOC doesn't either.

Last edited by K6770; 03-24-2017 at 10:45 PM..
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:02 PM
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Years ago, I attended the Angola Prison Rodeo at Louisiana State Penitentiary. To this day, I will never forget a whole section where some inmates were seated for the rodeo. For all practical purposes, these guys were zombies. There was no chatter among them, and they didn't react to anything going on around them. I was informed that those inmates were the mentally ill. It's a haunting image I can still see in my mind today.
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Old 03-26-2017, 07:22 PM
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Oregon still has a psych. hospital and has been in the planning stages to build a second facility. Unfortunately we're talking about a society who would rather fund jail beds than social services. In the end, both places wind up under-serving a vulnerable population.
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