Letters to the Editor

Jail mistreats mentally ill son

In response to "Sick dad gets long sentence for petty crime" (Aug. 29, Letters): I also have a son who is mentally ill with bipolar disorder and is in the Public Safety Center over a charge related to a bipolar episode.

It took me three trips to the center to get his medication to him. Finally, the day before his hearing, he was medicated. At the hearing I asked for a psychological evaluation, which takes 30 days. His medication was changed without notification to the family, which led to panic attacks. When I had not heard from him for three days, I went to the center. I was shown that he was isolated because of the attacks but was not told he was left there three days. The nurse in his ward did not read the mental reports and told the sergeant that he was faking. His head was slammed on the desk. When I talked to the head nurse, nothing was in the report nor were we notified.

I am going to court to make sure he is transferred to Stanislaus mental health. However, as soon as he is competent, he will be charged and sentenced even though he was not competent at the time of the incident.

Mental illness is not a crime. We need a citizen oversight committee on the justice system in Stanislaus County.

JAMES S. POWELL

Ceres

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