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Prison and Mental Health

All people in the criminal justice system deserve a range of voluntary supports. Unfortunately, the motto 'help not prisons' is being used to promote more and more psychiatric drugging and restraints of prisoners, without that full variety of humane alternatives.

Page Issue of prison and mental health
One of the most powerful claims by defenders of the current mental health system is to say that the prison system has become, in effect, the new mental health system because so many people in prison have severe mental and emotional problems. The argument is that people deserve help not prisons. How can one argue with this? Go deeper.... Ask questions. Your feedback is welcome in this ongoing dialogue.
News Item USA federal prisoner commits suicide after forced psychiatric drugs
Mike Heston was a member of MindFreedom who wrote many times to the MFI office saying he is a prisoner who is experiencing involuntary psychiatric drug injections in the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. MindFreedom issued a human rights alert on his behalf. Mr. Heston's family has informed MindFreedom's office that he has committed suicide. Both the family and MindFreedom call for an investigation. Update: A Rochester newspaper published a news story on this topic.
Page The Alliance Position Paper on Mental Health Courts
Mental Patients Liberation Alliance based in New York State was one of the founding sponsor groups of the MindFreedom International "Support Coalition." Here is their official position on mental health courts, which are special separate courts for people diagnosed with psychiatric disorders who have been accused of committing crimes.
News Item 60 Minutes: Death of psychiatric inmate in prison
The TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes exposed the torture and killing of a man with mental and emotional problems inside prison through hour upon hour of agonizing restraint.
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Rae Unzicker & Justin Dart

Rae (1948-2001) was a psychiatric survivor activist who was a key bridge-builder between the entire disability movement and our movement to change the mentalh health system. Rae championed the National Council on Disability (NCD) report, From Privileges to Rights: People Labeled with Psychiatric Disabilities Speaking For Themselves. Rae is shown here with her beloved Justin Dart (1930 - 2002), widely considered one of the key disability activists of the last century, and also a bridge builder between our movements. Both Rae and Justin were MFI members. (Photo by Cookie Gant)
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