We have been struggling with his mental illness (schizophrenia ) for the last 10 years. He is 26. It took years to get him diagnosed and into DMH services. I was told that the only way to get him into the hospital for a diagnosis was to call 911. The requirement for help in this system is to fall and fail several times before you are even considered eligible for services or support. I have three 4" binders full of documentation, evaluations, doctors notes, school reports... It was a part time job to get him help.
The most shocking part of the journey was discovering how to get him help. "Tell the police that you fear for your life or his." was the advice I heard over and over in each support group. People with schizophrenia don't believe that are sick, so they don't even understand why they would even need hospitalization. I was told that you have to bend the rules because there are too many barriers to getting help.
This past year, Jared has been depressed, wanting badly to return home. He has resorted to self medicating with booze, living in a group home we waited 7 months for. This supported housing was only available if I refused to allow him to return home after his last hospitalization. I had to make him homeless three years ago.
Last week, Jared was allegedly drinking in his room. The "house" had set up a protocol to withhold his medication if they believed he was intoxicated. On this particular evening, they decided to call Emergency Health Services, to come to the house and evaluate him for intoxication. EMH called the police to join them. The police barged into the room and attempted to grab him. He resisted. Jared asked the police for identification and they decided that his behavior was threatening. They beat him and blackened his eye, arms and restrained his hands so tightly that we suspect nerve damage as he struggled to "save himself" from these people he didn't believe were real police.
They charged him with assault and battery on a police officer, 2 counts. He needed to be transported to the hospital for x-rays because of the beating. After he was cleared for broken bones and internal bleeding, they locked him up at the Worcester Police station. We posted bail and he was returned to the group home to be arraigned on Friday for the assault charges.
He was immediately put into lock up once he arrived to court on Friday. A barbaric treatment for a paranoid schizophrenic. He was not given food or water. He was deemed to be of danger to himself (drinking) and others (police). I was the only one left sitting in the courtroom gallery at 4:30 when Jared was brought up to the courtroom from lock up. I was sick. His face was a mess. He was looking around the room like a 7 year old kid. His face as white as a ghost with purple bruises and a black eye. I was shaking like a leaf and wanting to cry out loud.
The court appointed lawyer made a case for evaluating him for criminal culpability, but the judge decided differently and ordered mandatory rehab. I don't deny he needs help with self medicating, but what I didn't know that the place they sent him is a prison. In fact, my ears were ringing with so much stress, all I heard was Plymouth. I didn't even know the name of the place. In my panic of shuffling in my bag for $$ to pay for my car to get out of the garage, I dropped the lawyers card, so I couldn't call her to find out the name of the place.
The number to call on website never gets answered. I have told this story at length on my facebook page. It's going on 5 days and I have no idea if he is ok or if he is getting his medication.
The funds will be used to procure a private attorney who will help me get Jared the help he needs, The system is broken and I need legal help to get my son into an appropriate setting that can treat his mental illness while helping him with his alcohol addiction.
I am open to suggestions anyone has for a good attorney who can help us fight these criminal charges.
Thank you for anything you can do.
- Sharon - kurt Parent
- Daniel Harpin
- Wendy Perrone
- Lauren Kincaid
- Anna Murphy
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