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  #1  
Old 02-17-2021, 08:40 PM
Meduza Meduza is offline
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Default Can we and where to complain about the case handling?

Hi,
My son has schizophrenia. Last spring he took a car and drove away without letting anyone to know.He is over 18 and we couldn’t do anything. He was psychotic at this time, but he refused to take the meds and see a psychiatrist for the last three years. In May, we got a call from Texas sheriff saying that they arrested him. He was charged with felony ( was throwing rocks into people). Since then, they keep him in jail. Despite him being psychotic, they only gave him anti anxiety drugs. His trial date is being moved further away few times. Psychologist decided that he is competent to stand a trial. He calls and texts me saying absolutely crazy stuff, no question he has psychosis. When I call the jail, nobody touched by anything. I requested the doctor to see him, but even with this, they have trouble:they are telling me for the whole last week that the doctor didn’t come to jail for some reason. My question is where can I complain about this situation? I was thinking about writing to Texas senator. Does it worse to try to bother some authorities?
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:07 PM
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He will have a lawyer appointed to his case. That is the person who should decide what actions you should take, or more importantly, what not to do, to best help him. You don't want to hurt whatever chances he has to receive the best possible outcome from his charges.
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Old 02-20-2021, 03:32 PM
Meduza Meduza is offline
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Yes, they gave him the court lawyer, but they almost don’t communicate. We are talking not about healthy individual who can be instructed by lawyer. He has schizophrenia, he doesn’t get it. As I understood, it’s better to pleade guilty, but my son doesn’t understand why. He said he will insist he is not guilty. It’s not the same as working with normal person.
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Old 02-20-2021, 04:35 PM
Free At Last 5 Free At Last 5 is offline
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It would certainly do no harm to contact a Senator or Representative. I would also insist on talking with whoever is assigned to represent him, even if it is on the morning of the hearing in the courthouse. You could also write the judge explaining what happened just as you did here, asking him to take into account your son’s mental state at the time of the crime and how it was the primary contributor. The strongest argument to a judge will be a clear message that your son has a support network in the community. As a parent, I’m so sorry for your situation.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:18 AM
enigmaingr enigmaingr is offline
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Your best bet would be to contact his attorney to explain your concerns. Unfortunately, that can be a frustrating experience in itself because most attorneys are overworked, and every minute spent talking to you is a minute they are not working on a case. I would suggest that you send a letter or email to that attorney with bulleted lists of concerns and brief explanations as appropriate. Going through your son's life story is not going to be helpful to the attorney.



I would disagree with the advice of contacting a senator or representative for the simple fact that they are typically interested - when they are sympathetic at all to criminal issues - in problems and solutions that affect a number of people, not just individuals. Certainly, though, something can be said about how the criminal justice system processes and treats individuals with mental illness; if you are willing to lend something to that fight, go for it; just realize that it may do nothing for your son at this point.
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Old 02-23-2021, 12:17 AM
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Competent to stand trial has very little to do with whether he is psychotic. Competent means that he is able to understand the charges against him and aid in his defense. If he understands his charges and has the ability to help (whether he chooses to or not is irrelevant), he is competent.

The jail cannot force medicate him without a court order. If the psychologist has found him competent to stand trial, he is competent to refuse medication and treatment.

Write a letter to his attorney. Outline your concerns. Just know the consequences of a finding that he is not competent - not competent will follow him for the rest of his life in the way a conviction will not. And if he is not competent right now, he is not competent to change his plea to guilty and accept a plea bargain.

Just know that mental health concerns make the lugubrious process of court take a lot longer than normal. Also understand what a finding that he is incompetent will do to the rest of his life, and how Texas deals with incompetence in criminal matters. He can wind up spending more time in a forensic psych unit than he would have spent in prison.
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Old 02-23-2021, 01:02 AM
Meduza Meduza is offline
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Thank you for your advices. We already sent a letter to his attorney, but got only what we expected - the attorney said that he cannot talk to us. It doesn’t lead anywhere: he is over 18 and nobody talks to us, but he is totally sick and cannot understand a lot of stuff.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:32 AM
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Meduza - you might want to talk with an attorney about a guardianship and conservatorship for him once he is finished with the process. This allows you to stand in for him, control his money, and sign him into a mental facility or seek a forced medication order. You can then get information from his treatment providers, the law, and his attorney. Plus, you can establish an address for him and apply for SSDI for him. Check with your local chapter of NAMI for referrals on this.

18 year olds with mental health issue are rough. While the attorney cannot talk with you, guaranteed he has read the letter and appreciates the information. Unfortunately, mental health law is running way behind in terms of advancing with the science of psychiatry and psychology. I do not have to tell you how difficult it is to find a bed, especially one you can afford.

Remember, TX lags behind MA in mental health. While I hate saying it, be glad he was busted for chucking rocks at people - if I remember correctly, a person in TX can be sent to a psych unit for eval, sign out AMA after a 4 hour hold, and turn around and buy a gun.

Please vote for mental health and justice reform
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