Jails are no place for the mentally ill. I was lucky to get out.

Twelve years ago, after a long struggle with drug addiction and mental illness, I packed my bags and left my home in New Jersey, bound for Miami and determined to make a fresh start. My brother had convinced me it would be a chance to get clean, to restore my mental health. But the move […]

Treatment, not jail, for mentally ill people

NATASHA McKENNA, the schizophrenic woman who died in February after Fairfax County jail guards shot her four times with a Taser, should not have been behind bars. She should have been in treatment at a facility staffed with mental health professionals. Some county officials have acknowledged that; they include Sheriff Stacey A. Kincaid, who runs […]

Police in Texas Hospital Shoot Patient in the Chest

Christian Alexander Pean, a fourth-year medical student in New York City, had been anxiously texting his father in Houston throughout the morning to inquire about his younger brother, Alan Christopher Pean, a patient at St. Joseph Medical Center in Texas. The night before, on August 26, Alan had called his parents to tell them he […]

The Trials of Teresa Sheehan

On Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008, a social worker named Heath Hodge arrived at a three-story residence in San Francisco’s Mission District. Hodge was employed by a nonprofit called Conard House, which runs several cooperatives for adults with mental illnesses throughout the city. As Hodge climbed the stairs to the bedrooms on the second floor, one […]