Day: July 18, 2017

This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Illness


You’ve seen it in the news whether on tv, newspapers, social media on people living with mental illness are treated before, during, and after (sometimes reported) incarceration. Perhaps you are familiar with these names:

Charlenna Lyles

Joseph Mann

Kelly Thomas

Michelle Cusseaux

Reginald Murray

David Montalbelo

Antwon Banks

These are a but a few names of those with mental illness that have been mistreatment by  the police,  the judicial system, and prison system . When I’m saying this please don’t think that inmates living without mental illness are not worth being treated as people too, for they too should be treated fairly as human beings especially in spite of their socioeconomic status.

Brave New Films, completed a short documentary film titled, “This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health”. This three part series tells the maltreatment of individuals with mental illness “Before”, “During”, and “After” imprisonment.   The video also talks about the lives of three individuals Rebecca Brasfield, Herb Cobbs, and Stacy Hamilton and their experiences with the police, judicial and prison system. And then you have a mother by the name of Tama Bell who tells about the horrific experiences, her son, Masai, experienced in jail.

I personally enjoyed the film and the rawness of the stories of those living with mental illness and their experiences especially in the prison system. Unfortunately as you might probably  know, in the U.S., all the prison systems do here is make profit on those in jail and even after they their time, they are unprepared for the new life that awaits them that is often met with impoverished living. I wish I could say they were just solely made for people to serve their time….but it’s not. Inmates must be shown humanity and inmates with mental illness should be living in a mental health hospital. These injustices must stop.

To view the film, click on the link below:

This Is Crazy: Criminalizing Mental Health

For further resources on the maltreatment of individuals living with mental illness, click on the link below:

Half of People Killed By Police Have a Disability: Report


The Treatment of Persons With Mental Illness in Prisons and Jails: An Untimely Report

There Are 10 Times More Mentally Ill People Behind Bars Than in State Hospitals