Hospital Dumping

Peace be with you

On today’s Democracy Now a story on “hospital dumping” of houseless people said, “In California, a Los Angeles area psychiatric hospital has admitted to abandoning more than 150 mentally disabled homeless patients in dangerous neighborhoods over a two-year period. College Hospital will pay a $1.6 million penalty under a settlement with city attorneys. So-called “hospital dumping” is believed to be a widespread practice in the United States.

Now here’s a paragraph that says a lot.  There is the abandonment and the dangerousness,  but there is also the psychiatric and the 150 mentally disabled.  Of course there is the “homeless,” and you know if they were houseless they were doped, and because they were doped any neighborhood is dangerous.

It has been a long standing practice to release people who feel they are illegally held against their will. Through the lobbying efforts of pharmaceutical financed advocacy groups the laws that protect you in criminal confinement has been convoluted, and changed when applied to “mental health confinement.” In criminal court you are to be arraigned in 72 hours, but it seems it takes a week or more to see a Judge from Sempervirens. One thing I have been told again and again is “taking the pill” is the quickest way out of Sempervirens.

For ya’ll that ain’t from around here Sempervirens is our local “5150” lock-up, also known as the Humboldt County inpatient Psychiatric Health Facility. It is the place where Dr. Theodore Utecht worked when he was ordered to fabricate mental health diagnosis on people high and/or drunk who were brought into Sempervirens.  It is a place that so scares its victims that even now I enough fear for their safety that I carefully consider what repeat from the horror stories they begged me to keep confidential.

I’ve heard of threats, coersion, intimidation, and violence used to obtain “voluntary informed consent.”  I shit you not that is what its is called if you take the pill without a court order.   If a couple of steroid sized orderlies at Sempervirens say, “take the pill or we’re going strap you in a restraint chair,” and you say, “ok, please don’t torture me,” then “by law” you have given “voluntary informed consent.”

A houseless person in Humboldt usually ends up in Sempervirens through the cops, but now there is the new mobile drugging unit so who knows what is going to happen.  We do however know that Phillip Crandall signed the Humboldt County Mental Services Act Plan, in which he boldly claimed swore 80% of all houseless people needed to be serviced.   Because Crandall wants to make his numbers come true the houseless people are usually held until either they give “voluntary informed consent” for long term drugging, or the Department of Mental Health has exhausted, or succeeded in its legal attempts to do so.

But once they’ve been doped at Sempervirens then it is out on the streets to make room for another houseless person.  Often if it is the first few times someone has been put on anti-psychotics they have trouble with a psychotic behavior known simply as “off their meds.”  Ultimately because all housed people, including most paid houseless service providers, don’t want to deal with houseless people “off their meds” it ends up with me.  And that is fucked up because at that point the only thing that can be done is to try to talk them back on their meds, and encourage them to call the very same doctor who created this cruelity in the first place.

Doping houseless people and then kicking them to the street is a money maker.  There are rumors on the street of people being shipped here to Humboldt county simply because of Crandall’s  rope ’em and dope ’em houseless policies.  It creates jobs.   The “off their meds” side effect is used to justify increases in, not only mental health workers,  but also police power, and police size.   I’ve seen again and again examples of “off their meds” behavior being the poster child of some type of negative Rights reform.

Anti-psychotics should not be the answer, or at least not the first answer, to reducing “mental disorders” among the houseless.  Especially when that policy completely ignores the whole mind fuck that becoming and being houseless really is.   Not the least of which is the mind fuck of being labeled “mentally ill” simply because you don’t have housing.

To many people becoming unhoused was the most traumatic experience they had had to date. In my own experience if it wasn’t mind blowingly traumatic it was most certainly life changing traumatic.

Add to that the fact that the food the houseless are able to obtain is for the most part crap. Very little raw, fresh, organic food is available for the poor. Bread, FEMA canned food, and outdated sweets is what most houseless people primarily live on.  When they can afford to buy food, because of cooking limitations, unhealthy processed food is overly consumed.  Beers and wines specially designed with fortified alcohol levels are made inexpensive and used by houseless alcoholics with disastrous health effects.

Add to that everybody hates them. Why? Because of the time there was that “‘off their meds’ houseless person incident.” Houseless people are stereotyped as criminals, lazy, insane, and dangerous by people who find them unsightly. Those people just happen to include the press. Offensive labels like “transient” are used to associate homelesness and crime. Besides the constant barrage of the “suspect was a transient” crap in the local press, did you know “transient” is also what cops write as houseless people’s addresses on sleeping tickets?

Add to that the fact that every night they go to sleep a houseless person becomes a de facto targeted criminal. Sending drifts of cops out to specifically investigate places where houseless sleep is the obvious irrationality of believing a houseless person would be more likely to be involved in crime while they’re sleeping.  This common policy is a preemptive attack to prevent crime at some later date.  City and county policies towards houseless people’s right to sleep alone is enough to drive some houseless people over the edge.

We do nothing proactive for the unhoused, yet we accept and spend tens of millions to drug and case manage them after the fact. Then we police them and punish them before they commit any crimes. Perhaps we’ve got that backassword. What if we increased the amount we spent on making everyone’s environment more healthy, and less on the cops and the case managers who get paid to create and  manage the results of hospital dumping?  What if we made sure they had enough healthy food, clean water, hygiene facilities, a place to sleep, dignity in their community, equal protection under the law, freedom from discrimination and profiling, and access to patient based medical care and rehabilitation, including anti-psychotic withdrawal?    What you do to the least of your brethern you do to yourself.  Oppression is such a counter productive agenda.

love eternal
tad

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6 Responses to “Hospital Dumping”

  1. Noble Says:

    This is just disgusting. I missed this Democracy Now report but I’ve read a bit about this issue. A few places have been busted.

    The term I hear a lot on the police scanner now is, “Illegal Camper.” I have to think this is nomenclature for rousting houseless folks out of their sleeping bags.

    More than anything, the law needs to take their boot off people’s faces. We are drowning in laws. Over and over, I see individuals and groups that try to provide food or low-cost housing to the poor, for no profit other than the goodness in their hearts, shut down and sometimes arrested for “code violations.”

  2. fig Says:

    TWO questions:

    (1) saw in a l.a. county newspaper the term,
    “felonious parole” never seen this term used in the
    paper before,
    what the hell is “felonious parole” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    is it something like DIRTY COP TERRORISTS with
    “police powers.”

    (2) also, in the latimes.com article item:

    the mass media manipulator referred to the houseless
    as: “PSYCHIATRIC HOMELESS PATIENT”
    _________________________
    holy shit, talk about GEORGE ORWELL,
    mass media manipulation of the population a la Hitler !!!!!!!!!!
    _______________________________

    personally if they are gonna use smear terms like
    “psychiatric homeless patient”
    then why DON’t they ever, ever use
    my term:

    dirty cop terrorists with “police powers.”
    there are plenty, plenty of these cockroaches crawling
    around. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    _______________________________

    p.s. I feel better now, got that off my chest.
    whew !!!
    APRIL 10, 2009, 265 DAYS LEFT in the year 2009. Friday.
    __________________________________________

  3. transient Says:

    found this link on peoples project blog:

    “Schwarzenegger Sets Up Homeland Security “Camps” for Homeless (and those who will be rounded up later)”

    http://peopleproject.wordpress.com/

    http://floydanderson.gnn.tv/blogs/31560/Schwarzenegger_Shuts_Down_Tent_City_Opens_an_Arnold_Camp

  4. stan Says:

    Great Job Tad:

    Got this was in my google news update alerts:

    http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/04/17/18589901.php

    Hospital Dumping : Indybay

    By theplazoid.wordpress.com

    santa cruz, ca … Through the lobbying efforts of pharmaceutical financed advocacy groups the laws that protect you in criminal confinement has been convoluted, and changed when applied to “mental health confinement.” In criminal court you are to be arraigned in 72 hours, but it seems it … We do however know that Phillip Crandall signed the Humboldt County Mental Services Act Plan, in which he boldly claimed swore 80% of all houseless people needed to be serviced. …
    Indybay newswire – http://www.indybay.org/

    Some things this article did not mention was how for the first 24 hours patients at Sempervirens are held in a very small room that has three beds with an even smaller off shoot room with one bed ( you could describe this as the size of a walk-in closet in a Crandall income type dwelling).

    They are held there in a mixed sexual orientation situation, and may have varying degrees of behavioral issues. This is about as bad a therapeutic situation as could be created for anyone in distress or homeless.

    I challenge a deemed sane person to be placed in that kind of restrictive environment for twenty-four hours plus with no privacy (on camera at all times) and I bet you would be acting a little off your rocker. They have even held adolescents in this area with adults for short periods of time.

    I once had to enter this area and escort a frail senior women into the smaller room for her safety and lock the door; since she was being housed in the larger of these tiny rooms with two males (one with high potential for violence).

    They use unlicensed private outside security contracted guards with no mental health training to watch one on ones when short staffed. The laundry list of abuses and poor unreported license violations and conditions at this facility go on and on. Nice Job Heir Crandall.

  5. GaviaSwimmer Says:

    Reblogged this on Coming Back to Life and commented:
    My experiences here were also horrific and traumatic – all 15 or so of them. I am gathering information about this place in the hopes of exposing it for its frequent human rights violations.

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