Inmate Joseph Duran's death

02/04/2014 10:02 AM

02/06/2014 9:03 AM

Re "State prisons should not be a modern Bedlam" (Editorials, Jan. 26): The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Sacramento is dedicated to improving our community's mental health. We advocate, educate and support the mentally ill and their loved ones. We were deeply saddened to learn about Joseph Duran's horrible death.

We understand laws must be enforced, inmates must be managed and jailers must work safely. But the bitter truth is that seriously mentally ill people are warehoused in our jails and frequently treated as sub-human, often leaving their caregivers and family without any power to help.

We await a full investigation of this tragedy, but experience tells us we should be very suspicious of procedures by jailers. On the positive side, we have partnered with regional law enforcement agencies in our area to implement crisis intervention training (CIT) for police.

But once a person is in jail, caregivers fear for their loved ones' safety and proper medical attention.

-- Larry Liseno , Sacramento

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