- This topic has 1 reply, 1 voice, and was last updated 4 months ago by Dick Dunseath.
January 17, 2022 at 5:22 pm #8098Dick DunseathParticipant
Sent: 1/17/2022 3:07:27 PM US Mountain Standard Time
Subject: My SMI Son Released at Night in Dangerous Area
My son is age 43, Seriously Mentally Ill (“SMI”) with schizo-affective disorder and co-occurring substance use disorder. He lives in a group home, operated by Copa Health, with staff inside the home 24-hours per day and 7-days per week to help the four residents with medication, nutrition, doctor’s appointments, etc. He receives care from Copa Health’s clinical “ACT Team” (Assertive Community Treatment).
A member of Mike’s ACT Team brought him to the Maricopa County Jail at 2670 S. 28th Drive, Phoenix AZ 85009 at 8:00 PM on January 13th per an Order of Commitment from Tempe Municipal Court to begin his 5-day self-surrender sentence for misdemeanors in Tempe. He was accepted into custody and the ACT Team member then drove home.
At about 10:30 PM that night I got a phone call from Mike from a phone of a cab driver (cab possibly arranged by the jail) and Mike said a jail employee just told him his eyes looked red and he seemed tired and therefore he was “too sick” to stay in the jail so they ushered him out the door. Mike did not have enough money to pay for the cab ride. I arranged with the cab driver for him to take Mike back to his group home in Mesa while I drove there from my home in Carefree to pay him (he couldn’t take a credit card over the phone).
The “Self Surrender Refusal Form” (ATTACHED) indicates Mike has “an acute medical condition . . . that requires stabilization prior to incarceration”.
If my son was too mentally unstable to remain in jail, he was too mentally unstable to be put into the streets with no way to get home, at 10:30 at night, in a dangerous part of town. What if I had my phone turned off for the night and had not received Mike’s call? What if Mike had been delusional and wandered away from the cab and the jail facility into the night? This facility exhibited total disregard for the safety of a disabled citizen and its actions were inexcusable.
Mike’s ACT Team and I went to a lot of trouble to comply with the Order of Commitment and the self-surrender rules. I do not want to return Mike to this facility and worry about him being frivolously ushered out the door in the middle of the night again.
I hope you will have this incident investigated and respond to my concerns for my son, and other Seriously Mentally Ill persons who are abused in this way, and some procedures will be implemented to prevent such abuse.
Dick DunseathFebruary 14, 2022 at 8:35 pm #8116Dick DunseathParticipant
Subsequent to my post on January 17th, above, I learned that the Maricopa County Jail can reject and “evict” an inmate who “self-surrenders” (as described in my January 17th post. But, if the police take the inmate to the Maricopa County Jail, the jail must accept the inmate to serve his/her sentence. So, to avoid the risk of your loved one getting turned out into the streets, during the night, in a dangerous part of town, with no arrangements for getting him/her safely home, arrange with the court to have the police take him/her to the jail. Dick Dunseath
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