The “Unwanteds”: Looking for Help, Landing in Jail

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Mon, 07/22/2019 - 6:30pm to 7:00pm
The “Unwanteds”: Looking for Help, Landing in Jail

Karen James interviews Sarah Radcliffe, Managing Attorney for the Mental Health Rights Project at Disability Rights Oregon, about her new report, The “Unwanteds”: Looking for help, Landing in jail. An analysis of how trespass arrests at Portland-area hospitals criminalize mental illness. 

Many of those who suffer most profoundly in jail have serious mental health concerns and are arrested on low-level charges related to their disability--trespass, disorderly conduct, misuse of 911, or violation of probation terms that they were never equipped to meet.  Jails are the worst place for people with serious mental illness.  The solution can be simply to connect people in need to the healthcare system rather than making an arrest. But people who are frequently arrested on low-level behavioral-related charges are often frequent visitors to emergency departments.  DRO reports that Portland area hospitals are having people arrested & jailed--people with mental illness who sought help at the one place they thought they would receive care: a hospital.

Disability Rights Oregon has for years visited jails and prisons and has worked tirelessly to improve treatment and conditions for people with mental illness who find themselves entangled in the criminal justice system. 

Disability Rights Oregon

The “Unwanteds”

Street Roots

Hospital Discharge Plan Checklist  

Oregon Health Authority/File a Complaint


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