How to Stop Incarcerating the Mentally Ill and Start Helping Them

Overcriminalized Video posted on RH Reality Check:

Many people who struggle with a mental illness are unnecessarily arrested because police officers are not properly trained to handle a mental health crisis.OverCriminalized, produced by Brave New Films, details how the mentally ill are treated within the justice system, and one department’s answer to helping both police officers and those who struggle with a mental illness.

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How to end Poverty for Millions of Americans

by Linsey Pecikonis for Huffington Post:

Meet Erica Jackson. She's a single mother trying to raise her adorable son in southern California. Not only does she struggle to provide for her son, but she's concerned about her future.

Like Erica, there are 2.3 million American women who struggle to support their family by working for minimum wage.

 

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The Pernicious 'War on Drugs' Is behind America's Staggeringly High Female Prison Population

by Cliff Weathers for San Diego Free Press:

Women make up nearly 9% of the U.S. prison population and about a third of them are serving time for drug offenses, according to two recent studies. Moreover, with just over 200,000 women behind bars, U.S. prisons incarcerate a third of all female prisoners worldwide.

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The Man Behind "Unmanned"

by Robert Greenwald for The Cairo Review of Global Affairs:

 I was reading a newspaper story, I’m pretty sure it was in the New York Times, in which somebody was talking about how drone strikes were only killing bad guys. Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles operated by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Special Activities Division to launch attacks on suspected terrorists primarily in Pakistan but in Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan as well. U.S. drone warfare began in 2002 during the George W. Bush administration but strikes have dramatically increased in number under President Barack Obama. As of August, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimated that the CIA has launched at least 390 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, nearly 90 percent of them on Obama’s watch.

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Jail Doesn’t Help Addicts. Let’s Stop Sending Them There

by Kara Dansky for the ALCU:

 

Misti Barrickman has scoliosis. Since she was a teenager, it's been debilitating. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand up.

She started taking Oxycontin to help with the pain and became addicted. She came to Seattle to find large quantities of the drug. Unable to find it and feeling increasingly desperate, Misti tried what was readily available: heroin. For the next seven years, she struggled with addiction. She lived between a tent and a jail cell, racking up charges for possession and prostitution.

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What Happens When A City Decides to Offer Addicts Services, Not Prison Sentences?

By Aaron Cantu for The Nation:

For decades, the United States has tried to punish and shame people out of drug addiction with courts, jails and criminal records. It has been massively unsuccessful, as the nationwide rise in opiate addiction over the last few years demonstrates, and few people are more aware of its failure than the police officers tasked with arresting addicts.

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Arizona AG Candidates focus on attacks, not issues

by Alia Beard Rau for The Arizona Republic:

In a rapid-fire live TV debate, the two candidates for the state's top legal post spent half an hour hurling barbs back and forth, accusing each other of being too political and not having the right background for the job. Republican Mark Brnovich and Democrat Felecia Rotellini spent almost no time talking about what they would do if elected attorney general in November

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Why Are We Using Prisons to Treat the Mentally Ill?

posted on TruthOut:

OverCriminalized tackles how police handle mental health, substance abuse and homelessness.

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Jail Time Is a Terrible Way to Treat Substance Abuse

by Kara Dansky for The Nation:

 

Misti Barrickman has scoliosis. Since she was a teenager, it’s been debilitating. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to stand up.

She started taking Oxycontin to help with the pain and became addicted. She came to Seattle to find large quantities of the drug. Unable to find it and feeling increasingly desperate, Misti tried what was readily available: heroin. For the next seven years, she struggled with addiction. She lived between a tent and a jail cell, racking up charges for possession and prostitution.

Her story is too common.

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Beth Plemmons, The Capitol Visitor’s Center’s Guide to Southern Hospitality

by Hanna Hess for The Hill:  

North Carolina native Beth Plemmons, CEO of visitor services at the Capitol Visitor Center, is a pro at Southern hospitality.

She spent 17 years working in reservations and ticketing positions at the grandiose 19th century Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., then transitioned to guest services at Virginia’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. The Virginia Tech alumna, who studied hotel, restaurant and institutional management, joined the leadership team of the CVC just a few months before the 580,000-foot complex’s Dec. 2, 2008, grand opening.

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