Monthly Archives: March 2016

‘Fifty Years of Failing America’s Mentally Ill’

Article from the Wall Street Journal of 2/4/2013, copied below in its entirety:

By E. Fuller Torrey

On Feb. 5, 1963, 50 years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy addressed Congress on “Mental Illness and Mental Retardation.” He proposed a new program under which the federal government would fund community mental-health centers, or CMHCs, to take the place of state mental hospitals. As Kennedy envisioned it, “reliance on the cold mercy of custodial isolations will be supplanted by the open warmth of community concern and capability.”

President Kennedy’s proposal was historic because the public care of mentally ill individuals had been exclusively a state responsibility for more than a century. The federal initiative encouraged the closing of state hospitals and aborted the development of state-funded outpatient clinics in process at that time.

Over the following 17 years, the feds funded 789 CMHCs with a total of $2.7 billion ($20.3 billion in today’s dollars). During those same years, the number of patients in state mental hospitals fell by three quarters—to 132,164 from 504,604—and those beds were closed down.

From the beginning, it was clear that CMHCs were not interested in taking care of the patients being discharged from the state hospitals. Instead, they focused on individuals with less severe problems sometimes called “the worried well.” Federal studies reported individuals discharged from state hospitals initially made up between 4% and 7% of the CMHCs patient load, and the longer the CMHC was in existence the lower this percentage became.

It has now become politically correct to claim that this federal program failed because not enough centers were funded and not enough money was spent. In fact, it failed because it did not provide care for the sickest patients released from the state hospitals. When President Ronald Reagan finally block-granted federal CMHC funds to the states in 1981, he was not killing the program. He was disposing of the corpse.

Meantime, during the years CMHCs were funded, Medicaid and Medicare were created and modifications were made to the Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance programs. None of these programs was originally intended to become a major federal support for the mentally ill, but all now fill that role. The federal takeover of the mental-illness treatment system was complete.

Fifty years later, we can see the results of “the open warmth of community concern and capability.” Approximately half of the mentally ill individuals discharged from state mental hospitals, many of whom had family support, sought outpatient treatment and have done well. The other half, many of whom lack family support and suffer from the most severe illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have done poorly.

According to multiple studies summarized by the Treatment Advocacy Center, these untreated mentally ill are responsible for 10% of all homicides (and a higher percentage of the mass killings), constitute 20% of jail and prison inmates and at least 30% of the homeless. Severely mentally ill individuals now inundate hospital emergency rooms and have colonized libraries, parks, train stations and other public spaces. The quality of the lives of these individuals mocks the lofty intentions of the founders of the CMHC program.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this 50-year federal experiment is its inordinate cost. In 2009, 4.7 million Americans received SSI or SSDI because of mental illnesses, not including mental retardation, a tenfold increase since 1977. The total cost was $46 billion. The total Medicaid and Medicare costs for mentally ill individuals in 2005 was more than $60 billion.

Altogether, the annual total public funds for the support and treatment of mentally ill individuals is now more than $140 billion. The equivalent expenditure in 1963 when Kennedy proposed the CMHC program was $1 billion, or about $10 billion in today’s dollars. Even allowing for the increase in U.S. population, what we are getting for this 14-fold increase in spending is a disgrace.

Including President Kennedy, five Democratic and five Republican presidents have presided over the 50-year federal experiment. Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush appointed presidential commissions to examine the failed programs, but nothing useful came from either.

Nor is President Obama likely to do anything, since his lead agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, has essentially denied that a problem exists. Its contribution to the president’s response to the Dec. 14 Newtown tragedy focused only on school children and insurance coverage. And its current plan of action for 2011-14, a 41,000-word document, includes no mention of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or outpatient commitment, all essential elements in an effective plan for corrective action.

The evidence is overwhelming that this federal experiment has failed, as seen most recently in the mass shootings by mentally ill individuals in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and Tucson, Ariz. It is time for the federal government to get out of this business and return the responsibility, and funds, to the states.

The federal government, perhaps through the Institute of Medicine, would be responsible only for evaluating and rating state programs, much as it now does for education. The ultimate responsibility would rest with state legislatures and governors. Then, for the first time in 50 years, somebody could be held accountable for what has become an ongoing disaster.

Dr. Torrey is founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center and author of “American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System,” forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

— MRW

Boulder Shelter gives residents the finger, welcomes another Sexually Violent Predator

THERE ARE NO WORDS AT THIS POINT

Read Boulder police: ‘Sexually violent predator’ released into community from the Daily Camera. Copied below in its entirety:

Boulder police are notifying the public that a man deemed to be a “sexually violent predator” is being released into the community, according to a news release.

Rodney David Jobe, 48, is a transient who will be staying at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, 4869 N. Broadway Blvd.

Boulder police are releasing the information about Jobe under a state law that allows them to notify the public when a sexually violent predator is released in the community. Police said Jobe has been determined to present a high potential to commit further offenses.

Boulder District Court records indicate Jobe has a conviction for misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact. A failure to register as a sex offender charge was dismissed.

According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, a sex offender must meet several criteria to gain the SVP designation: convictions for sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact and sexual assaults on children.

The victim in the case has to be a stranger to the perpetrator or someone the perpetrator established or promoted a relationship primarily for the purpose of sexual victimization.

The offender is assessed for “mental abnormality,” prior sexually based convictions and other risk factors, and the Colorado Department of Corrections or a court makes the SVP determination, according to CBI.

In an unrelated case, Kerry Whitfield, a man deemed to be a sexually violent predator was formally charged in Boulder County Court with four counts of sexual assault.

Boulder County prosecutors allege Whitfield sexually assaulted a woman in September after she bought heroin from him, and in another case, that he repeatedly sexually assaulted another woman who bought drugs from him.

As a sexually violent predator, Whitfield, who had completed his latest sentence, was registered in both Boulder — where he lived out of his van — and in Aurora, where he worked.

Rodney Jobe

Rodney Jobe

In fact, Mr. Jobe has been in trouble in both Florida and Illinois, making him another transient pervert being welcomed by Boulder Shelter for the Homeless.

— MRW

Yet another homeless-involved stabbing in Boulder, CO

A LOT MORE ACCOUNTABILITY, A LOT LESS ENABLING!

By Max R. Weller

See the story (my headline above is more to the point) in the Daily Camera. Boulder police: One hospitalized, another at large after University Hill stabbing. Quoting from it below:

Boulder police responded Tuesday evening to a reported stabbing outside Bova’s Market and Grill on University Hill, and are currently searching for an involved party that fled the scene.

According to Sgt. Cooper Grimes, there was a “disturbance” shortly after 7 p.m. among three people, two men and one woman, all of whom police believe might be homeless.

“The disturbance escalated to a point to which the two male parties became engaged in some sort of physical altercation,” Grimes said, “during which a knife was produced, and it is believed that at least one of the males sustained injuries.”

That hasn’t been confirmed, however, because one of the two men allegedly involved fled the scene, and had not been located Tuesday night. The other man remained on scene and was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Boulder police officers investigate the scene of a reported stabbing outside Bova’s Market and Grill at 1325 Broadway.

Boulder police officers investigate the scene of a reported stabbing outside Bova’s Market and Grill at 1325 Broadway. (Alex Burness / Daily Camera)

This is right next to the SKIP bus stop on Broadway, where I get off to cross that street and walk to Norlin Library on the CU campus. Lots of bums hanging around, at all hours of the day and night, but I have to think it’s safer in the mornings when I’m passing through.

I’ve encountered aggressive dope dealers here in the past, who didn’t want to accept my “NO!” for an answer, and cursed at me when I went on my way. Presumably they were from Denver or elsewhere, because I didn’t recognize them, but I only visit Boulder Shelter for the Homeless for a shower in the morning (when I’m in the city) and never any of the multitude of other homeless hangouts. Filthy Phil, one of Boulder’s own who spent a year in Boulder County Jail on a charge of Indecent Exposure, used to sleep on the bench intended for use by SKIP bus riders; that idiot knows better than to even speak to me.

Boulder PD knows where to look for any homeless miscreant, “person of interest” or otherwise, so they’ll be visiting Bridge House Community Table and all of the other venues which cater to the worst-behaved minority of the homeless, FREE FROM ANY OVERSIGHT BY CITY COUNCIL, which is apparently more concerned about leading the world (so they think) in re pie-in-the-sky issues rather than the basics of maintaining a quality of life for all citizens.

Sort of reminds me of Roman Emperor Nero, reputed to have played an instrument and/or sung on while Rome burned in July of the year 64:

nero

It’s true that many Boulderites complain endlessly about their city having become a  mecca for transients from all over the country wielding knives, dealing drugs, and raping women, yet they go on electing — with only very rare exceptions — the same leaders who act as if everything is just fine . . . And one of these Boulderites is highly critical of the Homeless Philosopher, seemingly believing that even a peace-loving and law-abiding longtime homeless resident of Boulder and its environs should be lumped together with the likes of Kerry Whitfield. She goes by the anonymous screen name “bleeth” on the Daily Camera website:

bleeth

A Boulder Ph.D. she’s not.

This woman and others of her ilk are obviously too lacking in critical thinking skills to realize that their failure to distinguish mere homelessness from criminal activity simply plays into the hands of the self-styled homeless advocates, who want you to think that we’re all alike. And since there’s no legal basis for rousting out the majority of homeless folks who aren’t causing the problems, we wind up having to tolerate the 20% (my estimate) who are sociopathic bums. This also fits the shelter/services industry’s creed of More Homeless People = More Money.

I haven’t given in to despair yet, if only because at least one member of Boulder City Council is reading these blog posts that I e-mail to them as a body: council@bouldercolorado.gov

Why didn’t the reporter question Greg Harms at Boulder Shelter?

6xica

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR!

By Max R. Weller

Read Women say Boulder [Shelter for the Homeless] sexual predator assaulted them after they bought drugs from him in the Daily Camera. Excerpt copied below:

A sexually violent predator arrested last week reportedly sexually assaulted two women who were buying drugs from him, including one woman who said he assaulted her dozens of times over the course of a month.

Kerry Fitzgerald Whitfield, 51, was arrested in Longmont on Thursday on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault on a physically helpless victim and one count of unlawful sale of a controlled substance.

According to an arrest affidavit, a woman went to Boulder police in October and said Whitfield sexually assaulted her about a month prior. The woman said Whitfield is known as “Special K” and is known as a source of drugs such as heroin, morphine, speed and “oxy.”

On Sept. 19, the woman contacted Whitfield to buy heroin from him. After taking the drugs, the woman said the two were sleeping in the van when he sexually assaulted her.

In the second case, a woman came to police this month and said Whitfield had sexually assaulted her last summer, according to the affidavit. 

The woman said she met Whitfield in August of 2015 to buy drugs from him. She said he began to withhold the drugs from her and began to demand sexual favors.

The woman said Whitfield sexually assaulted her more than 30 times over the course of the month, and that he also made her perform sexual acts with other women buying drugs from him so he could videotape them.

The article goes on to detail Whitfield’s extensive arrest record, with remarks from both Boulder County DA Stan Garnett and Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle.

Remarkably, there is no mention of the fact that Mr. Whitfield was using Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, whose executive director is Greg Harms, as a base of operations for his drug-dealing and sexual predations. I’ve seen him there scores of times over the past few years, and I’ve also seen him lurking in his van in the parking lot of Bustop Gentleman’s Club next door to BSH, and I can confirm that his nickname inside BSH is “Special K” (a reference to the animal tranquilizer ketamine), and that staff members have been generally aware that Whitfield is a BAD ACTOR. Any homeless person approached by the DC’s Mitchell Byars could have told him this, and then it would have been logical for Byars to request an interview with BSH’s head cheese, Greg Harms, especially in view of the sheer number of registered sex offenders being harbored at this facility (see for yourself, noting the address of 4869 N. Broadway: City of Boulder Registered Sex Offenders).

Instead, the enablers are again allowed to slide by and it’s left to a lone voice crying in the wilderness of Boulder’s homeless “community” to try and alert the public.

gregharms

Well, no, but Mr. Harms and his colleagues have enabled dope-dealing rapists while spending millions of $$$ every year.