BIG SPRING STATE HOSPITAL
One who lacks ability, legal qualification, or fitness to manage his own affairs.
~The Concise Law Encyclopedia
"Jail confinement probably has the most dire consequences for those with mental illness than those with any other illness."
~Ed Moughon, superintendent of Big Spring State Hospital
I called the hospital and spoke with Melinda Gonzales in Patients Rights on August 4, 2005 about Sharif not being able to use the library computers. The state hospital has deemed him competent and is waiting for Dallas county to come pick him up. He is supposed to be able to use the computers
Melinda first tried to tell me that the ATD liason (whose name she did not provide) said that there was an altercation with Sharif and staff and that Sharif requested to be taken out of any competency classes and reported this to the administrative staff.
The doctor (whose name she did not provide) said it was okay to remove him from all classes, yet Melinda claims that it is required for Sharif to take a leisure class in order to continue to use the library computers per the staff, and said Sharif had agreed to these terms.
I questioned her as to why that was necessary when he has been deemed competent and therefore could not rightfully be labeled a 'patient'. She said that it was protocol.
I contacted her again today, August 8th 2005. In this conversation she stated that, "Yes. Sharif is able to use the library computers, but sometimes when the male-unit is understaffed, the activity worker who minds the library will be required to come and watch the male-unit in which case the library has to be closed.
Instead of just telling me the first time I spoke with her that the hospital is understaffed, she gave me the lame excuse that Lakeith was kicked out of the library for lack of cooperation. Not very responsible!
One of Sharif's Advocates
From Dallas News article Emergency care for inmates surges
When mentally ill inmates are denied medication [at the jails], lawyers will often call for competency hearings to determine whether they are able to stand trial. The hearings mean extra work for the district attorney's staff, which is paid by the county. In many cases, the county also pays for the inmate's lawyer because many mentally ill inmates are indigent. The county pays $300 for a medical expert to evaluate the inmate and another $300 to testify at the hearing.
When inmates are found not competent, they are sent to one of the state-run hospitals for treatment to stabilize them. State taxpayers pay for the treatment; county taxpayers pick up the cost of transporting the inmates.
At the end of June, nearly 100 inmates in the jail were awaiting competency hearings, with 23 more awaiting hearings in state hospitals. In addition, 22 inmates found to be incompetent were still in the jail, waiting for a state hospital bed to open.
HOSPITAL MAIL REGULATIONS
COMPETENT PEOPLE RULED INCOMPETENT
Used As Retaliation for Filing Lawsuits
MENTALLY ILL CARE WORSENS
Jail situation under scrutiny; state hospitals overburdened
SHARIF TO MR. MOUGHON
For Supt. Ed Moughon
Lakeith Raqib Amir-Sharif
The Competent Patient