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"Where there is no vision…the people perish"

Our current aim is to be a voice for the voiceless. We want to persuade our legislators to change the laws on how people who suffer from mental illness are being processed through the criminal justice system. The department of corrections has become a warehouse for the mentally disabled. It's time we shift our thinking. We understand that de-institutionalization is not appropriate for all people suffering from mental illness. However, the government’s approach to increase the use of jails and prisons for those deemed unmanageable with mental illness is unsatisfactory. It does not equip jail and prison personnel to handle the complex nature of this disease.

If a person has a certifiable mental illness, they should not be treated with inhumanity for having this disease. Solitary confinement is unproductive. The lack of social simulation is harmful regardless of the inmate’s mental status, and studies have shown that isolation can have psychological implications. The mentally disabled are extremely vulnerable to this type of punishment. It can actually exacerbate their already fragile mental condition; they should not be dehumanized because of their illness. Mental illness is a disease of the mind and should be treated as such. We don't punish people because they have diabetes, cancer, etc. So why is this country punishing the mentally ill? They are not disposable! They are human beings!  How did this country reverse back to the barbaric abuses and neglects that were once denounced? It was those neglectful practices, such as isolation, that partially lead to the outcry for de-institutionalization. We feel that solitary confinement constitutes “cruel and unusual punishment," which is prohibited in the eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

An individual with severe mental illness requires constant professional care with a well-trained and compassionate staff. Our organization’s position would be to have all certified mentally ill individuals who break the law, committed to a long term mental health facility. A place where they can be treated with human dignity and receive proper medical treatment. Let’s bring back a new mental health system to house these voiceless souls. Housing the severely mentally ill in a proper long-term therapeutic environment will protect them from inhumane treatment, and the public would be safer.

In addition, when the mentally ill are released from prison, they do not have adequate housing. Thus, they wander the streets, break into abandon buildings for shelter, are taken advantage of, and use illegal drugs to self-medicate. Finding housing is always difficult for ex-offenders, but the challenge is even more acute for the mentally ill. "For the severely mentally ill, there is virtually no facility designed for long-term inpatient care," says Sherri Sullivan, director of Bridgeview Manor, the only residential treatment center in Ohio that accepts the indigent mentally ill. "If they exist, they exist as a group home, and most group homes don't offer treatment."

If you have a son or daughter incarcerated and you feel the way I do, please sign-up and become a member. We might correct some of these issues, but change only comes with the support and demand of the citizens.
If we want to change, we will have to fight for it, we cannot hide from it. "God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers."

Rhonda Robinson,
M.I.S.S. Founder

"What matters is the countless small deeds of unknown people who lay the basis for the significant events that enter history. They’re the ones who’ve done things in the past. They’re the ones who will have to do it in the future." Howard Zinn

 

Behind Bars, Mentally Ill Inmates Are Often Punished For Their Symptoms

Click the following to read the article:  NPR

 

 

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A M.I.S.S. member was chosen to tell her story on the OWN network’s show ‘The Book of John.’

You can watch the full episode of Season 1, ( THE MID-NIGHT SERMON, 108) by clicking the following link and signing-up through your cable company to the OWN Network's mobile app. http://www.oprah.com/own-thebookofjohngray/The-Emotional-Reality-of-Having-a-Family-Member-in-Prison-Video

   

Click the following link to listen to the Portland, Oregon KBOO radio show featuring M.I.S.S. members :

M.I.S.S. Members' Radio Interview

 

Click following link to read article and comments from M.I.S.S. members: Here

 

New corrections commissioner: Should 'really mentally ill people be in a prison?'

 

Bernadette T Allen and PiggieC are now friends
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Friday
robyn labrador posted a status
aloha from Molokai Hawaii. How do I include my son in your card mailing list?
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Julie Gage posted a status
I'm confused on how to use this site. I get info re bday cards but how do I get connect with other mothers. I'm in MI and my son is jailed C
Wednesday
  • Rhonda - Administrator Hi Julie,
    When we send out the Bday card program emails, we include a link to contact the card coordinator. She will send you names of ppl to mail cards to. Also, on the website's navigation bar there is a tutorial video you can view. To connect…
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Karen DeAngelis posted a status
I want to congratulate Becky that her son is home. And I also want to say: "Thank you Jesus". I know how happy she is
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Kimberly Ducker is now a member of Mothers of Incarcerated Sons Society, Inc.
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Kelli Hall posted a status
My son being one of them I don't know if there's a chance if we appeal it I feel like drug court for a year Any suggestions or lawyers I cou
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Whoops I wasn't finished sorry He was sentenced one year treatment center Ozark correctional center in Fordland 4 guys OD20 days ago my son
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Kelli Hall posted a status
Im glad i found this website i have been very lost with my sons Situation on what to do but Are if there's anything I can do My son Was
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Thank u
Tuesday
Kelli Hall and Debra Venus Winston joined Mothers of Incarcerated Sons Society, Inc.
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"I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all the beautiful and courageous mothers of MISS for their unwavering support and loyalty toward their loved ones, as well as to the greater cause at hand. I also am very grateful for the extremely thoughtful and generous outpouring of positive energy in my direction. The letters have been well received. I am sending each of you all my very best."

With love, Cameron Douglas

(Note: Cameron is the son of actor Michael Douglas)

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A message from former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick:

"M.I.S.S.

Thank you so very much for your continued encouragement & support. You all are an incredible blessing to me, and so many of us. Blessings to you & your families."

Kwame