ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL (AIMI)
With your help, we plan to establish a foundation to benefit chronically mentally ill persons like Larry. Many mentally ill people are able to rejoin their families or be relocated to care homes after psychiatric treatment and lead useful lives. However, there will forever be those people who require containment, because they simply cannot conduct themselves in society according to an acceptable standard. The chronically mentally ill disturb the peace; they go into stores and help themselves without paying first; they disobey policemen when told that they must not loiter and yell on street corners. Larry once climbed into our neighbors’ window to quiet their crying infant whom he believed was crying for him to come and rock it. That unlawful entry could have gotten Larry killed.
Jail has three purposes: (1) to punish criminals; (2) to deter crime; and (3) rehabilitation of criminals. Mentally ill people like Larry do not act out of a criminal intent, and prison is no deterrent to their psychosis. Instead of rehabilitation and punishment, they need containment in a safe environment offering long-term psychiatric care. It is not popular for me to say these things, because many mental health professionals do not choose to acknowledge the need for confinement for insane people. In fact, they have thrown out the word “insane.” It is a politically incorrect term, and the idea of keeping patients confined and enforcing psychiatric treatment was largely discarded in all but the most violent cases of mental illness. Some time ago in this country, it was evidently decided to treat mentally ill people just like everybody else, and that means jail for many sick people.
If we want to stop incarcerating sick Americans, we must have someplace to put the chronically mentally ill – not only those who are dangerous, but those who simply cannot survive in society unrestrained, like Larry. To move these disabled Americans away from the criminal justice system and into decent psychiatric hospitals, America needs more and improved mental hospitals. We need your help to establish a non-profit foundation that will advocate for the chronically mentally ill to be relocated from our jails into decent environments for containment and treatment.
Please support the establishment of our foundation, Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (“AIMI”). It is not Godly to jail people for being sick. Incarceration is stressful for perfectly sane people; imagine what it does to those who are mentally ill! Help us to end this practice, please. You never know when you or someone you love could be in an accident that causes brain damage, or you may have a child born in your family with this problem, or a dear friend or relative could return from war damaged forever.
How can you help? First, pray that our government will see the error of incarcerating sick people. Second, contact your representatives to let them know that you support the decriminalization of mental illness: http://www.house.gov/writerep. Finally, send money to help to establish AIMI. Mail contributions to: Mary Neal, P.O. Box 7222, Atlanta, GA 30357. I believe you will be blessed for your concern and involvement.