Advocates for Ethical Mental Health Treatment

1,401 supporters

The state of New Hampshire has been engaging in the practice of placing non-adjudicated civilly committed individuals in the Secure Psychiatric Unit known as "SPU", in the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord, NH. This is a practice that has been in place for quite some time and permitted by statute. The state's position is that the individuals transferred to SPU are too dangerous to be managed at New Hampshire Hospital, the state's psychiatric hospital. This practice is wrought with numerous issues. First being that these individuals are moved from the jurisdiction of the NH Department of Health and Human Services to that of the Department of Corrections. SPU is not an accredited behavioral health treatment facility. Nor is it eligible for any type of reimbursement for treatment provided by the facility. Its reporting requirements of sentinel events and other quality information is not available to the public. The transfer of these individuals moves them from an accredited hospital setting to the prison. This practice effectively creates two classes of civilly committed individuals in the state of New Hampshire. Those who remain in a hospital and those who end up in the prison. This is an enormous disparity in treatment delivery. The the civil and human rights violations are clear. Individuals now languish in SPU for years in the absence of either being charged with a crime or having been adjudicated. The state refuses to transfer these individuals to licensed, accredited forensic facilities because of the cost involved. New Hampshire has no true forensic hospital. Attempts by State Representative Renny Cushing to begin the planning for such a facility have been dismissed by the New Hampshire State Legislature.

Started 1 petition

Petitioning Governor Christopher T. Sununu, NH Legislature

Free Andrew Butler from NH State Prison - a mentally ill man not convicted

Mentally ill people IN NEW HAMPSHIRE committed to Psychiatric facilities can be transferred to the Secure Psychiatric Unit (Inside the State Prison for Men) Concord. Even if they have never been charged with or convicted of a crime. Men and WOMEN are sent to the prison. Andrew Butler is one of these people committed to the NH State Psychiatric Hospital and then transferred to the Prison. CONCORD – A Secure Psychiatric Unit patient at the state prison for men who hasn’t been convicted of a crime has filed a writ in federal court demanding to be transferred to an accredited specialized mental health hospital. Patient Andrew Butler, 21, who was a well-known athlete as a Hollis High School student, argued through his attorney that he is locked up in a maximum-security prison because of mental illness even though he hasn’t committed a crime. “He is held as a mental health patient without being in an accredited hospital, denied contact visits with his father, denied contact visits with his attorney, forced to wear prison clothing,” wrote his attorney Sandra Bloomenthal. “He is locked down 23 hours a day. He has been tasered. The treatment he has received is cruel and unusual punishment without having been convicted of a crime and with no pending criminal process.” Butler is guarded by correction officers rather than cared for by mental health workers, according to the writ of habeas corpus filed in U.S. District Court. “There is a group of cages used to hold detainees falsely labelled as ‘treatment booths.’ The petitioner is incarcerated rather than hospitalized under color of law by the State of New Hampshire,” Bloomenthal wrote. Group therapy booths at the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the New Hampshire Prison for Men. Butler was civilly committed to the New Hampshire Hospital, the state’s psychiatric hospital, in the fall of 2017, then involuntarily transferred to the Secure Psychiatric Unit at the men’s prison, according to his father, Douglas Butler.   http://indepthnh.org/2018/04/27/patient-demands-mental-health-treatment-not-prison-since-he-hasnt-committed-a-crime/

Advocates for Ethical Mental Health Treatment
1,401 supporters