Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Bear's not getting out soon
He will not receive a medical assessment until right before he goes to boot camp (that's part of the intake process) so that means ANOTHER 8-9 months off his medications (he's bipolar among other things). If he gets in trouble while he waits for bootcamp, then he could lose the ability to go. He's already been sitting in jail, unmedicated, for 7 months and was off meds for 5-6 months before that. He's coping, but barely... so far.
Frankly, I was very worried about him being released in a few months. Assuming he decided to come home to Texas (which he waffles on by the hour), he was already asking me to find him a job and an apartment... ummm, not possible with no money, horrible credit history, and not actually living in the state at the moment! I tried to do some research into his options, but even with Power of Attorney, most places wouldn't talk to me about his options unless he was a client, and since he can't do intake without being physically present... I didn't have anyone to talk to about it. I did hear that Gary Job Corp is not accepting new clients right now, so that was not an option, assuming we could talk him into it.
Honestly jail is not the worst place for him to be. It provides him with the structure he desperately needs, BUT it's horrible that he's still stuck in this limbo with no way to get back on his meds. If he'd gone into the system on his meds, they would have maintained them, but since he was off his meds... Next month he'll have been off his meds for a year, but it takes 4-6 months for them to get out of his system so right about the time he was realizing he needed them - he went to jail.
I tried early on to get him on his meds, but hit a brick wall. When we thought he'd be getting out and/or treatment in a few months, I let it slide, because I didn't see any other options. Now that we're looking at another 8-9 months before he is even assessed. I don't see that I have a lot of choice, but to fight. I tried contacting a Disability rights/advocacy agency in Oklahoma, but they wouldn't return my messages.
Normally an adult should be advocating for themselves, but I wouldn't be surprised if an assessment shows that his mental capacity has deteriorated, he was doing a lot of drugs in the months before incarceration and without meds to help him focus, and being borderline to begin with... he still needs a strong advocate. I just don't know how to get him what he needs. I've tried contacting the Disability Rights people again, but we'll see if they follow through. One person said she had to "talk to the attorney and get back to me." When I asked her when, she said, "about a week." I didn't think to ask if they do pro bono work.