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OPEN LETTER TO THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Dear Board of Supervisors:

I, Hazel Grace DeRossett, am the Mother of Shemaiah Lindsey, an inmate in the Fresno County Jail. History is repeating itself. I respectfully request the Board pass some measure to stop the mentally disabled being denied proper mental health care while incarcerated.

I read an article, “Freefall into Madness: The Fresno County Jail’s Barbaric Treatment of the Mentally Ill,” written in 2013. How is it that this Board (which still has one of the Board members listed in that article) has not corrected this situation; it is costing taxpayers money, inmates are being made to suffer, and the court system is overwhelmed with a defendant competent when returned from the State Hospital but becoming incompetent again while being detained at the jail waiting for a court appearance.

Now, my son has fallen into the unethical and negligent care being delivered at the Fresno County Jail. Incarcerated for 169 days, not even having a pre-preliminary hearing to date, having three public defenders and four judges over the course of his incarceration, the issues have to be addressed and corrected.

I respectfully request the mental health care and prescribing of anti-psychotic drugs at the Fresno County Jail be addressed immediately. The unnecessary costs to the courts, local and state detention facilities, and state mental hospitals have to stop.

It is with the highest hopes I address this concern with you. Please stop my son from receiving cruel and unusual punishment, having justice denied and being placed in a yellow jumpsuit with two guards and shackled at any move, because he deteriorated when the doctor stopped his anti-psychotic medication sending him into mania. I would like to speak at a public forum when this is on the agenda. Please notify me of the date and time.

Sincerely,

Hazel Grace DeRossett

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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