Inmates With Mental Illness Neglected

An internal review of conditions inside North Carolina's Central Prison found that inmates with serious mental illnesses were neglected by staff and locked away in fetid cells.

A 2011 report says that neglect, which included the failure to properly track anti-psychotic medications, may have contributed to the death of at least one inmate. The report was obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

Jennie Lancaster is the chief operating officer for the N.C. Department of Correction. She says living conditions for inmates will improve when the state this month opens a new $155 million health care complex at Central.

No prison staff were fired or disciplined following the internal review, which was performed last spring by two prison system nurses.


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  • by Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011 at 05:16 PM
    North Carolina must be the most richest state of all. We build so many million dollar buildings.
    • reply
      by Mr. H on Nov 18, 2011 at 09:35 AM in reply to
      Do you really know what your talking about NO!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011 at 05:19 AM
    If an inmate had Diabetes, heart problems or kidney disease would they be neglected? No. These people need thier medicine worse than anyone! Part of the reason they are in there. Having a mental illness is not anyone's fault anymore than any other disease. Treat them. Everyone will be better off.
    • reply
      by Mr.H on Nov 18, 2011 at 09:42 AM in reply to
      I have two out of the three diseases you list in your rant. So I need one more then I'll have a good reason to go to jail. Next time try to make a coherent and sensible statement.If that is possible.
  • by CRAZY! on Nov 14, 2011 at 02:28 AM
    $155 million thats insane, these people kill and rape kids and get a nice place to stay. They throw urine and feces on staff and they get treated with kid gloves. Lock them in a cell give them 3 bag meals. Most are lifers so they have nothing to loose. Its disturbing prisoners eat better that students at elementary schools.
  • by Amy Location: DC on Nov 13, 2011 at 05:49 PM
    There will be more and more mental health patients incarcerated in the future. Why? Because NC has cut so much funding to the Mental Health system that they cannot be treated before they end up committing a crime. Closing mental health beds across the state only increased the number of prisoners.
  • by CountryKid Location: Eastern NC on Nov 13, 2011 at 04:53 PM
    People that feel sorry for the inmates in the NC Prison system whether mentally ill or not should have their own head examined. While it is true that own penal system should have better mental health treatment one must remember and realize that many of these people are in for: raping your kids, killing your friends and family, causing serious injury to others. There is a cost that must be paid and it should be paid by those that commit the crime. The reason the crime rate and recidivism rates are so high in NC is because our penal system is too lax without suitable measures to provide punishment for crime. Inmates now instead of pulling hard labor being shackled up like the felons they are receive an incentive wage for working; don't want to work, thats okay too, you can just sit on you behind lift weights and sponge off the system. We have endured this type of penal system for the past twenty years and it has got us nothing but more crime and gangs. People should be mad, mad that politicians don't reform this pansy program, make criminals pay, treat the mentally ill. I have worked in the prison system for years and have seen first hand that the criminal now has more rights than the victim, it is not fair nor is it just.
    • reply
      by I'm Glad They Allowed Your Post on Nov 13, 2011 at 07:36 PM in reply to CountryKid
      My post didn't make it, but it had some of the same sentements.
    • reply
      by uh on Nov 13, 2011 at 07:49 PM in reply to CountryKid
      "The reason the crime rate and recidivism rates are so high in NC is because our penal system is too lax without suitable measures to provide punishment for crime" I disagree. Our social, educational, and economic environment is skewed not just to encourage crime, but to discourage legit personal development and citizenship. Crime seems to "make more sense" to people entering the system. Worse, what passes for early intervention is an hour with a social worker and a psychiatrist's 17 second prescription decision. Each of those rapists was born with a clean slate. They learned, and chose, to behave like that- and it has cost each of us.
      • reply
        by voter on Nov 13, 2011 at 08:48 PM in reply to uh
        why don't you volunteer to mentor them?
        • reply
          by uh on Nov 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM in reply to voter
          I have worked with felons. Each of them start out a life as an innocent person and make choices as they go. We need to go back to the beginning of the "convict manufacturing process" and shut down the machine, rather than putting a larger wastebasket at the end of the conveyor belt.
      • reply
        by max on Nov 13, 2011 at 09:38 PM in reply to uh
        You can't beat prison when lookong for a great vacation. I often times drive under the influence as a way of getting arrested just to find a methoid for receiving a free 30 day fun filled vacation funded by Joe Taxpayer. You can't believe the friendship I experience during my prison stay. The rooms, bunks, and bathrooms are always spacious and clean. Come on and join me for fun, games. and excitement during a 30 stint in your nearest prison facility.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011 at 03:09 AM in reply to CountryKid
      I totally agree with all you have said, except for the fact that you breeze past the fact that we have horrible mental health treatment. Some of these crimes could have been prevented, if these people had access to proper mental health care. I have a son with mental illness and thankfully we have good insurance to help with his needs, but sometimes there is no space for him in the facilities. So when he is a danger to himself and others, it is so sad when there is not a 'bed open' for him at a safe facility. We have to keep him home and do our best to keep him sedated. Now, how many mentally ill patients have parents that give a damn like we do? NOT MANY. If we can't find help by voluntarily looking with BlueCross BlueShield, then how can the majority be directed to help if there ISNT help to be HAD?! This country is really screwing up - funds that are spent friviously should be used for NECESSITIES such as schools and health care (including mental health). When we fail to properly educate our children, and on top of that fail to provide them with proper health care, we are setting up the next generation to fail.
      • reply
        by uh on Nov 14, 2011 at 07:59 PM in reply to
        This is true. In many states, when a facility doesn't have a bed for a child who with a mental illness that manifests itself in the child's being a danger to self and/or others, the child ends up in a juvenile detention type facility, along with delinquent minors.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011 at 03:23 PM in reply to CountryKid
      Ask any criminal who has been in prison in both NC and another state(s)and he will tell you that the NC prison system is the more inmate friendly.
  • by fed up on Nov 13, 2011 at 04:51 PM
    I would dare to say that most prisoners have mental health issues. Sorry, but we already spend to much on jailing the criminals. They have years to get help before committing a crime.
  • by pumpkin Location: kinston on Nov 13, 2011 at 03:47 PM
    what a surprise, the prison systems here are all screwed up. staff can co what and when they want with no fear of consequences
  • by pumpkin Location: kinston on Nov 13, 2011 at 03:44 PM
    what a surprise, the prison systems here are all screwed up. staff can co what and when they want with no fear of consequences
  • by Do What on Nov 13, 2011 at 02:31 PM
    North Carolina have a whole LOT of blood on it's hand.She is going to sink like the titanic.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 13, 2011 at 02:13 PM
    Stop spending money in the jails. How about put that money into schools instead of firing teachers and making classes more crowded. Where are our priorities. IF the prisoners have mental issues then I guess they are in the wrong place to begin with. How about a confined mental institute. We just keep making poorer decisions. Pitiful!
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