How can this lunacy happen in the United States of America in 2015? I agree 100% with Del. Marcus Simon: “This makes me incredibly sad and angry at the same time,” and we “need to get serious about fixing our broken mental health system in Virginia before more people die!” I’d add that nobody – let alone someone with severe mental illness – should be in jail for stealing a Snickers bar and a 2-liter Mountain Dew – let alone for months “while awaiting trial on the charges.” Add this one to the outrageous case of Natasha McKenna, and yes Virginia, we’ve got a major problem here that needs to be addressed ASAP!
P.S. Virginia ACLU Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastanaga writes: “This is outrageous. Deinstitutionalization has resulted in reinstitutionalization in jails because community programs non-existent. And, no bail?”