Another year of institutionalization

Between juggling kids’ schedules and a full-time job, I just couldn’t find time to write.  I thought about it as first the holidays passed, and then his birthday.  I thought about it when I read about Mr. Holmes in CO, and then the CT incident because there were a myriad of articles and analyses about our broken mental health and justice systems.  Perhaps we will keep up the motivation for change this time.

Brandon is approaching another milestone in his journey.  He was arrested almost one full year ago, and spent the entire year institutionalized.

It’s no secret that the process is tremendously slow.  He waited almost four months for a bed at the state hospital and then spent almost 6 months there while they tried desperately to ‘restore’ his competency.  Apparently, they succeeded because on Nov 29, he was transferred back to jail.

Another month went by as he waited for his court date.  He’s lucky in some ways – the felony charges were dismissed, and he plead guilty to misdemeanor charges instead.  He was sentenced to a year of probation.  Without his advocates, he could have easily been sentenced to more.

He then waited another two weeks to be transferred to another county to face charges there.  Again, the charges were dismissed.  He is currently waiting at least another two weeks on determination of his last set of charges.  I understand he’s been on his medication the whole time (partly injections and partly voluntary meds).  I wonder sometimes if it’s worse for him to understand what’s going on around him.

This time will be different.  The psychiatrist at the state hospital had him civilly committed before he left, back in November.  So, he will return to the state hospital when all the charges have been cleared.  This will be a new twist for him/us.  The case manager reports that he still has a beard and hair a mile long.  I suggested they have him cut it before they send him anywhere in the real world.

I can only hope for the best, and be prepared for any outcome.


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