CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 2009 |
Inmates call Ron Osorio "West Hollywood" because the words are printed on the cream-colored cloth bag he carries inside Men's Central Jail each Friday. The bag is filled with 300 Lifestyle condoms. Osorio, who works for the nonprofit Center for Health Justice, has been visiting the jail almost weekly since 2001, when Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca approved a small but groundbreaking program that allowed the health group to pass out prophylactics to inmates in a segregated unit for gay men.
October 8, 2006
What an inspiration Mimi Silbert is for not only believing that people can make profound changes in their lives, but for dedicating her life to proving it ("Serving Time," by J.R. Moehringer, Sept. 17). I visited the Delancey Street Foundation website and became even more impressed with the accomplishments of the more than 14,000 men and women who have successfully graduated from the program and are living independent and productive lives. Silbert has proven that structure, education, respect, encouragement, accountability and trust can reverse the effects of neglect, abuse, hatred, poverty and deprivation.
December 21, 2003
Regarding "Facing Risks in Johannesburg" [Letters, Nov. 30]: My mother is very astute, and from her I picked up many pearls of wisdom. One adage she taught me was "clean up your own backyard." What this saying suggests is, before criticizing another's situation, critically examine your own. When reading comments like letter writer B. Chris Brewster's, the first thing that comes to mind is clean up your own backyard. If tourists from most of the world's industrialized nations were to employ his calculus when making travel plans, the travel and tourism sector of the U.S. economy would crumble.
January 26, 2003
As Gov. Gray Davis considers another increase in the state's $5.2-billion prison budget, I urge him to visit the Los Angeles County Jail (Jan. 22). He should see the 2,500 inmates on psychiatric medications and an additional 100 in psychotic states, who listen to internal voices telling them to refuse medications, struggling with their illnesses. The jail's psychiatric hospital houses 50 more inmates. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County, with a population of 10 million, has less than 250 psychiatric beds available to treat the uninsured, unincarcerated severely mentally ill. Continuing cutbacks have downsized the number of beds tenfold.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 1996
For people with schizophrenia, it is the best and worst of times. Science confirms that schizophrenia is a brain disorder. It is not a "moral flaw" as commonly believed. Nor is it a "normal response" to a "dysfunctional family" or a "mad society" as postulated by the psychiatric community. Traces of these old, stigmatizing ideas are still around, but to a much lesser degree. More has been learned about the brain in the last five to seven years than in the whole of history. New medications with fewer side effects are available for treatment, and additional ones continue to come on line.
May 26, 1996
Re "Breakdown Behind Bars," series, May 19-21: It is a horror story that we all knew was coming. Violent criminals walking out of jail in days and returning to terrorize and kill their victims. Drunk drivers with a dozen convictions laughing at justice, just waiting to maim and cripple without a second thought. The May 20 article says, "The key to easing the problem . . . is additional jail beds." Wrong. The key is legalizing victimless crimes. Judge Veronica Simmons McBeth was amazed that the wife-beater and prostitute were on the street before she got off the bench.