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.
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
April 29, 1993
Mentally and emotionally ill people did not just disappear when we closed the hospitals and then the mental health clinics; they are there, plain to see, on the streets, and, to pay for dearly, in jails and prisons. Doing away with all "stress claims" in workers' compensation because a few crooks were stealing money from us all will cause irreparable harm to thousands of good, hard-working people who have legitimate stress claims and psychiatric complications of physical injuries.
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 1989
Regarding the May 7 commentary, God save us from the self-appointed lobbyists for the criminal subculture. Like Ellen Geis, the author of the commentary "More Efficient Use of Jails Needed" (May 7), they use any and all issues to argue for reduced penalties for criminals. Now they have the audacity to argue that it is up to the individual citizen to protect himself . . . they claim that government has no responsibility. Well, I assert that the government does have such a responsibility, and, as a law-abiding citizen, I want to see all violent criminals (and most of the others)