Bill would expand authority for mental health professionals
February 14, 2018 Sen. Mike McDonnell, LB964
Mental health professionals would have the same authority as law enforcement to place people in emergency protective custody under a bill heard by the Judiciary Committee Feb. 14.
LB964, introduced by Omaha Sen. Mike McDonnell, a mental health professional could take a mentally ill and dangerous person or a dangerous sex offender into emergency protective custody until commitment proceedings could be initiated if he or she believes the person may cause harm.
McDonnell said the bill would help avoid the criminalization of mental illness and allow for a smarter, more responsive solution to an already emotional situation.
to read the rest of the story go to http://update.legislature.ne.gov/?p=23279
There are so many things wrong with this I don’t even know where to begin.
First of all law enforcement cannot arrest somebody (that is to say take them into custody) for being mentally ill. The only way that they can arrest somebody (realize that taking somebody in the custody is in fact an arrest) is if there is a been a crime committed or they have a court order to do so. Law-enforcement are not qualified to predict future dangerousness in fact most mental health providers are not qualified to make that kind of decision.
The other point is that confining a person for a mental illness is a restriction of their liberties and the only portion of the government that can restrict a person’s liberty is the judicial branch of government, not the legislative branch and most definitely not the executive branch. Recognize that confining a person for a mental illness is more stigmatizing than arresting them for a crime. Even if the diagnosis is incorrect they will carry that stigma for the rest of their lives. First of all this law probably on its face is vague and overbroad legislators have a responsibility to fully explain a law. that means that they must set forth guidelines pertaining to the use of these arrests. And those guidelines must be specifically laid out to what can and cannot be done. they cannot just turn over the decision of rulemaking to a law enforcement and treatment providers the legislators are responsible to create exact specific requirements including time limits that a person can be held in custody as well as actions that constitute a need for holding a person in custody for evaluation.and those rules and regulations must be clear and concise so that the normal citizen can understand what is to be expected.
This brings us to another problem with the legislator attempting to delegate the authority to make these decisions if a person is mentally ill and in need of confinement to law enforcement and treatment providers. This is a violation of the non-delegation of authority doctrine thereby making the law unconstitutional.
As for the treatment providers being able to predict future dangerousness and thereby attempt to remove a person’s liberty.
As many of you might realize from my writing that I have a real problem with the pseudoscience of psychiatry and psychology. Especially when it comes to constitutional values and allowing the government to control the thinking of the populace through the questionable methods of mind control, which is in fact, what behavior modification programs are. It’s one thing if someone goes into these programs of their own free will, because they want to make changes. It’s another thing for the government to force them into them. This is especially true when the programs have numerous side effects including post-traumatic stress disorder.
In Robert Wolfe’s article Sex Offender Treatment; A Legal Extortion Business. He points out the dangers both mentally and constitutional ly of forcing people into treatment programs that they don’t need or don’t want.
According to the US Supreme court in Vitck vs Jones 100 S.Ct 125, While a conviction and sentence extinguish an individual’s right to freedom from confinement for the term of the sentence, they do not authorize the state to classify him as mentally ill and subject him to involuntary psychiatric treatment without affording additional due process protections. In Ohlinger vs Watson 652 F2d 775, it was brought out that people “have a constitutional right to such individual treatment as will give each of them a realistic opportunity to be cured or to improve his mental condition” and “rehabilitative rational is not only desirable, but it is constitutional ly required” plus “adequate and effective treatment is constitutional ly required” if inmates are being forced into treatment programs through coercion by threat of loss of their good time, or privileges afforded to other inmates than it is quite obvious that the prisons officials are attempting to change the thinking patterns through forced treatment in violation of these constitutional standards and this issue was addressed by the United States Supreme Court in Stanley v. Georgia, 89 S. Ct. 1243, 1248 ” Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government power to control men’s minds“. It is interesting that behavior modification programs use the same principles as are used in brainwashing and mind control something that the American people are adamantly against.
Make no mistake, having the government force you into any type of treatment program. Especially when it is too alter your thinking patterns would be totally frowned upon by our founding fathers. It would be no different than being forced into a religious group and told that you had to follow their believes or be imprisoned.
In my article, Static 99 developers attempting to deflect criticism of their program admit the obvious.
I again tried to point out the flaws in the believe that pseudoscience has some type of accurate information that could be relied upon and the fallacies of using that information to deny constitutional rights to a group of people as well as the possible reasons why psychiatrists and psychologists continue using the rationalization and justification to the lies they’re spreading to justify their position.
In my article “Ever have your fortune told” I tried to point out the scientific flaws in attempting to project what an individual will do, based on a strict set of rules. Every true scientists and physicists out there understands that the Chaos theory comes into play when you have so many variables to consider such as those that come into play in an individual’s life. But people in the pseudoscience area act as if they have all the answers, which makes them appear to be nothing more than snake oil salesman or witch doctors.
And now another article has come out showing that the development of the The Static-99 risk assessment tool and how although legislators and the judiciary department have been using it for the decisions rather a person should be placed in civil commitment or evaluating the dangerousness to provide the different levels for the sex offender registry that in fact the whole time since its inception in 1998. It has been in a constant state of flux, and it earlier versions have been proven to be so inaccurate as to open up the entire use of it as any type of determining factor to so many constitutional lawsuits that the states can ill afford to lose.
From a scientific point of view, nothing should be put into practice until it has actually proven repeatability , but the users of the pseudoscience of psychology and psychiatry. Do not follow the scientific method, but rather they allow their theory’s to be tested on unsuspecting patients . Over and over again causing mental and emotional damage to not only their patients but to the family members of those patients who have to live with the patients who have to live with the damage done by the treatment providers. We have set guidelines for medicines to be tested again and again until the results come back positive . And if they are not positive they do not make it to the store shelves and even if they do make it to the store shelves. They have to list all the side effects that may be damaging. This is not true in the pseudoscience of psychiatry and psychology. The final statement in the article “Static 99: Yet more bumps on the rocky developmental Path”
says volumes about how the usage of this unproven, risk assessment that has had major changes to it almost every year since its beginning usage in the late1990s, may be responsible for untold damages to individuals and their family members.
“It is unknown how many sex offenders were civilly committed in part due to reliance on the now-obsolete data.”
the auditors also recommended re-examining the practice of mandating lengthy treatment that can lead to demoralization and, in some cases, iatrogenic (or harmful) effects.
Study questions need for lengthy treatment of detainees
“Our neighbors to the north are far more sensible, as it turns out. At the Regional Treatment Centre (RTC) in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, civil commitment is nonexistent, and the highest-risk sex offenders may be released after an average of just seven months of treatment.”
“Comparing high-risk Canadian sex offenders with similarly dangerous offenders civilly committed in the U.S. state of Florida, the researchers found the two populations to be virtually identical.”
“The low recidivism rates in Canada after only brief treatment suggests that the interminable treatment regimens at U.S. civil commitment sites, which typically last for years and years, are “more cultural than practical,” reflecting the U.S. propensity for severe punishment, according to the study’s authors, … One downside of such interminable treatment is that offenders may become institutionalized, with negative affects on their personalities,”
Stay tuned. As more solid research begins to overtake the hype, these and other political skirmishes are likely to become more common in financially desperate states. Eventually, I predict the entire civil commitment enterprise will hit the scrap pile as did the old sexual psychopath laws of the 1950s, but not before 20 U.S. states and the federal government squander many, many more millions of public dollars.
Why then should we put any more faith into forensic psychologists who disregard the limits of science by overstating the accuracy of risk assessments and inventing pretextual disorders to justify preventive detention? They even claim to have same truth telling powers regarding future dangerousness based on unsubstantiated allegations.
I for one have no faith in the soft science of psychiatry and psychology. There is too high of a margin for error and they tend to error on the side of their own well-being, not that of the people that they’re supposed to be helping. As for the reliability of risk assessment tools, a recent study of the effectiveness of these tools showed none to be of any value.
Effectiveness of risk assessments
Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth (SAVRY) note only effective for you youth offenders who have already committed a violent crime (no Brainier)
Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) note seems to be only used for mentally institutionalized persons (again no Brainier)
Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) associated with spousal assault (again no Brainier)
Historical, Clinical, Risk Management-20 (HCR-20)
Sex Offender Risk Appraisal Guide (SORAG)
Sexual Violence Risk-20 (SVR-20)
Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-R)
Level of Service Inventory (LSI-R)
Tool Accuracy percentage
HCR – 20 63%
SVR – 20 41%
PCL – R 36%
LS I – R 30%
The people claiming the effectiveness of risk assessment tools are members of the same group that in the 1990s were telling everyone how dangerous and how untreatable people involved in sex crimes were. They didn’t know what they were doing back then any more than they do now.
If a person is ordered/forced into a mental health program without due process, to see if they are mentally Ill and in need of treatment or proof that treatment will help them, then their rights under the 8th and 14th Amendments have been violated. “the loss of liberty is more then a loss of freedom from confinement. While a conviction and sentence extinguish an individuals right to freedom from confinement…they do not authorize the state to classify them as mentally ill and subject them to involuntary psychiatric treatment without according them the additional due process protection”. Vitek v. Jones 100 SCt 1254. The principle that a competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment may be inferred from our prior decisions. Cruzan v. Director Missouri Dept of Health 110 Sct. (if the state is forcing a person into an involuntary psychiatric treatment to change his thinking patterns, is this constitutionally correct?) the “State dose not have the right to control the moral content of a person’s thoughts” “This limitation on government is at the core of our constitutional values: “Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds” Staney v. Geogia 89 S.Ct. @1243. State v. Nance 735 P2d 1271 Conclusions based on conjecture about dangereness are insufficient. Mater of Lucas 571 P2d 571 Determination whether a person is dangerous beyond a reasonable doubt must focus on his or her condition at time of the. . . hearing State v. Daulton 566 P2d, 555 State v. Alexander 554 P2d 524, State v. G 552 P2d5 7 4. When the legislative body creates a classification such as they have done with the registry the courts are required to look at that legislative action at a heightened scrutiny Lipconib by and through DeFehr v. Simmons 962 F2d 1364 /2/6/Legislative classifications require HEIGHTENED SCRUTINY. There is also the fact that when the legislators based their decisions on presumptions and not facts then that law can be called in to question for its constitutionality. Procedure by presumption @1384 ^Stanley v. Illinois 92 SCt. 1208 note # 8 @ 1215 /3/9/ Presumption that distinguishes and burdens @ 1211 and if that law has a discriminatory purpose then we have these case sightings Roberts v. US Jaycees 104 SCt 3244 page 3253@ 625. Wayte v. US 105 SCt 1524 3/4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / massachusetts v. feeney 99SCt 2282 /10/ Discrminatory purpose. State v. Clark 630 P2d 8 105/6/7/8/9/ 10/ 11 / 12/note 12. Pinder v. commissioners of Cambridge 821 F supp 376 (1993) Discrminatory purpose.
Other important information along this line were posted in these articles.