Well, things could always be worse -- we could have a public mental health system like Mississippi -- and we don't. Things could be better and we could have a public mental health system like Connecticut or Massachusetts -- and we don't. Our big gripe isn't that we are not perfect. Rather it is what we perceive to be some pretty persistent Colorado State bad faith and unwillingness to address certain problems. We actually thought we were going to get past this in early January with the Governor's Office and the promise of an "Olmstead Compliance Work Group." Well, the Governor's Office hasn't been willing to talk to us since. We all get that people in the Governor's Office are busy, but this had all been preceded by very determined stonewalling on the part of the State on the issue of Assertive Community Treatment. State officials wouldn't even answer a question whether they had an objection to creating a waitlist for ACT for over 18 months -- AND they NEVER did answer it.. So what is the context for all this? -- Well, there are a lot of people with mental illness and substance use issues who are homeless and subject to incarceration, and some of them subject to administrative segregation in Colorado jails. Well, what is the gold standard for intensive community mental health treatment -- ACT -- and it is NOT available to all where reasonably medically necessary in Colorado. So from our perspective, the issue of AdSeg (administrative segregation/solitary confinement) in Colorado Jails involves the State as well -- because many of the people with mental illness and substance use issues would NOT be there if they were receiving adequate treatment and housing in the community. But we can't just expect to deal with multiple complexities of administrative segregation in Jails in an Olmstead Compliance Work Group -- we need the State to step up to the plate so we can stop violating the human rights of people with mental illness, brain injury, and developmental disability that may be subject to administrative segregation in Colorado jails.
We are requesting the Governor appoint a:
Diverse Work Group to Develop Alternatives to Administrative Segregation in Colorado Jails for Vulnerable Populations & Reasonable Plans to Meet the Need for the Alternatives Identified