Saturday, July 20, 2013

An inclusive community prison for violent felon with DD

This is a video of a TV news report from WMTV in Madison, 7/18/13, about a violent 26-year-old felon with developmental disabilities who is locked in a house in the city of Baraboo, Wisconsin. Neighbors are frightened and don't know why he is there, local politicians are raising questions with the state about him, and the police are making crisis plans for what to do if the man escapes.

According to the report
, "Neighbors fear violent felon locked in Baraboo home" by Phil Levin, on the WMTV Madison website: 

"The home has fortified windows, a padded cell and doors that lock from both sides. Staff carry panic buttons and wear bite sleeves, but since the man was moved to the facility in February at least ten staff members have suffered injuries in altercations. Police reports indicate employees sustained broken bones, bites, scratches and other injuries trying to contain the man."

It goes on:

"[The residence] is sparsely furnished with a locking cell in its interior..many of the altercations begin when the man is assigned a 'time-out' in the padded room. Reports and staff indicate the man has broken doors and windows and sometimes maneuvers behind staff in apparent attempts to try and strangle them."

A politician weighs in:

"'Any time you can get someone with disabilities into a community setting, that's the best thing for everybody, it's a win-win for everybody,' said [State Senator Jon] Erpenbach. 'In this particular situation with the violent nature of this individual, and I can't stress this enough this individual requires four staff members within this house dressed in kevlar so they are not harmed to deal with this particular individual, there might be a better way to deal with the whole situation.'"

Interesting that the politician and a former staff member interviewed on TV do not question the underlying idea that living in the community is always the best thing that can happen to people with developmental disabilities even though everyone acknowledges that in this case it is not working to anyone's benefit. 

The only person who expresses any real concern for the man who is being subjected to imprisonment "in the community" is Police Lt. Rob Sinden who asks, "'If we have ten incidents where this individual has sent people to the hospital, how many times has he [the resident of the home] been injured?"

Indeed. What is happening to that poor man who tries to strangle people when he is "assigned" to the segregation cell?

Home Sweet Prison Home.

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