You should read this terrifying article, “Freefall Into Madness: The Fresno County Jail’s Barbaric Treatment of the Mentally Ill” by Fresno State journalism students Sam LoProto, Damian Marquez, Angel Moreno, Jacob Rayburn, Brianna Vaccari, Liana Whitehead, and Prof. Mark Arax.
Or don’t. Did I mention it’s terrifying?
Travis Fendley, a 23-year-old schizophrenic with a history of violence, was well known inside the Fresno County Jail. Since 2010, he was incarcerated there four times. His family said they pleaded on several occasions with county nurses and jailers that he needed the same anti-psychotic medication prescribed by outside doctors or he was going to hurt himself or someone else. Denied those medications each time behind bars, his family says, he twice tried to kill himself, once by attempting to drown himself with cups of water and then by slitting his throat.
Which brings me to the second excellent (though equally terrifying) article I read today: Nicholas Schmidle’s New Yorker piece, “In the Crosshairs,” about the plight of returning veterans suffering from P.T.S.D. — specifically, the tragic consequences that resulted from the Dallas V.A. hospital’s shameful, criminal neglect of one vet in particular, Eddie Ray Routh, who went on to assassinate former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in Texas earlier this year.