Investigations


The Lockdown Inside the Lockdown

COVID-19 and severe isolation have created a mental health crisis for incarcerated youth Pandemic precautions have touched off an invisible mental health crisis inside the juvenile detention facilities that house about 44,000 young people nationwide.  With family visits canceled, rehabilitation programming curtailed and juveniles locked in their rooms for days, young people and their advocates describe an epidemic of despair leading to suicide attempts and violence. Access to these notoriously secretive facilities is more limited than ever as a result of COVID-19, hiding conditions inside from public view. Interviews by MindSite News along with new reports from state and federal monitors paint…

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Enlisting Mental Health Workers, Not Cops, In Mobile Crisis Response

CAHOOTS, a thirty-year-old Oregon program, has reduced calls to police and saved money. Now it’s going national. This story was originally published in the June 2021 issue of Health Affairs. Spencer Merritt thought he was going to die. Voices in his head—angry, insistent voices—told him he’d been poisoned by Ivermex, an antiparasite drug prescribed for veterinary use that his mother kept in the house. Other imagined voices belonging to his mother and stepfather told him they had poisoned his beloved dog, Lulu, who had died a year earlier. He thought they were talking to him through hidden microphones and…

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