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April 21, 2006

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‘Bipolar - Mood Disorders' April 27 at Petoskey
Gaylord Herald Times - Gaylord,MI,USA
PETOSKEY - A workshop on “Bipolar - Mood Disorders” will be held Thursday, April 27, 4-5:30 pm in the Petoskey High School Media Center. ...

Drug maker faces thousands of new claims
International Herald Tribune
Eli Lilly, which settled litigation over its Zyprexa drug last year, faces thousands of new patient claims, three state lawsuits and government inquiries into marketing of the schizophrenia pill.

Elaine Sanders-Bush, Ph.D., doesn't talk a lot about her achievements
News Democrat & Leader
Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Sanders-Bush will be installed next month as president of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), one of the world's oldest and most prestigious science organizations.

Woman guilty in shooting
York Daily Record
Kathy Ann Weems admitted to firing two shots at a Met-Ed forester. Apr 21, 2006 - A woman who fired two shots at a Met-Ed forester in November pleaded guilty this week and remains free on bail while a York County judge reviews her mental health records.

Lawsuit targets juvenile halls: State agency is accused of failing to monitor county facilities adequately.

Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, CA); 4/20/2006

Byline: Judy Lin

Apr. 20--Lacking what one attorney said was both "bark and bite," a state agency has failed to adequately oversee California's juvenile halls, resulting in kids issued dirty underwear and forced to sleep on floors, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The suit, filed in San Francisco by lawyers representing families of juvenile offenders, demands that the state Corrections Standards Authority take action against counties that fail to provide adequate care for thousands of youths in the state's 60 juvenile halls.

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Attorneys cited youths being held in isolation for over 23 hours a day, staff using excessive force - including beatings and pepper spraying - inadequate counseling for the mentally ill and delayed medical attention.

"This is a watchdog that has neither bark nor bite. It's supposed to warn us," said Sarah Norman of the Prison Law Office, which helped file the suit.

"But when they investigate every two years, they often fail to uncover violations. Even if they do, they don't notify counties."

The suit names as defendants 12 members of the Corrections Standards Authority and Jeanne Woodford, the board chairwoman and acting secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

The attorneys said they will sue counties if conditions do not improve.

Jerry Read, executive director of the authority, declined to comment, saying he hadn't seen the suit.

Sarah Ludeman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said auditors frequently find deficiencies and share their findings with the local jurisdiction responsible for the juvenile hall facilities.

"The Corrections Standards Authority does not have the funding to fix the problems that they find," she said.

Attorneys who have challenged the state before on its treatment of youth offenders say for too long the state has failed to meet its responsibilities.

The complaint was brought by the same attorneys who sued the former California Youth Authority, the entity in charge of the state's youth prisons.

Now reorganized as the Division of Juvenile Justice, the CYA came under heavy criticism as a result of inmate suicides, high levels of violence at its maximum-security units and allegations of excessive force.

In that case, the state settled a lawsuit by agreeing to a consent decree designed to emphasize rehabilitation at its youth prisons.

It was during this time, attorney Richard Ulmer said, that advocates found similar conditions at some county-run juvenile halls.

Yet the Corrections Standards Authority, which is a part of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, has been lax about enforcement, he said.

"We learned that this agency has never in its history found a juvenile hall to be unsuitable for kids," Ulmer said.

"No matter how bad the condition, they never acted."

Ludeman countered that there was one case where the authority began taking action but stopped once the county began making changes.

The plaintiff in Wednesday's suit, Candace Waters, said at a press conference that her 16-year-old son has been grossly mistreated at Sacramento County's juvenile hall since June 2005.

Waters said at times her son, whom The Bee is not identifying because of his age, has been denied medication for bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder, and juvenile hall staff members have pepper sprayed him even though he suffers from asthma.

Sacramento County's assistant chief probation officer, Suzanne Collins, declined to comment on the lawsuit but said the county's probation department has received 26 complaints in the past year, two of which were sustained.

"We take them very seriously, any complaint - even if it's not written," Collins said.

Probation officials in Sacramento County this week recommended a $13 million 60-bed expansion on top of a 90-bed current expansion of juvenile hall.

The 261-bed facility remains out of compliance with the Corrections Standards Authority due to overcrowding. Officials reported 332 youths at the facility Wednesday, but the count has topped 350 in the past.

Carole Enem said she had to hire attorneys to get her son, Joel, now 18, out of San Diego County juvenile hall for his own safety.

She said nothing was done after her son was "dipped" by staff - a term she described as shoving youths to the ground when they become uncooperative or misbehave.

Enem said the probation department denied any wrongdoing after she complained because surveillance video didn't show his head hit the floor.

"When I picked him up, there was a welt on top of his head the size of a grapefruit," said Enem, who said she believes her son was injured by guards.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.),

(213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail

COPYRIGHT 2006 The Sacramento Bee

This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group.

Group sues over juvenile halls' conditions: Youths advocates file lawsuit accusing state agency of failing to act on sanitary, educational and recreational standards.

Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA); 4/20/2006

Byline: Clanci Cochran

Apr. 20--Advocates say youths in juvenile detention centers live in dismal conditions with overcrowding, poor nutrition and lack of medical treatment.

They sued a state agency Wednesday claiming it has not done its job of ensuring that juvenile halls meet minimum standards.

"A lot of counties have juvenile halls that are more like prisons than rehabilitation and treatment centers," said attorney Sara Norman of the Prison Law Office. "You treat (the juveniles) like prisoners, and that's what they're going to become."

Alameda County is mentioned in the suit as one place where the Corrections Standards Authority allegedly failed to act on Juvenile Hall sanitary, educational and recreational violations.

The standards authority inspects and audits youth detention facilities, said Sarah Ludeman, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation information officer. The authority has found "numerous deficiencies" within the county institutions, she said.

The authority sets a deadline for juvenile halls to correct the problems. If the county refuses to address the issue, the authority can declare the halls unsuited for minors' confinement

Advocates at a Wednesday news conference highlighted problems they say plague California juvenile halls. Among them are:

-- Lack of education and special education services,

-- Filthy living conditions,

-- Excessive solitary confinement,

-- Soiled and inadequate clothing,

-- Lack of mental health and substance abuse treatment,

-- Denial of religious services and materials,

-- Arbitrary discipline and

-- Excessive use of force.

The lawsuit, filed in the San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that the authority has failed to identify and report violations, and to "declare illegally operating facilities unsuitable for the confinement of minors."

"This is a watchdog that has neither bark (nor) bite," Norman said.

Ludeman said since 1998, the agency has found one juvenile hall to be unsuitable, and said the county fixed the problem. She declined to speak specifically about the lawsuit.

The lawsuit names authority chairwoman Jeanne Woodford as the primary defendant. She is acting secretary of the Department of Corrections.

Sacramento County resident Candace Waters is the plaintiff. Her son, Orlindo Myers, 16, is in the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall. Waters declined to say why.

Orlindo is bipolar, and has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy and the mental capacity of a 13-year-old, Waters said. She said he is not receiving all the treatment he needs at the detention facility.

"A son like mine, they don't know what to do with him because he's so sickly," Waters said.

Waters alleges the authority failed to properly react to continual violations. But advocates said they do not plan to let the counties that run the facilities off the hook.

They hope individual counties voluntarily upgrade their facilities to comply with state law, said attorney Richard Ulmer of Latham & Watkins. If not, "various law firms in this group are willing to sue several counties" in a matter of weeks.

In September 2003, the Alameda County Public Health Department reported that boys in its Juvenile Hall were at risk for public lice and genital herpes because the hall provided them with unclean underwear, some with "obvious permanent stains," according to the lawsuit.

It alleges that the standards authority didn't find the hall to be noncompliant with state regulations, nor did it require the hall to implement a corrective action plan.

Don Blevins, Alameda County chief of probation, said he did not find a record of the alleged 2003 sanitation violation.

"We contract with a laundry service . . . and when we receive it back we inspect it to make sure it's clean and usable," Blevins said. "I can assure you the kids at Juvenile Hall are wearing clean and sanitary clothing."

The lawsuit also states the facility "illegally limits minors' access to education." The Juvenile Hall is short on classroom space, Blevins said. The building, completed in 1954, is old and outdated, he said.

"All of those classroom issues will be addressed in the new Juvenile Hall," scheduled for completion in January, he said.

The suit does not mention Contra Costa County's Juvenile Hall. It opened a new facility last year to alleviate overcrowding.

Reach Clanci Cochran at 925-943-8163 or

Copyright (c) 2006, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.),

(213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail


COPYRIGHT 2006 Contra Costa Times

This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group.

Families' health suffers in Katrina's aftermath Children seriously affected, study finds

International Herald Tribune; 4/19/2006; Shaila Dewan

Families displaced by Hurricane Katrina are suffering from mental disorders and chronic conditions like asthma and from a lack of prescription medication and health insurance at rates that are much higher than average, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the Children's Health Fund, is the first to examine the health issues of those living in housing provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Based on face-to-face interviews with more than 650 families living in trailers or hotels, it provides a grim portrait of the hurricane's effects on some of the poorest victims, showing gaps in the tattered safety net pieced together from government and private efforts.

Among the study's findings: 34 percent of displaced children suffer from conditions like asthma, anxiety and behavioral problems, compared with 25 percent of children in urban Louisiana before the storm.

Fourteen percent of them went without prescribed medication at some point during the three months before the survey, which was conducted in February, compared with 2 percent before the hurricane.

Nearly a quarter of school-age children were either not enrolled in school at the time of the survey or had missed at least 10 days of school in the previous month. Their families had moved an average of 3.5 times since the storm.

Their parents and guardians were doing no better. Forty-four percent said they had no health insurance, many because they lost their jobs after the storm, and nearly half were managing at least one chronic condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or cancer.

More than half of the mothers and other female caregivers scored ''very low'' on a commonly used mental health screening exam, which is consistent with clinical disorders like depression or anxiety. Those women were more than twice as likely to report that at least one of their children had developed an emotional or behavioral problem since the storm.

Instead of being given a chance to recover, the study says, ''Children and families who have been displaced by the hurricanes are being pushed further toward the edge.''

Officials at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said the findings were consistent with what they had seen in the field.

''I think it told us in number form what we knew in story form,'' said Erin Brewer, the medical director of the Office of Public Health at the department. ''We're talking about a state that had the lowest access to primary care in the country before the storm. And a population within that context who were really, really medically underserved and terribly socially vulnerable.''

Brewer said that some of the trailer sites were regularly visited by mobile health clinics, but acknowledged that such programs were not universally available. Neither Congress nor the State of Louisiana eased eligibility requirements for Medicaid after the storm, and because each state sets its own guidelines, some families who received insurance and food stamps in other states were no longer eligible when they returned home.

While state officials said $100 million in grant money from the U.S. government was in the pipeline for primary care and mental health treatment, the study said the need was urgent.

''Children do not have the ability to absorb six or nine months of high levels of stress and undiagnosed or untreated medical problems'' without long-term consequences, said Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at the Mailman School and a founder of the Children's Health Fund.

The households included in the study were randomly selected from lists provided by the emergency agency. They included families living in Louisiana in hotels, agency-managed trailer parks and regular trailer parks with some agency units. A random sampling of children in the surveyed households was selected for more in-depth questioning.

For comparison, the study used a 2003 survey of urban Louisiana families conducted by the National Survey of Children's Health.

David Abramson, the study's principal investigator, said it was designed to measure the social and environmental factors that help children stay resilient and healthy: consistent access to health care and mental health treatment, engagement in school, and strong family support.

In the Gulf Coast region, where child health indicators like infant mortality and poverty rates were already among the highest in the country, Abramson said, ''all of their safety net systems seem to have either been stretched or completely dissipated.''

One couple told survey interviewers their three children had been enrolled in five different schools since the hurricane, in which one child's nebulizer and breathing machine were lost. The equipment has not been replaced because the family lost its insurance when the mother lost her job, they said, and the child has since been hospitalized with asthma. In another household, a woman caring for seven school-age grandchildren, none of whom were enrolled in school at the time of the survey, said she was battling high blood pressure, diabetes and leukemia. That woman, Elouise Kensey, agreed to be interviewed by a reporter, but at the appointed hour was on her way to the hospital, where she was later admitted. ''I've been in pain since January, and I'm going to see what's wrong,'' she said. ''It's become unbearable.'' One woman who answered the survey, Danielle Taylor, said in an interview that she had not been able to find psychiatric care for herself ã she is bipolar ã or for her 6-year-old daughter, Ariana Rose.

The public clinic Taylor used to visit has closed since the storm, she said, and the last person to prescribe her medication was a psychiatrist who visited the shelter she was in four months ago. No doctors visit the trailer park in Slidell, Louisiana, where she has been staying, she said.

The survey found that of the children who had primary doctors before the storm, about half no longer did, the parents reported. Of those who said their children still had doctors, many said they had not yet tried to contact them.

© 2006 Copyright International Herald Tribune.

This material is published under license from the publisher through ProQuest Information and Learning Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to ProQuest Information and Learning Company.

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