An in-depth book about twenty-six-year-old Tony Lesters preventable suicide and how he struggled to be recognized as a special needs person from the time he was arrested to the time he died. Real case documentation that has been validated by internal reports and inspections. This book will make you think about the role the criminal justice system plays with those seriously mentally ill and experiencing coping and functional difficulties.
No political slandering here; just the facts as they were reported by KPNX investigative reporter Wendy Halloran and myself and how the family sought help in exposing the wrongful death of their son, nephew, leaving behind a young girl left without her father ever coming home to her.
This book comprehensively covers the police report, the rule 11 procedures, and the investigation into his death. Also included are excerpts from the ACLU findings and how they applied to Tonys personal crises and how his needs were downplayed due to cultural beliefs inmates are manipulators and always have a motive, thus they are liars and unworthy of trust or care for their problems.
Based on the same dynamics found by the ACLU experts, this reveals the shoddy work of the states medical and psychiatric care standards applied in ad hoc conditions because of lack of commitment, resources, staffing, and training. Tony experienced the perfect storm when he was incarcerated and died in less than four months of doing time.
An exclusive peek at a crisis situation still simmering inside the department of corrections systems that has failed him and thousands of others. It shows how his treatment needs were ignored as well as his pleas unheeded resulting in his death and how they compare to todays findings still broken and still not fixed.
This book is an in-depth detailed layout of the culture, the practices, the deliberate indifferences toward the mentally ill and how mentally ill persons are victimized and criminalized by political and criminal justice approaches and dynamics toward the seriously ill persons and how they must deal with the stigmas and discrimination of being a mentally ill person inside Arizona prisons.
Dynamics include sociopolitical ramifications for being incarcerated, suicide watch culture, adequate care and treatment, security attitudes toward these special needs persons, and much more.
Real case scenarios listed from the ACLU class action lawsuit that resembles or duplicates Tonys plight, frustration, and situations that ended his life. This book illustrates shoddy death investigations, marginalized attitudes about human values in prison and other cultural influences that dictate how prisons are run, prisoners are mistreated and even some darkness on solitary confinement in the detention units and max custody facilities. A real wakeup call for many who have family members in prison and others wanting to change prison conditions.
Included are the familys frustrations with an agency which boasts the best defense of keeping secrets behind closed doors and the struggle KPNX and Wendy Halloran went through to get the secret video.
All in all, it is an in-depth account of how a wrongful death leaves people devastated and asking the most frequent question: why? When you read this book you will see the root of causes. After you read this book, you will understand the agony and despair a mentally ill person endures when they are labeled, ignored, or ridiculed by the system that is supposedly protect them.