OPB reports on treatment of prisoners with mental illness

OPB Radio has covered our report, Behind the Eleventh Door, about the treatment of some prisoners with severe mental illness in the Behavioral Health Unit at the Oregon State Penitentiary.

He told correctional staff many times he was in crisis, but with little response and no result. Eventually he was told, “You have to get pepper sprayed to go [to the hospital or infirmary].”

So he hung a sheet across the front of his cell.

Prisoners aren’t allowed to do that. And when he wouldn’t remove it, officers in riot gear sprayed him, pulled him out and transferred him to the infirmary. He can be heard on video saying, “That’s all I wanted in the first place.”

Listen to the story here or follow a link to the transcript below:

Read the transcript of the story here.

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