Disabled inmate dumped at shelter aft...

Disabled inmate dumped at shelter after discharge

Posted in the Daphne Forum

NEEDS HELP

Foley, AL

#1 Aug 21, 2008
Disabled inmate dumped at shelter after discharge
Leslie Boyd
http://www.ci tizen- times.com/ apps/pbcs.

ASHEVILLE U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials confirmed Friday that
a severely disabled man discharged from federal prison in South
Carolina was released to a downtown homeless shelter despite his need
for medical care.

Michael Ray McHone was in a wheelchair and not able to speak clearly.
He eventually was taken to Mission Hospitals, where he remained in
fair condition Friday evening.

McHone was dropped off in front of the Western Carolina Rescue
Mission about 10 a.m. Aug. 9. The mission doesn't open until 4 p.m.
on Saturdays.

He had been released from prison in Edgefield, S.C., on Aug. 8 and
spent the night in a motel before being taken by a prison worker to
Asheville.

Advocates for the homeless say jails, prisons and psychiatric
hospitals routinely release people to the streets or homeless
shelters, and the number is increasing.

"I've never seen national statistics," said Michael Stoops, interim
executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless in
Washington. "But we are trying to work with various jurisdictions to
change the laws on releasing people to the streets or to shelters."

Massachusetts already has passed a law making it illegal to release
someone to a shelter unless arrangements have been made in advance,
Stoops said.

At A-Hope, which is a day program, an average of a half-dozen people
a month are discharged from jails, prisons or psychiatric hospitals
to the front door, said Amanda Thomas, assistant director.

The driver of the van that dropped McHone off was an employee of the
U.S. Bureau of Prisons. When told the mission wouldn't open for
another six hours, he pushed McHone's wheelchair about two blocks to
A-Hope, which is open until noon on Saturdays.

McHone was convicted of aiding and abetting an escape in January
1990, said Beattie Logan, head of the U.S. Probation Office in
Asheville.

He had been at the federal prison in Edgefield since June 2004, said
Rita Teel, spokeswoman for the Southeast Division of the U.S. Bureau
of Prisons.

"Usually, prisoners are released to the district where they were
convicted," Teel said. "When an inmate leaves custody, we can't
compel him to accept help ...(or) keep him past his release date."

Inmates are assigned case managers who help them plan for their
release, and most either have family to return to, or they go to a
halfway house, Teel said.

But McHone was so disabled he couldn't move his own wheelchair or
speak clearly, said Bryan Landis, one of three staff members on duty
at A-Hope that morning.

"It was pretty easy to take one look at him and know he wasn't going
to be able to take care of himself, even in a shelter," Landis said.

Landis said McHone had been told to contact his case manager on
Monday, but he was too weak to be out on his own until then.

"He was bad," A-Hope employee John Hairston said. "I don't care what
crime he committed. He didn't deserve to be treated like that."

Landis placed a call to the Buncombe County Department of Social
Services, but the on-call social worker said she needed to talk to a
supervisor.

Thomas said Landis called her, and she also called DSS, but by noon,
DSS had not made a decision.

"We close at noon on Saturdays, and there was no way we were equipped
to take care of someone with that level of disability," she said.

Finally, Landis called 911 to have McHone taken to the hospital
UNACCEPTABLE

Foley, AL

#2 Aug 21, 2008
This is totally unacceptable. I have forwarded copies to my US Senators and US Representative. I doubt it will make much of a difference, except perhaps with Senator Harkin, but I still feel it is my duty as a citizen to make them aware and that this is NOT acceptable to me, as a voting citizen of this country. I don't even want to imagine what his life was life BEHIND bars!
NEEDS HELP wrote:
Disabled inmate dumped at shelter after discharge
Leslie Boyd
http://www.ci tizen- times.com/ apps/pbcs.
ASHEVILLE U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials confirmed Friday that
a severely disabled man discharged from federal prison in South
Carolina was released to a downtown homeless shelter despite his need
for medical care.
Michael Ray McHone was in a wheelchair and not able to speak clearly.
He eventually was taken to Mission Hospitals, where he remained in
fair condition Friday evening.
McHone was dropped off in front of the Western Carolina Rescue
Mission about 10 a.m. Aug. 9. The mission doesn't open until 4 p.m.
on Saturdays.
He had been released from prison in Edgefield, S.C., on Aug. 8 and
spent the night in a motel before being taken by a prison worker to
Asheville.
Advocates for the homeless say jails, prisons and psychiatric
hospitals routinely release people to the streets or homeless
shelters, and the number is increasing.
"I've never seen national statistics," said Michael Stoops, interim
executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless in
Washington. "But we are trying to work with various jurisdictions to
change the laws on releasing people to the streets or to shelters."
Massachusetts already has passed a law making it illegal to release
someone to a shelter unless arrangements have been made in advance,
Stoops said.
At A-Hope, which is a day program, an average of a half-dozen people
a month are discharged from jails, prisons or psychiatric hospitals
to the front door, said Amanda Thomas, assistant director.
The driver of the van that dropped McHone off was an employee of the
U.S. Bureau of Prisons. When told the mission wouldn't open for
another six hours, he pushed McHone's wheelchair about two blocks to
A-Hope, which is open until noon on Saturdays.
McHone was convicted of aiding and abetting an escape in January
1990, said Beattie Logan, head of the U.S. Probation Office in
Asheville.
He had been at the federal prison in Edgefield since June 2004, said
Rita Teel, spokeswoman for the Southeast Division of the U.S. Bureau
of Prisons.
"Usually, prisoners are released to the district where they were
convicted," Teel said. "When an inmate leaves custody, we can't
compel him to accept help ...(or) keep him past his release date."
Inmates are assigned case managers who help them plan for their
release, and most either have family to return to, or they go to a
halfway house, Teel said.
But McHone was so disabled he couldn't move his own wheelchair or
speak clearly, said Bryan Landis, one of three staff members on duty
at A-Hope that morning.
"It was pretty easy to take one look at him and know he wasn't going
to be able to take care of himself, even in a shelter," Landis said.
Landis said McHone had been told to contact his case manager on
Monday, but he was too weak to be out on his own until then.
"He was bad," A-Hope employee John Hairston said. "I don't care what
crime he committed. He didn't deserve to be treated like that."
Landis placed a call to the Buncombe County Department of Social
Services, but the on-call social worker said she needed to talk to a
supervisor.
Thomas said Landis called her, and she also called DSS, but by noon,
DSS had not made a decision.
"We close at noon on Saturdays, and there was no way we were equipped
to take care of someone with that level of disability," she said.
Finally, Landis called 911 to have McHone taken to the hospital
UNACCEPTABLE

Foley, AL

#3 Aug 21, 2008
This is totally unacceptable. I have forwarded copies to my US Senators and US Representative. I doubt it will make much of a difference, except perhaps with Senator Harkin, but I still feel it is my duty as a citizen to make them aware and that this is NOT acceptable to me, as a voting citizen of this country. I don't even want to imagine what his life was life BEHIND bars!
Shocked

Houston, TX

#4 Sep 6, 2008
This is totally unacceptable! Such total disregard for a human being is Un-American and cold hearted.

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