in defense of your life, liberty, & freedom

What happens when you enter the revolving courthouse doors is largely dependent on the steps you take to safely make it back to freedom.  Blind trust and naivete will keep you imprisoned and stuck in the justice system for what could be the rest of your life.

This is why you are well advised to obtain competent and committed legal counsel.  This is your life and your future depends entirely upon the actions you take today.  Defense attorneys serve a critical function in the administration AND preservation of justice.  They are not alone.

Sentencing consultants, like the Sentencing Savior fulfill a crucial role in ensuring judges have ALL the information and see you as a human being, as an individual, and not simply as another criminal.  There are alternatives to the “business as usual” mindset and they make a significant difference in the fair administration of justice.

The government has unlimited resources to prosecute those charged with a crime.  On the streets of America a war is being waged and if you are caught in the cross hairs of justice you risk losing your freedom and liberty.  Government employees do their jobs with little regard for the “big picture”  or caring about the person standing before them.

As a point of reference, when was the last time you looked forward to renewing your driver’s license?  Almost anyone who has encountered the bureaucratic maze of government has quickly become intimately familiar with the lack of passion or enthusiasm and total disregard for the person before them.

Government workers are not known for their innovation or willingness to risk.  They do have a reputation for evading responsibility, being unaccountable, blaming others, and being lazy.

For anyone charged or convicted of a drug crime, sex crime, financial crime, or any other crime it is imperative that they do everything in their power and ability to safely exit the criminal justice system.  Traditionally this role has been filled by defense attorneys.  Today, sentencing consultants stand beside criminal defense attorneys AND you, in defense of your freedom and liberty.

Your life, your business, your family, your future all depend on what you do today to mitigate the outcome of prior actions.  You have an attorney.  Now you need a sentencing consultant.  Together they will work on your behalf to minimize the outcome of criminal charges and facilitate a future outside of jail or prison.

The following article is included in it’s entirety as it is particularly revealing of the dysfunctional bureaucracy most “trust” out of necessity.  Know that it is no longer a necessity.  Your sentencing consultant will help level the playing field by preparing you for sentencing and ensuring the judge has ALL of the relevant information about you and your situation that may mitigate the outcome of your case.

The article is courtesy of The Crime Report:

Passing the Buck: How fragmented agencies keep the vulnerable stuck in the justice system

By Erik Roskes*

One of the more troubling issues I have encountered in my 15 years of the practice of psychiatry is the frequency with which agencies work to evade responsibility and accountability for the clients they are supposed to serve. No agency is immune to this problem, but in my experience, one of the most egregious situations goes something like this:

Joe is a 33 year old man seen on the grounds of a local elementary school. He is not recognized by school staff, and the police are called. Upon approach by police officers, he appears not to understand their direction to leave the grounds.

Instead, he approaches the playground area where the kindergarten class is currently playing. The police officers take hold of his arms, at which point Joe begins screaming and fighting to extricate himself from their hold. He is charged with trespassing on school grounds, resisting arrest, and two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer.

Upon entry into central booking, Joe does not answer any questions, instead sitting rocking on the bench. Other arrestees tell detention staff “there’s somethin’ wrong with that dude – he’s crazy!” Joe is referred for an urgent mental health assessment, where he stares over the evaluator’s head as if seeing someone behind the clinician. He is placed in the mental health area of the booking center and a psychiatrist is called. The psychiatrist diagnoses Joe with schizophrenia and orders antipsychotic medication, which Joe refuses. When taken for his bail review three days after his arrest, the court orders a competency assessment, and Joe is placed on the list for a forensic psychiatric evaluation.

When seen for the evaluation at the court clinic, Joe is still generally silent, but at times he echoes the last words of the questions posed to him. He is found by the forensic evaluator to be incompetent to stand trial, and he is committed to the hospital for treatment and restoration to competency. During his stay at the hospital, staff eventually are able to engage Joe sufficiently to track down Joe’s mother, who reports that “Joe was always a bit off. He was in special education classes at the school where he got arrested.” When records from the school system are sought, the hospital staff are told “FERPA requires us to destroy special education records after 5 years.”

What is Joe’s real diagnosis? It appears that instead of schizophrenia, Joe has a developmental disorder such as autism or a similar pervasive developmental disorder. These types of disorders require very different treatment and rehabilitation approaches from the more familiar mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Typically, mental illnesses respond to medications, while the developmental disorders require a more comprehensive behavioral approach.

More problematic is the system of care. In many – perhaps most – states, one agency is responsible for the care of people with mental illness, and another is responsible for people with developmental disabilities such as autism or intellectual disabilities (formerly known as “mental retardation”). Whereas people with mental illness can be hospitalized urgently if they meet civil commitment criteria (problem enough, as discussed in my June blog entry), those with developmental disabilities must prove that they are sufficiently impaired and that the impairment began in childhood before benefits are provided. As the vignette illustrates, the childhood origin can be difficult to prove even when it is known where the individual attended school; it is often impossible to get even this information, if the person is unable to communicate or if he is from another country. Thus, individuals who really require a behavioral approach to remedy or address their deficits end up in a psychiatric system that cannot say no, that is ill-equipped to manage them, and they are often inappropriately treated with medications that cannot be effective and that only lead to adverse effects over time.

I have consulted on cases and systems in many states, and I always hear the same thing: “How can we get these agencies to coordinate better?”

*Erik Roskes is a forensic psychiatrist and currently the Director of Forensic Services at the Springfield Hospital Center in Maryland. The opinions expressed are those of the author only, and do not represent those of any of Dr. Roskes’ employers or consultees, including the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He can be found at http://mysite.verizon.net/eroskes/

Just as you are well advised to employee the services of qualified and competent defense attorney, so to are you well advised to engage the services of a sentencing consultant.  Simply relying on the “business as usual” and “just doing my job” mentality of police, probation officers, and attorneys is no longer required.