secure psychiatric unit

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

 

A New Hampshire man who fought his incarceration in a prison psychiatric unit is back at home.

Andrew Butler, 21, of Hollis, was committed to the state psychiatric hospital last fall after police found him running in the woods and punching trees. Though he wasn't charged with a crime, he was transferred to the state prison's secure psychiatric unit in January under a policy that allows such moves if someone can't be safely housed at the hospital.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

 

Lawyers for a young New Hampshire man say his incarceration in a prison psychiatric unit violates a law governing emergency medical treatment, but state officials are rebutting that claim.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Supporters of a man being held in the secure psychiatric unit at New Hampshire State Prison, despite never being convicted of a crime, marched in Concord today. As NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports, the protest comes as a federal judge considers Andrew Butler’s request to be transferred to an accredited mental health facility.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A New Hampshire lawmaker next session will continue to try improve a decades old state policy that allows people with severe mental illness to be treated on the grounds of the state prison.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Lawmakers approved a new rule designed to grant more due process rights to mental health patients who are transferred to the state prison. But as advocates for mental health reform argued these new protections should not have to exist in the first place.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire lawmakers say the state’s 30-year practice of treating non-criminals with severe mental illness at the state prison should be addressed next legislative session.

During a committee hearing Thursday, lawmakers agreed this policy should change but how is more tricky. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A group of local and national advocates are calling on the federal government to investigate whether it’s unjust for people with a mental illness, who haven't been convicted of a crime, to be treated in a prison.

New Hampshire is one of only a few states that transfers individuals with a violent mental illness to the Department of Corrections, and it’s been doing so for more than three decades.