[ed. - this post is from Sam Oatman, 33rd DA. Please direct all responses to him at L33rdda@moment.net or 325/247-5755.]
Many serious crimes have been committed when a previously convicted defendant has completed all punishment obligations, yet requires life long "mood control" medication but at some point in time voluntarily decides not to take their medication. This has resulted in two serious assaults in my jurisdiction. There is a defendant who by letters and while incarcerated in a mental facility and prior to trial in another county, continuously threatens my life. He was sentenced to the penitentiary in that county. My contact with him involved a probated sentence for drugs years before the new conviction and was not related. He walks free in 2009. He will likely return to his home in my county where he was born and raised. I have been told he will need medication for the rest of his life but for me not to worry as long as he "takes his medicine."
Under the Registration of Sex Offender analogy, when a person enters the criminal justice system and during the process of case disposition that person is found prior to the date of offense or subsequent thereto, to have need of continuous (life long) medication to diminish or control a violent nature. Under the RSO analogy, I believe legislation is needed to see that such a person be monitored for life (or until cured if applicable) to make sure the needed medication is taken regularly. Some agency would have to do the testing such as MHMR along with the close auspices of the Adult Probation Department in that person's county of residence. This would keep the person closely connected to the criminal justice system if action is to be taken in the event the person does not "take his medicine."
Any responses or suggestions would be appreciated.
- Sam Oatman
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