The folks I saw ten or fifteen years ago cycling in and out of county jails and shelters are now going to prison because they didn't get adequate public mental health care and they racked up such a record of misdemeanors living on the streets, not because they became more hardened criminals. That's how they end up doing 27 months for prostitution, like Marcia Powell, in the first place. That's pretty pathetic; hardly a sign of an evolved society.
That's $20,000 a year we're willing to put into incarcerating each mentally ill citizen - more, since we tend to put them in high security settings - but we aren't willing to invest it in keeping them from suffering from the symptoms for their illness and poverty. William was having such a rough time the night before he was even assaulted that his judge didn't think he was competent to stand trial, though - if he had been, she probably would have released him on bail at that time. I have no idea why the MCAO thinks he was criminally competent the night he was arrested; I don't think people with mental illness are really getting due process in this place.
William, if you're out there, please sue the hell out of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, or they'll keep doing to others what they did to you. I wish I had the satisfaction of at least knowing that you managed to moon the cops or something while you were being taken down, too.
Let's see if the MCAO is really "tough on crime" or just on the people: will they let MCSO Detention Officer Kevin Gerster walk with misdemeanors now, after beating Hughes up? They already let the guy slide by not charging him with class 6 felonies under ARS 13-3623, which is supposed to protect vulnerable adults. And will Alan Keesee even get charged for his assaultive behavior? As far as I know, he's still on paid leave from the MCSO.
Stay tuned...Gerster's final pre-trial management conference is May 18 at 8:45am, in front of Judge Verdin. Trial is on May 25 at 8am.