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The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships For Mental Health Journalism 2009-2010

Michael Biesecker

The Charlotte Observer and The Raleigh News & Observer
Raleigh, N.C.

Topic: Investigate the treatment of people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities in North Carolina's jails and prisons.

Published Work:

Part Five of N&O Series on Mental Health Reform

Complaint by Disability Rights NC to the United States Department of Justice
Twenty years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and over ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C., the state of North Carolina continues to rely on institutional placements for the long-term care of many adults with severe and persistent mental illness. While the State classifies these homes as “community settings,” in practice Adult Care Homes are true institutions, with a high bed capacity, a lack of individual autonomy, and isolation from the general community. 

Mental Disorder: The Failure of Reform
Mental-health reform has been a bust for North Carolina taxpayers and patients. Millions of dollars have been wasted and services have suffered.

SBI Probes Hospital Sex Report 
Three male employees at Dorothea Dix Hospital lost their jobs Thursday as the State Bureau of Investigation was asked to look into allegations they had sex with female prisoners working at the state mental hospital. A fourth employee left her job under suspicion that she had a personal relationship with an inmate that did not include sex.

Charlotte Mental Health Center Faces Shutdown
A private mental treatment center for children in Charlotte could be shut down after a series of violent incidents, including the staff hitting patients and a teenager stabbing another child in the eye with a rusty nail.

Cops Clear Frustrated Speakers at Meeting
Police officers were called to help clear the room Wednesday after a legislative meeting on changes to the state's mental health system ended before advocates for people with developmental disabilities were given a chance to speak.

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