United To Demand Justice and Social Change

RIPPD confronts a system set up to oppress people who have a mental illness and who have been in jail or prison. Despite the existing power structure, our organization has been able to gain respect from the powers that be and meet with judges, politicians, and other government officials and begin to achieve the policy changes that we seek. Through this work members develop leadership skills along with a greater understanding of the process involved in organizing for social change. Organizing is about more than the tasks at hand and the projected outcomes, it is also about the process that membership goes through as individuals unite and take action together. It is this process that empowers members and makes this work possible.

Increasing the availability of alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness in the criminal justice system.
We know that people with mental illness belong in treatment not jail or prison.

Eliminating the use of solitary confinement for people with psychiatric disabilities in prison.
No more SHU (Special Housing Units) for people with mental illness in prison!
SHU is a small cell used as a disciplinary measure. People with mental illness are locked up 23 out of 24 hours each day.

Improving mental health treatment inside jails and prisons.
We demand that consumers receive quality mental health treatment - a-constitutional right of those imprisoned by the government.

Guaranteeing discharge planning for people with mental illness released from jails and prisons.
People treated for mental illness in jail and prison are entitled to have a discharge plan and services in place when they are released. Despite the Brad H. settlement, this is not happening to the extent it is required. Few people with psychiatric disabilities leaving the State prisons receive adequate discharge

Ensuring more accountability and training for correction officers.
We know that correction officers need training in order to better understand imprisoned people who have mental illness. Even training cannot guarantee that officers will be dealt with appropriately when they abuse individuals in their custody; this is why we insist on accountability as well.
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