Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wrongful Deportation

This is disturbing, but, once I think about it, not very surprising:

A mentally disabled U.S. citizen who spoke no Spanish was deported to Mexico with little but a prison jumpsuit after immigration agents manipulated him into signing documents allowing his removal, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges. His lawyers say the agents ignored records showing his Social Security number, while prison officials wouldn't tell concerned relatives what happened.

However, the thing that really surprised me was this.

The ordeal began after Lyttle, now 33, was charged with inappropriately touching a female orderly at a psychiatric hospital. In August 2008, he was sentenced to 100 days in prison. 

This makes no sense.  If someone is mentally ill, then he should not be sent to prison for that kind of offense.  Maybe he actually did do something worse than 'inappropriately touching' and this was some kind of plea bargain, but even so, he won't understand the connection between behavior and result.  Either you ignore the incident or transfer him to a higher security wing of the psychiatric hospital, but moving him to the criminal justice system is probably the worst possible thing to do to him.

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