help for brother in prison

Sue G

New Member
I need some information if any one here can help me. My brother who is in his 40s is in prison in Florida for non-violent alcohol and drug-related offenses. He has served almost all of his time and is due to be released in April. My other brother and my mom went to visit him yesterday and he is in bad shape. We have long suspected he had an underlying mental health issue but could never get him to agree to treatment. He has been in there since June and is deteriorating, he is delusional, paranoid and very close to a complete breakdown. They are medicating him but obviously not effectively. We are looking for legal advocacy for him to try and get him moved to a mental health facility. Does anyone know where we can find this for him? Any help would be greatly appreciated. :tears:


Well-Known Member
Contact NAMI or even private message Sunny. She is in florida so maybe she would have some ideas. You could also look on the state website for anything that sounds halfway promising. Start with mental health or the dept of corrections. Start calling and keep asking questions and ask them to tell you who to contact next. Maybe it would be probation and parole.


Well-Known Member
Sue, it makes a difference whether he is in a county jail or in a state-run prison. If he is in a county jail, their mental health systems are hit or miss and can range from good to atrocious to non-existant. Not much you can really do there until he is released and then you can try through the court system for some type of legal guardianship to force treatment for him.

If he is in a state-run prison, it is a little different. The prison where I work has a mental health team headed by a Psychological Examiner, sort of a coordinator. He is the one who refers inmates for treatment to a psychiatrist who comes two or three times a week to see patients. The job titles may be a little different in Florida, but this is the person you should contact if you are concerned about his condition. He should also have a counselor assigned to him. They may be able to help and you could also contact this person to voice your concerns. But most prison counselors have huge caseloads and they are NOT trained mental health specialists. They help with problems with their jobs or if their laundry is lost.

The problem is that once he is released, their hands are tied and the prison staff can do nothing more for him. Released inmates are on their own as far as getting treatment and medications, if they are on them. If he is being paroled, they may insist on mental health treatment as a condition of his parole but it's very difficult, if not impossible, for them to enforce. If he is completing his sentence, "flattening", they can do pretty much NOTHING. If you want to try for some type of legal guardianship once he's released, and if the prison mental health staff agrees with you that he could be a danger to himself or someone else when he is released, they may agree to write you a letter to that effect that could help you if you go to court. It's a very difficult situation.


Well-Known Member
You have been given excellent advice and sadly I know of no
additional avenues. Just want you to know that I abhor the
way the "system" is so damaging. People talk about accountability and taking responsibility but it makes no sense to lock up non-violent people with MH issues and make
them worse before re-entering society. Then, once they are
out it is next to impossible for them to get back on their
feet unless they have family paving the way. Yuck!

I'll say a prayer for your brother. I'm sorry. DDD