Pills and HMP

James
James McLeod
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Not everyone agrees with the prison psychiatrist's methods when it comes to inmates' medication

At one point four years ago, when he was "fit to stand trial," Gordon Bishop was on 15 different medications - 22 pills a day.

He had been diagnosed with manic depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Despite being on trial for assault, resisting arrest and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle - which he was eventually found guilty of - Bishop says "everything was going good in my life for that brief period of time."

HMP inmate Gordon Bishop, 25, of St. John's says he doesn't agree with the prison doctor's decision to reduce inmates' prescriptions. -Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

At one point four years ago, when he was "fit to stand trial," Gordon Bishop was on 15 different medications - 22 pills a day.

He had been diagnosed with manic depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Despite being on trial for assault, resisting arrest and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle - which he was eventually found guilty of - Bishop says "everything was going good in my life for that brief period of time."

After the trial, when he arrived at Her Majesty's Penitentiary (HMP), he says, within a week the prison's psychiatrist took him off all the pills and left him to fend for himself.

"Ever since then, I've been in and out of here," Bishop said of HMP.

Bishop is currently in prison on remand, facing assault-with-a-weapon charges stemming from an incident where a police officer was sprayed with bear spray.

The longest period Bishop has spent out of jail since he was 12 years old was an eight-month stretch.

"I get and I got that much anxiety, that much stress and that much frustration, and that much coming at me at the same time, I get myself in trouble," Bishop said.

Without access to prescription medication, he said, he self-medicates, using Valium when he's up, and cocaine when he's down to try to even himself out. This, he fully admits, is an expensive, unpredictable and dangerous strategy.

Several inmates and their families contend that the psychiatric service at HMP is part of the problem, not the solution.

The doctor

Within the justice system, Dr. David Craig is a well-known figure. During a comprehensive review of the province's prisons conducted last year, nearly half of the inmates interviewed brought up his treatment methods.

"Dr. Craig is known for his conservative approach to prescribing medications, and soon after he began work at the prisons, he started cutting back on prescribed medications to inmates," the review stated.

"He felt that some medications were inappropriate as he observed that most inmates had substance-use disorders and/or personality disorders and were not otherwise mentally ill."

Paula Squires, whose son Douglas is currently on remand in HMP, charged with break and enter, puts it another way. She said Craig acts like prisoners are "pulling the wool over your eyes" to get medication.

Bishop agrees.

"He thinks if you're in jail, you're punished; you abuse your drugs, you abuse your medication," Bishop says of Craig. "He wants you to feel every bit of punishment you can while you're in here."

According to an estimate by Craig, if you include substance abuse and antisocial personality disorders, about 90 per cent of inmates have mental health issues.

Craig has refused multiple interview requests by The Telegram.

Justice Minister Tom Marshall also refused to do an interview for this story, but sent an e-mail statement to The Telegram.

"As a result of the independent review, Budget 2009 placed an additional $6 million into adult corrections, including providing psychological services to all facilities and a psychologist and addictions co-ordinator for Her Majesty's Penitentiary to join the psychiatrist, medical doctor and nurse practitioner at the facility," Marshall wrote.

"If an inmate has a concern with the medical practitioners at Her Majesty's Penitentiary they should contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador."

Twenty complaints have been filed against Craig with the college, but none led to disciplinary action.

The Waterford

At the Waterford Hospital in St. John's, Dr. Nizar Ladha's methods are starkly opposite to Craig's.

Ladha works in the forensic psychiatry unit of the Waterford and is typically the physician who prescribes medication and deems people fit to stand trial.

He said a person who can't function because of mental illness is no different from someone who can't function due to another health problem. In both cases, he says, after appropriate treatment - involving medication - has been administered, a person can go back to functioning normally.

He dismisses the argument that people with addictions should be denied medications because they might be faking symptoms.

"Say a person has cardiac disease and they don't exercise, and their diet is not adequate, and just to complicate a little bit, the person smokes," he says.

"He's advised to exercise, lose weight, quit smoking. The person does none of the above, and six months later or 18 months later comes back with another cardiac problem. Are we going to run that person out, are we going to say, 'We're not going to treat you?'"

Strategy needed

Of the 77 recommendations in the prison review, 10 specifically address mental health services.

Noting that "not all professionals agree with Dr. Craig's approach," the review recommended that "a comprehensive strategy be developed to address the mental health issues of offenders so that the qualify of care and support is based on professionally accepted standards."

Officials with the Justice Department couldn't point to any specific strategy being drawn up, but said the psychological services and addictions co-ordinator that the justice minister mentioned in his statement might be part of that.

Bishop offers a different solution.

"They should have fired (Craig) long ago."

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: College of Physicians, Waterford Hospital, Justice Department

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's

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  • sasha
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Everyone seems to be focusing on medication (or the lack thereof) inside HMP. While Mr. Bear spray a cop was outside...Did he have access to his medications? Answer...Yes. Did he take it as prescribed? No, but that's his own responsability, which he admits he didn't when he coupled pills with valium & cocaine. Mental health has been dragged into a dark place with this man as a spokesperson. Countless Mental health patients have his illness and aren't out dealing drugs, breaking into homes (could be yours next) and assaulting police officers who are trying to stop them from commiting crimes. Shame on the author of this article for not asking some critical questions and doing their journalist responsability..To get to the truth!!!

  • Go Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Like j f wrote. Ed. Good post. Couldn't say it better myself. That's a nother reason why there is repeat offenders because they don't take the responsibility needed to realize they are criminals, instead they think their people wronged by the police. Gordon Bishop, your 25 years old. It's about time you grow up before you are featured in the Telegram at the age of 50 blaming someone else for still being in jail.

  • mercedes
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I have to agree with Kara; i've heard these identical stories so often there has to be a glimmer of truth in them. Also I beleive what they say about Mr. Craig, but NL simply has no other psychiatrists! And all the horrible comments about Mr. Bishop; who cannot feel sympathy for a liile child who commits his first crime at 12 years of age and is imprisoned? Sure you know that he had no rearing! And i do feel sympathy for the people he has hurt! Give him his meds and let his poor brain have peace! My kids at that age were coddled;three meals a day, school, church,discipline, and they turned into great adults, don't drink or smoke, got degrees from MUN, and both went away to fight for their country!

  • Mary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    It's so sad that the inmate, Gordon Bishop and others are not getting the health care they need. If people like Gordon are not being taken care of, they'll just continue on getting into trouble. What has this prison Dr. got in mind, certainly he doesn't care about these people, he must have chose the wrong profession to be working in.

  • Prison
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    This is in response to Kayla lynn.

    I will say this much. I don't agree with male cops in the ladies jail either. Outside of that, every single thing you said is unfair is completely fair.

    Your in jail. 10 minute phone calls are more then fair to me. Rights should be lost when you commit a crime. You did something illegal and you should be punished for it. Did you expect it to be like a hotel when you went to jail?

    I would love to see the telegram write some story to go along with this with people who aren't in jail and get their opinions. I've mentioned this story to a couple of people who aren't crackheads, criminals or other people who decided to take easy ways out and they all think this story is disgusting.

    This is not to mean that every single person in that jail is abusing drugs and not a single one deserves any medication. Some do. I just don't agree with addicts being slowly taken off drugs. You chose to take that first hit, then you chose to suffer getting off of it. If you have certain anxieties one pill is more then enough. I don't think it should come out of tax payers money though. IF anything if these people want this medication then they can get their family to pay for it, or friends. And make sure these pills are taken accurately and not kept and sold.

    If I was to suggest anything to be put in jails, I would suggest putting a schooling program in there. Obviously Kayla does have issues spelling So, maybe next time she goes in she can be taught how to spell. This is not my way of insulting her or anything like that. I think if you look at a lot of these lifetime criminals, you will notice a very small amount of actual school education.

    Even if it doesn't change anything for most of the criminals and they still go in and out of jail. Maybe it'll give some of them a better chance at landing a real job and doing something with their life before it gets to the point where they are fully considered a completely lost cause.

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    This from a man, who probably stole the very shirt on his back

  • no pills or pills for all
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    22 pills a day seems like a lot of pills to treat any mental illness. I think there has to be some happy medium between Dr.Craig and his stripping people of all meds, and Dr.Ladha who happily gives anyone and everyone pills to cure them. Managing mental health is more than just popping a few pills... and where persons with addictions are concerned, there is a very real possibility that these persons will abuse their prescription meds. So we need to find a better balance of meds and other treatment... for example, getting some addictions programming in the pen, for starters! Also, anxiety disorder did not make Mr.Bishop commit a home invasion on an elderly couple with a gun and a hammer... and ADD did not make mr.bishop bear mase a police officer. He chose to do that, and he chose to self-medicate. Remember that.

  • stopandthink
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    A lot of the comments I've read have been pure armchair analysis. I would think that most readers have not spent even a day in Dr. Craig's shoes nor would they have any insight into the daily operations at HMP. And further to that, most readers are likely without medical degrees or sub-specialized training that is recognized by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada.

    How or why such readers can comment on the decisions made and medications prescribed to HMP inmates is ridiculous. And for the armchair analyst to call for the firing of the institution's psychiatrist? Firstly, go ahead and release him. Secondly, you will not find a replacement. Then reassess the state of affairs and see how wise the analysis was.

  • Kayla
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Regardless of the reason that people are in jail, they still deserve the same human rights as others.

    A person with a mental disability needs certain medications to function properly. Just because someone is depressed or has an anxiety issue does not mean that they are going to lock themselves in the house or cry all the time. Some people hurt themselves, some people hurt others, some people do stupid things because without the normal operation of their mind, it tells them to do things and they do not have the power to fight it.

    If these inmates were properly medicated (as some need) and even after their jail time let out on a probation which consisted of seeing a psychiatrist on a daily, weekly, monthly basis then most would not reoffend.

    I think that we need a revamp of our justice system. Inmates are people too, and even though I was never one, nor plan on being one, you can never know what will happen later on down the road. Maybe the people that are saying all these people are pill poppers will end up being one themself! Wouldn't that be ironic?

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    I spent 3 months at HMP and have a bad case of insomnia, Dr. Craig took me off my family doctors prescription for it, and there was times I went 4-5 days without sleeping.
    Another friend of mine had open-heart surgery, and Dr. Craig took him off most of his medications, saying he didn't need them, which resulted in him barely leaving his bed except to eat.
    Yes, some people do abuse the drugs in there and use them as a quick fix to get a buzz, but not everyone should be punished because of the actions of others.
    As a Paramedic, I realize the care and treatment given by family doctors that people have been seeing for 5-10 years or more, and that treatment shouldn't be taken away by a doctor that only meets with you for a few minutes when you first get there and has no idea about your medical history.
    In the 3 months I was there, he met with me once, took me off my medication, and then I never seen him again, so what kind of rehab or physcological assesment is that? At least on the street people can talk to a doctor whenever they want and get the help they need.

  • Strawberry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    u got to be joking? the doc in the mental is a pill pusher to people that will never be normal and the Doc in jail, u go boy. those people are in there for a reason.

    Would u give pills to a pill head?

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    My sister had HDADD - High Definition Attention Deficit Disorder. She couldn't understand a lot of stuff but when she did it was perfectly clear. We preferred to call her an air-head.

  • tess
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    sure that's sweet...in the jail..doul out the meds...any shortage of meds and your a bad dr.everyone loves dr.ladha..he can and will make you happy..he's not going to see you sad or stressed(heaven forbid)..another dr.suggests ease them of the friggen'pills and maybe straighten one or two out...bad guy..somethins wrong boys and girls..

  • Mother to all
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    He's been in jail more than not since age 12 but only missing his pills since 21? Dr Craig isn't his problem.

  • Here we go again
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Looks like lock them up, make them worse and wonder why we have repeat offenders. Great job security when you can get it.

    Time to fire that quack and put someone in that knows how to treat mental illness rather than create it.

  • Dee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a mentally healthy person rarely ends up in HMP. The majority of people who end up in there are capable of of the crimes that put them there because there is a level of mental instability and/or because their lives are anything but simple . This story is a perfect example of the troubled life that leads them to crime and only a niave, small minded person who was never in that situation would truely believe otherwise.

    Someone who breaks the law should be punished, but unless we are going to live in a society that kills off our criminals never releasing them to the public again, then we need to invest the time into addressing what got them in HMP in the first place. That needs to be properly managed given the people you are dealing with but it can involve drugs for mental disorders, or therapy for a history of abuse. Cutting them off from the care the rest of society takes for granted will only create WORSE criminals.

    THAT is simple.

  • Bull
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    So because you have ADHD you carry bear spray in your pocket? Stop making excuses and blaming others for being in jail.

    As for repeat offenders, that's because our prison system is too relaxed as it is. These people are criminals, yet their interviewed by newspapers and give us sob stories. Hell, I'd be ashamed for anyone to know if I had been
    Put in jail, yet alone glorify it by stating I'm there within 8 mths whenever you let me out.

  • j
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    based on a lot of these comments here...the solution would be fire DR. CRAIG and turn HMP into a medicine cabinet? brilliant...i bet that would work out just fine: i guess the dealers then can submit tenders, to be the suppliers...riiiiigggghhhhtt! these kinds of comments only fuel criminal behavior. as for MR. BISHOP...most people can claim anxiety, stress etc. in day to day living...he's been in and out of the HILTON since he was 12 and cocaine use...it never ceases to amaze me how some people can be duped...talking monkeys...that's all we are!

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    As a worker in the mental health system, Dr. Craig commands little respect amongst his peers. He's an embarassment to the community.

  • JFK
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Whenever we see reports of armed robberies, assaults, etc., more often than not, the accused is also charged with breach of probation. Is it any wonder?
    They are coming out of prison having served their sentences , and I suppose punished for their crimes.
    It's pretty difficult to have sympathy for someone who assaults and robs an elderly person or who holds up a convenience store to feed their drug habit. However, if we don't start to deal with the underlying problems in our society, then we may as well leave all those convicted in prison forever.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Holy smokes! An inmate worried about not getting his drugs. Come on people, did you even once stop and ask yourself if this person could possibly be lying? Telegram, your stories are getting crappier by the day. Do a real story about the justice system. It truly amazes me that people believe something must be true because they read it in the Telegram.

  • Kayla
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Okay bottom line is I have been in and out of troble for years. In jail her in newfoundland and in calgary what's the excuse for not helping people gain there sences back as a repaeat offender i believe that there are underlying problems there and no one to help once you get in the prisons here. The gaurds treat you like PIGS.. there are Mental heath people mixed with regular inmates.. this system is horrible beyond what you could ever dream..You as the public would love to be flies on the walls of both the hmp and the womens facilities..ten minute phone calls and if you go over by a minute your locked down and chrged inside the prison. there are no rights and NO HELP FOR PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED IT. jUST RECENTLY A 20 year old women was sentenced to 2 years which she will spend sitting in clarenville where there are no programs no help with addictions no help at all. They dont take you out for air they treat you so horribly. Ive seen crazy things the medication thing is one of them..JUST ONE OF THEM.. its dirty and falling apart. the women prison is small and constanly locked down due to repairs were men have to enter the building. there is no violence there really considering were not in china in prison..cant the gaurds handle watching a little closer. there are people being chrged for getting frustrated in the prison system you put 2o or 25 women in the same room with no one to talk to no air, no excersize because there is no room and what do u get. there are men working in the womens prison who have complete view of the womens cells and there are camaras in each one.. there is no privacy ...there needs to be a complete over hall...THERE ARE THINGS HAPPENING THAT NO HUMAN WOULD AGREE WITH. He isn't lying what mr bishop says is true i was taking an antidepressant something that is seppose to be taken away in dosages and i was cut cold turkey i felt suicidal... br Dig deaper...Much much deaper DR CRAIG IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.

  • j
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    well stated ED...good post!

  • Some Info
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Ignorance is still rampant about mental illness I see. Every single person on this planet has some indicator(s) of mental illness, whether or not it is dominant enough to be a factor in a person's life, noticed by that person or others. There can be all sorts of mixes of disorders and degrees of magnitude. If it affects you or other people's lives negatively then you need treatment.

    20% of the population is strongly affected enough by some sort of disorder to be able to be clinically diagnosed with a mental illness ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/mental-eng.php ).

    The other 80% just do not show strong enough symptoms to require treatment, and can go on living life without help.

    Mental illness is not like the flu. It is not something you either have or don't have. It is not black or white. Peoples' personalities are not black and white. There are many shades of grey and many mixes of different disorders when it comes to mental illness. This 80% can also have one or more forms of a disorder, but to a lesser degree. It's all in the complex make up of a person's personality.

    Many of those who could be clinically diagnosed ( in the 20% ) simply have not been diagnosed.

    It is widely believed, much of our prisons' inmates have some sort of disorder(s) which should be treated. They land in jail due to poor judgement skills and behaviour which could be treated otherwise. Not getting proper, universally accepted treatment is considered barbaric and inhumane, and does nothing to solve some of society's greatest challenges.

    Things haven't changed all that much in 100 years when we tossed 'the lunies' into one big dungeon and slammed the iron gates shut. It's quite a reflection upon society, especially since we're all affected in more ways than we realize and we pretend it doesn't exist and that our own personalities are perfect.

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    There has to be a bit of both here. Some people seriously need meds, others abuse meds or other drugs and it would probably be good if they were kept in some sort of incarceration until they manage to kick their habit. Then give them some serious mental help, maybe figure out they do need 1 or2 meds as opposed to the entire cabinet, and then back into society with a chance.

  • steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Congratulations to Dr. Craig for trying to get these people off some medications which are unnecessary in most cases. A young man taking 15 medications a day is malpractice in my opinion. Try and imagine the potential drug interactions, toxicities and side effects involved with that many medications. Offer these people some intensive psychological intervention including behaviour modification and support on release from prison - that will do more than any pill.

  • mercedes
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Time to change that doctor. The people in HMP might have broken the law, but they are not guinea pigs!

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Here we go again More of the same from St. Johns, said:
    Time to fire that quack and put someone in that knows how to treat mental illness rather than create it

    Oh, okay, so YOUR intellegent opinion on the doctor's ability is based on what expertise? Is it the sad little face on the CRIMINAL in the picture and the usual Telegram tear jerker article?

    Here's a quick solution for the poor 'wittle baby' in the picture: Stay of out prison and your drug problem is solved.

    There are many depressed people out there who don't use their depression as an excuse to commit crimes. So give me a friggin' break!

  • Audrey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I think Tom Cruise would approve of Dr. Craig's approach. And note: Twenty complaints have been filed against Craig with the college, but none led to disciplinary action.

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    People in HMP are generally there because they refuse to accept responsibility for their decisions and for their own life. Everything they do is because of what someone else did or did not do to/for them. No matter what we do, the same percentage of these people will re-offend as there is always a crutch upon which to rely. Whenever you hear about someone stealing from their employer you can bet the farm that at trial they will blame it on gambling or alcohol - but NEVER their own greed. Personal responsibility is disappearing fast and the greatest barometer of its extinction are the Courts. Accidents do not happen anymore as it is ALWAYS someone's fault - not enough salt on the step, too much salt on the step, the coffee was too hot, etc..

  • sasha
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Everyone seems to be focusing on medication (or the lack thereof) inside HMP. While Mr. Bear spray a cop was outside...Did he have access to his medications? Answer...Yes. Did he take it as prescribed? No, but that's his own responsability, which he admits he didn't when he coupled pills with valium & cocaine. Mental health has been dragged into a dark place with this man as a spokesperson. Countless Mental health patients have his illness and aren't out dealing drugs, breaking into homes (could be yours next) and assaulting police officers who are trying to stop them from commiting crimes. Shame on the author of this article for not asking some critical questions and doing their journalist responsability..To get to the truth!!!

  • Go Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    Like j f wrote. Ed. Good post. Couldn't say it better myself. That's a nother reason why there is repeat offenders because they don't take the responsibility needed to realize they are criminals, instead they think their people wronged by the police. Gordon Bishop, your 25 years old. It's about time you grow up before you are featured in the Telegram at the age of 50 blaming someone else for still being in jail.

  • mercedes
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I have to agree with Kara; i've heard these identical stories so often there has to be a glimmer of truth in them. Also I beleive what they say about Mr. Craig, but NL simply has no other psychiatrists! And all the horrible comments about Mr. Bishop; who cannot feel sympathy for a liile child who commits his first crime at 12 years of age and is imprisoned? Sure you know that he had no rearing! And i do feel sympathy for the people he has hurt! Give him his meds and let his poor brain have peace! My kids at that age were coddled;three meals a day, school, church,discipline, and they turned into great adults, don't drink or smoke, got degrees from MUN, and both went away to fight for their country!

  • Mary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    It's so sad that the inmate, Gordon Bishop and others are not getting the health care they need. If people like Gordon are not being taken care of, they'll just continue on getting into trouble. What has this prison Dr. got in mind, certainly he doesn't care about these people, he must have chose the wrong profession to be working in.

  • Prison
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    This is in response to Kayla lynn.

    I will say this much. I don't agree with male cops in the ladies jail either. Outside of that, every single thing you said is unfair is completely fair.

    Your in jail. 10 minute phone calls are more then fair to me. Rights should be lost when you commit a crime. You did something illegal and you should be punished for it. Did you expect it to be like a hotel when you went to jail?

    I would love to see the telegram write some story to go along with this with people who aren't in jail and get their opinions. I've mentioned this story to a couple of people who aren't crackheads, criminals or other people who decided to take easy ways out and they all think this story is disgusting.

    This is not to mean that every single person in that jail is abusing drugs and not a single one deserves any medication. Some do. I just don't agree with addicts being slowly taken off drugs. You chose to take that first hit, then you chose to suffer getting off of it. If you have certain anxieties one pill is more then enough. I don't think it should come out of tax payers money though. IF anything if these people want this medication then they can get their family to pay for it, or friends. And make sure these pills are taken accurately and not kept and sold.

    If I was to suggest anything to be put in jails, I would suggest putting a schooling program in there. Obviously Kayla does have issues spelling So, maybe next time she goes in she can be taught how to spell. This is not my way of insulting her or anything like that. I think if you look at a lot of these lifetime criminals, you will notice a very small amount of actual school education.

    Even if it doesn't change anything for most of the criminals and they still go in and out of jail. Maybe it'll give some of them a better chance at landing a real job and doing something with their life before it gets to the point where they are fully considered a completely lost cause.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    This from a man, who probably stole the very shirt on his back

  • no pills or pills for all
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    22 pills a day seems like a lot of pills to treat any mental illness. I think there has to be some happy medium between Dr.Craig and his stripping people of all meds, and Dr.Ladha who happily gives anyone and everyone pills to cure them. Managing mental health is more than just popping a few pills... and where persons with addictions are concerned, there is a very real possibility that these persons will abuse their prescription meds. So we need to find a better balance of meds and other treatment... for example, getting some addictions programming in the pen, for starters! Also, anxiety disorder did not make Mr.Bishop commit a home invasion on an elderly couple with a gun and a hammer... and ADD did not make mr.bishop bear mase a police officer. He chose to do that, and he chose to self-medicate. Remember that.

  • stopandthink
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    A lot of the comments I've read have been pure armchair analysis. I would think that most readers have not spent even a day in Dr. Craig's shoes nor would they have any insight into the daily operations at HMP. And further to that, most readers are likely without medical degrees or sub-specialized training that is recognized by the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada.

    How or why such readers can comment on the decisions made and medications prescribed to HMP inmates is ridiculous. And for the armchair analyst to call for the firing of the institution's psychiatrist? Firstly, go ahead and release him. Secondly, you will not find a replacement. Then reassess the state of affairs and see how wise the analysis was.

  • Kayla
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Regardless of the reason that people are in jail, they still deserve the same human rights as others.

    A person with a mental disability needs certain medications to function properly. Just because someone is depressed or has an anxiety issue does not mean that they are going to lock themselves in the house or cry all the time. Some people hurt themselves, some people hurt others, some people do stupid things because without the normal operation of their mind, it tells them to do things and they do not have the power to fight it.

    If these inmates were properly medicated (as some need) and even after their jail time let out on a probation which consisted of seeing a psychiatrist on a daily, weekly, monthly basis then most would not reoffend.

    I think that we need a revamp of our justice system. Inmates are people too, and even though I was never one, nor plan on being one, you can never know what will happen later on down the road. Maybe the people that are saying all these people are pill poppers will end up being one themself! Wouldn't that be ironic?

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    I spent 3 months at HMP and have a bad case of insomnia, Dr. Craig took me off my family doctors prescription for it, and there was times I went 4-5 days without sleeping.
    Another friend of mine had open-heart surgery, and Dr. Craig took him off most of his medications, saying he didn't need them, which resulted in him barely leaving his bed except to eat.
    Yes, some people do abuse the drugs in there and use them as a quick fix to get a buzz, but not everyone should be punished because of the actions of others.
    As a Paramedic, I realize the care and treatment given by family doctors that people have been seeing for 5-10 years or more, and that treatment shouldn't be taken away by a doctor that only meets with you for a few minutes when you first get there and has no idea about your medical history.
    In the 3 months I was there, he met with me once, took me off my medication, and then I never seen him again, so what kind of rehab or physcological assesment is that? At least on the street people can talk to a doctor whenever they want and get the help they need.

  • Strawberry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    u got to be joking? the doc in the mental is a pill pusher to people that will never be normal and the Doc in jail, u go boy. those people are in there for a reason.

    Would u give pills to a pill head?

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    My sister had HDADD - High Definition Attention Deficit Disorder. She couldn't understand a lot of stuff but when she did it was perfectly clear. We preferred to call her an air-head.

  • tess
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    sure that's sweet...in the jail..doul out the meds...any shortage of meds and your a bad dr.everyone loves dr.ladha..he can and will make you happy..he's not going to see you sad or stressed(heaven forbid)..another dr.suggests ease them of the friggen'pills and maybe straighten one or two out...bad guy..somethins wrong boys and girls..

  • Mother to all
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    He's been in jail more than not since age 12 but only missing his pills since 21? Dr Craig isn't his problem.

  • Here we go again
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Looks like lock them up, make them worse and wonder why we have repeat offenders. Great job security when you can get it.

    Time to fire that quack and put someone in that knows how to treat mental illness rather than create it.

  • Dee
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a mentally healthy person rarely ends up in HMP. The majority of people who end up in there are capable of of the crimes that put them there because there is a level of mental instability and/or because their lives are anything but simple . This story is a perfect example of the troubled life that leads them to crime and only a niave, small minded person who was never in that situation would truely believe otherwise.

    Someone who breaks the law should be punished, but unless we are going to live in a society that kills off our criminals never releasing them to the public again, then we need to invest the time into addressing what got them in HMP in the first place. That needs to be properly managed given the people you are dealing with but it can involve drugs for mental disorders, or therapy for a history of abuse. Cutting them off from the care the rest of society takes for granted will only create WORSE criminals.

    THAT is simple.

  • Bull
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    So because you have ADHD you carry bear spray in your pocket? Stop making excuses and blaming others for being in jail.

    As for repeat offenders, that's because our prison system is too relaxed as it is. These people are criminals, yet their interviewed by newspapers and give us sob stories. Hell, I'd be ashamed for anyone to know if I had been
    Put in jail, yet alone glorify it by stating I'm there within 8 mths whenever you let me out.

  • j
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    based on a lot of these comments here...the solution would be fire DR. CRAIG and turn HMP into a medicine cabinet? brilliant...i bet that would work out just fine: i guess the dealers then can submit tenders, to be the suppliers...riiiiigggghhhhtt! these kinds of comments only fuel criminal behavior. as for MR. BISHOP...most people can claim anxiety, stress etc. in day to day living...he's been in and out of the HILTON since he was 12 and cocaine use...it never ceases to amaze me how some people can be duped...talking monkeys...that's all we are!

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    As a worker in the mental health system, Dr. Craig commands little respect amongst his peers. He's an embarassment to the community.

  • JFK
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Whenever we see reports of armed robberies, assaults, etc., more often than not, the accused is also charged with breach of probation. Is it any wonder?
    They are coming out of prison having served their sentences , and I suppose punished for their crimes.
    It's pretty difficult to have sympathy for someone who assaults and robs an elderly person or who holds up a convenience store to feed their drug habit. However, if we don't start to deal with the underlying problems in our society, then we may as well leave all those convicted in prison forever.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Holy smokes! An inmate worried about not getting his drugs. Come on people, did you even once stop and ask yourself if this person could possibly be lying? Telegram, your stories are getting crappier by the day. Do a real story about the justice system. It truly amazes me that people believe something must be true because they read it in the Telegram.

  • Kayla
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Okay bottom line is I have been in and out of troble for years. In jail her in newfoundland and in calgary what's the excuse for not helping people gain there sences back as a repaeat offender i believe that there are underlying problems there and no one to help once you get in the prisons here. The gaurds treat you like PIGS.. there are Mental heath people mixed with regular inmates.. this system is horrible beyond what you could ever dream..You as the public would love to be flies on the walls of both the hmp and the womens facilities..ten minute phone calls and if you go over by a minute your locked down and chrged inside the prison. there are no rights and NO HELP FOR PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED IT. jUST RECENTLY A 20 year old women was sentenced to 2 years which she will spend sitting in clarenville where there are no programs no help with addictions no help at all. They dont take you out for air they treat you so horribly. Ive seen crazy things the medication thing is one of them..JUST ONE OF THEM.. its dirty and falling apart. the women prison is small and constanly locked down due to repairs were men have to enter the building. there is no violence there really considering were not in china in prison..cant the gaurds handle watching a little closer. there are people being chrged for getting frustrated in the prison system you put 2o or 25 women in the same room with no one to talk to no air, no excersize because there is no room and what do u get. there are men working in the womens prison who have complete view of the womens cells and there are camaras in each one.. there is no privacy ...there needs to be a complete over hall...THERE ARE THINGS HAPPENING THAT NO HUMAN WOULD AGREE WITH. He isn't lying what mr bishop says is true i was taking an antidepressant something that is seppose to be taken away in dosages and i was cut cold turkey i felt suicidal... br Dig deaper...Much much deaper DR CRAIG IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.

  • j
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    well stated ED...good post!

  • Some Info
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Ignorance is still rampant about mental illness I see. Every single person on this planet has some indicator(s) of mental illness, whether or not it is dominant enough to be a factor in a person's life, noticed by that person or others. There can be all sorts of mixes of disorders and degrees of magnitude. If it affects you or other people's lives negatively then you need treatment.

    20% of the population is strongly affected enough by some sort of disorder to be able to be clinically diagnosed with a mental illness ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/mental-eng.php ).

    The other 80% just do not show strong enough symptoms to require treatment, and can go on living life without help.

    Mental illness is not like the flu. It is not something you either have or don't have. It is not black or white. Peoples' personalities are not black and white. There are many shades of grey and many mixes of different disorders when it comes to mental illness. This 80% can also have one or more forms of a disorder, but to a lesser degree. It's all in the complex make up of a person's personality.

    Many of those who could be clinically diagnosed ( in the 20% ) simply have not been diagnosed.

    It is widely believed, much of our prisons' inmates have some sort of disorder(s) which should be treated. They land in jail due to poor judgement skills and behaviour which could be treated otherwise. Not getting proper, universally accepted treatment is considered barbaric and inhumane, and does nothing to solve some of society's greatest challenges.

    Things haven't changed all that much in 100 years when we tossed 'the lunies' into one big dungeon and slammed the iron gates shut. It's quite a reflection upon society, especially since we're all affected in more ways than we realize and we pretend it doesn't exist and that our own personalities are perfect.

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    There has to be a bit of both here. Some people seriously need meds, others abuse meds or other drugs and it would probably be good if they were kept in some sort of incarceration until they manage to kick their habit. Then give them some serious mental help, maybe figure out they do need 1 or2 meds as opposed to the entire cabinet, and then back into society with a chance.

  • steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Congratulations to Dr. Craig for trying to get these people off some medications which are unnecessary in most cases. A young man taking 15 medications a day is malpractice in my opinion. Try and imagine the potential drug interactions, toxicities and side effects involved with that many medications. Offer these people some intensive psychological intervention including behaviour modification and support on release from prison - that will do more than any pill.

  • mercedes
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Time to change that doctor. The people in HMP might have broken the law, but they are not guinea pigs!

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Here we go again More of the same from St. Johns, said:
    Time to fire that quack and put someone in that knows how to treat mental illness rather than create it

    Oh, okay, so YOUR intellegent opinion on the doctor's ability is based on what expertise? Is it the sad little face on the CRIMINAL in the picture and the usual Telegram tear jerker article?

    Here's a quick solution for the poor 'wittle baby' in the picture: Stay of out prison and your drug problem is solved.

    There are many depressed people out there who don't use their depression as an excuse to commit crimes. So give me a friggin' break!

  • Audrey
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    I think Tom Cruise would approve of Dr. Craig's approach. And note: Twenty complaints have been filed against Craig with the college, but none led to disciplinary action.

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    People in HMP are generally there because they refuse to accept responsibility for their decisions and for their own life. Everything they do is because of what someone else did or did not do to/for them. No matter what we do, the same percentage of these people will re-offend as there is always a crutch upon which to rely. Whenever you hear about someone stealing from their employer you can bet the farm that at trial they will blame it on gambling or alcohol - but NEVER their own greed. Personal responsibility is disappearing fast and the greatest barometer of its extinction are the Courts. Accidents do not happen anymore as it is ALWAYS someone's fault - not enough salt on the step, too much salt on the step, the coffee was too hot, etc..