“The Desperate and the Dead: A suicide reveals the courts’ unreadiness to manage defendants with mental illness” – The Boston Globe

The story was reported by Maria Cramer, Jenna Russell, Michael Rezendes, Scott Helman, and Todd Wallack of the (Boston) Globe Spotlight Team. It was written by Cramer.

cant-take-it“Debra Silvestri collapsed in the courtroom on Sept. 15, 2015 after taking a powerful mix of antidepressants and sedatives. She believed she was going to jail.”

“LOWELL — Debra Silvestri slipped into the women’s bathroom at the district courthouse, pulling a plastic bag full of sedatives and antidepressants from her purse. Her lawyer had just told her the judge was thinking of sending her to a women’s prison because a court-ordered test showed she had been drinking.

“For more than a year, the 55-year-old mother of three had come nearly every week to the Lowell Drug Court, a requirement of her probation following a 2012 drunken driving arrest. It was supposed to be a compassionate alternative for addicts such as Silvestri, a place that steered them away from jail and toward treatment.

“But Silvestri had other problems that made drug court painful for her. She had struggled for years with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder … ”

Click here to continue reading this Boston Globe Spotlight article in its entirety.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: