The Unwanteds: Looking for Help Landing in Jail
Date:  06-21-2019

Disability Rights Oregon focuses on Portland hospitals that criminalize people with mental illness
From Portland Business Journal:

Portland hospitals are using trespassing laws to have "unwanted" people removed by law enforcement, according to a new report from Disability Rights Oregon. (Read the report here)

DRO analyzed Portland Police Bureau data on trespass arrests from the summer of 2017 through the summer of 2018 for six Portland hospitals: Oregon Health & Science University, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Unity Center for Behavioral Health, Providence Portland Medical Center and Adventist Medical Center.

When someone is asked to leave a hospital and they don’t, they can be arrested under the criminal trespass statute. These calls are often characterized as “unwanteds,” according to DRO. Some are excluded from the hospital for 30 days and some permanently.

Among the findings from the organization:

  • People experiencing homelessness, people of color and those with mental health issues are disproportionately represented among those arrested for trespass at hospitals.

  • Of the 142 arrests, 109 involved patients seeking care or being discharged, mostly people who refused to leave the ER.

  • Only 26 percent presented facts indicating the subject may have been violent or threatening.

  • 30 percent indicated a mental health concern.

  • 94 percent of the cases ended with the person being sent to jail. Continue reading >>>