Richmond, VA asked in Criminal Law and Health Care Law for Virginia

Q: What can I do for a family member that is incarcerated and needs psychiatric care?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bernard Crane
Bernard Crane
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Washington, DC
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Where is he in the process? Is he pretrial, presentence, or serving a sentence?

If he is being held pretrial or presentence, talk to his attorney right away. The attorney will know what resources are available locally to help, and how to get the Pretrial Services Agency or the jail to do what they need to do. It oucld be as simple as the attorney filling out a "MEDICAL ALERT" form and sending it o to the judge, or calling the judge's clerk.

If he is serving a sentence, you could still try to talk to the attorney who represented him at trial and see if he can help with a motion to amend sentence or a motion for emergency examination or emergency hospitalization. You could also call the institution and ask the name and number of the person's counselor or case manager, and call that case manager. Its best to follow up immeidiately with a letter or email, so you have somethig in writing. If you don't get anywhere with that, ask who is the warden of the institution, and call or write to him. When the top boss calls the case manager and asks why he is hearing from family about something the case mnager should have picked up on, things sometimes start getting done faster. BUT, don't say it in such a way that it seems to be a complaint against the case manager. Remember, your relative has to deal with this person on a day-to-day basis, and he can make your relative's life much worse if he doesn't like him.

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