Newsom Pressuring, & Big Wigs Ready, To Commit Homeless To Straitjacketed Drugging

Civil liberties advocates in San Bernardino County are on their toes, acutely regardful of how local government officials might be willing to use California Governor Newsom’s promotion of aggressive use of conservatorship authority to round up, narcotize and institutionalize those whose mental state can in any way be questioned might be used to silence local government critics.
According to the governor’s office, conservatorships are a tool in the government’s panoply to be used in reducing the number of homeless in the state. Newsom encouraged the legislature to expand such authority, whereupon State Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) obliged him with Senate Bill 43, which allows local authorities to appoint a conservator for anyone deemed to be “experiencing a serious mental illness or severe substance use disorder and most at-risk of harm to themselves.” The threshold for taking such action is not high. If two or more governmental officials concur that someone falls into such a category, the individual can be apprehended, handcuffed until placed into a straitjacket and then kept straitjacketed until he or she has been administered anti-psychotic medication. Individuals refusing to take the medication prescribed for them willingly can be forcibly drugged.
Five medications likely to be prescribed to the county’s homeless are old school Thorazine; Serioquel, also known as Quetiapine; Risperidone, also known as Risperdol; Haldol, also known as Haloperidol; and Stelazine.
Serioquel was described to the Sentinel as a mild antipsychotic. Risperidone is referred to as a mid-range anti-psychotic. Stelazine, Thorazine and Haldol are powerful anti-psychotics.
Thorazine leaves most of those who take it in an uncommunicative, nearly vegetative state, rendering even the most violent-prone individual docile. Because of the degree to which it incapacitates its users, many American psychiatric professionals have migrated away from using it in recent years.
A side effect of Serioquel is seizures.
Risperidone’s side effects may include users developing potentially permanent involuntary body movement; death resulting from an increase in body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure; and an increased risk of suicide.
Likewise, Haldol’s side effects include potentially permanent involuntary body movement and death resulting from an increase in body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.
Stelazine use will after a short duration result in involuntary repetitive body movements, involuntary jerks, movement movement disorders, sustained or repetitive muscle contractions result in twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal fixed postures. Prolonged use will result in the onset of Parkinson’s Disease or Parkinson’s-like conditions.
According to a medical professional the Sentinel consulted with, most of the above anti-psychotics given in sensible doses would remain effective for roughly six hours. An alternative dosing methodology to oral ingestion with Haldol, particularly those resistant to taking it on a daily basis, would be to intermuscle inject a time-released formulation every four to five weeks. Such intermuscle injection can take place while an individual is straitjacketed.
There is nothing in Senate Bill 43’s provisions that makes any sort of representation available for those deemed critically mentally unstable to contest such a categorization.
Those is authority are therefore at liberty, under Governor Newsom’s encouragement and the letter of Senate Bill 43, to not only drug but take physical control of individuals and their effects, particularly if, they are homeless. Under certain circumstances, those who are not technically homeless can be subjected to conservatorship.
A major practical shortcoming in Senate Bill 43 is the lack of housing facilities for those deemed homeless or otherwise subject to Senate Bil 43. Some three generations ago, the state’s mental hospitals provided beds for those designated mentally unfit. Toward the end of then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s first term, California began limiting access to those facilities and during his second term began what was ultimately a four-decade-long shuttering of the lion’s share of state-run mental wards. Thus, at present, those to be subject to conservatorships would need to be housed elsewhere. In San Bernardino County, the availability of housing for such conservatees is virtually non-existent. This might limit county officials options to declaring an individual to be a danger to himself and others, addicted or chronically homeless and then forcefully restraining the individual or taking him/her into custody long enough to straitjacket him/her, and administer some Thorazine, Stelazine, Serioquel, Risperidone or Haldol.
Homeless individuals do not have and are unlikely to develop the means and sophistication to legally challenge whatever it is that powerful and enabled government official are to be subjected to.
Even those who have a greater degree of control over their destiny are in danger of having their lives negatively impacted by Governor Newsom’s embrace of Senator Talamantes Eggman’s legislation.
There is concern that the county, led by elected officials who are hypersensitive to criticism, such as Sheriff Shannon Dicus, Supervisor Dawn Rowe, Supervisor Curt Hagman and Supervisor Paul Cook, might take the opportunity that Governor Newsom’s advocacy of conservatorships is presenting to have those they see as either political foes or effective opponents of their policies and utilize the virtually non-existent criteria in Senate Bill 43 as mentally deranged and drugged.
While Thorazine, Stelazine, Serioquel, Risperidone or Haldol suppress any overt manifestations of psychosis in the truly psychotic, they carry the potential of severely impacting the cognitive function of a normal individual. If and individual were to be shot up with Thorazine, he or she would likely be beset with a shuffling walk, tic-like or twitching movements, a swollen tongue that would make speech difficult, as well as motor coordination and mental challenges relating to multiple of normal or routine reasoning capability.
Whereas previously government officials had to establish that a person had “either a condition in which a person, as a result of a mental health disorder, is unable to provide for their basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter or has been found mentally incompetent” in order to subject someone to the strictures of a conservatorship, Senate Bil 43 dispenses with that red tape. Under Newsom’s program, proof that an individual was homeless would not be required to put a conservatorship into place. In San Bernardino County, a citation by a sheriff’s deputy along with a backing signature from San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health Director Georgina Yoshioka or virtually any one of the employees of her division would suffice to get anyone straitjacketed and drugged. If that person had some financial means and either family, friends or contacts who became aware of what had befallen him/her, conceivably an effort to intervene in the effort to establish the conservatorship could be made. That intervention would need to be lodged in a timely fashion in court to be effective. An individual, straitjacketed and drugged, remanded into the custody of the sheriff or the Department of Behavioral Health and sequestered in a psychiatric ward would potentially be unable to inform anyone of his or her wherabouts and could be, on the basis of security measures applied, actively prevented from doing so.
Even in a case where the judicial proceedings to finalize a conservatorship encountered a challenge from an advocate for the individual whose mental health is being adjudicated, prior to that happening there would be ample opportunity for those working on behalf of a politician interested in discrediting a critic or political opponent to obtain sound video of a drugged and apparently non compos mentis individual for whom a conservatorship is being sought, and then using those indelible moving sound images for political purposes.
At present, both Rowe and Cook are seeking reelection to the board of supervisors. Discrediting the political opposition in San Bernardino County and elsewhere is a long-established campaign tactic.
It is for those reasons that many county residents are wary that San Bernardino County officials might misapply the authority that Governor Newsom is seeking to entrust to them.
Such opposition is a bunch of hogwash invented to prevent good work from being done, according to the governor.
“The counties are the front lines of this battle to address the crisis of our time, and that’s what’s happening on the streets and sidewalks,” Newsom insists. “They have to do their job with a deeper sense of urgency. They have to recognize people are dying on their watch.”
Civil rights advocates want the county to hold off until January 2026 on liberalizing the definition of “mentally disabled” as permitted in Senate Bill 43 to allow literally thousands more county residents as being subjectable to guardianships/conservatorships, while Newsom and his supporters want the county to make the definition transition as of January 1, 2024.
At issue, from a practical standpoint, is who will fund the provision care and housing for those to be placed into conservatorship. Senate Bill 43 does not make any state money for that purpose available to counties.

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