Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Imprisoning the Country’s Mentally Ill. Why a Mother Wants Answers After Her Son Was Found Dead in a Prison Cell

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Mikhail Miller was diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis due to the intake of contaminated drugs.

His mother Rose Miller struggled with him and tried to admit him to the country’s medical institute for the mentally ill, Sandilands Rehabilitation Center. So she sought the assistance of police officers.

Rose was told that she needed a reason for 29-year-old Mikhail to be picked up by officers and sent to Sandilands.

Rose then got a warrant for his arrest producing evidence that he stole shoes from his brother which he was told by a judge to refund to his brother.

Since he did not make payments, Rose asked that Mikhail be placed before the courts again.

“But they said that they didn’t see the warrant into the system and so I said I need help to get him off the street and so they said ‘well, did he steal (anything from you)’ and I said yes he take my tablet (and) my phone and they said that will be a reason to get him off the street.”

Rose asked that he be sent to Sandilands Rehabilitation Center but he was remanded at the Bahamas Department of Corrections.

What happened?

Mikhail was found dead in his cell on Monday morning. Pathologist Dr. Karen Sands is still doing an investigation to determine the cause of death but reports suggested he was found with injuries, which could have been caused by natural or unnatural causes.

Rose believes Mikhail was ganged in a cell and placed in a quarantined cell where he died. But official reports have not determined this.

Was an officer on guard?

It is not known if a prisoner officer saw what transpired, if anything did, but the prison remains overcrowded, which National Minister Wayne Munroe says makes it harder for officers to monitor each individual.

The prison also houses patients from the Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, which has a moratorium on new admittances due to COVID-19.

A prison officer who wanted to remain anonymous told CSJ Report that the cell holding the mentally ill at the facility is overwhelming for officers since many of the patients are without medication and as a result are acting erratically.

SRC seemed to have forgotten these patients as some are defecating on the floors of the prison.

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