This Mentally Ill Man Was Starved to Death In Prison for Stealing a $5 Snack

It is no secret American jails are going through a crisis of epic proportions. From inmates who are ill treated to overcrowded facilities – there is not much that is working for the prison system.

Ironically, the worst affected are those who need the most care. Many in our jails are waiting to be transferred to the state psychiatric hospital as soon as a bed becomes available.

Several, unfortunately, end up waiting for days, months and in some cases even years before they can be shifted.

However, it is not the wait that is so much the problem – it is what happens to the inside the prison; there are people who commit suicide, are raped or become so ill the end up losing their lives.

Take the example of Jamycheal Mitchell. His crime – stealing a Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar and a Zebra Cake; items that would have rung up $5.05 on the till.

The 24-year-old had a history of mental illness. For a decade he had suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He had stopped taking his medication before that fateful day when he stole from a 7-Eleven in Portsmouth.

Mitchell was arrested for his petty theft and presented before a judge, who ordered him to be taken to a state psychiatric hospital. With a system and the way it works, he ended up in jail instead. It seemed it would be months before a bed would become available for him.

This was in April 2014.

His condition became worse. Other inmates said he would walk in his cell naked and covered in faeces. He refused to eat or take medication and he yelled manically and loud enough for all to hear. Just a month after he entered Hampton Roads Regional Jail he was examined by a psychologist who concluded that Mitchell was manic and chaotic.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3206 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Drakenfly

    Warden is responsible for all inmates and the warden should have his brains blown out for letting this happen…

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  • Justin Martin

    He can take care of himself that well when hes out but he doesn’t know not to steal because of his mental condition?

    I get my haircut once every few months, if he does it twice a week and walks around in the latest fashion and new sneakers then why is he stealing $5 worth of stuff? Sounds like another thug that people are looking to make into a victim so they can pursue their own agenda.

    In this case, making the state look worse than it already is.