the released

THE TRAGIC CYCLE

Bennie Anthony is 61. Diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic in 1974, he has a history of alcohol and drug abuse. Over the decades he's repeatedly cycled in and out of hospitals and jails/prisons. In recent years, as hospital treatment for the mentally ill grew scarce, jail or prison has frequently ended up as the place where Anthony gets treatment for his illness. (See a video and short biography.)

1970s

July 24, 1972: Arrested for non-support -- failure to financially support a dependent -- and is charged with resisting arrest. Receives one year in the county jail.

May 3, 1974: Admitted to Massillon State Hospital in Canton, Ohio, due to suicidal ideation and paranoid feelings that people are trying to kill him. His wife convinces him to sign himself out against medical advice. He is granted Social Security disability.

May 26, 1975: Arrested and charged for non-support and resisting arrest. Fined $25 and court cost.

April 26, 1977: Arrested and charged with robbery. The charge is dismissed.

May 3, 1977: Arrested and charged with vandalism. Receives five years probation.

July 26, 1978: Arrested and charged with vandalism.

August 1978: Admitted to Massillon State Hospital in Canton for five days and then discharged to the Stark County Sheriff's Department.

Dec. 20, 1978: Released from Stark County Jail. Credited with six months time served.

July 5, 1979: Arrested and charged with fourth-degree vandalism and petty theft. Sentenced to one to five years at Chillicothe Correctional Institution for violating his probation.

1980s

1980: Paroled.

Feb. 16, 1981: Admitted to Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus in a psychotic state. Hospitalized for three weeks.

April 22, 1982: Admitted to Massillon State Hospital because he thinks he hears the devil's voice telling him to hurt himself and others. After two months of hospitalization, he is discharged for a follow-up at a mental health center and at Aultman Hospital in Canton.

Sept. 25, 1983: Admitted to Ohio State University Hospital in Columbus. Hospitalized for three weeks due to psychosis.

Oct. 7, 1986: Admitted to Georgia Regional Hospital in Atlanta for eight days. He experiences persecutory delusions and hallucinations and threatens to "blow his brains out."

Feb. 15, 1987: Arrested and charged with defrauding a livery, not having a dog license and various traffic offenses.

March 15, 1987: Admitted to Timken Mercy Medical Center in Canton. He is incoherent, delusional and has been involved in a physical altercation with one of his daughters. Discharged after nine days and referred for follow-up treatment at a community mental health center, he does not follow up.

June 9, 1987: Arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated arson in Canton, both parole violations. The first charge is from a May incident in which he sets his girlfriend's house on fire because he thinks she is a witch. While in jail, he sets his cell mattress on fire.

mugshot of anthonyNov. 24, 1987: Sentenced to five to 25 years. While in prison he is transferred several times to the psychiatric hospital unit because he refuses medication and becomes psychotic.

1990s

Aug. 10, 1993: Paroled.

mugshot of anthonyAug. 25, 1994: Charged with a technical parole violation after he assaults a nurse at Massillon State Hospital because she takes too long to administer his medication. He is sent back to prison. While in prison, he is transferred several times to the psychiatric hospital unit for recurrent psychosis.

2000s

March 30, 2005: Paroled. He volunteers to be one of 100 released offenders to enter the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Program in Cleveland. ACT teams up parolees with mental health staff who provide therapy groups, medication assistance and transportation on a continuing basis. He moves into a group home with several other men and does well.

March 2006: Once he's "off paper" -- meaning he has completed parole -- he leaves the ACT program. He takes a bus to Pittsburgh to visit an old friend. Unable to locate his friend, he stays at shelters and soon becomes homeless.

mugshot of anthonyJuly 29, 2006: Arrested and charged with trespassing, burglary and criminal mischief after entering a building and attempting to sleep in a vehicle. He serves 28 days in jail and is released with time served.

mugshot of anthonySept. 20, 2006: Arrested and charged with defiant trespass for entering a Port Authority Building and eating an employee's lunch. He spends six days in jail and the charges are dismissed.

mugshot of anthonyDec. 16, 2006: Arrested and charged with defiant trespass for causing a prolonged disturbance in a neighborhood. He serves seven days in jail and is released with time served.

mugshot of anthonyDec. 27, 2006: Arrested for disorderly conduct for yelling profanities and harassing people near a school. He spends five days in jail, and the charges are dismissed.

mugshot of anthonyJan. 18, 2007: Arrested and charged with open lewdness for urinating in public. He tells officers he is homeless and tells them to take him to jail, where he hopes to receive mental health treatment. Charges are dismissed.

mugshot of anthonyFeb. 24, 2007: Arrested and charged with defiant trespass for refusing to leave a McDonald's. He spends one day in jail, and the charge is dismissed.

mugshot of anthonyMarch 4, 2007: Arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing and resisting arrest for repeatedly refusing to leave a convenience store. He is tasered twice during the arrest. He serves seven days in jail and receives time served.

mugshot of anthonyMay 30, 2007: Arrested and charged with open lewdness for getting dressed outside in the park. Garbage and feces-stained clothing are spread nearby. Serves 17 days in jail.

mugshot of anthonyJuly 23, 2007: Arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and defiant trespass for refusing to leave a grocery store and attempting to spit on a woman. Charges are dismissed.

mugshot of anthonySept. 4, 2007: Arrested and charged with simple assault, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct for attacking a man who was walking through the West Park in Pittsburgh. Stays in jail due to a high bond and is admitted to Mayview State Hospital in Bridgeville, Penn.

April 2008: After three months in Mayview State Hospital he is accepted into Allegheny County's Mental Health Court and released with 18 months probation. Mental Health Court secures housing for him at Gibbs Personal Care Home in Wilkinsburg, Penn. He receives consistent mental health treatment and medication and does well.

Jan. 20, 2009: His parole officer is notified that he has left Gibbs Personal Care Home. A warrant is issued through the Mental Health Court for a parole violation.

Feb. 9, 2009: His mental health care provider is notified that he has been arrested in Akron, Ohio, and charged with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

mugshot of anthonyFeb. 14, 2009: Arrested for parole violation when he returns to Gibbs Personal Care Home to pick up his social security check. He is placed in the mental health unit at Allegheny County Jail, where he receives medication.

Feb. 26, 2009: He has a review hearing in Mental Health Court and appears more stable. The psychiatrist with Allegheny County jail wants to refer him to Torrance State Hospital in Chestnut Ridge, Penn. But the court advocates that he remain in jail to stabilize instead of placing him in the long line of patients waiting for a hospital bed.

March 12, 2009: He remains in the Mental Health Unit of the Allegheny County Jail, receiving meds and awaiting a bed at Mercy Behavioral Central Recovery Center for a short supervised stay. His parole officer hopes to place him at St. Joseph House of Hospitality in Pittsburgh, which provides housing and mental health support to homeless senior men.

April 17, 2009: Released from Allegheny County Jail. His parole officer and case manager wish to place him in housing that provides mental health support but there are long wait lists so he returns to Gibbs Personal Care Home temporarily. He will resume mental health care treatment and will report to his parole officer weekly.

posted april 28, 2009

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