the released

Michael Grissett

After serving 21 years in prison for stabbing a man to death, in October 2007 Grissett, 55, agreed to serve his five-year parole through the the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program in Cleveland, Ohio. It provides severely mentally ill clients with community-based psychiatric treatment, medical care, and on-call case management, as well as employment and housing assistance.

A schizophrenic, Grissett moved into a group home in an East Cleveland neighborhood that's known for crime. Settling released severely mentally ill offenders in such areas is often the only option for budget-constrained community treatment programs across the country. Also, many neighborhoods resist the idea of having a local group home in their area.

By summer 2008 Grissett was doing well on his medications and was very successful at following his parole guidelines. Yet even when properly medicated, Grissett heard voices on a daily basis -- he believed angels and devils affected his bodily functions and could cause him pain.

Grissett, a loner who paid careful attention to his personal hygiene, kept his area of the group home clean and organized. He was in his bedroom January 16, 2009 when three men entered the house and robbed another resident at gunpoint. According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the men then kicked in Grissett's bedroom door and shot him as he got out of bed. He died of a gunshot wound in his upper left chest.

UPDATE: The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on March 6 that three suspects have been arrested and charged with aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.

posted april 28, 2009

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