News Headlines Article

All too often, California’s default mental institutions are now jails and prisons
Chico Enterprise Record

Jeffrey Jurgens stood in a cage in an orange jumpsuit, screaming that he was Jesus Christ. From her seat in the Sacramento courtroom, his mother watched through tears.

Joanna Jurgens knew how important it was for the district attorney prosecuting Jeffrey for stealing a car—and the judge deciding his fate—to see the extent of her son’s illness. But it was torture to watch.

For years, she had begged judges to steer Jeffrey, who has schizoaffective disorder, into long-term treatment. She worried he would get hurt. She feared he could hurt someone else.