New Law in New Jersey Restricts the Use of Solitary Confinement
A bill signed into law in July by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy would restrict the use of solitary confinement in the state’s prison system. When signing the law, the governor stated: "I am proud to stand together with New Jersey’s criminal justice reform advocates and legislators to advance a humane correctional system that allows for the safe operation of facilities and focuses on strengthening reentry initiatives, substance use disorder treatment, and recovery programs.” 

Comprehensive Controls

This new law is thought to be among the most comprehensive controls of the practice of placing inmates in isolation in the United States. The state Legislature had been debating the issue for years. Corrections officials assert that the use of solitary confinement has been strictly controlled through prison policies and practices but that the new law ensures that these practices will remain permanent. 
Paying Attention to Postpartum Mental Illness
During the postpartum period, approximately  85% of women  experience some type of mood disturbance. Even those women who have never suffered from a mental illness can experience the after-effects of the postpartum period. Many women suffer from what is known as "baby blues," which is a feeling of sadness and anxiety that occurs in the first couple of weeks after delivery. However, some women go on to experience more serious conditions.  
Women are often afraid to seek help for their postpartum mental illness. Some women fear that they will be seen as weak and unable to care for their child. Other women fear that efforts to seek help could even lead to their children being taken away from them. However, it is important that we recognize the various types of postpartum mental illness and that greater awareness of these conditions can help women.

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression usually appears during the first few months but can appear at any time after delivery. Some women even experience depressive symptoms during pregnancy. It is clinically indistinguishable from other types of depression and includes symptoms such as:
Elizabeth Kelley
Criminal Defense Attorney
Elizabeth Kelley is a criminal defense lawyer with a nationwide practice specializing in representing people with mental disabilities. She is the co-chair of The Arc's National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability, serves on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights, Criminal Justice Section Council, and Editorial Board of the Criminal Justice Magazine Learn more .
Further Reading
Marion County cut jail bookings by boosting mental health care
Opening a 24-hour mental health crisis center and teaming therapists with police has helped Marion County cut the number of people booked in its jail by thousands each year.
He Waited 6 Hours for Help at Rikers. Then He Tried to Hang Himself.
Nicholas Feliciano, 18, had a history of suicide attempts, but Rikers jail guards failed to act for seven minutes when he tried to kill himself.
Help instead of prison possible for veterans in Shiawassee County
Shiawassee County just unveiled a new program designed to help veterans in trouble with the law. The program aims to steer veterans into treatment rather than prison.
Decriminalizing Mental Illness
Deschutes County is set to open a stabilization center this spring. With a 17-fold increase in mental health calls over the past decade, it's a welcome addition
She Didn’t Know Her Autistic Son Could Be Tasered At School
Rosie Phillips says she found her nonverbal son dazed and with Taser prongs still in his body. A HuffPost investigation shows that kids are getting Tasered at school around the country.
Books & Videos
FREE E-Book! Families' Guide to Working with a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When your family member with a mental disability has been arrested or charged with a crime, it can be a confusing and challenging experience that leaves you unsure of where to turn for answers. Here are some key things families can do to help the defense attorney handling their case.
Representing People with Mental Disabilities: A Criminal Defense Lawyer's Best Practices Manual

Elizabeth’s book, Representing People with Mental Disabilities was published by the American Bar Association a little over a year ago. The response to the book has been overwhelming with many attorneys and activists happy to have such a resource. It has also resulted in many interviews and speaking invitations. Topics include Competency, Sanity, Neuroimaging, False Confessions, and Prison Conditions.