By Stacy Brownhill, Staff Writer
A name in this story has been changed to protect the subject’s identity.
Grief was the first emotion to seize Sarah Jones after her sister died from advanced cancer earlier this year.
Financial worry was the second.
From her trailer in rural Oregon where she lived with her brother-in-law, Jones called 211info with a nightmarish concern. The funeral home holding her sister’s body had just told Jones she had twenty-four hours to come up with the $500 necessary for cremation. Otherwise, the funeral home said, they would put her sister’s body in cold storage and, eventually, a numbered pauper’s grave—a typical, legal process for indigent dead. Continue reading
By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer
As minimum security patients at the Oregon State Hospital, Matthew Kirby, 22, and a 40-year old man identified as “Emmanuel Goldstein” for this article are allowed to do quite a bit.
They can leave the hospital’s grounds under the supervision of one hospital staff person, and could, for instance, eat at any of Salem’s restaurants. Other higher security patients leave their wards in shackles, if they leave at all.
Kirby and Goldstein can wear their own clothes, have their own cell phone, laptop, and other possessions with them. They can access the kitchen in the middle of a night for a snack.
One might say their lives are bearable. But Kirby and Goldstein say they are still institutionalized. Continue reading