Beatrice Coulter and Wanda Duryea: Awaiting the truth about Secure Psychiatric Unit

Beatrice Coulter and Wanda Duryea: Awaiting the truth about Secure Psychiatric Unit
By BEATRICE COULTER and WANDA DURYEA 
For the Monitor Saturday, December 08, 2018

A recent article by InDepthNH.org has reported that the Secure Psychiatric Unit is the subject of an “ongoing law enforcement proceeding” by the federal government. This information came to light after a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Rep. Renny Cushing was denied. The U.S. Department of Justice stated in a letter that releasing any information “could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings.” 

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Andrew Gorrill
Capital Beat: Sneak peek at the next legislative session

Cushing, a prolific LSR producer, has re-submitted a proposal for death penalty repeal, a heartfelt and hardfought issue for Cushing, whose father’s murder 30 years ago turned him into a national advocate against the practice. Both chambers of the Legislature passed a repeal bill this year for the first time since 2000, but advancing it around Gov. Sununu’s veto pen will require a stronger majority in the state Senate this time around.

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Andrew Gorrill
CLG spends $63K to fight a Right to Know lawsuit

PORTSMOUTH -- The Coakley Landfill Group has so far spent $63,629 on high-priced attorneys to fight a Right to Know lawsuit.

City Attorney Robert Sullivan, who also chairs the CLG’s executive committee, said all of that money was spent hiring lawyers from the firm of Rath, Young and Pignatelli to fight the lawsuit filed by a group of state lawmakers and former longtime Assistant Mayor Jim Splaine.

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Andrew Gorrill
8 candidates vying for four Hampton state rep. seats

1. Why are you running for state representative?

Since 1920, Hampton has been my family’s home, the place where I grew up, raised my children, and buried my father and grandparents. I care about our town and the people who live in it. We all want to live in a community and a state that works for all of us, not just the special interests. I’m a good listener, open to new ideas and working with others, and have the skills and principles to be both a fight

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Andrew Gorrill
New Hampshire Advocates To Fight Big Money In Politics

“Our citizens’ legislature and our New Hampshire democracy are threatened by the money from powerful out-of-state special interests working to undermine our elections,” said Rep. Robert “Renny” Cushing (D-Hampton), also a member of the Working Group.  “We need to act now to protect our right to govern ourselves, and not be governed by those who have the most money. The future of our democracy depends on us getting the dirty money out of our elections.”

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Andrew Gorrill
State’s housing of civilly committed draws fire

HAMPTON — State Rep. Renny Cushing wants to bar the state from sending civilly committed patients with no criminal record to the state’s Secured Psychiatric Unit on the grounds of the men's state prison in Concord and managed by the Department of Corrections.

Cushing, D-Hampton, filed legislation this month seeking to make the change.

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Andrew Gorrill
Editorial: In SPU suit, state’s case is a weak one

A mother whose 32-year-old son is being housed in the Secure Psychiatric Unit of the state prison for men in Concord filed suit this month in federal district court alleging that his rights are being violated. New Hampshire is one of just three states that confine people found to be a danger to themselves or others, by dint of mental illness, in a prison rather than in a forensic unit of a state mental hospital.

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Andrew Gorrill
A state of contradictions, especially if you are mentally ill

In New Hampshire, rights matter more for some than for others when caring for the mentally ill, especially compared to a state like Colorado where lawmakers are spending millions to make sure mentally ill people who haven’t committed a crime are not locked up in jails, even for very brief holds. And even Massachusetts with its notorious Bridgewater State Hospital is shifting gears toward therapeutic rather than punitive treatment.

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Andrew Gorrill
Bill looks to protect local fishermen

While New Hampshire fishermen are struggling with federal regulations in the Gulf of Maine, state legislators are trying to give them a break with local regulations on how they store their gear at home.

House Bill 464, filed by Rep. Renny Cushing, D-Hampton, would establish the Fishing Family Protection Act..

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Andrew Gorrill
NAMI names Cushing Legislator of the Year

HAMPTON -- Numerous bills filed by Cushing, D-Hampton, over the years have yet to remove the unit’s mental health patients from under the supervision of the prison system, conditions he said paint patients as criminals even when not charged with a crime.

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Andrew Gorrill