Local News

Man Transferred From Wake Jail To Psychiatric Hospital After Two-Month Wait

Posted June 19, 2002

— Twice this year, paperwork problems have caused mixups in the Wake County jail, leaving inmates there longer than they had to be. Now, the question is how to remedy the situation.

The Wake County Sheriff, a judge, and the Clerk of Court met at the Sheriff's Office Tuesday to discuss the problem.

They are taking the situation very seriously, because in both cases, men who should have been getting psychiatric treatment and medicine were not.

Fred Casself, a homeless Vietnam Veteran suffering from schizophrenia, has sat in the Wake County jail since March, even though right after his arrest on assault and trespassing charges, he was ruled incapable to stand trial.

"He has sat over in the jail for two months. He should have been at Dorothea Dix," said Cindy Popkin-Bradley, Casself's attorney.

Tuesday, a judge finally committed Casself to the psychiatric hospital. His attorney would like to know why it did not happen sooner.

"It looks like he got lost in the paperwork," Popkin-Bradley said.

By law, the person who evaluated Casself was supposed to send the report to his attorney and the Clerk of Court, who would then forward the evaluation to the judge presiding over his case.

Adam Adams, a forensic psychotherapist, did Casself's evaluation and said he sent the report to all parties involved.

"They were processed and sent out of here," he said.

The only one who apparently got Casself's evaluation was the Wake County Sheriff's Office, which runs the jail and customarily gets a copy. As a courtesy, the Sheriff's Office will deliver a copy to the Clerk of Court, but said it is not required.

However, the Clerk of Court said it is the only way it gets psychiatric evaluations, and it never got Casself's evaluation.

The Sheriff's Office disagrees, but said it is working with everyone to solve the problem.

"It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally you'll get a case like this. And you know this is a case of a glitch in the system. We don't want it to occur again," said John Maxfield, attorney for the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

Casself should have been out of the jail about two months ago.

Last month, it was discovered that another inmate was jailed almost a year longer than he should have been. The reason he was left in jail had to do with a different type of paperwork.

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