Can a county jail withhold anti-depressant medications from an inmate?
My son has been on antidepressants for about 6 years and is now incarcerated. He has been there for 15 days and has not been given his medications yet.
Different jails have different policies on permitting the inmates to have their prescription medication. In many jails, the practice is to have the jail's medical examiner/doctor meet with the patient to determine whether the inmate needs to take the prescription medication or whether the inmate does not need the medication. However, the jails generally do take precautions when inmates on antidepressants come in and make sure that the inmates are not a danger to them-self or others. I suggest that you find out if your son has met with the doctor and if not, you should hire a lawyer to speak to the jail and find out what is going on and whether your son's health is being placed at risk as a result of the jail's failure to permit him to take his medication.
Many counties lack rules regarding this issue. It would seem that if the prisoner were a diabetic they would receive their insulin but those with a medical condition that may not be recognized as a "physical" need by a jail would be denied the medication or if their initial screening of the inmates (and they should do so) reveals a drug they think rates more on the scale of being an addictive drug. Well, your son does have a right to receive his meds if they have been prescribed by a doctor. The county jail only had to confirm his prescription with the doctor in order to be able to administer his prescription.
You need to get this issue before a Judge as soon as you can. The Judge has the ability to order the jail to give your son his medication. Hire an attorney or have the attorney who has been appoined on his behalf bring a motion or petition immediately. Good luck.