For the first time in the 48 days since Richie's arrest, we are excited to finally share a positive update!
Alice, Richie's mom, received news today that he is being moved out of the maximum security prison in Raleigh to Central Regional Hospital in Butner, one of the three state psychiatric hospitals in North Carolina. While we've not heard anything from DSS or his public defender, the source is quite reliable so we are cautiously optimistic that the move will come to fruition ASAP and before any additional harm comes to Rich while incarcerated.
We believe this move may have been sparked by him finally having a forensic evaluation (nearly 7 weeks after self admitting he suffers from schizophrenia and 6 weeks after the public defender was given detailed documentation of his history with severe mental illness), as well as the large amount of public awareness surrounding his 'story' brought forth by help from all of you.
While the war for justice and demand for adequate, ongoing and accessible treatment for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) is far from over, this particular battle — the battle to get a non-violent mentally ill man out of prison — is a victory worth celebrating. So tonight we take a much needed (albeit brief) breather, cry happy tears for the first time in too long, and sleep on a bed of optimism. Then, tomorrow, we wake well rested and ready to face the next battle in the fight for his wellbeing.
Alice Gates Yorks