HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) — According to police records from 2008, Lucas Standridge has been in and out of jail.
Those records show Standridge, an Anderson County native, was arrested for forgery in 2008, disorderly conduct in 2016 and trespassing in 2020.
After being reported missing in June, he was arrested twice more in July and was charged with starting a fire on Waites Island on July 17. As of August 5, Standridge remains in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County after being denied bond for burning other people’s land without his consent.
When he was reported missing, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office mentioned that Standridge suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar illness.
This raises the question of how well South Carolina is working to help inmates and other arrestees with mental health issues.
Last January, the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services launched a program to help inmates with their mental health. The program also provided resources on mental wellness.
Fifteenth Circuit attorney Jimmy Richardson said crimes such as disorderly conduct and trespassing are not uncommon for inmates with mental illnesses.
“You need to be remanded to mental health court on a criminal charge and that’s exactly what we have right now,” Richardson said.
Richardson said the program would require a person arrested for committing a crime to be eligible for assistance.
He added that the mental health court process is only for a period of two years.
The arrested person can also decide if they want to enroll in the program, but Richardson said he is working with the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon to make the probation court mandatory. Mental Health.
“Right now our program is voluntary, the defendant could easily say hey, I’d rather go to jail than mental health court or drug court,” Richardson said. “One thing we talked about is when a person violates probation to involuntarily transfer them to a mental health or addiction treatment program.
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