On July 29 2015, Kane Balser, a young man with a lot of promise, was arrested during a psychotic episode caused by bipolar illness. He was subsequently charged with a felony, incarcerated for seven weeks and currently awaits sentencing. Kane is known and loved in his community and at home. Hundreds of people wrote support letters to persuade the judge to set a bail his parents could afford.
Upon his release, he attended Earth House Treatment Center for one full year. This allowed his care providers to establish a successful medication program. Since then, he has made a remarkable recovery. His fight against mental illness is under control. He has contributed music, wisdom and hard work in the therapeutic community he attends several days a week. He has found part time work and hopes to specialize in horticulture.
He is presently planning for the next stage of his life. A felony sentence will unnecessarily stigmatize and limit his future options for employment, housing, etc. and be of no benefit to society.
Mental illness is not a crime. Alternatives to permanent criminalization of people who suffer mental illness must be developed.
We need your help to persuade prosecutors to permit Kane to replead to a misdemeanor, which although still giving him a criminal record, will have less serious consequences on his future.