Category Archives: Johnny Lewis

Mindy McCreedy is DEAD- as predicted here- RIP…

Sadly singer Mindy McCreedy has died from a gun shot wound that was self inflicted. On January 24, 2013 I wrote about McCreedy and why rehab alone does not work. And here we are. The criminal justice system, reality TV and our mental health system has failed.

McCreedy was under investigation in the death of her boyfriend- hmmmm

The saddest part is that she is a prime example of a person who spent years in rehab and jail and still was NO better. WHY???? Because rehab and 12-step alone does not work. There is such a thing as MENTAL ILLNESS and we need to start treating these people as not simple addicts. Addiction exists, but for many there is a much more serious mental health component. Television shows like the one McCreedy was on- Celebrity Rehab- do a great injustice to those suffering. Mental health treatment needs to be done by a professional not just an ex addict.

Like many of my clients, McCreedy was court ordered to “treatment” many times. But, this NEVER took into account that she needed intensive mental health treatment not just addiction/ DUI classes. Judges must wake up. When I prepare an alternative sentence for a client it always looks at the long term well being for them. Like rehab, therapy and community service. Too often lawyers are looking for the easiest way to “get their client off.” That will backfire in the end. My job is the long term and to help my clients change their lives and ways. Lawyers must open their eyes and this is why many of the good ones now work with me to accomplish both goals.

I wrote a lot about the death of my client actor Johnny Lewis  this summer. He was not an addict at all. He was ill. I have several clients now where I am literally fighting for their lives as the court system is not helping but hurting by sending them to rehab alone. We must stand up and out and educate ourselves and our judges. Sadly, we all know of many more to come. For now, Mindy McCreedy R.I.P.

 


Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest on the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, drug abuse treatment, Johnny Lewis, Mindy McCreedy, prepare for jail

Why Rehab alone does NOT work…

 

Today comes word that country singer Mindy McCreedy is under investigation in the death of her boyfriend aka baby Daddy David Wilson. This maybe yet another example of our court system not understanding mental illness. Several months ago I wrote about the death of my former client Sons of Anarchy star Johnny Lewis. Johnny was sentenced to rehab and NOT mental health treatment. Yet, as was proven by his autopsy, he was not a drug addict. The issue here is that 12-step programs do not treat mental illness. Judges who simply orders an offender to “rehab” is doing the defendant and society a great injustice.

In the case of Mindy McCreedy who also starred on Celebrity Rehab, there is no doubt she is an addict. But, there is also no doubt that after years of the rehab circuit she also must have serious mental health issues. The same looks to be true for many other celebrities in the news- even Lindsay Lohan. This is why courts would be much better off having full psychiatric evaluations for people who are repeat offenders.

Yes, it is much easier to order a person to DUI diversion or a 12 step program, but in the long run we must get a grip on what is going on with the serious mental health issues that are plaguing our society and of course our criminal justice system. To label a person just a drug addict and have “therapy” performed by former addicts and not actual doctors is a very costly mistake. I often arrange alternative sentences for my clients, but I try my best to make sure that they will benefit my clients in the long run as well.

Reality TV shows like Teen Mom and Celebrity Rehab only show addiction, not mental illness. And these shows offer no solutions. There is help for people with mental illness and there is hope. But, we need to raise awareness.

 

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest on the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

Follow @thewendyfeldman

 

 

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Filed under alternatvive sentencing, drug treatment programs, Johnny Lewis, Mindy McCreedy

Mass Murder is all about POWER…

 

Here we are again- another mass shooting of innocent people. This time children. But, what are we focusing on? The killer of course. Every day I work with people and their families because families are the consequences of crime. This case is no different. We are already forgetting about the victims and their families. Instead we are looking at why and how, and if the killer had OCD and other issues. Of course he had mental issues. I am sure there will be a long list of things he has done, but that does not make a true evil killer. True evil is just that.

The media also is dwelling on the fact that this happened in an upscale white neighborhood. When are these cases not in white upscale neighborhoods, and when are the killer’s minorities? Rarely, if ever. Gang killings are different. They are gang to gang and not on a mass, random scale.

As my fans and readers know, I am a big believer in change. I think that change is possible in most cases. But, this is not one of them nor are cases with severely mentally ill people. Mental illness is an ILLNESS, and without treatment only gets worse. This is what happened with my client Johnny Lewis. The judge ordered him to rehab, and as I knew he was not a drug user. I would bet the same is true here. 12 step and rehab does not cure all things and in fact often masks the greater issues. Judges wake up!!!

There are so many lessons to be learned from this tragedy; from our absurd gun control laws to how our sentencing system works. After all, our prisons are filled with drug offenders who often face mandatory sentences. Just this week I had 2 women begin 9-year prison terms for being non-key players in small drug cases. A true shame.

I suggest we look at this case and really start to make and lobby for change. The more we give the killer power, the less we think about the victims and their families. Even the family of this killer is harmed forever. But, to effect change we must admit there is a problem and look at solutions, not salacious media speculation. Our criminal justice system is a giant mystery just waiting to be exposed by insiders like me. Please join me in looking at the what now instead of the many reasons this killer did what he did.

Again, change is possible but this time let’s change the way we look at the case instead of worrying about the killer himself.

 


Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, E! News, People.com, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest on the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

Follow @thewendyfeldman

 

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Filed under FAMM, Johnny Lewis, Newtown killings, prison coaching, prison consultant

How our system failed actor Johnny Lewis and his victim…

 

Actor Johnny Lewis, who was on the TV show Sons of Anarchy has died in what is a most tragic and yet predictable ending. Not only did Johnny die, he sadly took the life of an 81 year old woman as well. First let me say that I knew and worked with Johnny. In fact, I stopped working with him when it became obvious that I could not help him He needed very strict MENTAL HEALTH care.

The tale of Johnny Lewis should be a lesson to everybody in our criminal justice system and to those who profess to work in rehab and treatment. The past year was not a good one for Lewis and his family. He was in a custody battle, he was not working and most telling, he was arrested several times. These arrests, and his subsequent jail time were all indications that things were very out of balance in his life. What is very misunderstood is that this was NOT a simple rehab/addiction matter.

Despite being sentenced to “treatment”, Johnny received anything but. This is where I hope his death, and the death he caused can be used as example of how the system failed. I often write that judges need to sentence people to Community Service along with a jail, probation or treatment model. I also write that rehab is NOT the solution to everything that ails us. The Johnny Lewis I knew was not addicted to drugs nor does being addicted to drugs mean that one will act in such a violent way.

The simple truth is that Johnny Lewis had been held on the 7th floor  of Los Angels County jail for a period of time. Any of us who works in alternative sentencing knows that only those with a severe psychiatric disorder are held there. The judge should have known that. But, Johnny was ordered to a “treatment” facility and program. This is often the case and yet these “programs” are one size fits all and there simply is no such thing.

Mental Illness is not the same thing as addiction. A 12-step program will not work and often gives false hope to the participant and society. In this case a lack of understanding has led to the death of two people. How tragic and senseless. It is time for our courts and judges to practice what they preach and take responsibility for their actions and look towards solutions.

For now RIP Johnny Lewis and his victim. Let’s not allow this to happen again.

 

Wendy Feldman is a criminal justice expert, insider and family legal coach. She is available for private consultation on how to prepare for a successful incarceration, probation and re-entry. She is also available for media commentary and has appeared on shows from The Today Show, The CBS Early Show, Fox News, NBC News, CNN, NPR and Nancy Grace. She is a weekly featured guest in the syndicated America Now radio program. She may be reached at wendy@wendyfeldman.com

Follow @thewendyfeldman

 

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Filed under addiction, alternatvive sentencing, Johnny Lewis, Los Angeles District Attorney, prison consultant