INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – When Keith Crumley was released from the Marion County Jail after a misdemeanor battery arrest in 2016, his mother said he was in bad physical and mental shape.
“When he was released he was catatonic and had to immediately go to the emergency room and he was catatonic for two days because there were no medicines administered and he was having severe withdrawals,” said Shirley Crumley, “and I think if it happens again, my son may not come out alive.”
Crumley’s worst fears were almost realized again Monday evening after her son was released from the county jail following his arrest three days earlier on yet another misdemeanor battery charge.
Keith didn’t make his morning court date that day because he was on suicide watch inside the jail
“It was the group home supervisor who went and picked my son up and he was crying and said that my son was in really bad condition and I told him to immediately take him Eskenazi Hospital,” said Crumley. “The staff member was crying because of the condition of my son. He was being wheeled out in a wheelchair and he was not in good condition.”
Shirley said her son developed mental disabilities as a toddler more than 30 years ago after his exposure to household pesticides.
He is diagnosed as schizophrenic and bipolar with ADHD and explosive behavior disorder.
A combination of medicines keeps Crumley under control and functional save for the occasional outburst such as the one that landed him in handcuffs last Friday after striking another resident of his group home.
When Crumley arrived at the Marion County Jail, his mother said sheriff’s deputies were told of his medical needs.
“The jail was informed and had a med list taken to them from the group home,” said Crumley. “The supervisor from the home said they took one up there to them.”
Monday afternoon, hours after her son was unable to attend his court hearing and she posted his bond, Crumley called FOX59 News asking for help in advising jail officials to call her about his release.
Shirley did not want her disabled and disoriented son released without notice onto the streets outside the downtown jail.
Instead, jailers contacted the group home after advising that Crumley’s release was delayed because his medications could not be found, according to Shirley.
Her son was then taken to Eskenazi Hospital for evaluation and treatment.
“He had his hands all drawn up on him and stuff he couldn’t talk, he couldn’t really communicate other than to just cry and he wanted a drink and he was really pretty incoherent and there was a lot of bruising all over my son,” said Crumley. “He just looked horrible.
“He did have a cut across his nose with stitches,” she said. “The only information we got on that was that it happened in jail and nobody could tell us how or when it happened.”
Crumley said her son is undergoing examination by a neurologist and is scheduled for a CT scan to determine why he can’t walk or hold down food.
“They’re trying to get him back on his medications slowly,” she said. “Eskenazi said he had been off of his medications long enough that they had to actually restart the medications again because there’s not any in his system. He had the withdrawals from them.”
Marion County Sheriff John Layton has said that he operates the largest mental health care residential facility in the state of Indiana with 70% of his 2,500+ inmates suffering from either psychiatric or substance abuse issues.
Layton admits that his jail is ill-equipped to deal with such offenders and Mayor Joe Hogsett has proposed adding an assessment facility to his planned $565 million community justice center project to be housed at the former Citizens Energy Coke Plant site on East Prospect Street in order to separate those arrestees from more dangerous inmates.
Shirley Crumley said her son’s alleged treatment behind bars is an example of the jail’s inability to properly care for such offenders.
“I think it happened because the system’s broke,” she said. “I think that they treat people who are mentally or physically disabled basically the same way they would treat anybody else who would come into the jail. I don’t think they have a system there that would be in place with rules and that to follow when you’re dealing with disabled or mentally or physically handicapped people in our jail systems.”
Crumley said she received a phone call from a jail official Tuesday morning, 18 hours after FOX59’s first inquiry, promising there would be an investigation.
The sheriff’s office confirmed the conditions of Crumley’s incarceration are being examined.
Once her son is stabilized and released from the hospital, Shirley Crumley doesn’t know if Keith will be allowed to return to his group home.