Mental Health Experts Talk About Prisoner Release, Rehabilitation

Sep 11, 2018, 7:59 PM | Updated: 10:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Whether the public agrees with Wanda Barzee getting out of prison or not, officials with state of Utah said she has completed her sentence.

Mental health experts said one of the best ways to make sure she, or any inmate, doesn’t go back to prison is for them to get the help they may need.

“Especially that first 72 hours,” said Marjorie Beacorn, a programs coordinator for the National Alliance on Mental Health in Utah.

Although Beacorn doesn’t know Wanda Barzee, or know if NAMI Utah will be working with her after she gets out of prison, Beacorn felt any prisoner getting out would benefit from mental health classes.

“(What) many people don’t realize is the things that they’ve done and they’re doing – the behavioral lifestyles – are directly related to mental health conditions that they may not be aware of,” said Beacorn.

NAMI Utah offers several classes that would help those adjust to life outside of prison, especially inmates who have had mental health challenges in the past.

Barzee told a state court she was mentally ill during a hearing in 2010.

Even though Barzee is a high profile case, with many people who know her name and story, Beacorn feels all it takes for anyone to begin a better life is to just start.

NAMI offers its classes for free.

“It’s never too late. Everybody can start over,” said Beacorn. “Tomorrow is a new day.”

To contact NAMI Utah, you can call 801-323-9900 or 877-230-6264.

You can also go to their website, www.namiut.org.

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Mental Health Experts Talk About Prisoner Release, Rehabilitation