Monday, October 31, 2016

'Let Them Out'

The first in a series of films about people with disabilities needlessly locked away in institutions in the US.

Jody Santos is an award-winning journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker. She has reported for television, print news, and public radio for the last 20 years, and has been producing and directing documentaries for PBS and cable networks like Discovery Health and the Hallmark Channel since 2000. She has traveled to more than a dozen countries across five continents, documenting everything from the trafficking of girls in Nepal to sustainable agriculture efforts in Honduras.

Regardless of the medium, her goal has remained the same: to shed light on the social injustices of the day. Her reports often focus on the issue of violence against women and children and ways to prevent violence in our communities. As a special projects producer for Boston’s NBC news affiliate, she was nominated for an Emmy for a special report on an effort to rid the city’s streets of black market guns. Her documentary, No One Left Behind, just won a Telly Award in Film/Video in the social responsibility category. It was selected from over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

Over the years, Santos has appeared on National Public Radio, Unsolved Mysteries and other news outlets to defend her writings and weigh in on important current events. She teaches broadcast journalism and documentary film at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her book, Daring to Feel: Violence, the News Media, and Their Emotions, was released by Rowman & Littlefield in December 2009.


Betty said...

I like the idea of a short film. People have such short attention spans and this is a very important topic and well done.

Patricia said...

Great job, Jody. Your film should make people stop and think.

Anonymous said...

Systemic prey on the vulnerable schemes have been perpetrated by judges, government agencies, attorneys, and others in the system for decades, and the mainstream media refuses to cover the abuse. This film is appreciated by victims and their families.

Anonymous said...

My heart bleeds for these victims.

Sara Harvey said...

All humans need protection young or old, they all matter. Trapped in institutions, nursing homes and facilities that abuse, exploit and isolate is the worst kind of treatment. Criminals locked up get better care, treatment and have more rights than the those with no voice. Mainstream media sensors what the want the public to know and spread gossip, untruths like they have been doing in the presidential campaign. People seen to suck that up and ignore what is right in front of their eyes. No kind words for NYS!

honeybear said...

It sickens me and at the same time, this short film gives me hope that finally someone has taken a vested interest in person's with a disability and in concentrating on this group of guardianship abuse victims. Thank you!

Carolyn Anderson said...

I felt the emotion from the two men and I hope all the publicity helps them. This should be a national embarrassment.

StandUp said...

I can't wait for the next installment which I am sure will be as good as this one.

I also wonder if Adam ever tried contacting his state Ombudsman. That might help him. s

BAEA said...

This is a moving film. I can't imagine what it would be like to remain in an institution for 12 years as a young person. I am so glad that this film is coming out!

Kathleen Dunn said...

Thank you Jody for doing this documentary. Many people do not know this abuse is going on, and they need to know. I believe everyone that does see it will be outraged and hopefully many will become active in trying to stop it.

Laura Morris said...

I can't imagine how these victims feel but they must feel invisible and forgotten. It's disheartening to think our society allows this abuse. Films like this will have a lot of impact both in validating these people and the nightmare they are going through and in raising awareness to spur reform.

Ray said...

Wow! I hope people do their part and share this video so the plight of these innocent people is spread across the country and awareness and compassion grows. I felt sorry for the two men in the film and I will pray for their freedom and the end of their suffering.

Anonymous said...

Similar to conservatorship for the eldery, the system was started with good intentions, but soon degenerated into a a corrupt self serving enterprise.

Sylvia Rudek said...

Excellent! Thank you for giving a voice to those who have been silenced.

We're all one accident or medical incident away from an event that can forever change our lives. My heart hurts watching their pain and the torment to the families trapped in a system that is designed to benefit themselves.

There has to be a better way, as the clock is ticking away on their lives.

philly said...

This is a wonderful piece of work !!! It really needs to be seen by the masses, so maybe then we can start to make headway into
putting an end to guardianships and come up with ways to allow people such as these, and the elderly to at the very least, have
their individual rights back. My heart goes out to these 2 individuals, as well as all the others under probate imposed guardianships.

Diane said...

Excellent film! I pray it goes viral. Hearing the stories of people unnecessarily locked up is so heartbreaking. It shows our government's total lack of concern for human beings when it comes to making money. The owners of these facilities should be in prison for what they are allowing to go on. One review of this facility on stated "04/02/2013 - An OurParents User Writes:
This facility is terrible, it medicates patients so much they don't remember the family."

Jay` said...

Someone needs to file suit against this place that has been and obviously still is denying basic human rights. Possibly no area attorney will do such a thing and upset any colluded enterprise that may be taking place. This is why it is so important to have state laws that address guardian, elder and now institutional abuse that provide for substitute petitioner. IA now has that under their Code 235f, Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation law.
So here we go with institutional abuse along with elder and guardian abuse. We need to find time and resources to keep on our state legislatures.

Rachel said...

The look on the faces of the two men burned in my mind and I can't stop thinking about them. The facility should be sued and shut down.

Catherine Falk said...

Thank you for sharing this video-it gave me chills watching this over and over knowing that this is happening all over the country but watching this brings the emotions and realization to the forefront of this horrific epidemic. This could happen to any of us in a moments notice, blink of an eye due to accidents, being in the wrong place at the wrong time! We warehouse the most precious human beings on this planet for profit and zero accountability-this is not the land of the free and home of the brave when we isolate, abuse, liquidate assets-it is the land of imprisonment and home of the cowards getting away with murder-literally speaking. I can't say this enough-that felons have more rights to telephone calls, visitation on weekends, proper medical care etc.. while our elders, wards, persons of disabilities are treated worse than criminals. We need to place felons in these facilities and let elders and persons with disabilities live in the prisons to receive better care in America! Shame on America! Shame on you-America-you can do better than this!!!!!

MMJ said...

I am so happy that someone is bringing this issue to the attention of people. Most people do not know that this is going on; the interest isn't there until it happens to someone they love. The guardianship of my dad has shredded my family; it's a terrible situation. My dad is not institutionalized, but all of his decision-making and freedom have been taken away from him.
We have got to get these people out of institutions. They can have meaningful lives. They deserve to be back at home with their families.
Excellent film!

MMJ said...

Excellent film! We need to get the truth out to the public. Most people are unaware of what is going on in guardianship; people are not interested unless/until it happens in their families. My dad is not institutionalized, but he is under guardianship. He has no decision-making power at all. He has no freedom of choices of any kind. The guardianship has shredded my family. Needless to say, my dad has not benefitted at all.
Great work!

Anonymous said...

#RICKY'S# story.



May 14, 1984 - September 27, 2015

Ricky is with *JESUS* now; sending hugs and kisses to heaven.


Also see the story of #JONATHAN CAREY#; also *MURDERED* as my son *RICKY* was !!!!!

My heart ached watching this video (so close to home; my son was #disabled# with #transverse myelitis# and abused, starved, put in restraints, isolated in his room for MONTHS - restricted from visits, mail and phone calls from family and friends at *CARE ONE HOLYOKE* ... neglected and drugged to his YOUNG death at age 31).

#Jonathan's Law#
#Social Services Law 412#





*SHAME* ON #JODY SANTOS# #LetThemOut# for
to PROTECT those RESPONSIBLE for Ricardo's YOUNG DEATH - including but not limited to: