Why I spend so much time and effort talking about the Marchman Act

By Mark Astor 10 months agoNo Comments

Good morning, everyone. I just got done with a workout. I have my IU baseball cap on that I bought this weekend after spending a couple of days with a good friend in Indiana. I came back with a cold. This week was tough. Every day, I get up and try to spread the word about what I do. I encourage you to do the same.
One of the questions that I’m asked about is why I spend so much time and effort talking about the Marchman Act. We live in a world where we go about our own business. When we see an opportunity to make a difference, we turn a blind eye. I don’t know why that is. I don’t think it’s because people are bad. We’ve become a society where we’ve forgotten that we are our brother and sister’s keeper.
I still maintain that we are our brother and sister’s keeper. After 23 years of working predominantly in the criminal justice system, I’ve come to the conclusion that someone who is an addict or with a mental health issue can only go to one of three places. They are the morgue, prison or treatment. That’s it. There’s no other place that these people can go. The other thing that I know for sure is that addiction and mental health only get worse with time. They don’t get better. As time goes on, the likelihood of the first option of the morgue and the second option of prison become increasingly more likely. I haven’t yet figured out how to deal with option one. I routinely have to deal with option two.
I’m passionate about the Marchman Act because I believe that it is a way to make sure that option three happens so that one and two don’t happen. If you know someone who is in crisis or a family dealing with this, be their brother’s keeper. Say something to them. Let them know that there is a way to get someone into treatment. It doesn’t matter if you refer them to me. I would appreciate if you did. Say something to them. You can help someone.
The other question I am asked often is if I do pro bono work. Yes, but it’s limited. I’m a solo small firm. I’m building my business one family, one client and one young person at a time. As my business grows, I can help more people. As I help more people, my business will grow. Then I can do more pro bono. One of the reasons that I like to share my thoughts with you is because I want to help more people. Then I can grow my business, help more people and do more pro bono work.
It’s clear that there’s some inequity in our system. Not everyone has access to treatment. Not everyone has access to private counsel. I think that’s a terrible shame. As members of the bar, I think it’s incumbent on us to try and help as many people as we can. If we can do pro bono work, it’s a beautiful thing. Help me to spread the word. Be someone’s brother or sister. Spread the word so that we as a society can help more people. I can do my bit by doing more pro bono work. Thank you for all the wonderful comments. Even when I’m sick and don’t feel like getting out of bed, that’s what drives and motivates me to do what I do. Have a good rest of the day and a great weekend. Keep moving forward.

  alcohol, drugs, marchman, mental health
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