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Locking up people with mental health issues won’t help. Here’s what will.

June 22, 2020
By Naomi Ishisaka
The Seattle Times

It took 30 years of searching, but Rick Hoffman finally found the healing he was looking for.

Since childhood, Hoffman (Santee Dakota Sioux) struggled with generational and familial trauma, abuse, addiction and ultimately, about 12 years of incarceration.

But two years ago, in the last week of a 90-day stint at Seattle Indian Health Board’s Thunderbird Treatment Center in Rainier Beach, he said he finally found his path. “We were singing our traditional Native American songs and it hit home. It was like my ancestors, my relatives, they covered me with a blanket and said, ‘You know, you’re going to be all right. You just keep doing what you’re doing. You follow our ways.’” He has been sober since.

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