Darrell Brooks’ Mother Speaks: He ‘Suffered from Mental Illness,’ ‘System Is Broken’

Darrell Brooks Jr. (Waukesha Police)
Waukesha Police

The mother of Waukesha attack suspect Darrell E. Brooks Jr. has penned a lengthy letter charging that the American legal system failed to provide her mentally ill son adequate resources throughout his life.

According to Dawn Woods, Brooks came from a “loving Christian family and is the grandson of ministers,” alleging that he has “suffered from mental health issues since he was very young.” Woods wrote:

Darrell did not come from a bad family like many people have said. He came from a loving Christian family and is the grandson of ministers. Darrell has suffered from mental health issues since he was very young. In those years he received counseling and was on medication.

As Brooks became an adult, however, “a decision was made” that deemed him mentally fit, according to Woods, which allegedly “left him with no insurance or financial means to pay for medication and, when determined, necessary counseling.” Woods went on:

Mental illness is not cheap to treat but what’s more important dollars spent on treatment and resources or lives lost. Instead of offering help and resources to combat the problem, a jail cell was given. Over and over again. When mental illness is not properly treated the person becomes sicker and sicker.

Woods clarified that she was “not making excuses” for her son’s actions and only wanted to stress that mental illness should be taken more seriously by the legal system. She said:

Mental illness is real and the system is broken it can and must be fixed NOW, not next year or with a new legislation NOW. So many like Darrell that have fallen through the cracks because of a broken system that no one cared to address, can get the help they so desperately need.

Woods prefaced her letter by offering her “condolence to the families of those whose lives were so tragically taken” during the parade massacre.

Also on Wednesday, Darrell Brooks lamented that he has been unfairly “demonized” in his first jailhouse interview since he allegedly plowed an SUV through crowds of people.

“I just feel like I’m being monster – demonized,” Brooks told Fox News Digital on Wednesday at the Waukesha county jail.

The alleged murderer, Brooks, reportedly “offered no details about what prompted the carnage.”

“Brooks appeared calm, lucid and took time to answer each question – even repeating reporters’ questions and answers at times,” noted the outlet.

Brooks also complained that his mother has yet to visit him in jail. He has since been charged with six counts of intentional homicide, including the death of one child: eight-year-old Jackson Sparks, who died days after the attack. The other five were killed hours after Brooks allegedly rammed the SUV through the parade: Tamara Durand, 52; Jane Kulich, 52; LeAnna Owen, 71; Virginia Sorenson, 79; and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.

Read the full letter below:

The Lord spoke to my heart this morning and said to me it is time to speak.

I’ve been contacted by numerous media outlets for a statement and have until now been reluctant to speak. Because of the way that my family and I have been and attacked in the media and whatever I say will be taken out of content.

It is my hope that what I am about to say dose not get edited and will be made public in it’s entirety.

We the family of Darrell Brooks want to give our condolence to the families of those who lives were so tragically taken and all of those who were injured as well as the community of Waukesha. We are deeply saddened and our hearts are torn to pieces over what happened on a day set aside for a community to come together and celebrate. What was meant to be a joyous day became a day of tragedy and heart ache. A day that we wish with all our heart would have never happened.

Darrell did not come from a bad family like many people have said. He came from a loving christian family and is the grandson of ministers. Darrell has suffered from mental health issues since he was very young. In those years he received counseling and was on medication. When he became an adult a decision was made that he no longer suffered from a mental illness. That decision left him with no insurance or financial means to pay for medication and when determind necessary counseling. Mental illness is not cheap to treat but what’s more important dollars spent on treatment and recouses or lives lost.

Instead of offering help and resources to combat the problem a jail cell was given. Over and over again. When mental illness is not properly treated the person becomes sicker and sicker. It doesn’t go away once a person becomes an adult.

We are not making excuses but we believe what has happened is because he was not given the help and resources he needed. Institutions that are equipped and have trained staff is what was needed as well as resources in the communities where people who suffer with mental illness live.

Jail is not the answer, because they get released back in society sicker than what they were when they entered . We all see what a tragedy that can turn out to be.

We as a society must take mental illness seriously by fixing a broken system or suffer the consequences,
sad as it is to say what happened in Waukesha will keep happening all over this country, in one form or another with more innoncent lives lost and grieving families and communities.

Mental illness is real and the system is broken it can and must be fixed NOW, not next year or with a new legislation NOW. So many like Darrell that have fallen through the cracks because of a broken system that no one cared to address, can get the help they so desperately need.

Mental illness affects every walk of life and dwells in every community.

It’s lives in our homes, it lives next door, it’s in our school’s, the grocery store, shopping malls, movie theater and other places of entertainment, and places of worship, and many other places in our communities even at parades.

What next you say, first our hearts have to heal and we have to come together roll up our sleeves and get to work and do what ever is necessary to fix a system that has for far too long been broken. Myself and my family pray that our Lord and Savior Jesus comfort and strength each of you, and give you all peace that is beyond understanding.

I also ask respectfully that the media please to not invade my home, not to call or send emails, myself and my family need out time to grieve as well.

May Bless each and everyone of you.

Dawn Woods and family

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