Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Reform in the Air For Mental Health Patients

by Maria C Gallo,Esquire.

Dade.-Co. Florida Apparently, Miami-Dade County judge Steve Leifman presented a groundbreaking, collaborative plan to treat a narrow group of mentally ill people currently being warehoused behind bars.

This 170-page report explains that currently half the persons taking up expensive beds at forensic hospitals are also charged with low-level crimes, like resisting arrest and cocaine possession, but are not getting treatment in jail.

97% of this population will serve their time and then be released into the general population - all without treatment.

This legislation will re-direct this population into mental health treatment instead of jail, thus redirecting $48 million dollars into mental health instead of inmate control and housing.

As you know mental health legislation and guardianship law are close cousins and this legislation would be helpful to the cause of elder and vulnerable population protection.

Read the article in the Florida Bar News, January 1, 2008 edition, page 15. check out the Florida Bar website. http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/JNNews01.nsf

check in the Issues Archive for January 1, 2008 edition. There’s a link to the entire article.

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