Feds think Georgia is still screwing up with mental health patients

Details from The Union-Recorder of Milledgeville:

The United States Department of Justice does not think the State of Georgia is doing enough to transition individuals with disabilities out of institutionalized care in its seven state-run psychiatric hospitals and into a community-based support network.

Officials in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Thursday filed a motion to appoint a monitor to “set binding targets and timetable[s] for reducing the number of residents at the hospitals and expanding appropriate community-based services.”

The motion comes after three years of federal investigation into the state’s mental health system and before the court approval of a pending settlement agreement in United States v. Georgia, the federal case citing violations of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act in Georgia’s Psychiatric Hospital.

16 comments

  1. Baker says:

    Between this and the transportation funding debacle, Georgia’s not looking real good, I dare say embarrassing. Here’s to our future governor who I’m sure will tackle these issues head on, hopefully not in the last year of his, or her, term.

    • mitchmartin says:

      Unless you are ready to have your taxes raised to throw billions (yep, billions with a “b”) at this, Georgia will continue to have to do the best we can with what we’ve got. If you want some light reading some time, you should check out this DOJ order. They want the state of Georgia to provide a house, in-home care, a job, transportation to and from said job and a whole host of other services for anyone who has ever been in the state’s mental health system.
      Do we need to care for them in the best way possible? Absolutely.
      Is it unreasonable to demand the state provide, with our tax money, a house, a job and transportation for every mentally ill person in the state?

  2. fishtail says:

    A good measure of how to judge someone is how they treat the down-trodden and powerless….Sonny Perdue is a jerk.

  3. John Konop says:

    It would be interesting to get a perspective from Richardson. In all seriousness he understands the limitation issues in government and the issues surrounding needs of people with a mental illness.

  4. GabrielSterling says:

    If you review the lawsuit, the Feds are essentially reading into the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) far beyond what it says. They want to use it as a cudgel to force the State to provide a job, transportation and a home to those with “mental disabilities”. This is stretching the intent of that law to its outer reaches. The state should fight this hard.

    • Provocateur says:

      And whom do we have to thank about the ADA? Why, none other than former socialist-in-chief, George H. W. Bush, a man who signed anything that came across his desk from the Congressional Dems.

  5. Rick Day says:

    I remind the Republicans in charge of state government for almost a decade of the following passage from the words of a book the majority of you find as infallible, and as from as holy a physical set of lips you can possibly worship:

    ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.'” Matthew 25:41-45

  6. Ida Claire says:

    And the federal government is going to improve the situation? By what means? It is easy to point fingers. Especially from a bloated system that is over $12 trillion in debt with the majority of that debt in health and human services. What are their solutions other than hefty fines which will cost Georgia taxpayers?

  7. AubieTurtle says:

    A couple of questions that we should ask:

    1) How does Georgia compare to other states? Having grown up in Alabama, all of this sounds familiar but I wonder if other states do better and if so, how?

    2) Are there more people with mental health problems per capita here than in other parts of the country, and if so, why? There might be long term changes that can be made to reduce the problem in the future.

    • ByteMe says:

      I gotta concur with Aubie here. Before the whiners get all “they’re picking on us!”, you gotta ask: why Georgia and not elsewhere? What is the thing that differentiates what Georgia does compared to other states that are somehow in “compliance”?

      • polisavvy says:

        I am wondering the same as Aubie and ByteMe, why is it Georgia and, does anyone else know, were other similar suits filed against other states? If so, how did they handle or are planning on handling their issue? I don’t believe that mental illness issues are foreign to Georgia alone.

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