Here's the story...
For years, circuit judges here have ordered state officials to obey Florida law and promptly transfer severely mentally ill inmates from jails to
state hospitals. But with few hospital beds available, Gov. Jeb Bush’s administration began flouting those court orders in August.
Now, in a growing standoff between the government of Florida and its judges, the state is being threatened with steep daily fines if it does not
comply. And at least one judge has raised the possibility that the secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families could go to jail for
contempt of court.
“This type of arrogant activity cannot be tolerated in an orderly society,” Judge Crockett Farnell of Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court wrote in an
Oct. 11 ruling.
Can I be the first to say
This is obviously a very serious situation. States across the country are deep, DEEP in debt, and they have an enormous burden in the form of
prisoners and the mentally ill. They have to care for these people, according to their own laws, but they simply won't spend the money to do so.
The state government is clearly in contempt of court. They refuse to abide by the law, and expect that they can get away with it because they are the
state - the big daddy.
Well..I got news for Florida...
The Judges, if so inclined, can throw all your butts in jail, so you had better wake up and take some responsibility for the situation. They can't
just ignore the law.
Temporary facilities maybe? How long will you keep people in a temporary facility before it becomes permanent?
Ship them out of state? I don't think Florida has this ability...
Change the law mandating that the mentally ill get appropriate care? Not without voter consent...
The mental health landscape in this country changed dramatically a couple of decades ago, and state-run facilities are so few and far between now,
it's amazing. They used to be quite common, or at least that's how I remember it.
I once lived in a town where the state-run hospital closed down, and the patients were put out on the street with a prescription and a pat on the
back. Needless to say, it wasn't a nice play to live.
What do we do with these people? What is the extent of the state's responsibility when it comes to providing care for inmates that are mentally ill,
and prone to self-injury and other violent behavior? Do we just mix them with the general population and let them sort each other out with sharpened