Friday, February 17, 2006

MH funds not enough, but better than a sharp stick in the eye

Well it's a start. AP reports that Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick have agreed to free up $13.4 million of the $41 million needed to fix the backlog of mentally incompetent inmates waiting in county jails for space in the state mental hospital system. The Houston Chronicle quoted a mental health advocate whose views mirror mine on the topic:
"We are pleased to see the state hospitals get an influx of money to take care of people that would otherwise be languishing in jails," said Denise Brady, director of public policy at the Mental Health Association in Texas.

"However, if we had better funded community health systems, people wouldn't get into a crisis in the first place," Brady said.

"At some point, we have to see the bigger picture and stop slapping Band-Aids on it."

UPDATE: Surely the client decribed by Injustice Anywhere should be at the top of the list for new spending, waiting SIX MONTHS in the county jail after being declared incompetent for a state hospital bed to open up!! One of IA's commenters declares, "In Oregon, we sued the state to force the state hospital to take county jail inmates who were awaiting beds at the hospital so they could be evaluted. We won. The Ninth Circuit opinion is entitled Oregon Advocacy Center v. Mink. P"

See prior Grits coverage of this topic:

No comments: