Thursday, October 05, 2006

Doing a disservice

Albuquerque, New Mexico recently passed a city-wide ordinance providing for AOT for their most severely mentally ill citizens. Unfortunately, opponents of the measure have resorted to scare tactics in hopes of preventing its implementation. The federally funded Protection and Advocacy Systems has repeatedly claimed that, "Under this law, a person can be picked up if there is simply the belief they might be a danger at some point in the future.”

In reality, the ordinance specifies that individuals are only eligible for AOT if they meet eight specific criteria; criteria that have been carefully crafted to focus only on the most severely mentally ill. But you won’t hear that from AOT’s opponents. Instead of discussing the realities of AOT, you only hear exaggerations and fear mongering. And that does a disservice to everyone involved in the process.

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