Thursday, February 08, 2007

DCF settles feud over treatment of jailed mentally ill

Back in December, we wrote about the battle between DCF and local jails in Florida. While the state Department of Children & Families argued that they had too few hospital beds, people with severe mental illnesses were languishing and dying in county jails. The problem had gone on for years (as noted in this 2002 Florida Sheriffs Association resolution.) DCF maintained they did not have the bed space for the inmates even though they were required by statute to provide them hospitalization AND even after district court judges ordered the department to follow the law.

With new leadership at DCF and an increase in funding from the state legislature, the department is now trying to make good on its responsibilities to some of the states most vulnerable citizens.

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