Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why counties need to care about treatment laws

A story in today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press serves as yet another reminder why counties need to support laws permitting timely and humane treatment for severe mental illnesses. As the story illustrates, failure to properly treat someone can result in huge liability issues for counties. The best way to avoid this? Ensure proper treatment.

The parents of a 28-year-old New Richmond man who died in the St. Croix County Jail six months ago are accusing the county of wrongful death and are seeking $3 million in damages… his father has said his son's death should have and could have been prevented…

Hessler had battled mental illness, and his father had him committed to institutional care in 2000. With care and medication, Hessler's condition improved, and he was released. He had several run-ins with law enforcement in subsequent years.

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