Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Florida Facts

With news that a Miami-Dade County Grand Jury has issued a strong call for expanding assisted outpatient treatment in the state, it would be useful to examine some facts about the state.

A recent search found an interesting study from August 11, 2008, the same day as the Grand Jury’s report, from Florida Today. Among the findings:

  • About 125,000 people annually with mental illnesses requiring immediate treatment are arrested and booked into Florida jails, mostly for misdemeanor and low-level felony offenses.
  • About 25 percent of the homeless population has a severe mental illness, and more than half have spent time in jail or prison.
  • Individuals ordered into forensic commitment -- charged with a crime -- "are now the fastest-growing segment of the publicly funded mental health marketplace in Florida."
  • Florida ranks 12th in the nation in spending for forensic mental health services, but 48th nationally in overall per-capita public mental health spending.