Friday, December 20, 2013

Despite Inaction, Washington State Seeks More Time on Fix for 'Boarding' Mentally Ill

When a Pierce County judge declared last spring that it was unconstitutional to put involuntarily committed residents in emergency rooms, officials successfully pleaded for a delay in the ruling so they could “think about” new ways to “attack the problem” of not having enough treatment beds for mentally ill residents.

Six months and zero policy changes later, the state is headed back to court to request another delay.

Superior Court Judge Kathryn Nelson will decide Tuesday whether to extend her stay, weighing civil liberties and community safety in the latest in a highly charged and closely watched case that could affect the entire state.

Nelson said after her ruling that she was “reluctant at this point to stay it any longer than six months.”

But state officials, who are appealing the ruling, plan to argue that if Nelson does not extend the stay, they will have no choice but to release dangerous people to the streets when no treatment beds are available.

Full Article and Source:
Despite inaction, state seeks more time on fix for ‘boarding’ mentally ill


honeybear said...

The judge is in a quandary. What can she do until the state comes up with a policy? And how many people fall through the cracks waiting?

Anonymous said...

Of course they have a choice. Make more treatment beds available.

Just look at Virginia and what happened to Senator Creigh Deeds and his son. This is a problem everywhere.

Mark said...

The mentally ill always get the short end of the stick.

Phyllis said...

They do get the short end of the stick and have throughout history. I hope there are good orgs out there, like NASGA, who specialize in advocating for the mentally ill.

Thelma said...

It is the responsibility of government, as parens patriae.