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Concerning the article “A CRIME OF NEGLECT”,

Concerning the article “A CRIME OF NEGLECT”…


December 27, 2006

Editor:
 
Concerning the article “A CRIME OF NEGLECT”, the mentally ill in jail
must be taken care of, but solving that problem alone will be only a
band aid on the overall problem. It will take top to bottom assessment
and changes in all phases of State mental health services, but in
particular we must deal with the horrendous results in the best
community program we have for 2700 of the most seriously mentally ill
adults. In the last fiscal year it resulted in 49 deaths and 594
jailings and imprisonments of those clients. Yes, corrections will take
significantly increased funding, but hopefully Butterworth’s
legislative and executive experience with Crist’s backing will bring
this to pass. It is necessary that an advisory committee made up of the
best advocate minds be initiated for each major segment of DCF’s
work–and I add that such advocates need to be free of any monetary
connection with the State.
 
Richard C. Durstein
Vice President, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Pinellas Cty.
(Previous Governor Appointee to Statewide Advocacy Council)