According to DBHDD Summary of October 2010 Settlement by Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities, Frank E. Shelp, M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner:
By July 1, 2011, Georgia will stop admitting to its state hospitals people for whom the reason for admission would be a primary diagnosis of a developmental disability, including Temporary and Immediate Care (TIC).And a larger group of people:
Enhanced community services will be provided for people whose primary diagnosis is a developmental disability and who are either currently hospitalized in state hospitals or who are at risk of hospitalization in state hospitals. Those with forensic status may be included in the target population if the relevant court finds community placement appropriate.
In all cases, the individuals served will be able to make an informed choice about where they’d like to live. Unless they choose otherwise, everyone in the target population will be served in their own homes or the homes of their families and none will be served in a host home, congregate living setting, skilled nursing facility, intermediate care facility, or assisted living facility. All of the waiver participants will receive support coordination.
Georgia will provide expanded and enhanced community services for approximately 9000 people with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness who are either currently being served in state hospitals, are frequently readmitted to state hospitals, are frequently seen in emergency rooms, are chronically homeless, and/or who are being released from jails or prisons. People with forensic status can be included in the target population if the relevant court finds that community services are appropriate.
Call me cynical, but why does this come to mind, from Treating an “epidemic of mass incarceration”:
The largest facilities housing psychiatric patients in the U.S. are not hospitals but jails, the authors write. Major depression and psychotic disorders are four to eight times as prevalent among inmates as in the general population. However, only 22 percent of state prisoners and 7 percent of jail inmates receive mental health care while incarcerated.Seems to me the most likely result of releasing large numbers of people from state hospitals will be increased homelessness and incarceration; that’s what happened when Reagan did it.
Maybe I’m not reading it right. Maybe the state of Georgia is serious about treatment in the community and rehabilitation of prisoners. Maybe someone more familiar with what is going on here can provide an opinion.