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Omaha Steve

(99,921 posts)
Tue May 14, 2024, 09:53 PM Tuesday

Justice Department: Nebraska unnecessarily institutionalizes people with mental illness

Source: Nebraska Examiner

By: Zach Wendling - May 14, 2024 3:24 pm

LINCOLN — The U.S. Department of Justice concluded Tuesday that Nebraska unnecessarily institutionalizes adults with serious mental illness in violation of their civil rights.

The Justice Department said Nebraskans are being segregated in assisted living and day program facilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1999 decision in Olmstead v. L.C. The department interviewed affected Nebraskans, agency heads and others after beginning an investigation in June 2021 following multiple complaints.

In a letter to Gov. Jim Pillen, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the department’s Civil Rights Division said the department wants to “work cooperatively” to resolve the findings. This includes entering settlement negotiations and an agreement to remedy the identified violations.
Institutionalized ‘far too often’

If Nebraska does not negotiate, or if the talks fail, the federal government said it could take appropriate action, which could include legal action, to remedy the violations.



Read more: https://nebraskaexaminer.com/2024/05/14/justice-department-nebraska-unnecessarily-institutionalizes-people-with-mental-illness/

9 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Justice Department: Nebraska unnecessarily institutionalizes people with mental illness (Original Post) Omaha Steve Tuesday OP
There are two factors to take into account here. Archae Tuesday #1
I suspect that the Court would agree that the truly dangerous do need confinement. cstanleytech Wednesday #2
The question is who makes that determination. Archae Wednesday #3
The system is flawed, but that is hardly the fault of patients. thucythucy Wednesday #4
People Involuntarily RobinA Wednesday #5
True. But thucythucy Wednesday #7
I'm guessing the word "unnecessarily" plays the biggest factor here. sybylla Wednesday #6
In This Country RobinA Yesterday #8
Again, the article cites violations. It has happened. sybylla Yesterday #9

Archae

(46,381 posts)
1. There are two factors to take into account here.
Tue May 14, 2024, 10:02 PM
Tuesday

1. Just how mentally ill the person is.
Some schizophrenics are really dangerous.
They need to be in an institution.

2. The actual institutions.
Institutions used to be warehouses for the mentally ill.
At best.
Inmates were tortured, assaulted, tied up, chained to beds, etc.
I'm hoping these places are not anything like that at all anymore.

cstanleytech

(26,375 posts)
2. I suspect that the Court would agree that the truly dangerous do need confinement.
Wed May 15, 2024, 05:44 AM
Wednesday

This case is about them unnecessarily institutionalizing people that don't need to be.

Archae

(46,381 posts)
3. The question is who makes that determination.
Wed May 15, 2024, 10:03 AM
Wednesday

Even parents can be notoriously lenient or severely vindictive.

thucythucy

(8,146 posts)
4. The system is flawed, but that is hardly the fault of patients.
Wed May 15, 2024, 10:27 AM
Wednesday

And I suspect the determination is made by doctors and other health professionals familiar with the patient. Or the patient in question might request themselves to be hospitalized.

There should be a system in place through which someone can appeal their incarceration, generally a hearing before a judge. I don't know the specifics of how it does or doesn't work in Nebraska, but in general the DOJ is notoriously loathe to bring cases like this. It might be better under President Biden--and I hope it is--but in the past disability rights advocates have castigated the DOJ for being so lax when it comes to enforcing the ADA. So the fact that the DOJ has taken this action means I think that the Nebraska system is definitely a problem.

I'll be curious to see more details, and follow this to see if and how it is resolved.

RobinA

(9,925 posts)
5. People Involuntarily
Wed May 15, 2024, 11:38 AM
Wednesday

hospitalized have hearings before a judge at regular intervals to make sure they still need to be institutionalized.

thucythucy

(8,146 posts)
7. True. But
Wed May 15, 2024, 01:16 PM
Wednesday

often these hearings are perfunctory, with judges basically rubber stamping whatever the doctors want.

There have also been instances where patients have been medicated against their will before the hearings, and/or not allowed to shower or otherwise prepare for the hearing. So they show up disoriented, poorly dressed, needing a shave or shower, and looking like "they're not with it," which doesn't help them make an argument that they should be released.

When I have the time I'll see if I can find more details about this particular case, and what it is that has the DOJ intervening.

Hopefully this will be resolved in a way that protects the rights of everyone concerned.

sybylla

(8,547 posts)
6. I'm guessing the word "unnecessarily" plays the biggest factor here.
Wed May 15, 2024, 12:13 PM
Wednesday

In my book, to be locked up against my will away from family/people who know me and care for me would be torture.

I'm glad it's getting looked into.

Edited to add: it says right in the quote above that there were "identified violations," so this isn't debatable. There are problems in Nebraska.

RobinA

(9,925 posts)
8. In This Country
Thu May 16, 2024, 11:56 AM
Yesterday

it would be pretty unusual for you to be wrongly institutionalized like this. The opposite is more the problem. People who need to be locked up are not because they haven't done anything truly lethal. Yet.

sybylla

(8,547 posts)
9. Again, the article cites violations. It has happened.
Thu May 16, 2024, 12:13 PM
Yesterday

Likelihood doesn't matter. If someone is doing it, then they need to suffer the consequences.

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