Court: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division
Date Filed: March 10, 2010
Plaintiffs: J.B., et. al
Defendants: Haley Barbour, et. al
Counsel: Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Southern Povery Law Center, Rob McDuff
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In an effort to improve Mississippi's mental health system for children, which currently fails to invest in community-based services and instead pumps the bulk of its resources into ineffective, expensive institutions, advocates, including the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, sued the state.
The federal lawsuit alleges that the state fails to meet the needs of children in two fundamental ways. First, the state discriminates against children with mental illnesses by unlawfully separating them from their families and communities and by forcing them to cycle through psychiatric institutions that fail to provide adequate services. Second, the state ignores the ongoing needs of children with mental illnesses by failing to provide federally mandated and medically necessary home- and community-based mental health services.
The complaint was filed on behalf of thousands of children in the state of Mississippi who have been denied access to necessary mental health services in their homes and communities, and children who have been subjected to unnecessary institutionalization.