California considers taking custody of some street people

 

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By Stephen Frank,  California Political News and Views

When Ronald Reagan was the Governor of California is begun the process of closing down the State hospital for the mentally ill.  Those folks had no place to go, other than the streets.  That was the start of the increase in prisoners with mental illness and the homeless.  Other factors come into play—but California does not use mental institutions much any more for the mentally ill.  That may change.

“In February Scott Wiener, a state senator who represents San Francisco, introduced Senate Bill 1045. The bill aims to make it easier for his home city, as well as Los Angeles, to oblige chronically homeless people who suffer from mental illness or addiction to accept the appointment by a judge of a person or institution to look after them (a concept called “conservatorship”). London Breed, who is running for mayor of San Francisco, has backed the proposal.

The bill would affect between 40 and 60 homeless people in San Francisco, reckons Barbara Garcia of the city’s Public Health Department. That is less than 1% of its official homeless population. Along with a number of similar bills aimed at loosening the legislation of 1967—including two that would expand the “gravely disabled” standard for involuntary treatment—it represents a shift in ideas about how to care for addicted or mentally ill homeless people. But it raises the knotty problem of balancing an individual’s mental health against their civil liberties.

This is a start.  The question to be raised is it the role of government to help the mentally ill?  If not government, then who?  If there are alternatives to government, we need to implement them now.  Otherwise government need to go back to the Pre-Reagan days and help the mentally ill and provide public safety.

Related article: California considers taking custody of some street people


Stephen Frank: Is the the publisher and editor of the California Political News and Views.  Mr. Frank speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows and is a full time political consultant. http://capoliticalnews.com/

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