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A federal judge will appoint an expert to oversee changes to Mississippi’s mental health system, saying that attorneys for the federal government have proved the state is doing too little to serve people outside the confinement of mental hospitals.
“The United States has met its burden and shown that despite the state’s episodic improvement, it operates a system that unlawfully discriminates against persons with serious mental illness,” U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves wrote late Tuesday in a ruling on a federal lawsuit.
Reeves wrote that he’s “keenly aware of the judiciary’s limitations” in cases like this. He ordered the state and federal government to each suggest three possible names to act as a special master, along with a proposal for that person’s role.
Until Reeves decides on the special master’s role, the depth of federal intervention into the mental health system won’t be clear.