Judge Carlton Reeves has scheduled the next status conference in the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) lawsuit against the State of Mississippi’s mental health system. This status conference will take place next Monday, February 22nd, at 1:30 pm. The status conference is open to the public by Zoom call in. Anyone who would like to listen to the status conference can do so by using the following call in number and meeting passcode: Dial-in number: (877) 336-1829 Meeting passcode: 360 8939#.
Judge Reeves held the first status conference in this case on April 27, 2020 and a second status conference on October 2, 2020. Based on discussions in those conferences, it appears likely that the focus of this conference may be whether the two sides have come to an agreed upon remedy to address the issues that led to Mississippi’s mental health system being sued.
If a remedy is presented, we look forward to learning how the parties propose to partner with people receiving services and their families to ensure the remedy is what they actually want and how it will be implemented. We also believe that any effective remedy must at least create a pathway to determine how the different parts of Mississippi’s mental health system (the Department of Mental Health, the Division of Medicaid, the community mental health centers, other community providers and managed care organizations) can be accountably coordinated. As we have shared before, Mississippi has no overarching structure to coordinate the various parts of its mental health system.
In 2016 the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Mississippi, alleging that Mississippi fails to provide enough of the right kinds of support for people with mental illness to be able to live in the community if they choose to. This is considered a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case began with this 2011 letter of findings. The United States and the State of Mississippi engaged in negotiations from 2012 through 2015, at which time the negotiations failed. The United States then sued Mississippi in 2016.
The State lost this lawsuit in September 2019 after a month-long trial in June 2019. In February 2020, Judge Reeves appointed Dr. Michael Hogan as Special Master in the case to help the two sides (US DOJ and the State of Mississippi) craft a remedy to address the problems that the lawsuit brought to light.
Open to the public.
Dial-in number: (877) 336-1829
Meeting passcode: 360 8939#.