State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist
Governor

Robert A. Butterworth
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
January 10, 2007 850-488-4855

STATEMENT BY DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES SECRETARY
BOB BUTTERWORTH


Regarding the Legislative Budget Commission vote to fund additional mental health treatment beds


"We thank the Legislative Budget Commission for their gracious consideration of this issue. The department is committed to assuring the health, safety and security of Florida's children and families, especially those individuals with mental illness.

"We also thank the Agency for Healthcare Administration and our partners in the criminal justice and judicial systems for their commitment to resolving this issue. With the additional $16.6 million we will be able to add a projected 373 mental health treatment beds and fulfill our statutory obligation for prompt treatment of incarcerated individuals with mental illness.

"As I reaffirmed to the commission today, we are committed to the challenges we face and we will become recognized as Florida's action agency, 13,500 strong, caring for those less fortunate. Over the coming months, we will continue to evaluate Florida's mental health service system to determine how we can better serve this vulnerable population."


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