State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Jeb Bush
Governor

Lucy D. Hadi
Secretary


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Al Zimmerman
November 25, 2006 850-488-4855

DCF EXPECTS POLICY CHANGE TO FREE UP TREATMENT BEDS FOR MENTALLY ILL INMATES
- The new policy allowing DCF to provide inmates with additional anti-psychotic medication takes effect immediately. -

TALLAHASSEE- Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Lucy Hadi announced today that mentally ill felony offenders who return to county jails after being released from state treatment facilities, are now being provided medication for up to 30 days in an effort to maintain their competency. The state previously provided inmates with only 7 days of medication.

"About 10 percent of these offenders ends up returning to state treatment facilities," said Secretary Hadi, "so by providing the additional medication it will allow us to free up bed space that can be used by other mentally ill offenders who are waiting for these services."

The policy change follows yesterday's announcement by Secretary Hadi that DCF will spend $5 million to create 85 additional mental health treatment beds. Those beds will begin opening in mid-December.

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