The federal government alleges that Mississippi has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by housing mentally ill individuals in institutions rather than community settings. The Department of Justice has filed similar lawsuits in about a dozen states alleging violations of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision.
“A lawsuit filed today by the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of Mississippi provides the most meaningful opportunity yet for leaders to work together to continue to improve the state’s mental health system,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.
“This lawsuit is a clarion call to all of us in state leadership to consider how we care for the least among us and how we can make it better,” Attorney General Hood added. “I see this litigation as a challenge to our Legislature to find the resources we need to continue to expand mental health services. This is a clear opportunity for our Legislature, mental health professionals, our faith-based community and all of us as Mississippians to come together to determine an effective way to address issues related to our mental health delivery system for years to come. It’s our obligation as Christians and people of faith to take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves. It’s time for each of us to move forward to better fulfill that fundamental responsibility.”