NH News
7:47 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

U.S. DOJ Joins Mental Health Case

The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a lawsuit against New Hampshire for alleged violations of the state’s mental health system.

Lead plaintiff attorneys welcome the move.

Last month, the Disabilities Rights Center filed a federal lawsuit against the state for essentially failing to take care of New Hampshire residents with mental illness.

The suit alleges the state doesn’t provide adequate community-based services –like transition housing and job counseling, which forces people into institutions, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

DRC attorney Amy Messer says DOJ getting involved is excellent development.

“Courts look at cases on their merits. I think this case is strong. I think it’s important that the United States Department of Justice has done a thorough investigation and they see the violations of law that we see.”

The federal government describes the state’s mental health system as costly and not therapeutic.

The Attorney General is expected to respond to the charges in the coming weeks.

The AG says the state provides adequate services.