The Acting Cook County Illinois Public Guardian filed a class-action lawsuit (Golbert et al v. Walker et al) December 13, 2018 on behalf of hundreds of children and teenagers in state care who have been held in psychiatric hospitals after they had been cleared by doctors for release, calling the practice inhumane and unconstitutional.
The lawsuit follows a ProPublica Illinois investigation that found nearly 30 percent of children in DCFS care who were sent to psychiatric hospitals between 2015 and 2017 were held there after doctors had cleared them for discharge.
It may not legally be Involuntary Commitment, but it has the same harmful physical and emotional effects. Some children were sexually exploited.
Every 1¼ minutes, someone in the U.S. becomes the next victim of involuntary incarceration in a psychiatric hospital. And there’s nothing they can do about it.
With health care eating up vast amounts of our national budget, the first spending cut to make is the cost of “treating” people who prefer not to be mentally treated or whose treatment is no longer necessary. Involuntary incarceration hikes federal, state, county, city and private health care costs under the strange circumstance of a patient–recipient who is not allowed to leave when treatment is over. ProPublica Illinois found that DCFS spent nearly $7 million on medically unnecessary hospitalizations between 2015 and 2017.