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Psychiatric Hospital Patient Deinstitutionalized and Integrated into his Community

Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) Legal Team Successful in Advocating for Psychiatric Hospital Patient  

June 27, 2013 - After over 15 years of confinement and treatment in various psychiatric hospitals throughout the state, a 40 year-old client of MPAS was released from state custody and allowed to move into an Adult Foster Care (AFC) home within his community. The client was originally found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (NGRI) in 1998. MPAS became involved in the case when the client complained that his review board, known as the NGRI Committee, had found him fit for release, but only to a locked, all-male facility. Such a change in placement was inappropriate as it would not have been less restrictive than the institution in which he was living at the time. Furthermore, it would not have allowed the client to be a meaningful participant in his community. In fact, the only facilities in the state that the NGRI Committee would accept were located very far from the client’s family, which would have eliminated a strong source of support from his life.

The NGRI Committee unjustly relied on static risk factors – past events and behaviors – to come to its determination, despite overwhelming evidence that the client had made significant progress in his treatment and had not exhibited problematic behavior in several years. MPAS advocated for the client’s release through phone calls and letters to the NGRI Committee; however they stubbornly refused to reconsider their position. MPAS then retained a well-renowned psychiatrist to conduct an independent medical evaluation of the client. His report highlighted the flawed criteria and poor logic used by the NGRI Committee and recommended that the client be released to an AFC home immediately. MPAS used this report in negotiations with the county prosecutor.

Ultimately, the decision was made to give the client a chance to succeed in the less restrictive environment of an AFC home. He is now living safely and happily in close proximity to family and friends with an opportunity to start a new chapter of his life as an integrated member of his home community. 

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Posted on:
July 11, 2013