Bill to Change Milwaukee County Mental Health Care System Nears Final Vote

The Wisconsin legislature is currently considering a bill that would bring significant changes to Milwaukee County’s troubled mental health care system. Under current law, the Milwaukee County Board oversees the mental health care system. The proposed bill would create a new independent mental health board, consisting of a medical director, mental health professionals, clinicians, a legal expert, an expert in finance and administration, and others, who would have authority over the mental health system.

On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, an amendment to the bill was introduced regarding the 11-person mental health board. The amendment states that the governor would appoint nine of the 11 board members, while the other two would come from groups who work on mental health care issues. The State Senate could vote on the bill as soon as next Tuesday, March 11, 2014. The bill would then go to the Assembly, where the bill is expected to pass.

The Milwaukee civil right lawyers of Samster, Konkel & Safran, S.C. represent the families of Brandon Johnson and Andre Harvey, two of the seven patients who died at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex in 2012 and 2013. We also represent a client who was severely beaten by a patient at the Complex in 2012. We hope that the legislature approves the bill; so that the County’s mental health system can improve.  


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