DMHMRDepartment of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (Alabama)
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Sawyer, a right to treatment lawsuit" says Kathy Sawyer, the Agency's commissioner, "came the additional responsibility of demonstrating the reallocation and reutilization of resources from state-operated facilities to more community-based service availability." The settlement requires the Alabama DMHMR to develop additional community based services for people leaving state institutions; expand protection of rights for people in state hospitals; enhance agency jurisdiction to ensure that clients in DMHMR facilities and contracted community programs are safe and secure; and develop a community education plan to educate the public about mental illness and mental retardation, including the needs and rights of those served by the DMHMR.
Hesitant at first to accept the Governor's challenge, the DMHMR decided that now was as good a time as any other to start the process.
A sixteen member task force, established by the DMHMR, has been working on the community rules and regulations for the past three years.