500 released mental patients given one-way bus ticket
Many of Legal Insurrection friends question the sanity of California voters, justifiably.
However, it seems that a neighboring state may have been contributing to our problems, at least in San Francisco:
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is demanding that Nevada reimburse California cities and counties for treatment of about 500 indigent psychiatric patients who were given one-way bus tickets to the Golden State in recent years.
Those costs include about $500,000 that Herrera says San Francisco spent on medical care, housing and other aid for 20 people shipped here in a practice sometimes called Greyhound therapy.
In a letter to be sent Tuesday to Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a draft of which was obtained by The Chronicle, Herrera threatened to file a class-action lawsuit accusing Nevada of misappropriating public funds from California unless the neighboring state agrees within 20 days to reimburse cities and counties and to adopt interstate transfer rules for patients.
Those would include confirming that a patient is a resident of the city where he or she is being sent, or has family there.
Herrera’s office, which subpoenaed bus company records, says it has the names of nearly 500 patients who have been discharged from a state-run psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas since April 2008 and sent by Greyhound bus to California. Of those, 24 sent to San Francisco were indigent, homeless and suffering from mental illness, according to the letter. Twenty of those received medical care or other city-funded treatment in San Francisco.
Herrera contends that staffers at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, Nevada’s primary state mental facility, “understood and expected that the bused patients would rely on San Francisco’s public health resources.” They also directed some patients to seek care at the city’s public health clinics, Herrera said.
The potential lawsuit stems from a separate federal civil rights suit filed by James Flavey Coy Brown in Nevada, who alleges the state put him on a one-way bus to northern California after discharging him from a treatment facility. According to Business Insider contributor Paul Szoldra, Brown is seeking class-action status for as many as 1,500 others.
Truly, it looks like the only way people seem to come into blue states now is if they are disturbed and then given one-way ticket.
If Nevada wanted to really do the Golden State a favor, it would have sent its patients to Sacramento. They would have been an improvement over many state Assembly and Senate members.