FLORIDA’S STATE-FUNDED MENTAL HOSPITALS are supposed to be safe places to house and treat people who are a danger to themselves or others.
But years of neglect and $100 million in budget cuts have turned them into treacherous warehouses where violence is out of control and patients can’t get the care they need.
Since 2009, violent attacks at the state’s six largest hospitals have doubled.
Nearly 1,000 patients ordered to the hospitals for close supervision managed to injure themselves or someone else.
For years, the state Legislature, the governor’s office and the agencies that oversee Florida’s mental hospitals ignored the chaos and continued cutting. Then state regulators hid the full extent of violence and neglect from the public.
– The Tampa Bay Times