Federal attorneys: Mississippi must expand mental services

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JACKSON, Miss. — The Justice Department says a federal judge should order Mississippi to expand community-based mental health services.

The department’s attorneys filed a plan in the long-running litigation between the federal government and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. The Justice Department wants Judge Carlton Reeves to appoint an external monitor to ensure Mississippi complies with court-ordered remediation.

The federal government sued Mississippi in 2016, saying the state had done too little to provide mental health services outside mental hospitals. The judge ruled in 2019 that Mississippi discriminates against people with serious mental illness.

The state now says it has made some changes.

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