Moving Psych Center Services Will Hurt County Jail, Sheriff Says
A group in St. Lawrence County is prepping for a trip to Albany this week to talk about the future of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center.
Sheriff Kevin Wells is among the members of a Psych Center Task Force.
He says moving adult and child inpatient care from the Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg to Utica and Syracuse will put a big burden on his county jail.
Wells says people needing mental health services could go without treatment if they have to travel out of the area. And, he says, it's all motivated by politics.
"This overall general plan they're putting out for us right now only shows that they're still going to keep over 85 percent of the bed capacity in the whole state," he said.
"That tells me that they're not positive this is going to work," he said. "They're just keeping the beds where the voters are or where their political base is."
The group will travel to Albany Tuesday to meet with staff in the governor's office.
Friday, August 1, 2014, Watertown, NY
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