Officials Worry Psych Center Closing Would Increase Jail Costs
Officials in St. Lawrence County are worried the state's plan to move inpatient services out of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center could result in increased costs for local county jails.
The state Office of Mental Health wants to close children and adult inpatient services at the Ogdensburg facility and relocate them to Syracuse and Utica.
Local officials worry that some former patients and those who need inpatient care will end up in the criminal justice system, clogging already-crowded jails and putting a big burden on taxpayers and law enforcement.
"We will end up with in Canton, is the county jail being the largest provider of mental health services in the county, another unfunded mandate," said county Legislator Joseph Lightfoot.
A meeting is being planned by county sheriffs and officials in the eight-county northern New York region to discuss the financial impact the state's plan could have.
Sunday, March 9, 2014, Watertown, NY
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