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126

Involuntary Psychiatric Examination Across the State More than Doubled

The [Citizens Commission on Human Rights] (CCHR), a non-profit watchdog organization dedicated to restoring dignity and human rights to the field of mental health, is hosting a continuing legal education event on the Florida [mental health law] for defense attorneys next month. The free event, being held on January 25th from 1-5pm at the headquarters for CCHR located at 109 N. Fort Harrison Ave. in downtown Clearwater, will cover strategies to effectively serve families and to eradicate violations of the law.

Commonly called the [Baker Act](https://www.cchrflorida.org/baker-act-rights/), Floridas mental health allows for men, women and children to be taken into custody and held for involuntary psychiatric examination across the state and in the 16 years from FY01/02 to FY16/17, involuntary examinations more than doubled. [1]

Attendees of the event will hear from attorneys Justin Drach of Theole Drach Law, Carmen Miller, a former Public Defender now in private practice specializing in Baker Act cases and Kendra Parris of Parris Law. Also speaking will be the president of the Florida chapter of CCHR, Diane Stein.

Over the past several years changes have been made to the Baker Act which specifically better protect the rights of children and hosting this event will help educate defense attorneys on these changes as well as successful actions in defending clients being held for involuntary psychiatric examination, said Stein.

While the original stated intention of the Baker Act was to protect the rights of citizens sent for involuntary psychiatric examination, it has become a source of great abuse prompting CCHR Florida in 2016 to launch a campaign for the purpose of educating Floridians on their rights under this law.

To learn more about the Baker Act or to reserve a seat at the next seminar please call 727-442-8820 or visit http://www.cchrflorida.org/events/.

About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHRs mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, first brought psychiatric imprisonment to wide public notice: Thousands and thousands are seized without process of law, every week, over the free world tortured, castrated, killed. All in the name of mental health, he wrote in March 1969. For more information visit [www.cchrflorida.org](http://www.cchrflorida.org/).

Sources:

[1] Baker Act Annual Report http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/samh/publications/The%20Baker%20Act%20-%20FL%20MH%20Act%20-%20FY%2016-17%20Annual%20Report%20-%20Released%20June%202018.pdf   
 
 

Contact Information

  • Name: Diane Stein

    Company: Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida

    Telphone: +1--+1--+1- , -

    Address: 109 North Fort Harrison Avenue

    Email: publicaffairs@cchrflorida.org