The Latest: Disability rights group blasts treatment pilot
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on a San Francisco proposal to force some people with drug addictions and mental illness into treatment (all times local):
Disability Rights California is criticizing San Francisco supervisors for approving a program that would force some people with serious mental illness and drug addiction into treatment.
Curt Child of Disability Rights California said Tuesday that San Francisco lacks the housing and other resources needed to safely care for people who need intensive services. He worries that people with serious mental health problems will end up locked away in institution-like facilities.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved legislation for a pilot program that would allow the city to commit certain people to in-house treatment against their will.
The measure passed 10-1 despite misgivings by several supervisors concerned about the idea of taking away a person’s civil rights.
San Francisco officials have decided to force people with serious mental illness and drug addiction into treatment without their consent.
Several members of the Board of Supervisors voiced deep concerns Tuesday about the possibility of taking away a person’s civil liberties, but the proposal passed 10-1.
Supervisor Shamann Walton voted no, saying he had heard nothing on how the city would reduce the impact on African American people and other minorities.
Supervisors who were reluctant to say yes changed their minds after hearing that Mayor London Breed introduced a budget that would include additional treatment beds. Breed backs the measure.
The city’s public health department says the proposal will affect only about five people but could expand to 55 people with legislation pending at the state level.
San Francisco supervisors are considering a proposal to force drug addicts with serious mental illnesses into treatment.
Mayor London Breed and other supporters of the proposal say the move known as conservatorship is necessary to help addicts who are often homeless and suffering from a mental illness, making them a danger to themselves.
Supporters say the number of people who could be forced into treatment is small, likely fewer than 50. Supervisors are expected to consider the idea Tuesday.
Critics call the measure a violation of civil rights that runs against the principles of the liberal city. They also say San Francisco lacks the services and shelter to successfully expand the number of people in such a program.
Incomes are generally high in San Francisco, but the city struggles with a growing number of homeless people and some show disturbing street behavior fueled by drugs and mental illness.