Thursday, February 5, 2009

Privatization deferred...

Yesterday in a surprisingly brusque conversation with Department of Human Resources spokesman David Noel, it was confirmed that a Request For Proposals issued for private companies to take over the state's forensics operations was canceled.
Noel said that the RFP was canceled so that DHR could review the request to see if the correct experience requirements were in place.
But, Noel went on to say that once review of the RFP is concluded, it would be reissued.
State Senator Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville, called the Union-Recorder to inform us about this piece of information, which he had initially heard as a rumor at the Capital.
This RFP is of particular importance to the community as it may come to be all that is left of Milledgeville's mental health industry once privatization changes the state's mental health system as we know it.
Forensics is the branch of the state's mental health serves clients who are referred for psychiatric evaluation and treatment from various components of the state's criminal justice and corrections systems. According to Central State Hospital's ,Web site, the hospital currently has 192 operating beds in its forensics unit.
Although I haven't been able to acquire a copy of the RFP, word is that it was to center the entire state's forensics services in the Milledgeville area.
This would pose a strange fate for the state's former mental health capital--sometimes referred to as Asylum City--as it is now the home of the state's first mental health prison, Baldwin State Prison. The community has gone from the service center of the state's mental health system to the weigh station of the state's criminally insane.

Update: The Savannah Morning News wrote a story about changes to the "Game Plan." Maybe the U-R will have a story about this soon.

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