The Citizens Commission on Human Rights is Hosting an Online Baker Act Workshop

The Florida chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is hosting a virtual workshop on the Baker Act and Parental Rights on January 15th. The complimentary workshop will be delivered by attorney Carmen Miller, a former assistant public defender in the Thirteenth Circuit in Tampa, who has an extensive background in dealing with Baker Acts. During the event attendees will cover the context and intentions of the mental health law, basic human rights impacted by the Baker Act, changes to the Baker Act process for children, the unintended consequences of involuntary psychiatric examinations and how this all relates to parental rights.

During the 2021 Florida Legislative Session changes were made to how the Baker Act can be used in schools. The law now requires parental notification before a child can be taken into custody. As a result of these changes and how they relate to the new Parents’ Bill of Rights, CCHR began offering workshops on this subject to mental health professionals and concerned parents.

According to the most recent Baker Act Report, more than 37,000 involuntary psychiatric examinations were initiated on children in Florida during 2018/2019 which was an 87% increase from 2008/2009. The alarming number of children being taken into custody under the mental health law resulted in organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) deciding to take action. Following a lengthy investigation, the SPLC released a report titled “Costly and Cruel” which revealed the abusive use of the Baker Act. As reported by the Interim Deputy Legal Director for Children’s Rights with the SPLC, “children across the state have the Baker Act used against them largely by schools, police and foster care facilities. Sometimes – for even very minor infractions and normal adolescent behavior – they are handcuffed by police, taken in cop cars and deeply traumatized as they are carted off for days at a time to psychiatric facilities for an involuntary psychiatric exam, where they may or may not get to speak with their family.” To learn more about the Baker Act, your rights as a parent under this law or to reserve a spot for the event, please call 727-442-8820 or send an email to execdir@cchrflorida.org. [1,2]

About CCHR: Initially established by the Church of Scientology and renowned psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Szasz in 1969, CCHR’s 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.

Sources:

[1] Baker Act Annual Report – usf.edu/cbcs/baker-act/documents/ba_usf_annual_report_2018_2019.pdf

[2] Costly and Cruel: Thousands of Florida children suffer the harm and indignity of involuntary, and often illegal, commitment to psychiatric facilities – splcenter.org/news/2021/03/24/costly-and-cruel-thousands-florida-children-suffer-harm-and-indignity-involuntary-and-often

Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida
Citizens Commission on Human Rights of Florida
http://www.cchrflorida.org/
publicaffairs@cchrflorida.org
+1-727-442-8820
109 North Fort Harrison Avenue

Clearwater
United States

comtex tracking

COMTEX_398951450/2764/2021-12-15T01:09:55

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Times of Chennai journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.