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Lassen County Times
Susanville, California
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July 18, 2000     Lassen County Times
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14A Tuesday, Ju00y 2OOO From page one Impacts: problem c:oula well calm down Continued from page I derstand "the lion's share" of services provided in the new facility "are unfunded." Mental health staff members Lorna Wobbe and Keith Coker described their jobs at the Ju- venile Detention Center for the board members. Wobbe said there were "a lot of troubled kids from out of the county" at the new juvenile hall. She said her workload was expected to increase from two hours a week to three hours per week. Coker said he's working two to three hours everyday at the new facility. "There are a lot of kids there with a lot of problems," Coker said. He said the new hall is aver- aging about 20 inmates and staff members "can't visit ev- erybody. We're just trying to put out the fires." Coker, who works for the mental health department's Children's System of Care pro- gram, said "We're still trying to iron all the bugs out" of the service provider system at the new facility which currently houses seven Lassen County prisoners and 13 from out of county. When fully opera- tional, the facility should house about 40 juveniles. Cok- er said most of the Lassen County juveniles in the facility were already mental health clients. But Jackson said when the juveniles are incarcerated, they lose their Medi-Cal eligi- bility and the county loses its ability to bill the state for ser- vices provided. To make matters worse, Jackson complained that the county's mental health depart- ment has no way to recover the money his department spends on out-of-county juveniles housed in the new regional fa- cility, which serves five coun- ties, Jackson told the board his department had a responsibili- ty to provide services based on medical need rather than on ability to pay. But he told the board the issue was one of re- sources. When questioned by board members, Jackson acknowl- edged that the department has no way to recover money spent on Lassen County juveniles in the new facility either, which led to a discussion of the ethics of ffmding a way to charge oth- er counties for services provid- ed to juveniles when Lassen Countydoesn't pay for those servicd&, an argument mental health alministrator Bill Jest said didn't make any sense. Lloyd Keefer, a Lassen Coun- ty Supervisor and a member of t the Lassen County Mental Health Advisory Board said discussions of the new facility by the supervisors focused on the operational costs. Keefer said he didn't remember any discussion about how services such as those delivered by the mental health department would be paid for. Jackson said a large amount of the department's realign- ment funds were used to pro- vide services in the jail and ju- venile hall. He said by a con- servative estimate, the depart- ment spent $178,000 last year for services to inmates in the jail and juvenile hall. Keeffer said that amount was approximately 10 percent of the Mental Health Division's annual budget. The county's response Lassen County's Chief Ad- ministrative Office Bill Bixby said he'd talked to Jackson about the problem. Bixby said the costs are so high because of the number of requests for ser- vice the department receives from the Public Defender's Of- rice. Bixby asked, "Should we send a bill to the Public De- fender's Office ibr services ren- dered?" But on a more serious note, Bixby told the Times there are no easy solutions. "This is a problem I'm not sure we can resolve at the local level," Bixby said. "Generally jails across the state have ex- pressed frustrations that men- tal health patients have been dumped on them as the treat- ment center of last resort. Some of these people are incar- cerated rather than being placed in a mental health facil- ity." The CAO said he thought the new facility was in good shape. "We're doing great just get- ting the new facility up and running. If this is the only problem we have with the new juvenile hall I'll be happy. It's one of a multitude of problems counties face. How do we pro- vide unlimited services with lingited budgets?" Tom Anderson, Lassen County's former public defend- er who now serves in Nevada County said, "I appreciate the compliment that the public de- fender's office got them ser- vices. I think these are ser- vices they obviously should be providing anyway." Anderson filed a writ last year to force the mental health department to provide mental health services to those in cus- tody. Melissa Rodriguez, a deputy public defender, said, "If we have clients in custody who Ill "" "I think we have an obliga- tion to provide these services |j This is a " even though they're not man- dated by law. If we can get to II problem I'm the problem soon enough, we can get the job done quicker net sure we can and then we may not have to solve at the local provide services forever. These people can become pro- level, Generally, ductive citizens soon and maybe it won't cost us as much jails across the money in the long run." And Keeffer acknowledged state have the problem might not be as expressed large as it appears. "The demand for services frustrations that might level off, and might not be so big a concern after all. mental health We'll track the requests for services as the new hall fills pabents have been up." Snerp Whipple, Lassen duInd on theln as county Probation Department the treatment chief, said a meeting was scheduled with Jackson next center of last week to discuss the issue. Whipple said she "didn't be- resort." lieve it was true" that the men- tal health department couldn't bill for services rendered to ju- Bill Bixby veniles from other counties. County Adminstrative Officer "We bill for hospital services when an out-of-county kid gets need services, of course we're hurt in juvenile hall" Whipple going to ask for them. If said. "It should be the same they're mentally ill and they with mental health. It doesn't need services, regardless of make any sense that they can't their custody status it's terri- bill for those services. I don't bly short-sighted not to offer know what to tell them." services to them. It's not our Whipple said it was true Lassen County did not yet responsibility to provide men- have contractual arrange- tal health services. After all, that's what mental health is ments with other counties re- therefor." garding mental health ser- vices, but she believed other Rodriguez said the public de- counties could be billed for fender's office would be happy those services even without a to pay for the mental health contract. services rendered their clients as soon as the county adds funding for that purpose to their budget. "We're concerned," Keeffer said. "We're not hair-on-fire concerned, but we're con- cerned. We're going to have to sit down and figure out how to address this thing." Unlike Bixby, Keeffer wouldn't criticize the public defender. "Most of the requests from the public defender come from the adult side" Keeffer said. "I can't fault them-- that's their job." Keeffer said he believed the mental health department should provide services to those in custody for the good of- society. $600 off MSRP Meet the butt-kicking, name-taking brawler of the heavyweight cruiser ranks * Votea 1999 "Cruiser of the Year" by Crusng Rider and Motorcycle Tour & Cruiser magazines * BeJt-driven, pushod actuated 98-cobic-inch V-in is a class-leading torque monster. No ethel cruiser comes close to delivering as much grunt --99 loot-pounds at 2250 rpm! -- o[ as many thrills Pure V-twin soul howls from gorgeous chome-llated, staggered exhaust * Wide-ratio, 5-speed gearbox Stout. brushed-steel forks, sculpted steel lenders, wire-spoked wheels, cushy saddle and full-length floorboards Eagle Mountain Yamaha 2019 E. Main St., Quincy 283-3059 Rnanco Available OAC I Ask abeet detatlsl 00YAMAHA Jimmy C. Young Lic. #0248873 305 Ash St. Susanville, CA 257-5189 Like a good neighbor,_ state Farm is there. State Farm Insurance ompanle| Home OfficOll: Bloomington, Illinois- When Blue (:ross of.,C,al!fornia Says No Deouc00m00e we Mean.., No Deductible! The No-Deductible PPO Plans LIN DA > No deductible in-network or out. ROU LAN D > No deductible for any doctor, specialist, lab, hospital, x-rays, (800 ) 254-221 8 or prescription drugs, or 258-2218 > Your choice of $20, $30 or $40 co-pay A Blue Cross of California 1 $i.._i_i_i_i_i_i_b  ,,,,,,,,,,,.. Authorized Agent. - Serving the Northern m -- -o., California Area. sm -- CA Lic #0750817 $267 Blue Cross of California Bue Coa Of Cotra s an it see ohio Bue Crou . Blaze: spread f Continued from page aware" of the fire, ac:' rdm o SherifFs itas. In particular, the department was shift workers who might have been aslee The fire and smoke shut down the two main ing into Susanville, abo 5:3(1 p.m. according to pal Utilities District Geaerat Manager John Baxter. Power was restored between 7:30 and 9:30 Baxter said, as LMUD bega to repatch its gency backup from the Honey Lake Power The blaze burned 11 poles and line along the 'q to the highway and three poles and lines on the ther up the hill. Baxter sad. The fire, subse( darkness kept LMUD rep:trmen out of the area morning July 14, Baxe sad. About 35 engines from USFS, CDF and area from the Susan River to Hadlton Branch Twelve hand crews, three bulldozers, four air helicopters also were brought into the battle LASSEN CUSTOM A Cut Above/ Ranch & Game Wholesale Pricing 30 Cheners:Date & Barbara Oxford, Fax: 257-6974 LASSEN COUNTY SHAMINGS ............. Manna Pro 50 lb. PRO BEEF fiNISHER .............. UTC,' i C A T E R I N G 14A Tuesday, Ju00y 2OOO From page one Impacts: problem c:oula well calm down Continued from page I derstand "the lion's share" of services provided in the new facility "are unfunded." Mental health staff members Lorna Wobbe and Keith Coker described their jobs at the Ju- venile Detention Center for the board members. Wobbe said there were "a lot of troubled kids from out of the county" at the new juvenile hall. She said her workload was expected to increase from two hours a week to three hours per week. Coker said he's working two to three hours everyday at the new facility. "There are a lot of kids there with a lot of problems," Coker said. He said the new hall is aver- aging about 20 inmates and staff members "can't visit ev- erybody. We're just trying to put out the fires." Coker, who works for the mental health department's Children's System of Care pro- gram, said "We're still trying to iron all the bugs out" of the service provider system at the new facility which currently houses seven Lassen County prisoners and 13 from out of county. When fully opera- tional, the facility should house about 40 juveniles. Cok- er said most of the Lassen County juveniles in the facility were already mental health clients. But Jackson said when the juveniles are incarcerated, they lose their Medi-Cal eligi- bility and the county loses its ability to bill the state for ser- vices provided. To make matters worse, Jackson complained that the county's mental health depart- ment has no way to recover the money his department spends on out-of-county juveniles housed in the new regional fa- cility, which serves five coun- ties, Jackson told the board his department had a responsibili- ty to provide services based on medical need rather than on ability to pay. But he told the board the issue was one of re- sources. When questioned by board members, Jackson acknowl- edged that the department has no way to recover money spent on Lassen County juveniles in the new facility either, which led to a discussion of the ethics of ffmding a way to charge oth- er counties for services provid- ed to juveniles when Lassen Countydoesn't pay for those servicd&, an argument mental health alministrator Bill Jest said didn't make any sense. Lloyd Keefer, a Lassen Coun- ty Supervisor and a member of t the Lassen County Mental Health Advisory Board said discussions of the new facility by the supervisors focused on the operational costs. Keefer said he didn't remember any discussion about how services such as those delivered by the mental health department would be paid for. Jackson said a large amount of the department's realign- ment funds were used to pro- vide services in the jail and ju- venile hall. He said by a con- servative estimate, the depart- ment spent $178,000 last year for services to inmates in the jail and juvenile hall. Keeffer said that amount was approximately 10 percent of the Mental Health Division's annual budget. The county's response Lassen County's Chief Ad- ministrative Office Bill Bixby said he'd talked to Jackson about the problem. Bixby said the costs are so high because of the number of requests for ser- vice the department receives from the Public Defender's Of- rice. Bixby asked, "Should we send a bill to the Public De- fender's Office ibr services ren- dered?" But on a more serious note, Bixby told the Times there are no easy solutions. "This is a problem I'm not sure we can resolve at the local level," Bixby said. "Generally jails across the state have ex- pressed frustrations that men- tal health patients have been dumped on them as the treat- ment center of last resort. Some of these people are incar- cerated rather than being placed in a mental health facil- ity." The CAO said he thought the new facility was in good shape. "We're doing great just get- ting the new facility up and running. If this is the only problem we have with the new juvenile hall I'll be happy. It's one of a multitude of problems counties face. How do we pro- vide unlimited services with lingited budgets?" Tom Anderson, Lassen County's former public defend- er who now serves in Nevada County said, "I appreciate the compliment that the public de- fender's office got them ser- vices. I think these are ser- vices they obviously should be providing anyway." Anderson filed a writ last year to force the mental health department to provide mental health services to those in cus- tody. Melissa Rodriguez, a deputy public defender, said, "If we have clients in custody who Ill "" "I think we have an obliga- tion to provide these services |j This is a " even though they're not man- dated by law. If we can get to II problem I'm the problem soon enough, we can get the job done quicker net sure we can and then we may not have to solve at the local provide services forever. These people can become pro- level, Generally, ductive citizens soon and maybe it won't cost us as much jails across the money in the long run." And Keeffer acknowledged state have the problem might not be as expressed large as it appears. "The demand for services frustrations that might level off, and might not be so big a concern after all. mental health We'll track the requests for services as the new hall fills pabents have been up." Snerp Whipple, Lassen duInd on theln as county Probation Department the treatment chief, said a meeting was scheduled with Jackson next center of last week to discuss the issue. Whipple said she "didn't be- resort." lieve it was true" that the men- tal health department couldn't bill for services rendered to ju- Bill Bixby veniles from other counties. County Adminstrative Officer "We bill for hospital services when an out-of-county kid gets need services, of course we're hurt in juvenile hall" Whipple going to ask for them. If said. "It should be the same they're mentally ill and they with mental health. It doesn't need services, regardless of make any sense that they can't their custody status it's terri- bill for those services. I don't bly short-sighted not to offer know what to tell them." services to them. It's not our Whipple said it was true Lassen County did not yet responsibility to provide men- have contractual arrange- tal health services. After all, that's what mental health is ments with other counties re- therefor." garding mental health ser- vices, but she believed other Rodriguez said the public de- counties could be billed for fender's office would be happy those services even without a to pay for the mental health contract. services rendered their clients as soon as the county adds funding for that purpose to their budget. "We're concerned," Keeffer said. "We're not hair-on-fire concerned, but we're con- cerned. We're going to have to sit down and figure out how to address this thing." Unlike Bixby, Keeffer wouldn't criticize the public defender. "Most of the requests from the public defender come from the adult side" Keeffer said. "I can't fault them-- that's their job." Keeffer said he believed the mental health department should provide services to those in custody for the good of- society. $600 off MSRP Meet the butt-kicking, name-taking brawler of the heavyweight cruiser ranks * Votea 1999 "Cruiser of the Year" by Crusng Rider and Motorcycle Tour & Cruiser magazines * BeJt-driven, pushod actuated 98-cobic-inch V-in is a class-leading torque monster. No ethel cruiser comes close to delivering as much grunt --99 loot-pounds at 2250 rpm! -- o[ as many thrills Pure V-twin soul howls from gorgeous chome-llated, staggered exhaust * Wide-ratio, 5-speed gearbox Stout. brushed-steel forks, sculpted steel lenders, wire-spoked wheels, cushy saddle and full-length floorboards Eagle Mountain Yamaha 2019 E. Main St., Quincy 283-3059 Rnanco Available OAC I Ask abeet detatlsl 00YAMAHA Jimmy C. Young Lic. #0248873 305 Ash St. Susanville, CA 257-5189 Like a good neighbor,_ state Farm is there. State Farm Insurance ompanle| Home OfficOll: Bloomington, Illinois- When Blue (:ross of.,C,al!fornia Says No Deouc00m00e we Mean.., No Deductible! The No-Deductible PPO Plans LIN DA > No deductible in-network or out. ROU LAN D > No deductible for any doctor, specialist, lab, hospital, x-rays, (800 ) 254-221 8 or prescription drugs, or 258-2218 > Your choice of $20, $30 or $40 co-pay A Blue Cross of California 1 $i.._i_i_i_i_i_i_b  ,,,,,,,,,,,.. Authorized Agent. - Serving the Northern m -- -o., California Area. sm -- CA Lic #0750817 $267 Blue Cross of California Bue Coa Of Cotra s an it see ohio Bue Crou . Blaze: spread f Continued from page aware" of the fire, ac:' rdm o SherifFs itas. In particular, the department was shift workers who might have been aslee The fire and smoke shut down the two main ing into Susanville, abo 5:3(1 p.m. according to pal Utilities District Geaerat Manager John Baxter. Power was restored between 7:30 and 9:30 Baxter said, as LMUD bega to repatch its gency backup from the Honey Lake Power The blaze burned 11 poles and line along the 'q to the highway and three poles and lines on the ther up the hill. Baxter sad. The fire, subse( darkness kept LMUD rep:trmen out of the area morning July 14, Baxe sad. About 35 engines from USFS, CDF and area from the Susan River to Hadlton Branch Twelve hand crews, three bulldozers, four air helicopters also were brought into the battle LASSEN CUSTOM A Cut Above/ Ranch & Game Wholesale Pricing 30 Cheners:Date & Barbara Oxford, Fax: 257-6974 LASSEN COUNTY SHAMINGS ............. Manna Pro 50 lb. PRO BEEF fiNISHER .............. UTC,' i C A T E R I N G