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Program A: Administrative

Program Authorization: R.S. 28:64

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The mission of the Administrative Program of the Mental Health Advocacy Service (MHAS) is to ensure that the rights of the mentally disabled are protected by: (1) making legal representation available to the respondent in every civil commitment proceeding in Louisiana; (2) providing legal representation during the initial stages of confinement for every indigent person involuntarily admitted for mental health treatment; (3) providing legal representation for every person who has been civilly committed, subsequent to their civil commitment; and (4) providing legal representation to juveniles committed to mental institutions. The program also acts as a clearinghouse for information relative to the rights of mentally disabled persons.

The goals of the Administrative Program of the Mental Health Advocacy Service are:

  1. Provide trained legal representation to every adult and juvenile patient in mental health treatment facilities in Louisiana at all stages of the civil commitment process.
  2. Ensure that the legal rights of all mentally disabled persons are protected.

In order to provide services on a statewide basis, the Mental Health Advocacy Service (MHAS) is broken down into the administrative headquarters in Baton Rouge and six agency field offices located around the state. The offices litigate more than 140 cases each month. In addition, the MHAS responds to over 6,500 requests for information annually, provides training for over 2,200 persons annually, addresses numerous systems issues (issues that affect the rights of more than one disabled person and require a change in policy or practice to be remedied), and participates in the community by sitting on boards and commissions. The program also acts as a clearinghouse for information relative to the rights of mentally disabled persons.

It is expensive to provide psychiatric hospitalization in state mental hospitals and the cost is paid with state--not federal dollars. Alternatives to full-time hospitalization are sought by MHAS attorneys on behalf of their clients. These alternatives (which might include commitment to a community mental health center as an outpatient or discharge on the condition that the person continue to take medication) represent a cost savings to the state because expensive inpatient hospitalization is avoided. In addition, MHAS attorneys determine whether clients are willing to accept treatment on a voluntary basis, thus avoiding the need of judicial hearings; and MHAS attorneys attempt to resolve as many cases before trial as possible. In this way, both judicial and professional time and expenses are saved.

OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Unless otherwise indicated, all objectives are to be accomplished during or by the end of FY 1999-2000. Performance indicators are made up of two parts: name and value. The indicator name describes what is being measured. The indicator value is the numeric value or level achieved within a given measurement period. For budgeting purposes, performance indicator values are shown for the prior fiscal year, the current fiscal year, and alternative funding scenarios (continuation budget level and Executive Budget recommendation level) for the ensuing fiscal year (the fiscal year of the budget document).

 

 

RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM

SOURCE OF FUNDING

This program is funded with State General Fund.

ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION

GENERAL FUND

TOTAL

T.O.

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

 

$714,997

$714,997

15

 

ACT 19 FISCAL YEAR 1998-1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA-7 TRANSACTIONS:

$0

$0

0

 

None

 

 

 

 

 

$714,997

$714,997

15

 

EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET November 20, 1998

 

 

 

 

 

$12,410

$12,410

0

 

Annualization of FY 1998-1999 Classified State Employees Merit Increase

$12,776

$12,776

0

 

Classified State Employees Merit Increases for FY 1999-2000

$2,366

$2,366

0

 

Risk Management Adjustment

$12,163

$12,163

0

 

Acquisitions and Major Repairs

($14,163)

($14,163)

0

 

Nonrecurring Acquisitions and Major Repairs

$361

$361

0

 

Maintenance of State-owned Buildings

 $10

$10

 0

 

UPS Fees 

$6,526

$6,526

0

 

Salary Base Adjustment

$158

$158

0

 

Civil Service Fees

$7,145

$7,145

0

 

Other Adjustments Operating Expenses increases

         

$754,749

$754,749

15

 

TOTAL RECOMMENDED

 

 

 

 

 

$39,752

$39,752

0

 

DIFFERENCE (TOTAL RECOMMENDED AND EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET)

The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 105.5% of the existing operating budget. It represents 87.9% of the total request ($857,919) for this program. The increase in total recommended over the existing operating budget is primarily due to merit increases for this agency.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

$2,284

 

Medical services contract for clients

 

 

 

$2,284

 

TOTAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

OTHER CHARGES

 

Interagency Transfers:

$1,650

 

Department of Civil Service

$9,612

 

Maintenance of state-owned buildings

$466

 

Office of Uniform Payroll System

 

 

 

$11,728

 

TOTAL INTERAGENCY TRANSFERS

ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS

$12,163

 

To replace obsolete and inoperable office equipment

 

 

 

$12,163

 

TOTAL ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS


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