Evans Moore Shed Light on Mental Health Crisis in Upcoming Documentary Film

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On June 25, 2015, the attorneys of Evans Moore, Scott Evans and James “Boo” Moore, were interviewed for an upcoming documentary produced by non-profit Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., which highlights the crisis facing the mentally ill in South Carolina’s state prison system.

Evans Moore were approached for this interview due to their successful track record of litigating civil cases on behalf of individuals and their families who have needlessly suffered from neglect, abuse, and mistreatment within the South Carolina Department of Corrections. During this interview, Scott and James engage in candid discussions regarding the effects of the deficit of mental health services within our State’s prison system on the lives of inmates, their families, and its impact on the citizens of our great state.

The documentary, slated for release in fall 2016, will also bring light to Circuit Judge Michael Baxley’s recent ruling in the class action lawsuit filed against the Department of Corrections, T.R., P.R., K.W., et al. v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, et al.

The class action suit, filed in June 2005 by Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. on behalf of inmates with serious mental health needs, alleges inadequate mental health treatment for prisoners held statewide by the S.C. Department of Corrections. The lawsuit did not seek financial damages; rather, it charged the court with requiring the department to design and maintain a program that provides adequate treatment of inmates with mental illness.

In his Order dated January 8, 2014, Judge Baxley opined that this case was the “most troubling” of the 70,000 cases to come before him in the past 14 years.   “The evidence in this case has proved that inmates have died in the South Carolina Department of Corrections for lack of basic mental health care, and hundreds more remain substantially at risk for serious physical injury, mental decompensation, and profound, permanent mental illness. As a society, and as citizen jurors and judges make decisions that send people to prison, we have the reasonable expectation that those in prison – even though it is prison – will have their basic health needs met by the state that imprisons them. And this includes mental health. The evidence in this case has shown that expectation to be misplaced in many instances,” Baxley wrote.

South Carolina houses some 23,000 inmates, with more than 3,000 inmates with serious mental illness diagnoses (SCDC data as of June 30, 2011).

The Judge noted that providing mental health services to inmates has significance beyond the prison walls. “What happens at the Department of Corrections impacts all of us, whether it is from the discharge of untreated seriously mentally ill individuals from prison into the general population, or tremendously increased costs for treatment and care that might have been prevented, or the needless increase in human suffering when use of force replaces medical care. The decisions of our Courts reflect the values of our society. To that end, our state can no longer tolerate a mental health system at the South Carolina Department of Corrections that has broken down due to lack of finances and focus,” he wrote.

The Judge’s order requires the corrections department to remedy constitutional violations by submitting a remedial plan within six months to include: development of screening and mental health treatment programs; a plan to employ sufficient mental health professionals; a plan to maintain treatment records and administer psychotropic medication with appropriate supervision and periodic evaluation; and a program to identify, treat, and supervise inmates at risk for suicide.

For more information on cases handled by Evans Moore, the Protection and Advocacy Class Action, and a copy of the Order, please visit http://www.mentalhealth4inmates.org.

 

Testimonials

Marnie H.

My attorney James Moore goes the extra mile for clients and I highly recommend Mr Moore. He is always available for his clients.

Allison

Honest and dedicated.

Alina

Amazing attorneys who will work very hard to make sure justice is served and that everything runs as smoothly as possible.

David

I recently retained Mr. James Moore to represent me in an accident involving a trucking company. He settled the case in a timely and professional manner, and i couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. I would recommend him and the firm, with the highest regards, to anyone needing legal representation.

Amy

God Bless James Moore & Scott Evans for the work they do – fighting for those that cannot speak for themselves, those that are pushed aside and thrown away, those that do not have a voice, those that are true victims.

Hailey

James and Scott’s personal attention and responsiveness are attributes that made them really stand out. Their preparedness and dedication to a favorable outcome was exceptional. They are both genuinely good people who care for the well-being of their clients.

Cliff

Professional while also being engaging. Walked family through tough experience and was knowledgeable calming voice. Very glad we hired.

Jenn (on behalf of her father)

After suffering a tragic loss, I went to several law firms looking for someone to help with some sort of settlement from the family of the person who caused the loss. After having the door shut in my face, countless times I met with James and Scott, who agreed to take the case to see what he could do. Each time , throughout the process I called the office, no matter who I spoke to or why I called, everyone made me feel like a valued client. I am grateful for the Evans Moore law firm and will recommend them to anyone who would find their representation useful.

Cheryl

Scott Evans handled cases for my daughter and me in the last few years with great results. He is professional, knowledgeable, caring and provides comfort for his clients during their hard times. Office staff at Evans Moore is terrific, always helpful when I called and a great asset to the firm. Should i need legal help in the future I will call Evans Moore.

Drew

I retained James Moore of Evans Moore Law firm in regards to traffic accident in which I was involved. The expert advice, legal support and personal attention Mr. Moore provided during a stressful time and unfavorable situation was unparalleled. Not only was the issue resolved swiftly, but Mr. Moore went out of his way to keep me updated on all matters during the process. The next time I’ll need to call ‘my lawyer,’ as they say, I’ll know exactly who to call. Thanks again to Mr. Moore and the entire Evans Moore Law Firm for your support!