SuperTalk Mississippi

Facebook post prompts mental health conversation after Lincoln County shooting spree

via Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police Facebook

The Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police posted a plea to state lawmakers one day after eight people were killed in Lincoln County this weekend. Association Executive Director Ken Winter wrote the post that has lead to finger-pointing at legislators, law enforcement, and even at the state department of mental health.

According to officials, the man responsible for those eight weekend deaths – Willie Corey Godbolt – has a history of trouble with the law, including accusations of domestic violence and death threats to family members.

Law enforcement are often called upon to handle situations involving someone in need of mental health treatment. While many of those calls end peacefully, some of those individuals are injected into the corrections system, rather than placed into care.

Recently, the U.S. Justice Department opened a federal lawsuit against the state of Mississippi for the state’s lack of community-based mental health programs. In the suit, the DOJ accuses Mississippi of relying on institutions to house those with mental health issues. The state department of mental health was the subject of heavy budget cuts this past legislative session: over $14 million dollars was trimmed from the department’s 2018 budget, leading to programs getting cut, as well as over 600 jobs over the next year.


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