SMOOTH EXITS

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FYI: With a court-ordered June deadline approaching, agency officials and City Council overseers are furiously working to iron out a system for smoothly discharging inmates with mental illnesses from the city’s jails. In April, a state court approved a settlement that the mayor’s office reached on a suit dating back to 1999. The settlement in the case known as Brad H. calls for social service officials to create a treatment and reentry plan for each mentally ill inmate they discharge, including coordinating housing and medication and linking inmates up with community treatment providers. In a hearing Friday, administration officials and Council members agreed the city is on track to meet the June deadline, but Councilmember Margarita Lopez expressed concern that the Department of Health has not moved to create automatic Medicaid enrollment for mentally ill inmates or beef up translation services. [5/6/03]