Vt. Routinely Violates Law On Moving Mentally Ill

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Mentally ill Vermonters involuntarily put in state care are still mostly being moved from place to place in shackles, seven years after the state decreed that they should be transported with "the least restrictive means necessary."

State officials and county sheriffs tell The Associated Press a very small number of patients are combative or deemed a threat to commit.

But figures from the state Department of Mental Health show about two-thirds of patients being moved by sheriffs or police are in handcuffs and ankle chains.

Deputy Mental Health Commissioner Mary Moulton acknowledges the mental health system is not living up to the terms of the law, but she says officials are working to fix the problem.

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