This is in response to the excellent article written by Denise Hamilton (Jan. 5) regarding Department 95 of the Los Angeles Superior Court where hearings pertaining to mental competency are conducted.
Hamilton is to be commended for accurately describing the pathetic system we use in dealing with people with brain diseases. Through impartial documentation of court activities, she revealed the many problems encountered daily by mentally ill people and the judicial staff.
Although it must be difficult for judges to decide who should be hospitalized and who should be released, the real tragedy is that those who are discharged are turned out into a community that has little to offer for care and treatment.
The thousands of members in Los Angeles County of the family support group, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, truly appreciate Hamilton's sensitive interpretation of the Lanterman, Petris, Short Act, which is California's mental health law. However, we take exception to the statement that many families use the court as a dumping ground because they tire of caring for their mentally ill relatives.