Thursday, August 11, 2016

Justice Department sues state over mentally ill

The Justice Department and Attorney General Jim Hood issued the following press release: 


WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today filed a complaint against the state of Mississippi, alleging that it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) by failing to provide adults with mental illness with necessary integrated, community-based mental health services.  The community integration mandate of the ADA and the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C. require states to make services available to people with disabilities – including people with mental illness – in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. 

The state’s failure to provide services in community settings forces adults with mental illness to access services and care in segregated state hospitals, including the Mississippi State Hospital, East Mississippi State Hospital, North Mississippi State Hospital and South Mississippi State Hospital.  Under Olmstead, unnecessarily forcing people with disabilities to enter institutions to get services constitutes unlawful discrimination.

In December 2011, after conducting a comprehensive investigation, the department found that the state’s system for serving individuals with mental health disabilities violates the ADA.  The department found that the state unnecessarily institutionalizes adults and children with disabilities and fails to ensure that they have access to necessary services and supports in the community.  The state has recognized these failures but has not yet implemented the required reforms to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. 

“When individuals with mental illness receive the services they need, they are better able to find meaningful work, secure stable housing, build personal relationships, and avoid involvement with the criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “For far too long, Mississippi has failed people with mental illness, violating their civil rights by confining them in isolating institutions.  Our lawsuit seeks to end these injustices, and it sends a clear signal that we will continue to fight for the full rights and liberties of Americans with mental illness”

“When individuals with mental illness get the services they need and the care they deserve, they can live and work in their own communities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “Mississippi violates the ADA by denying residents with disabilities the services the law requires and the support they deserve, forcing them to cycle in and out of state hospitals, emergency rooms and jails.  The Justice Department’s lawsuit demonstrates our firm commitment to vindicate the rights of people with mental illness.”

“In Mississippi, adults with mental illness receive inadequate mental health care – care that is too often in segregated, institutional placements,” said U.S. Attorney Gregory Davis of the Southern District of Mississippi.  “Mississippi has not developed the necessary supports in the community to prevent unnecessary institutionalization as required by the ADA.”

The complaint alleges that gaps and weaknesses in the state’s mental health system too often subject adults with mental illness to needless trauma, especially during a crisis.  According to the complaint, adults with mental illness who experience a crisis in Mississippi often spend days in local emergency rooms and jail holding facilities that are ill-equipped to address their needs, before ultimately being transported to the state’s psychiatric hospitals.  This costly and traumatic process could be avoided if adults with mental illness received proven and effective services in the community to prevent and deescalate crises, enable them to maintain safe housing and assist them in finding and holding employment.

Since issuing its findings letter, the department engaged in discussions with the state to reach a settlement resolving the violations the department identified.  The parties, however, were ultimately unable to come to an agreement that would ensure the needed services and supports for people with disabilities in Mississippi.  In order to vindicate the rights of adults with mental illness under the ADA, the United States has filed this lawsuit under the ADA and CRIPA.  The United States is also participating as amicus in ongoing litigation against Mississippi in Troupe v. Barbour, a case that addresses the state’s ADA obligations toward children with mental health disabilities.  The United States remains committed to resolving all of the violations the department identified in its findings letter

Attorney General Jim Hood also issued the following statement: 

Attorney General Jim Hood Calls for Collaborative Effort in Continuing to Improve State Mental Health Services

JACKSON— A lawsuit filed today by the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of Mississippi provides the most meaningful opportunity yet for leaders to work together to continue to improve the state’s mental health system, Attorney General Jim Hood said today.

The federal government alleges that the state has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by housing mentally ill individuals in institutions rather than community settings. The Department of Justice has filed similar lawsuits in about a dozen states alleging violations of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision.

“This lawsuit is a clarion call to all of us in state leadership to consider how we care for the least among us and how we can make it better,” Attorney General Hood said. “I see this litigation as a challenge to our Legislature to find the resources we need to continue to expand mental health services. This is a clear opportunity for our Legislature, mental health professionals, our faith-based community and all of us as Mississippians to come together to determine an effective way to address issues related to our mental health delivery system for years to come. It’s our obligation as Christians and people of faith to take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves.  It’s time for each of us to move forward to better fulfill that fundamental responsibility.

“The state has made great progress in expanding community mental health programs, and we will continue to push for expansion. We have come a long way, but further work remains to be done.”

Attorney General Hood said his office has been negotiating with DOJ for several years in an effort to avoid litigation, which is expected to be a considerable cost to the state at a time when tax cuts have caused significant budget problems. However, the Attorney General refused to accept the federal government’s demands for a court-ordered consent decree that would bind the state to perpetual federal oversight.

Attorney General Hood had also hoped that good-faith efforts to address the state’s mental health needs might allay the federal government’s concerns. Thus, the Attorney General has encouraged lawmakers for years to allocate additional resources to the Department of Mental Health. The Legislature did provide some extra funding in previous sessions, but this year actually cut the Department’s budget by $8.3 million. Since 2008, the Department has been forced to eliminate approximately 500 mental health beds, in addition to 34 beds in 2016 because of the Legislature’s budget cuts and its refusal to provide additional money for mental health programs.

“Not only did the Department of Mental Health take a substantial budget hit, the Legislature did not agree to a request for more than $12 million for community mental health programs,” Attorney General Hood said. “That would have helped us continue our expansion of community-based mental health services and kept us moving in the right direction, as we’ve consistently been doing already.”

The Attorney General noted that Georgia has been involved in similar litigation with DOJ since 2010 and has already spent more than $200 million.

“Until this year, we have been effective in preventing a lawsuit and saving the state millions of dollars in anticipated expenses and attorneys’ fees,” Attorney General Hood said. “Unfortunately, the Legislature this year chose to put money toward big corporate tax cuts rather than meet the needs of those among us who most need our assistance. We are now in the undesirable position of fighting a lawsuit that will cost us even more.  It’s time to act on behalf of our mentally ill residents and invest in the care they deserve.”


Anonymous said...

What can the Federal Govt do if the state does have the money to pay for all the mental health required??? Let the feds come in and take over mental health.

Anonymous said...

Monkeys could do a better job of running the MS State Dept. of Mental Health than the bozos who run it now. They are paid exorbitant salaries to attend meetings, conferences and "retreats", while the mentally ill citizens of MS are thrown away. Bring in the Feds and expose the waste and corruption in this state agency!

From The Bleachers.. said...

Point one of two: The lawsuit has tremendous merit. The state either ignores mental health issues or advocates warehousing people with mental health problems in one of the regional hospitals. The law does not say "This is required if the state feels it can afford to do it." The law says "Do it."

Point two of two: Isn't it the AG's duty to defend the state against lawsuits rather than high-five the plaintiff?

Anonymous said...

"Let the feds come in and take over mental health."

Congratulations on recognizing what's happening! Pick up your prize at the counter.

Anonymous said...

Illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse has caused a great deal of this. Years of abuse accelerates the mental capacity and creates the mental illness. I know many will argue with me, but you need to see it happening in the workplace. It's a shame. Add the synthetic marijuana (spice) to the mix and I'm seeing it drive people crazy. I firmly believe people are not born with mental illness. I firmly believe it is caused by drug abuse.

Anonymous said...

4:33 - it's the attorney's job to educate the client on when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, & when to run.

Representing a private client, I certainly wouldn't make a public statement like Hood's. But he represents the state of Mississippi, i.e., me and you and the whole dang crew. If there's no defense to the suit, maybe we should know this at the outset?

Anonymous said...

@ From The Bleachers

You were spot on.

90% of the time I usually rip the #MSLeg for most of the shenanigans they pull or for ignoring an issue.

But on this, the Feds (DOJ) came into a rural state waved their magic wand and said get it fixed. It's just not that simple Tristan.

Mississippi has 82 counties, imagine implementing a mental health community model for the state? Each one of those counties would need to have their own mental health "system" or "office" with mobile staff. Even if they were regional offices, they would need staff, vehicles, transport unit to actual mental health facilities for at risk patients, etc etc

Community base model sounds good, when you look back at facilities like Willowbrook State School in New York. But now the facilities are audited on a regular basis. From a fiscal standpoint, they are the most logical.

Anonymous said...

Bleachers, the AG knows the lawsuit has merit and there is no defense. Although many attorneys ignore ethics, technically you cannot mount a frivolous defense of a civil suit or a criminal charge. A criminal defense attorney, in the absence of any defense, can require the state to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, but cannot fabricate evidence or intentionally mislead the jury. Again, many don't play by these rules, but they are real.

Hood warned the legislature and governor about underfunding mental health. What do you really expect him to do now? And no, I don't support him for governor.

Anonymous said...

5:17, you are the dumbest person I have ever met. That would be like saying cancer, hypertension, or lupus is purely an enviromental issue. I am glad you aren't my doctor or in health care. My guess is that you are one of the elders at a 12 step group that tells the newly initiated to pull the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth, fucking fascist.

Anonymous said...

To 5:17. What drug caused yours?

Anonymous said...

If there ever was a state that needed more funding for mental health Ms. is it. Just take a look at all of the nut cases Ms. has, many in some type of govt. position. Imagine what the majority of the people must be like since they voted for these people.
Please Ms. return every cent that was cut from mental health then double their budget.

Anonymous said...

The buck stops with Phil. He likes to take credit for any success in Mississippi (whether he had anything to do with it or not). As the state's CEO, he should man up and own this problem.

Anonymous said...

There are major cuts in every agency serving the public. Bryant, Gunn and Reeves orchestrated the worst Legislative session in my lifetime. State government has to function and those three are only serving themselves.

Anonymous said...

@5:17 - I don't know who should be more offended by your extraordinary ignorance: those who suffer from the illness of addiction or those that suffer with life-long mental illness - or all their loved ones. You have managed to take a position which is an affront to virtually everyone. You have obviously experienced first-hand these diseases and chosen to live in denial. Your lack of intelligence is exceeded only by your lack of compassion...

From The Bleachers 2.. said...

More points:

Point 3 of 4: It matters not how difficult a state thinks or finds that it will be to offer suitable mental health services for the population. Who gives a whack-ass how many counties there are or how many new Prius autos will need to be purchased. The fact is there are several federal laws requiring states to offer adequate services. Bitch and moan about that as you wish. There are no free-passes issued to states who claim financial difficulty.

Point 4 of 4: Regardless of how indefensible the State's current position is, it's only grandstanding, politicking and self-serving for Mullet-Boy to immediately take to the stage and podium to reply in this manner. We all know what he did and why he did it and it has nothing whatever to do with advising his client, the state.

Anonymous said...

I work in mental health, and trust me, I'm not making some large salary.

This is a 2 fold problem. Yes, the state did/does a piss poor job of managing funds. It is sadly like a MAJORITY of the world today. When times are good, things are good. We make purchases, spend out of our means. We expand budgets for the money we have. When times are bad we panic and are forced to make cuts. There are complaints and whining, but we weren't prudent with what we had before. Again, the comparison to the world today, people complain about student loans, but they are on a brand new iphone, in a new car, eating out, after getting a degree in a subject that is unusable in the working world.

The second problem, our state isn't conducive to the models that the DOJ wants our State mental health to be. Yes, we could have invested more money and effort YEARS (20+) into more community based programs, but it isn't cost effective. The state facilities are 1 stop shops, all the services you could ever need in one place. No, these different facilities aren't in their communities, but building 82 facilities with redundancies in services isn't very effective. A mental health center in Louisville may go a month without having anyone needing services, then have 5 people need services in a week. Our system is designed to have a facility they can receive services anytime.

Our population doesn't support the models DOJ are asking us to do. Can we do better, yes, but having a community support system in the New York Tri-State area is totally different that in the State of Mississippi.

A better way to view and understand this, look at grocery stores in Mississippi. Does every town have a Kroger or Walmart? Bigger cities/communities have one that serves a region or area. Whereas the Jackson Metro area has multiple grocers. That's a service needed by ALL Mississippi residents. The same reason the hometown grocers closed up shop, it's not cost effective anymore. Yeah, there's a Dollar General on each corner that's ok for some items, but the variety and frankly quality is greatly affected.

Frankly the DOJ has the classic liberal tactic of saying "it's all wrong, change it!" When asked "To what and How?" They reply "That's not our problem."

Anonymous said...

This may be a little different than most posts.
I am one of the people who need help. I know I have a mental problem but also know I will not get any help. There isn't anything I can do but try my best to hold things together as long as I possibly can. I have tried every place for help. Even tried the govt. I am a veteran but the VA will not help. I have got in touch with everyone I know who might be able to help. Even tried the governors office, no help there.
How many like me are out there? Some that might be saved? Many are looking for help but there isn't anyone or anyplace to get help.

Anonymous said...

Just like the federal government to compare apples to oranges. They have yet to notice that Mississippi is a rural state. It is impossible to offer mental health services in all 82 counties. They do there best with 14 regional mental health centers that try to service all 82 counties but with budget cuts it is going to be difficult. I blame this on our state legislature.

Anonymous said...

@1:46 contact your local regional mental health centers.

That's a start for you. If you feel that you may harm yourself or others contact someone. For more information you can research

Or if in an emergency call 911. They can help keep you safe.

Anonymous said...

To those saying "let the feds do it", that is EXACTLY what the state is worried about. If the feds do it directly, the state WILL NOT GET PAID to do it, and the state LOVES getting huge bang for it's buck when it pays $1 for every $2 the feds kick in for some state wide service being provided. Now that federal money won't be coming to the state's budget and it'll mean less money overall.

Also if the feds are doing some service directly the state (and the legislature) will have much less say so on how things are done. You can see that as a positive or negative but the legislature usually hates it.

Anonymous said...

@ August 12, 2016 at 2:29 PM

Well said! Add in the fact, the feds will bring in their OWN people. So there's no guarantee Mississippians will be chosen to fill the necessary positions, especially the administrative positions.

Anonymous said...

@ From The Bleachers 2

You are saying give Mental Health carte blanche for budgeting, but how do you propose that when the legislators are cutting revenue streams to nil?

We can't have it both ways people. We can't get excited about tax cuts and then wonder why we are borrowing money to pay the utilities?

Anonymous said...

2:01, thank you for your help. I have contacted both. The first one sent me on a phone extension circle. Finally gave up when I talked to the 3 same people over and over. Each one sending me to the others who would immediately send me back. The other one I am still waiting for anything from them. Been quite a while so I think they have passed the buck also. Even called the VA emergency line. No answer for the first 3 days. Finally got an answer but the woman told me she was busy.

Anonymous said...

2:43, it would help quite a bit if the politicians would not stuff so much money in their pockets and the pockets of their friends. Just cutting out a little of the waste would free up a lot of money.

From The Bleachers 3 said...

"@ From The Bleachers 2

You are saying give Mental Health carte blanche for budgeting, but how do you propose that when the legislators are cutting revenue streams to nil?"

Not sure how you came up with that from either of my posts. I've said it does no good at all to moan that we have no way to comply with the law when that response is not an acceptable option. Instead of attempting compliance, for the past five to ten years the governors and legislators have been cutting, cutting, cutting funding for mental health. How is that responsible governance?

Nor has anybody (that I've seen here) said there needs to be 82 separate facilities, one in each county. That would be as idiotic as a Wal Mart Super Center in Issaquena County.

Anonymous said...

Integrate you say? We can't integrate our white children with negro children in our schools. This is not New York City. It can't be done here. The federal government is crazy. Those people live way over there and our children live way over here and our school is here and they have a school over there.

Plus teachers from here won't work over there. No way in hell that could work. The federal government is using a New York or Chicago model which will not work here. No way. Those people don't have cars. How would they get over here? We can't afford new school buildings in the middle. It can't work. Ever. The feds are nucking futs.

Let Kennedy and LBJ come down here and make it work if they're so smart. Ha.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the federal government doesn't like the methods that the State has chosen to address this problem doesn't make it a situation requiring the feds to insist on their solution.

Not to be ugly, but why are those with mental issues 'entitled' to free and local healthcare to be provided by the state? If I have medical issues (not mental) it is not the state's responsibility to provide me with the needed services. If I have a heart condition that requires surgery, I would certainly love to have it done in my local (name your rural county) hospital and paid for by the state. But it doesn't work that way - I go to a regional medical center (Tupelo, Meridian, Hattiesburg, Coast, Jackson) and pay for a doctor to provide the medical treatment. Why is it that those needing mental health provided get it (1) at the state's expense, and (2) in a local environment dictated by the feds in DC?

Anonymous said...

"Nor has anybody (that I've seen here) said there needs to be 82 separate facilities, one in each county. That would be as idiotic as a Wal Mart Super Center in Issaquena County. "

Good point. The State Dept of Health, I believe, is split into seven or eight districts, which is a much more manageable number for a state this size (speaking about geography, not population size). Everyone is within an hour or so from DOH clinics, which is doable for most people, although this state has a surprising number of people who are desperately dependent on others for absolutely everything and would need cab vouchers to get there, if cab service is available.

No car, no family, no friends - it sucks to be some people :-(

Anonymous said...

4:32, how about the people who fought for this country and were promised medical care for their sacrifice? There is already a VA hospital that is supposed to do the job.
Want to know how it is doing the job? You could ask a veteran but there will be someone who will immediately post that the VA is doing a great job. Another way would be to do a search on the lawsuits against the VA hospital in Jackson. Be sure to read about the veteran who bled to death because no one checked on him after surgery. Or the one about rusty instruments used in the operating room. Be sure and read about the drug and alcohol use of the administrators.

Anonymous said...

@ From the Bleachers

If the Feds want us to set up a "community" based model, its safe to assume they mean for each county in the state. If I'm wrong then so be it.

But, they didn't take into account the type of state we are and how we are going to pay for things they suggested we need to do.

I agree with you on the funding, to an extent

Anonymous said...

1:46 PM Most of the community health centers have a nurse who answers the phone or calls back 24 hours a day. For crisis situations they can arrange for you to get immediate help. If your situation gets too bad go to the nearest ER or call 911 and tell them the situation. If you to ever have to call 911 make certain to let the police and EMS know you do not have any weapons and are seeking help.

Anonymous said...

I am glad the federal government has filed suit. I assisted a friend who was under the care of a community mental health center for over 10 years. It is absolutely criminal the way the state has destroyed the mental health system in this state. Each year I have seen the direct result of budget cuts as good healthcare professionals were laid off or gave up and left because it was completely impossible to see the number of patients they were assigned each day. Some of the faces I have seen in the waiting rooms over the years will stay with me forever. Few were substance abusers. Many were disabled children. Many were elderly. Many could not talk. Many were completely incoherent. Some were actually physically restrained. Most lacked Medicaid or Medicare and relied on whatever samples the health center could scrape together for them to keep them alive. There is not doubt DOJ will win the case and they will win big as they should. The entire system should be put under the direction of a federal judge who will order the state how much money it takes to bring the system up to where it should be. This is an example of the poor leadership we have in state government. Instead of fixing the problems, our state ignores them until it costs many times more to fix them.

Anonymous said...

People at the DMH are stealing equipment, including laptop computers for their kids; failing to work regularly; and generally not doing shit but apparently cannot get fired. Someone needs to clean up that mess. It is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

8:15 PM The legislature cut the budget $8.3 million and did not fund $12 million and this is just for this year alone. During the years I have been familiar with the services on a local level, it has been this way year after year. This state needs to take a realistic look at what it takes to operate a state and prepare a budget that makes sense. The legislature needs to stop being Santa Claus and giving money to every pet project, fly by night industry, etc. that gets promoted by some lobbyist at a Jackson watering hole.

Follow The Grants said...

'Community Model' does not mean 82 facilities. The feds could care less how many counties or parishes a state has.

You would not believe the number of 'entrepreneurs' who are currently making a nice living off hauling patients up and down the highways in fancy white vans and a fleet of Prius vehicles with tiny logos on the doors. A few are county sponsored, some are state but most are privately owned.

Some of them will take a patient from Rolling Fork to Clarksdale and back and then pick up a patient in Leland and take him to Cleveland and back. Never mind picking up both patients and making several legs out of that trip. There's more money to be made in the nonsensical routes.

I wonder how close to a dollar per mile these 'businesses' are charging the state/feds.

We could also talk about a grant for literacy training at nursing homes or hauling old people into Rolling Fork to teach them to feel good about themselves but that's for another day.

Anonymous said...

I'm a mental health professional. I've been in meetings about some of the federal plans for community health. They want to have services and group homes in the communities in which the citizenry lives. Not group homes in the poor low income areas but in the communities people are from. Very noble goal, but that's easier said than done. It's not services in 82 counties, but services where people live. Maybe more than 82. It's similar to our school district situation. We frankly don't have the tax base to support it, more over the population to support it. The New York models or Philadelphia, PA models are much easier to do in areas where in a 10 city block radius they have everything and tens of thousands of people.

Don't think that I'm saying give us more money and leave us alone, there needs to be changes but the Feds coming in saying "everything is wrong and we know better" isn't the best solution.

Anonymous said...

Hood sucks as AG but he really sux the Feds when they step in. Has to hurt his cheek.

Leave a few beds open at the State hospital after laBamba and his ss(sorry sh*t) troops stick their noses in Ms Gov't or any other State's business to "fix it" for those of us that he has sent over the edge.
Seems the Feds would try to tackle the Cliton corrupt regime but since she will advance Hussein's (disastrous)legacy, there will be no interruption in the labama steamrolling of our society and country.

The worst is yet to come...

On a bright note, hope I'm wrong.

82 is Insignificant.. said...

The issue here, with the Feds, is not how many counties or facilities the state has. The issue is the red flags that have been hoisted by three consecutive years of funding cuts.

Don'tchu reckon that would raise the interest level of even the most dullardly of federal over-seers.

The message sent by Mississippi lawmakers has been this: We can't do it. We won't do it. We will continue to cut funding. And we don't care who objects.

Anonymous said...

7:32, the same message has been sent by all politicians for many years. Sure glad you finally noticed.. Be sure and tell all of your friends.

Anonymous said...

7:53 - I don't need to 'tell all my friends'. Who doesn't realize it? I noticed it before you were out of college. You're too stupid to realize what side I'm on. All you are interested is your PERS account.

Anonymous said...

9:10, I don't have a PERS account. I don't care what side you are on. t least I went to college. I would bet it was before you learned to read.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS