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What is the 2nd biggest problem with the Baker Act?

Hello, everyone. It’s Mark. And welcome back. In this video, I’m going to talk to you about the second biggest problem with the Baker Act. Now, in a prior video, which was the first biggest problem with the Baker Act, which was that there’s no oversight.

In other words, nobody is watching. The second biggest problem is it allows for voluntary admission. What do I mean by that? Well, what I mean is that you can agree to be Baker Acted. That’s right.

You can voluntarily consent to be detained by the state. Now, typically, the way this works is and what really happens is somebody goes to a facility, it could even be a hospital, and they say, Look, I’m not feeling great. I have issues of anxiety and depression, and I need help. And they say, okay, sign here, agreeing to be assessed and treated. Well, guess what?

You’ve just agreed to be Baker acted and become award of the state. And so what happens is they get detained. And invariably, what happens is when they realize they’re not actually getting what they came for, which was to be helped, they say, I want to leave. And the facility says, well, guess what? You can’t.

And they’re right. You can’t leave. You are locked up, and you have been detained under the Baker Act. And they can keep you. They can keep you, in theory, indefinitely.

And the way this works is if you revoke your consent, otherwise, I want to leave. If they don’t try and coerce you to stay, they’ll say, fine, you can revoke your consent. You’re still not going anywhere. In fact, not only are you not going anywhere, we’re now going to get a court order to keep you much longer. Okay?

So that is the second biggest problem with the Baker Act, that it allows for voluntary consent. And not only does it allow for voluntary consent, it allows you to be tricked into consenting without knowing what’s really going on here. I’ve had people that were involuntarily Baker Act, in other words, taken against their will, and then the facility gets them to agree to stay voluntarily under the guise that if they agreed to stay voluntarily, then the facility will not get a court order to keep them much, much longer, and that they’ll let them out probably within the next day or two. And then invariably, that doesn’t happen. And then we go to court, and the judge has missed her as her your client agreed to be here.

They signed a voluntary admission agreement. And I’m like, well, judge, they may well have done that, but they didn’t realize what the consequences were because nobody bothered to tell them. They had no idea what they were signing. And the judge says, Well, I’m sorry, Mr. Astor, you lose.

I mean, they consented. What do you want from me? Now, look, there are obviously legal avenues to challenge these whole voluntary admission agreements, but look, if you go to a Baker Act facility, and you agree to stay there, guess what? There’s a very high probability, especially if you have health insurance, you’re going to get stuck there, okay? So if you need help, find a therapist or a clinician that can help you.

The Baker Act facilities, the bad ones, and again, they’re not all bad, but they are there for emergency assessment and stabilization only. So if it’s not an emergency, find a clinician who can help you. Okay? Don’t go to a Baker Act facility. In fact, don’t go to an emergency hospital either, because again, they will detain you.

And I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to the Er if you need to. If it’s an emergency, go to the Er. If you just are having issues and you need someone to talk to, emergency rooms and Baker Act facilities are not the place to go. Anyway, with that said, see you in the next video. Thanks for tuning in.


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