Sangamon Co. Judge Holds IDHS in Civil Contempt on Inmate Transfers Into Psych Facilities Again

By Benjamin Cox on November 18, 2022 at 4:32am

Sangamon County Judge Adam Giganti has found the Illinois Department of Human Services and Human Services Director Grace Hou to be in indirect civil contempt of court.

Hou and representatives of IDHS filed their petition on a rule to show cause yesterday in Sangamon County Court after failing to appear before the court back on November 3rd in the case of an inmate.

33 year old Breawna M. Miller of Auburn was arrested by Auburn Police on August 4th on charges of Resisting or Obstructing an Officer, Aggravated Assault of a Handicapped/Over 60 person, Domestic Battery, and Methamphetamine Possession. Miller was ordered to have a fitness evaluation on August 18th and found unfit to stand trial on September 8th and was recommended for treatment in the McFarland Mental Health Center.

By state law, the state has 20 days to place an inmate in state custody.

According to the contempt order, as of yesterday, Miller remains in custody at the Sangamon County Jail and has not been permitted to be transported for treatment. Giganti says that DHS has failed to satisfy burden of proof of why Miller has not been taken in to the IDHS facility, says that DHS facilities face similar staffing issues as that of Corrections facilities but Corrections are less equipped to provide psychiatric treatment which is DHS statutory duty, and by delaying Miller’s intake has impaired the defendant’s rights and interests in the administration of justice for her alleged crimes.

IDHS and Hou have been ordered to pay a fine of $100 per day until Miller is submitted into McFarland.

This is at least the second time the agency has been held in civil contempt over the issue.