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Antipsychotics in Youth Prisons: Will State Do Anything?

Palm Beach Post
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

After the Palm Beach Post reported last spring that juveniles in youth prisons were getting large doses of antipsychotics, and doctors were getting large kickbacks from the makers of those drugs, the state promised action. 

But according to the Post, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s investigation of the possibility of Medicaid fraud at Florida’s youth prisons amounted to just one email.  And while the the Department of Juvenile Justice has vowed to better monitor dosing on antipsychotics at juvenile prisons, the agency's former medical director says that’s an impossible promise because so many of the drugs are purchased through private companies, the Post reports. 

The DJJ denies the medications are used as “chemical restraints,” and says its investigation is “ongoing,” according to the Post.  

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.