Nampa father says he must commit his developmentally disabled son
Eric Fink has our story. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare estimates 3,000 developmentally disabled children are enrolled in state-funded programs, receiving the treatment and care the kids and their families desperately need.
However, mental health expert Kathie Garrett says many Idaho families don't have that option and are forced to put their children in our criminal justice system.
"Juvenile corrections has seen a tremendous increase in youth in their custody that have a mental health diagnosis," Garrett said
Nampa's Byron Stanley is battling the system. His 10-year-old son, Phoenix suffered a brain hemorrhage at birth and functions at a two-year-old level.
Byron says his son's consistent violent episodes endanger members of his family.
Monday night, Byron took Phoenix to a local hospital for medication. Byron says he was told the only and best option for Phoenix - call the police.
"They have the facility to help me," Stanley cried. "They have the facility to hospitalize him for a period of time to get him on medication to get these explosions under control. That's all I want so I can actually have a peaceful day and not have to worry that's he's going to blow up on me."
Health and Welfare maintains the criminal justice system is not the best place for children like Phoenix.
"We have a crisis intervention team that would go in and help a family but we need to be alerted to it," spokesman Tom Shanahan said. "The developmental disability program does not turn anybody away. There isn't even a waiting list like there is in other states."
But, Byron Stanley believes he has waited long enough for his son to receive the proper care.
Wednesday night Stanley decided he had enough of the physical and emotional abuse. Stanley told Today's 6 and FOX 9 he has no choice but to commit Phoenix to a state mental hospital.