85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice
Relating to procedures regarding criminal defendants who are or may be persons with a mental illness or an intellectual disability and to the period for which a person may be committed to receive certain temporary mental health services.
This bill would modify certain procedures related to
criminal defendants who have a mental illness or an intellectual disability. If an individual was arrested and determined to
be incompetent to stand trial, and if the defendant is charged with an offense
punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, the judge may release the defendant on
bail, or commit the person to a jail-based competency restoration program, or a
mental health facility. If the defendant is charged with a Class A misdemeanor,
the judge may release person on bail, or to a maximum-security unit of a mental
health facility, or to another mental health facility or residential care facility
determined to be appropriate by local mental health authorities.
This bill would add a chapter regarding the release on bail for Class B
misdemeanors for individuals who have been deemed incompetent to stand trial.
If passed, a judge may release an individual on bail and order them to an outpatient
competency restoration treatment program for no longer than 60 days. This bill
provides some requirements before admitting the person to the outpatient
facility. This bill also establishes a similar process for Class A misdemeanors
and felonies, but increases the time period to 120 days for offenses of that
This bill would also authorize courts to order a defendant to receive
competency based restoration education services either in a jail-based
competency restoration program or from an outpatient competency restoration
program. This bill also adds a procedure for transportation of individuals who
have been committed, and the procedure for administering their medication while
in custody and transit.
SB 1183 would also establish a blueprint of rules, procedures, and requirements
that would allow counties to implement a jail-based restoration of competency
Finally, under current law, a judge may order a defendant to receive temporary
inpatient mental health services under certain circumstances. In these
instances, the term of treatment is 90 days unless a judge orders a shorter
period. If this bill passes, then the temporary court-ordered treatment would
be reduced to 45 days, unless a judge determines that a longer term is
Vote Recommendation Notes
It is within the proper role of government to prosecute people who commit crimes, and to establish procedures in case the defendant has mental illness or intellectual disabilities. In addition, restoring competency so that defendants can stand trial promotes justice. That said, the changes in this bill are mostly procedural in nature with no discernible substantive impact on our liberty principles. For this reason we remain neutral.