SB 1183

85(R) - 2017
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Charles Perry

Bill Caption

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.

Bill Analysis

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 caliber.

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 program.

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 necessary. 

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.