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Relating to the authority of a peace officer to release in lieu of arrest certain persons with an intellectual or developmental disability.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 3540 would authorize a peace officer, with respect to a person with an intellectual or developmental disability who resides at a group home or an intermediate care facility operated under the home and community-based services Medicaid waiver program, to release the person at the person's residence in lieu of arresting the person. The officer must believe that confinement of the person in a correctional facility is unnecessary to protect the person and other residents, and must make reasonable effort to consult with the staff at the person's residence and with the person regarding that decision.
This bill would also exempt a peace officer and the agency or political subdivision that employs the officer from liability for damage to persons or property that results from the actions of a person released at the person's residence.
Texas Action supports HB 3540 because it promotes limited government. This bill would allow a peace officer to use his or her discretion before arresting a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This could save taxpayer dollars by preventing individuals who do not pose a risk to the safety of themselves or others from being incarcerated, as well as prevent deterioration of individuals who should be receiving treatment that they would otherwise not receive while incarcerated.