SIGNIFICANT COMMITTEE ACTIONS

S.B. 44 (Zaffirini), relating to the detention and transportation of a person with a mental illness.  As voted from the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, the bill would: (1) give a peace officer who takes a person into custody without a warrant because the officer believes the person is mentally ill and may harm himself the option of transporting the person to a medical or other facility that the local mental health authority deems suitable; (2) establish that a jail or facility used to detain persons charged with crimes is not a facility suitable for a person believed to be mentally ill or held under a protective custody order unless other suitable facilities are unavailable or more than 75 miles away; (3) allow the detention of a person believed to be mentally ill or held under a protective order in a jail for no longer than 12 hours and require the officer responsible for the jail to document when the detention begins, how long it lasts, the reason for detention, and the time a representative of a local mental health authority arrives at the facility; (4) prohibit detaining a person believed to be mentally ill or person held under protective custody order with a person charged or convicted of a crime; and (5) allow restraint of a detained or committed patient only during apprehension, detention, or transport of the patient and require that the patient be able to sit in an upright position without undue difficulty.


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