Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and Foundation

House Judiciary to Consider Mental Health Bill Focused on Criminal Justice, Guns on January 12

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House Judiciary to Consider Mental Health Bill Focused on
Criminal Justice, Guns on January 12

Update (1/12/16): The Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 1854, the "Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015"

The House Judiciary Committee has announced their intention to markup H.R. 1854, the “Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015” introduced by Representative Doug Collins (R-GA).  The House Judiciary Committee will consider this bill along with two others during a markup scheduled for January 12 beginning at 10:15am ET.  If the Committee determines to webcast the markup, it would be viewable live through their website.  

H.R. 1854 amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to authorize DOJ grants for communities to develop a shared understanding of the flow of individuals with mental illnesses through the criminal justice system, and identify opportunities for improved responses, and providing services to reduce recidivism.

The bill authorizes DOJ grants for Veterans services including treatment court programs, peer-to-peer service programs, practices that identify and provide treatment, rehabilitation, legal, and transitional services to such veterans who have been incarcerated, and training programs to teach criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, mental health, and substance abuse personnel how to identify and respond to incidents involving veterans.

Additional DOJ grant programs authorized for: 

  • Correctional facilities to identify and screen inmates for mental illness, assess and provide appropriate treatment and services, and develop and implement post-release transition plan.  
  • Programs that teach law enforcement personnel how to identify and respond to incidents involving persons with mental health and substance abuse disorders.
  • Programs that offer specialized training to federal first responders to identify and respond to incidents involving individuals who have a mental illness.