Senate Passes Cornyn, Blumenthal, Tillis, Feinstein Bill to Support Mental Health Treatment for Incarcerated Individuals
by John Cornyn on November 17, 2020 at 9:40 AM
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and I released the following statements after the Senate passed the Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Act yesterday, which would authorize grants to allow law enforcement to partner with mental health providers on treatment and crisis stabilization services for incarcerated individuals and promote community-based care upon reentry:
Our criminal justice system is charged with caring for thousands of individuals with mental health issues. I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for passing this legislation to help inmates get the care they need while incarcerated and continuity of that care once they are released. I urge my House colleagues to quickly pass this legislation and send it to the President’s desk.
“This measure will help provide incarcerated individuals with mental health care vital to their successful return to society. The Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Act will fix the current failings of the system by ensuring dependable access to mental health treatment in their communities to help them stay on track,” said Sen. Blumenthal.
“This bipartisan legislation provides our communities with the resources they need to assist those with mental illnesses before, during, and after their involvement with the justice system,” said Sen. Tillis. “I want to thank my colleagues in the Senate for unanimously passing this bill and encouraging partnerships between law enforcement and mental health providers to address mental illness in our criminal justice system.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is also a cosponsor of the legislation.
The Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Act would authorize:
- Collaborative programs involving justice and mental health agencies and community-based behavioral health providers that would help ensure access to appropriate medication and long-term health care for returning citizens;
- Community-level crisis response programs that involve all stakeholders in building and implementation;
- Targeted training programs for law enforcement related to medication adherence and continuity of care;
- Strengthening local agency and provider capacity to reduce suicides during incarceration;
- And a national technical assistance center to support stakeholders in developing training and treatment approaches for justice-impacted individuals with mental illness, as well as promote best practices for administration of programs.