Ensuring due process protections for those with mental illness
SACRAMENTO–Assemblymembers Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) and Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) announced introducing AB 2275, strengthening California’s efforts to support people with mental illness by increasing oversight and accountability of involuntary detentions while ensuring due process protections.
Last year, Chairs Wood and Stone convened the Assembly Health and Judiciary Committees at a joint hearing, “The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act: How Can It Be Improved?” This hearing examined decades of implementation of the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act, specifically the involuntary detaining and/or conservatorship of individuals who have been determined to be, as the result of a mental health disorder, “gravely disabled,” or a threat to themselves or others.
“The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act was monumental in its time, but after decades of implementation, we see the inconsistencies in its implementation and believe now is time to provide new oversight and accountability so that the state can better plan for and forecast desperately needed mental health services and resources,” said Wood.
“As the pandemic has made clear, protecting and supporting those in our community with mental illness must be a top priority,” said Stone. “Sadly, we’ve seen too many cases across the state where people with mental illness are denied community-based supports or are involuntarily detained and denied due process without getting the support and services they need. This bill provides much-needed oversight over involuntary detentions, critical accountability measures, and essential due process protections for people detained and conserved due to mental illness.”
AB 2275 addresses issues raised during the joint hearing. It will enhance data reporting requirements and establish oversight and accountability. It will also clarify the definition of an involuntary hold to comply with federal due process protections. The joint committee learned that the application of a 72-hour hold, often referred to as a “5150,” varied among jurisdictions and did not always comply with federal due process requirements. This bill will clarify how that time is applied, complying with federal law.
“My hope is that this legislation will generate a new baseline of meaningful data so that we can direct the care and resources required, to better reflect the needs of those with serious mental illness in our state, leading them to a life of dignity and respect,” said Wood.
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