In Chambers, Fall 2017

28 In Chambers | Fall 2017 LEGI SLATIVE UPDATE Reprinted from T ex . J ud . C ouncil ,T ex . O ff . of C t A dmin ., 85 th L egislative U pdate (2017). Only select legislation has been included.To see full list of bills passed during 85th Legislative Session, visit: http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1438072/85th-legislative-report.pdf Mental Health SB 1326 —Effective 9/1/17 (applies to defendants accused of offenses committed on or after that date). Establishes procedures to facilitate the early identification and treatment of pre-trial detainees with mental illness or intellectual disability: • Requires a sheriff or custodial agent with custody of a person suspected of a Class B or higher offense to transmit any information indicating the person might have a mental illness or an intellectual disability to a magistrate within 12 hours of receipt; requires the magistrate to evaluate the information and, upon finding reasonable cause to believe the suspect has a mental illness or an intellectual disability, to order an assessment by a local mental health au- thority, a local intellectual and developmental disability authority, or another qualified expert. • Requires any written mental health assessment ordered by a judge to be provided to the magistrate within 96 hours if the suspect is in custody or within 30 days if the suspect has been released. • Authorizes the magistrate, in the event a suspect fails or refuses to submit to the assessment as ordered, to order the person to submit to an examination in a jail or another appropriate place of confinement for a reasonable period not to exceed 72 hours. • Requires the magistrate, upon a determination that a defendant charged with a Class B misdemeanor or higher is incompetent to stand trial, to order the defendant to participate in a jail-based competency restoration program or to seek treatment at an in-patient mental health facility or residential care facility.Allows the magistrate to order out-patient treatment for a period of up to 60 days where the defendant is not a danger to others and may be safely treated in that manner. • Provides that a magistrate must release from custody, notwithstanding a lo- cally adopted bond schedule or other standing order, defendants not charged with a violent offense or previously convicted of a violent offense deter- mined to have a mental illness or an intellectual disability if the assessment reveals appropriate treatment is available in the community and release will reasonably ensure the defendant’s appearance in court and the safety of the community and the victim of the alleged defense. • Allows the magistrate to use the results of the assessment to refer the de- fendant to a specialty court, as appropriate. • Addresses the availability of prescribed medications for suspects and defen- dants in custody. • Requires each magistrate to report the number of mental health assess- ments to the Office of Court Administration (OCA). • Requires the specialty courts to report cases and outcomes to OCA. See C ode of C rim . P roc . art. 15.17, art. 16.22, ch. 46B.

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