Senate Bill 1156, spearheaded by a Tampa Bay area public defender and sponsored by a St. Petersburg lawmaker, would bar the state from seeking a death sentence for those with severe mental illnesses — if they can prove they were ill at the time of the offense.
New legislation would require Colorado’s jails to keep people with certain medical and mental health conditions out of solitary confinement. While advocates and family members of victims support the bill, sheriffs say more funding will be necessary to implement the changes.
As the mentally ill continue to fall victim to aggressive police interactions, states around the country are introducing legislation calling for new training while also adopting programs that seek to include social workers and trained mental health professionals as mediators in potentially explosive situations.
Nebraska fecdently become the 46th state to introduce mental health courts. But some critics wonder whether the courts, now numbering over 450, are over-relying on them to deal with justice-involved individuals with mental health issues.
BySusan Radcliffe, Daniel Pollack and Casey Scott |
Police and corrections officers suffer higher rates of depression, PTSD, burnout and other anxiety-related mental health conditions than the general population. They should not have to suffer in silence, write three experts in trauma therapy and research.
While there are encouraging signs that the “epidemic” of police suicides has eased, it remains a an issue that is too often swept under the rug, writes one California officer. Unlike COVID-19, “we don’t need to put on masks; we need to remove them,” he adds.
A new Citizens for Prison Reform (CPR) report released Tuesday calls on the Michigan Department of Corrections to end their methods of confinement punishment, charging that isolation exacerbates mental health problems and contributes to prisoner deaths.
Research conducted by the University of New South Wales in Australia demonstrates the potential benefits of focused data mining to investigate and prevent future incidents of abuse, reports The Conversation. The study of almost half a million police reports of domestic violence in Australia revealed a hidden picture of mental health issues in perpetrators and victims.