TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to
holding inmates that suffer from mental illness for emergency purposes
PURPOSE: To permit mentally ill inmates to remain at the Central New
York Psychiatric Center for needed in-patient treatment at the
discretion of their clinical mental health providers.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends subdivision 9 of section 402 of the correction law to
permit in-patient psychiatric hospitalization at the Central New York
Psychiatric Center at the discretion of mental health providers upon
consent of the inmate.
Section 2 provides for an effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: State prisoners in need of emergency in-patient mental
health treatment are sent to Central New York Psychiatric Center.
Involuntary in-patient treatment commonly occurs when an inmate has
made a serious suicide attempt or is exhibiting full-blown psychosis
or other symptoms of severe mental illness. Once the emergency for
which an inmate was admitted has resolved, he or she is sent back to
prison. Some inmates cycle back to Central New York Psychiatric
Center on an almost regular schedule; they stabilize in the hospital
at which point they are discharged, their mental state deteriorates
again in prison, and they are sent to Central New York Psychiatric
Center for emergency mental health treatment. At times the
precipitating incident for involuntary admission is a major
disturbance, creating risk of injury to staff and other inmates.
Inmates exhibiting dangerous or erratic behaviors due to their mental
illness present a management problem and a security risk to
correctional facilities. For some such inmates longer periods of
hospitalization may be the most effective way to treat them so that
they can maintain stability. In those cases, at the discretion of the
Central New York Psychiatric Center clinicians, it may be preferable
to keep an inmate in the psychiatric hospital under intensive
management for a longer period of time after the immediate crisis for
which he or she was admitted is over in order to provide more
comprehensive in-patient mental health treatment. This change in the
statute provides a mechanism for the mental health staff at Central
New York Psychiatric Center to exercise their clinical judgment and
keep an inmate who has been admitted for emergency mental health care
for a longer course of treatment when the inmate consents to such
treatment under existing mental hygiene law.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Passed Assembly 2014, 2013 and 2012.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None, as the inmates will require intensive
mental health treatment wherever they are placed.
EFFECTIVE DATE:; Thirty days after the act becomes law.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
I N A S S E M B L Y
January 13, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. O'DONNELL, AUBRY -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Correction
AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to holding inmates that
suffer from mental illness for emergency purposes
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 9 of section 402 of the correction law, as
2 amended by chapter 164 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as
4 9. Except as provided in subdivision two OF THIS SECTION pertaining to
5 prisoners confined in the city of New York, an inmate of a correctional
6 facility or a county jail may be admitted on an emergency basis to the
7 Central New York Psychiatric Center upon the certification by two exam-
8 ining physicians, including physicians employed by the office of mental
9 health and associated with the correctional facility in which such
10 inmate is confined, that the inmate suffers from a mental illness which
11 is likely to result in serious harm to himself or others as defined in
12 subdivision (a) of section 9.39 of the mental hygiene law. Any person so
13 committed shall be delivered by the superintendent within a twenty-four
14 hour period, to the director of the appropriate hospital as designated
15 in the rules and regulations of the office of mental health. Upon deliv-
16 ery of such person to a hospital operated by the office of mental
17 health, a proceeding under this section shall immediately be commenced,
18 PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT AFTER SUCH EMERGENCY HAS RESOLVED SUCH PERSON
19 MAY BE HELD WITHOUT COURT ORDER FOR FURTHER IN-PATIENT TREATMENT PURSU-
20 ANT TO SECTIONS 9.13 AND 9.15 OF THE MENTAL HYGIENE LAW.
21 S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
22 have become a law.
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.