NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10071
SPONSOR: Rules (O'Donnell)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law and the mental
hygiene law, in relation to treatment plans for certain inmates who are
receiving mental health services at or prior to the time of their antic-
ipated release date
To provide mental health discharge planning for inmates who will be
released on community supervision and to authorize regional community
supervision directors to initiate involuntary commitment proceedings
under the mental hygiene law.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new subdivision 4 to section 404 of the correction law.
Section 2 amends subdivision 4 of section 9.27 of the mental hygiene
law. Section 3 provides for an effective date.
On June 1, 2014, nine days after being released from prison without
mental health medications or any contact with a community mental health
care provider, a mentally ill man stabbed two children in an elevator in
Brooklyn, killing one of them, a six year old boy. The man's parole
officer informed her supervisors that she believed him to be dangerous
and thought he should be sent to a mental hospital.
While most mentally ill people are not violent, no inmate who receives
mental health treatment while in prison should be released to the
streets without a plan for continuity of care. People who have stabi-
lized in prison should not destabilize in the community for lack of
mental health care. The bill provides that inmates on the mental health
caseload, or who refuse services but are mentally ill, receive mental
health discharge planning and, if necessary, appointments with psychia-
trists or other prescribing mental health professionals in the community
to ensure that medication orders do not lapse and that the released
individuals remain under appropriate medical supervision.
Additionally, it is important that regional community supervision direc-
tors be authorized to act quickly and independently in situations in
which their field officers believe a supervisee to be in need of hospi-
talization. Currently parole officers can initiate petitions for
assisted outpatient treatment under Kendra's Law but may not initiate a
petition for involuntary commitment. This bill would clarify that the
regional director of community supervision has standing to initiate such
This is a new bill.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
This act shall take effect sixty days after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
June 11, 2014
Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. O'Donnell)
-- read once and referred to the Committee on Correction
AN ACT to amend the correction law and the mental hygiene law, in
relation to treatment plans for certain inmates who are receiving
mental health services at or prior to the time of their anticipated
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 404 of the correction law is amended by adding a
2 new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
3 4. Every inmate who has received mental health treatment pursuant to
4 this article within three years of his or her anticipated release date
5 from a state correctional facility shall be provided with mental health
6 discharge planning and, when necessary, an appointment with a mental
7 health professional in the community who can prescribe medications
8 following discharge and sufficient mental health medications and
9 prescriptions to bridge the period between discharge and such time as
10 such mental health professional may assume care of the patient. Inmates
11 who have refused mental health treatment may also be provided mental
12 health discharge planning and any necessary appointment with a mental
13 health professional.
14 § 2. Paragraph 4 of subdivision (b) of section 9.27 of the mental
15 hygiene law, as amended by chapter 7 of the laws of 2007, is amended to
16 read as follows:
17 4. an officer of any public or well recognized charitable institution
18 or agency or home, including but not limited to the superintendent of a
19 correctional facility, as such term is defined in paragraph (a) of
20 subdivision four of section two of the correction law, in whose institu-
21 tion the person alleged to be mentally ill resides and the designee
22 authorized by the commissioner of the department of corrections and
23 community supervision responsible for community supervision in the
24 region where such person alleged to be mentally ill has been released to
25 any form of supervision following incarceration.
26 § 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
27 have become a law.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.