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HB 5043 - Authorizes Mental Health Experts to Accompany Police Officers - Virginia Key Vote

Stage Details

Title: Authorizes Mental Health Experts to Accompany Police Officers

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to adopt a conference report that authorizes mental health experts to accompany police officers.

Highlights:

Vote Smart staff and volunteers have provided this synopsis based on an initial review of the text and voting record of HB 5043. We will continue to analyze the contents of this bill and will have more information available as soon as possible.

For further status information, email us at votes@votesmart.org or call the Voter's Research Hotline at 1-888-VOTE-SMART (1-888-868-3762).

Title: Authorizes Mental Health Experts to Accompany Police Officers

Title: Authorizes Mental Health Experts to Accompany Police Officers

Title: Authorizes Mental Health Experts to Accompany Police Officers

See How Your Politicians Voted

Title: Authorizes Mental Health Experts to Accompany Police Officers

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

A vote to pass a bill that authorizes mental health experts to accompany police officers.

Highlights:

 

  • Establishes a Mental health Awareness Response and Community Understanding Services (MARCUS) alert system and community care teams (Sec 1).

  • Specifies that a community care team is a group of mental health service providers, working with registered peer recovery specialists and law enforcement officers (Sec 1).

  • Establishes the goals of a MARCUS alert system to be to (Sec 1):

    • Provide immediate response and services by a specially trained community care team with law enforcement officers as backup;

    • Afford persons with mental illness or substance abuse issues a sense of dignity in crisis situations;

    • Reduce the likelihood of physical confrontation and injuries during crisis events;

    • Decrease arrests and use of force by law enforcement officers;

    • Identify underserved populations and ensure that they are provided with appropriate mental health and substance abuse caregiving services;

    • Provide support and assistance for mental health service providers and law enforcement officers;

    • Decrease the use of arrests and detentions;

    • Provide a therapeutic location or protocol, other than a law enforcement or jail facility, to bring individuals in crises for assessment;

    • Increase public recognition and appreciation of mental health needs;

    • Decrease the need for mental health treatment in jail;

    • Accelerate access to care for individuals in crisis through a streamlined process and provide better access to timely treatment;

    • Improve the notifications made to the community care team and public if an individual experiencing a mental health crisis poses an immediate threat to public safety or themself; and

    • Decrease the use of psychiatric hospitalizations as treatment for mental health crises.

  • Requires the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Department of Criminal Justice Services to create a detailed plan to establish a MARCUS alert system that must be submitted no later than June 1, 2021 (Sec 1).

  • Requires 5 MARCUS alert programs and community care teams to be established in each of the 5 regions outlined by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Department of Criminal Justice Services by July 1, 2021 (Sec 1).

  • Requires one additional MARCUS alert program and community care team to be established in each region by July 1, 2023 (Sec 1).

  • Requires 2 reports to be submitted throughout the establishment process that assess the impact and effectiveness of the programs and teams (Sec 1).

  • Requires all eligible geographical areas to have a MARCUS alert system and community care team by July 1, 2026 (Sec 1).

  • Requires the creation of a required community care team training for all persons involved in the program (Sec 1).

  • Requires the establishment of a protocol that permits the release of persons deemed sufficiently stable and the referral to emergency treatment services (Sec 1).

  • Requires community care teams to be armed with nonlethal weapons and only use nonlethal force (Sec 1).

  • Authorizes the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and the Department of Criminal Justice Services to coordinate a public service campaign surrounding MARCUS alert systems and community care teams, running from July 1, 2020, to January 1, 2022 (Sec 2).

Title: Authorizes Mental Health Experts to Accompany Police Officers

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