On January 11, 2017, Sen. Beth Humenik and Rep. Jonathan Singer introduced SB 17-021, “Concerning Reentry Services for Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation.”
Legislative Oversight Committee Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems.
The bill directs the division of housing in the department of local affairs to establish a program to provide vouchers and supportive services to persons with a mental illness who are being released from the department of corrections (DOC) or jails. The program is funded by general fund appropriations and from money unspent by the division of criminal justice (CDPS) for community corrections programs in the previous fiscal year.
The bill directs the behavioral health unit in the department of human services, in conjunction with the DOC, to implement reentry programs to assist persons with a mental illness who are transitioning from incarceration. If necessary, the programs may receive money from the community corrections appropriation to CDPS.
The bill appropriates $2.7 million to the department of local affairs.
The bill was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the Judiciary Committee. It is scheduled for hearing in committee on February 15 at 1:30 p.m.