Package of Bills To Overhaul Prison Psychiatric Care Signed by Brown
Details of New Laws
The four new laws are:
- AB 1340, by Assembly member Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo), which establishes improved treatment pilot programs to be used for dangerous patients at Atascadero, Coalinga, Napa and Patton state hospitals. The law is expected to take effect on July 1, 2015;
- AB 1960, by Assembly member Henry Perea (D-Fresno), which permits law enforcement and qualified mental health employees at state hospitals to view a patient's criminal record to determine the patient's potential risk of violence and find the most appropriate placement options;
- AB 2186, by Assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), which allows the involuntary medication of psychiatric patients who cannot stand trial, and calls for medication orders to be transferred between facilities where the patient is placed; and
- AB 2625, by Achadjian, which requires county courts to locate suitable mental health care facilities for patients who are referred to state hospitals and are unlikely to regain sanity.
The measures were supported by a coalition of labor groups, including the:
- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2620;
- California Association of Psychiatric Technicians;
- California Statewide Law Enforcement Association;
- International Union of Operating Engineers;
- Service Employees International Union Local 1000; and
- Union of American Physicians and Dentists (Ortiz, "The State Worker," Sacramento Bee, 9/30).