Senator Introduces Bills To Curb Violence at Mental Hospitals
Sen. Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) has introduced two bills intended to curb violence at California state mental hospitals, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
The bills would apply to all five of the state's mental hospitals, which mostly serve patients convicted of crimes related to their mental health conditions.
Details of AB 1281
The first bill (AB 1281) would help keep patientsÂ who have experiencedÂ temporary psychosis as aÂ result of drug use out of state mental hospitals.
It would require court-appointed psychiatrists and psychologists to include a review of drug addiction history in their reports on defendants who plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
The mental health analysts also would need to report on whether the defendant was under the influence of drugs when they committed the crime.
Details of AB 1282
The second bill (AB 1282) would make assaults on state mental hospital workers an automatic felony for patients whose crimes were related to their mental illness and who were deemed too dangerous for parole.
An existing law already makes it a felony for any patient to assault a hospital police officer.
Patient advocates have criticized AB 1282, saying patients who commit violent acts because of their mental health conditions should not be further criminalized (Romney, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 3/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.